Should you be sending Snapchats?

The social media PR scene has got its fundamentals like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn; and its slightly newer platforms including Instagram and Pinterest; but shouting loudly on the scene at the moment is the social imaging app: Snapchat.  Snapchat is a new and exciting way for brands to communicate with their audience and has huge potential.  This may be due to users increasingly sharing content privately as opposed to publicly with the rise of these private messaging apps.  For instance, the likes of Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp fall into this category alongside Snapchat.

Snapchat is a way for social media users to tell stories and share live events with friends for seconds or 24 hours at a time.  Snapchat was established in 2012, but since its creation of the ‘Snapchat story’ in 2014, it has become more than just a way of sharing silly, in-the-moment and disappearing snaps.  The Snapchat story is a collection of photo and/or video snaps formed into a single video that is only available to view for 24 hours.  So if you don’t check your snaps daily, you never know what you could miss!  This feature is the perfect way for brands to ‘tease’ their fans by showcasing new offers or products, as well as giving a ‘sneak peek’ into the daily activities and culture of the company.

With over 100 million daily active users and 1 billion snaps being viewed per day, Snapchat is a tool that brands with the right target audience should definitely be considering, if they haven’t already. It is quite clear from various stats that the main users of Snapchat are in the age range of 13-24.  So if your brand is one that targets the infamously difficult to reach 18-24 year olds, then a Snapchat campaign could be a great way of doing so!

While the snaps themselves do not last long, the impressions that they can leave do and loads of brands have already realised this.  Cosmopolitan, Audi, Evian, McDonalds and Glastonbury are but a few examples of some of the companies that have already jumped on the Snapchat bandwagon and are connecting with their fans through this visual discovery social media app.

One great example of a brand that used a Snapchat campaign to create excitement in their customers and treat them like personal friends was Taco Bell in the US.  They successfully created a buzz about the launch of a new burrito by sending snaps of the burrito with its launch date written on it.  They also used Twitter to encourage fans to follow them on Snapchat for a secret announcement.  This was a very simple, fun and successful campaign demonstrating the benefits of using Snapchat with the right audience.

However, the creation of the new ‘tap to view’ feature to replace the ‘hold to view’ function could be a disadvantage for brands sharing content on the app.  One of the great things about Snapchat compared to other platforms is the guaranteed 100% engagement from users viewing a snap because they have to hold down their thumb to view the snap.  It is likely, though, that users of the app will be more than pleased to give their thumbs a rest as a result of the new ‘tap to view’ function.   For now, Snapchat is best suited for B2C brands, but keep an eye (and a thumb!) out for what the future holds for this social media channel.

Our consumer lifestyle PR team specialise in connecting everyday brands with everyday people across four core sectors; Consumer Lifestyle PR, Food & Drink PR, Consumer Technology PR and Sport, Health & Wellbeing PR. More information on these areas of knowledge can be found at