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14 Ways Brands can use Snapchat


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14 ways brands and marketers can use Snapchat:

A quick guide and thought starters for marketers who want to create relevant conversations via Snapchat.

Published in: Marketing

14 Ways Brands can use Snapchat

  1. Snapchat and Brands: The Guide
  2. This is a collection of thought starters for brands and marketers who want to use Snapchat to make relevant, interesting conversations. Please share, and feel free to send me your thoughts – especially all of the better ideas out there than these ones. @hankleber
  3. Hank Leber I’m a digital strategist and recovering entrepreneur. Some past projects: GonnaBe – Social media of the future (literally – all the things you're gonna be doing) Agency Nil – The world's first crowdsourcing-based ad agency – Helping fight famine in East Africa by allowing you to donate used electronics In advertising I worked on many brands including Lexus, Nationwide, Travelocity, Anheuser-Busch, Sherwin-Williams, Coldwell Banker, Häagen-Dazs, and Wrigley's.  Probably best known for the social media work I did with Travelocity – putting the Gnome on Chatroulette, earning the brand 20MM impressions without spending a dime. I’m currently living in Los Angeles where I wish it would rain more. About the author Follow me at: @hankleber Instagram: hankleber
  4. Why: Not sex. It’s ephemerality. The next generation is so focused on the present, they don’t care to keep a record of most communications. Snapchat is now, and no more. About Snapchat What: Photo sharing app where the pictures expire in 1s-10s. You can also write/draw on them. How: Users set the viewing duration. The pic disappears immediately after. image source:
  5. Q: What happens when only the present matters, and nothing is permanent? A: A lot. The Opportunity: Nowness source: cdn.sneakhype.com222 source: source: fbcdn-sphotos- source: source: source:
  6. 1. Be more like a person 2 Rules of Social: and less like a talking logo. image by StockImages at FreeDigitalPhotos.netimage source:
  7. 2. Let the medium be the message. Twitter, FB, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat, etc, are different companies because they each have very different use cases & value props to their users. Understand the medium, and use it accordingly. 2 Rules of Social: image source:
  8. Snapchat-ers are sharing: Fleeting moments Rare Finds Unimportant @$%^#&! Humor Scandalous Content Fun Anythings Secrets Braggadocio Simple Chats image sources:,,,,,,
  9. If you don’t fit that category, you’ll be scorned (or worse, ignored). Your brand on Snapchat = another one of my friends image source:
  10. Go back 2 slides and review. So, share like a friend. image source:
  11. 14 Ways for Brands to use Snapchat 1. Immediate Action/Reaction 2. Fun. Fun. FUN. 3. Games/Contests 4. Secrets 5. Candid Anything 6. Rare Anything 7. Tell a Story 8. Get Creative 9. Use Celebs 10. Combine Channels 11. Be Timely 12. Use the Features 13. Bend the Rules 14. Approach Snapchat image source:
  12. Immediate Action/Reaction When they open the snap, that’s the only chance you get. Manufacture immediacy. You get the impression, the chance for immediate engagement, and that’s it. Think of your snap communication as a charge, a challenge, or eliciting a single emotional response. Selfie Snapback! Show us your favorite _____. Who you with? Get to our store & snap a shot! 1. image source:
  13. Whatever you do, make it fun. (Telling people about your brand isn’t fun for them.) Figure out exactly how funny or outlandish you can be. Raise eyebrows, make them laugh, want to share, and want to see it again. Taco Bell does this well. Fun. Fun. FUN. 2. image sources:,,
  14. Games/Contests Give them something to do. - “Snapenger Hunt! First one to find & snap to us all of these things wins X.” - Best snap award (and re- snapped to our followers) - “Quick, screenshot this coupon/code/whatever! 3-2-1...” 3. image source:
  15. Secrets Anything that seems secretive works well on Snapchat - passwords - early access - gossip 4. image source:
  16. 5. Candid Anything A brand being honest about itself is endearing – and builds trust. Be surprisingly real in a candid snap and let it gain you credibility. The New Orleans Saints are doing this well. - Behind the scenes footage of your brand/products... - Shots of the CEO or other employees being goofy 5. image sources:,
  17. 6. Rare Anything Rarity of existence is exciting – i.e. anything that involves immediacy or expires very soon (like minutes or seconds). You need to get the action now. Anything later they won’t do. - coupons - deals - limited edition stuff 6. image source:
  18. 7. Tell a Story (using Stories, duh) The Stories feature allows you to stitch snaps together to make a longer experience. Plan ahead and make them work as montages. 7. image source:
  19. Get Creative (esp. with video) Snapchat has given you video to use. So use it. - Try to do things most users wouldn’t be able to do with video. Be unique. - Set up a special studio just for Snapchat video footage. - Link videos together in succession to create Stories that last 30 - 60s, or more. You could even make a mini-movie... 8. image source:
  20. ? Use Celebs The majority of Snapchat users are teens & college kids – they eat up everything celeb. - If you have endorsements and partnerships, exhaust them. - Apply celeb to all other examples in this guide. 9. image source:
  21. Combine Channels Incorporate other channels like Twitter, SMS, Instagram, etc. into the game. Snapchat can be the starting point to something deeper. does this well. - Txt to vote - Instagram # - Tweet # or @ 10. image source:
  22. Be Timely Snapchat users are constantly tuned into pop culture and what’s going on THIS MINUTE. If you’re even a day late you’re too late. Hire somebody to be up to the minute for you. Oreo is great at in-the-moment communications - Use snaps as commentary on pop culture (bonus if you can relate it to your brand, but don’t force it.) - Jokes - Memes - Tabloids - Major events - News topics - Fads 11. image source:
  23. Use the Features On Snapchat you can: What can be done that’s extraordinary with these in relation to your brand? - athletic brand + speed - mint/cool-based product + temperature - time-based product/service + time Draw Type Post MPH Time Temperature Add filters 12. image source:
  24. 13. Bend the Rules Use the phone camera in a photo-shoot session so your snaps look 10x as good as the norm Plan scripts, shoot them. Execute micro-productions. How can you use the constraints to enhance the message? - What special power can a 1-second snap have? - 2 second video? - 10-second video? - 30-second Snap story montage? - 60-second Story video compilation? 13. image source:
  25. 14. Approach Snapchat You’re the brand. They want you. They need you. Your creativity and adventurousness will set the tone for their $30B IPO. They will take your call. Run things by them. Ask them questions. Seek special treatment. image source:
  26. Be prepared to measure lift to brand, awareness, impressions, and light demographics. No classic CTRs, CPMs, TRPs. Snapchat – like most social media – is relationship building. Measure that most prominently, until Snapchat allows for closer metrics of open rate, location, etc. If you MUST measure something, then send a snap asking to screenshot and measure the screenshots. Re-think ROI image source:
  27. Be Long-Haul Do creative executions on Snapchat consistently, creatively, and relentlessly. Continue to reinvent and push the limits until you see results. But realize you won’t get ‘results’ in 1 day, nor 10, nor 30. Relationships take time. Plan 180 or 365, then measure brand health, lift to brand, etc. If you act fast using the ideas in this guide, you can also measure impressions from the media coverage you’ll get for being an innovator. image source:
  28. Thanks for reading. Share, please. Feel free to reach out: @hankleber