Snapchat Social Media Strategy Ideas from the Biggest Brands

snapchat social media strategy ideas

With incredible statistics like the fact it has 100 million daily users, and over 400 million pieces of content sent per day, it’s a wonder why more marketers aren’t building a social media strategy for Snapchat. Those are the kind of numbers you’d expect for big names like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, but they’re very much an average day in the life of Snapchat.

Developing a social media strategy for Snapchat requires you to consider the target demographic, 71% of users in the USA are 18 – 34 years old, with a touch of knowing how to do real time marketing added. This article will show you 5 different Snapchat social media strategy ideas you can consider, and show you a few of my favorite examples.

Ideas for Snapchat social media strategies

The first thing you have to do when thinking of your SnapChat social media strategy is consider how the medium actually works. All messages sent will disappear at some point. A regular message sent by a user will disappear within 1 – 10 seconds. That’s how normal Snapchatters are using the platform.

Brands, however, are all over the SnapChat stories feature. This feature allows you to create a series of snaps which will last for 24 hours. This gives your fans enough time to check in once a day, look at your snaps, and be told some sort of brand story. This is the tool you’l want to use in the 5 examples below.

snapchat social media strategy nbaGive people access to events, parties, and what’s happening NOW

With snaps lasting for 24 hours at most, it’s not going to be in your best interest to send out snaps of things with no immediate urgency about them. If it happened last week we can read the blog. If it’s happening NOW we want it on our phones in Snapchat NOW. Even better, use it to give people behind the scenes looks that they won’t find in a more polished YouTube video or on TV.

As an example, the NBA uses Snapchat frequently, using it to give fans updates on their biggest events right when they happen. Examples being the All-Star Game, the Draft, the Playoffs, the Slam Dunk Contest, and even the MVP announcement like you see to the right.

In short, if it’s happening right now, you can create a Snapchat story around it. The more you think of Snapchat as mobile marketing where you message is delivered right to phones, right now, the more you’ll understand why your message needs to have immediacy built into them.

Make your Snapchat content feel exclusive

snapchat social media strategy gleeThis is another case of thinking about where the content is being delivered. You’re sending snaps right to someone’s smartphone. This is a much more intimate thing than a laptop that gets passed around at home. Everyone keeps their phone private and personal, and your snaps should feel like someone personally delivered your content right to the user.

The obvious way to do this is to use Snapchat the same way your fans do – by taking pictures with your smartphone. Using a ‘selfie’ style will help create that exclusive access feeling. You can also create this feeling by letting fans know that content being sent to them is exclusive to the platform.

The cast and crew of Glee were well known for the intimate, goofy, exclusive, ‘we just took this for fun’ type of snaps that Snapchat users crave. The example to the left is one such snap. It’s just the cast being silly, with no posing or makeup required. All they needed to do to make Snapchat part of their social media strategy was to send live messages to users of when the show was airing. That’s an instant viewership increase opportunity!

Send out promotions and contests

This works on every social media platform and in any social media strategy. People just plain love to get promotions via social media as it makes them feel like they’re being valued as a fan or follower.

Ways that you can do this include on Snapchat include:

  • Offering discounts to those who follow your Snapchat account. Have your fans show the teller they’re following your account and get the discount. Of course you’ll send out a Snapchat to notify people to do this. Sending the message out on other platforms can push people to follow you on Snapchat as well.
  • Offer promotion codes at the end of Snapchat stories. Tell people at the beginning that they’ll get a promo code at the end and watch everyone view it.
  • Starting a Snapchat scavenger hunt that involves them taking snaps of your products, locations, or advertisements. Anyone who completes the hunt is given the promo code.

The number of contests and promotions that you can add to your Snapchat social media strategy are nearly limitless.

Go behind the velvet rope and behind the employees only door

When you’re using Snapchat you want to use it like your fans. These aren’t the polished and planned pictures you’ll find in a press release coming from people. They’re the slice of life, here’s me doing my thing, behind the scenes, ya this is how we do, type of pictures.

snpachat selfie marketing strategyHow is your company or brand going to do this? Easy, just follow those same patterns:

  • Take snaps of company birthday parties, picnics, exciting meetings, etc. Any time you’re having fun pull out your phone and take a snap. This is exactly what your fans do!
  • Show the processes behind how you products are made. Take a snap with someone who works down on the production floor selfie style and give a brief explanation of who they are and what they do. Never deny the power of the selfie. Connect a number of these snaps to tell the story of your products from raw materials to out the door products.
  • Take people on one of your guided company tours to show them why they need to show up and have a tour themselves.

Make your fans on Snapchat feel like they’re part of your company culture and their brand loyalty will grow.

Work with influential Snapchat users

This is another area where your Snapchat social media strategy will overlap with other social media platforms. Working with a popular user on Snapchat gets you access to their followers and can help you gain new followers for your account. Snapchat doesn’t have a Share or Retweet button like so many other social media platforms, this makes it even more important to use influencers on Snapchat.

Keep in mind that you don’t have to just connect with them on Snapchat and have them send out snaps. You can connect with popular users on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or anywhere else and ask them to message their followers to follow you on Snapchat.

Taco Bell is one of the best brands around at Twitter and Snapchat marketing. They teamed with famous Twitter user @LoganPaul once on their Snapchat account recently. He used their Snapchat, and tweeted out to his 500,000+ followers to go follow Taco Bell to join in on his usual brand of humour and fun beforehand:

With so many brands being new to Snapchat marketing, this combination of influencers and other social media platforms will be a key aspect of building your campaigns and getting your social media strategy off the ground. Take the time to read some of our Twitter marketing guides, or one of our equally image intensive Instagram marketing guides to help you build your plan.


Feature image via Dean Drobot / Shutterstock


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