Snappin’ Brands

About a year ago, a huge wave of my friends were talking about Snapchat. I was hesitant to download the app, thinking, “I’m too old for this,” but did it anyway. As it turns out, Snapchat is one of my more frequently used apps, and I’m not the only one that jumped on the bandwagon. More and more brands are getting into the Snap game to reach their audiences. At first I was skeptical, wondering how this could work because the photos and videos have such a short lifespan -- literally gone forever in 10 seconds or less. The introduction of Snapchat Stories in October helped alleviate some of this, giving users the ability to post a series of photos and/or videos, still with a 10 second cap, but could be strung together and ‘live’ on Snapchat for 24 hours from posting.

Since I’ve adopted the app, it’s been interesting to see which brands have also joined and what they’re using it for.  Social Media Today recently reported some stats on the app and how brands are utilizing it. The more common uses include: “hosting contests, providing sneak peeks & exclusive content, offering coupons & discounts, going behind-the-scenes, using Snapchat Stories, introducing new products and inviting fans to participate.”

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I follow a handful of brands, mainly for entertainment purposes and the occasional special offer. Taco Bell (handle:Tacbobell), one of my favorite brands on Snapchat (warning: get ready to be hungry!), has used the app to tease and then share big announcements like Taco Bell breakfast and the comeback of the Beefy Crunch Burrito. Last year, popular makeup brand, NARS (handle: Narsissist), used Snapchat to unveil its new product line to fans. Mashable (handle: Mashable), another favorite, is using the app to add some creative light on the stories already being covered. Sometimes they share a series of amazing drawings, while other times they post photos and videos, like this week’s E3 conference.

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If you’re on Snapchat, you might also want to check out these brands:

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Karmaloop.com. While there are a fair amount of risqué snaps of models, Karmaloop also uses Snapchat to regularly share behind-the-scenes look at the company, as well as sharing exclusive coupons and discount codes.

Businessweek. They’re new to Snapchat and are going to be using their account to preview covers, and more.

SeventeenMag. Seventeen Magazine does a great job making their followers feel a more intimate connection with the publication. Sharing things like photos of celebrities visiting the office and sneak peeks of articles, the content gives people a sense of exclusivity.

NPR. Since October, NPR has been using Snapchat as a way to share “unforgettable” facts of the day, as well as 10-second reviews.

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RebeccaMinkoff. Props to RM for mixing things up. Earlier this month they rolled out a giveaway using Snapchat to launch the contest and WhatsApp to announce the winner.

McDonalds. The fast-food powerhouse joined Snapchat in February and is likely going to use the Stories feature to tease new products. So far, there have been some fun cameos, like Lebron James and Richard Sherman. I’m hopeful this will be a fun one to watch!

Related: This is a pretty cool infographic by Marketo on how brands can leverage Snapchat.

Do you follow any killer brand accounts? Tweet me @c_allodi.