Successful Snapchatting: Can Brands Pull It Off?

Seventeen Mag will never be royals

Seventeen Magazine’s Snapchat presence wins on consistency, appearing in feeds with a new snap every couple of weeks. The content is usually a still image of a pseudo-celebrity visiting the office or of mockups previewing articles in the pipeline — things that are moderately interesting, but that rarely evoke an emotional reaction.

Most recently, however, seventeenmag sent its followers video footage from the balcony of a Lorde concert with the text “We’ll never be royals.” This mostly made me jealous, but also made me glad to see the people behind the brand out in public soaking up the culture that they report on.

Snapchat is an obvious distribution channel for a brand whose target audience is teenagers, but the communication loop isn’t closed until a valuable message is delivered via that channel. Regardless of who attended the Lorde concert, followers of the account were sure to feel a deeper connection to the publication itself.

New Orleans Saints: Who dat?

Even sports haters can find something to love about the New Orleans Saints’ Snapchat feed — and through Snapchat, I’ve learned the significance of the fellowship that lies in a simple grunt of the expression “Who dat?!”

Every snap from The New Orleans Saints ends with a player from the team bellowing the inspirational phrase at the camera. The things the team celebrates go in one ear and out the other for the casual observer, but the “Who dat?” chant is consistent and predictable.

In revealing the winner of a recent contest, The Saints reminded us that Snapchat is a two-way street; the one-and-a-half-minute-long Snapchat Story rotated screenshots of fan snaps sent directly to the team.

The Saints are aiming for an audience broader than just teenaged fans, but have done such a good job at offering a sneak peek into the locker room that they’ve even piqued the interest of the anti-fan. In this way, the team has increased its brand awareness in ways it probably never imagined possible.

Taco Bell announces first meal

Of the small handful of Taco Bell Snaps I’ve opened since following the account, only one has been memorable: the visual reminder that its locations will begin serving breakfast on March 27th. The news itself was a week or two old, which is why sending out a Snapchat to remind followers was a great idea.

This snap’s success wasn’t about connecting with the brand or increasing awareness of it, but rather the simple act of communicating product-related news. In content marketing, we emphasize the importance of brand essence through storytelling and frequently snub product-focused content with the goal of a better end-user experience. But if there’s real news surrounding a product (such as the launch of an entirely new line of offerings), it’s perfectly acceptable to tout that news, especially in the selfie-obsessed land of Snapchat.

The Snapchat for Brands playbook is still largely unwritten, but marketers can still heed some key takeaways. Seeking a stronger emotional connection to your end user, increasing brand awareness and communicating new product news are all viable branding goals for business application of the platform. How you seen brands get creative and effective with Snapchat? Tell us in the comments.

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