How to Snapchat your way to event engagement

In case you haven’t heard, people love Snapchat! Not just teenagers taking incessant selfies, but millions of Australian social media addicts. Whilst many think Snapchat is just a youth-driven fad not worth adding to the social media plan, consider this: over 4 million Australians are using Snapchat every day, overtaking LinkedIn, Twitter and even Tinder.

The curated hashtag and Facebook event aren’t always enough when trying to engage with your target audience; the modern social media landscape is evolving fast from the perspective of both technology and user profiles. The last few years have seen a huge surge in uptake of visual content platforms such as Instagram and Snapchat. By 2016 Snapchat had already surpassed Facebook’s daily video view rates by 2 billion with Bloomberg reporting a 400% year-on-year growth of the platform’s daily video views.

Australia’s Snapchat user base imitates international demographic trends with 31% of those users being 18-to-24-year-olds and 25-to-34-year-olds following at 28%. Whilst the uptake of Snapchat amongst professionals is lower than other social mediums, the statistics suggest it is an idea worth exploring, depending on your target audience.

A quick overview for those not familiar with the app: Snapchat allows users to send photos and videos to each other that can only be seen for one to 10 seconds. Before sending a photo, users can add text, draw or apply Geofilters (special text, graphics, banners, etc.) to enhance it. Video filters, also called Lenses, which change or animate faces in selfies, take the fun another step further.

Creating customised Geofilters is what marketers can take advantage of when using Snapchat. Here are some things to keep in mind when considering Snapchat for your brand.

Consider your audience

Adding a Snapchat account just to share photos and videos with your audience is free and that alone is probably worth your time – provided your audience is there. Ask yourself: Is your audience young? Is the vibe of your brand fun and relaxed? Is it visual?

Snapchat is a playful social tool. If your audience is older and conservative or your brand requires gravitas, the investment in an animated video lens may not be warranted. Like any marketing activation, you want uptake, but you also want the uptake to be authentic and not just a “tick” on your digital to-do list. Make engagement with a specific target market your end goal and a measure of social media success.

Geofilter basics

The good news is that the price for submitting a customised Geofilter on Snapchat can be as little as AU$5. From there, prices vary based on how long it’s available, how much square footage it covers, etc.

Don’t confuse “fun” with “easy”

While Snapchat is a fun social media platform, that doesn’t mean you can be lazy with content. Millennials have been brought up with social and can instantly identify generic, boring content.

Not only is it important to keep in mind design and artistic principles (such as how to frame a photo and not to cover up too much of the screen), but above all it is a place to be creative.

Snapchat is primarily used to take pictures of enjoyable experiences, group photos with friends and, of course, selfies. Continue that vibe when you brainstorm ideas with a designer to make your individual Geofilter unique and amusing enough for your audience to spread the word for you. This is particularly relevant for creating brand engagement events.

Last year, Emberconf, an annual tech conference in Portland, Oregon, designed a geofilter which was used 23 times, viewed over 400 times and engaged attendees so much so, that they screenshot their Snaps and posted them across Facebook and Twitter – all for a total spend of AU$26.

Similarly, Hoopsfix All-Star Classic, an annual 700-person basketball event in Brixton, London turned to Snapchat to engage attendees and increase the event’s reach. The filter ran for 25 hours, beginning the night before the event giving organisers the opportunity to showcase some behind the scenes action and generate buzz. The geofilter expired at the event’s conclusion coming to a total of AU$39, which generated 389 uses and 91,346 views.

Snapchat is perfect for cost-effectively creating hype; letting your audience in on the planning and setup of your highly anticipated event, then engaging them with one-off custom-made geofilters so you are staying connected with your audience at every phase of the event lifecycle.

Maximise your account

Creating a Snapchat account in the lead up to an event is great, but it is essential to keep using it to create long-term engagement with your brand/product or event. Give your followers a sneak peek on a new product line, give them exclusive access to coupons, and allow them to see behind the scenes.

And remember to be authentic. Snapchat isn’t about polished content and pieces to camera from the CEO; it is about real-time engagement and raw footage, the filters on Snapchat aren’t like that of Instagram. Snapchat adds layers and filters to express your brand’s personality in a less structured arena.

Think big, think fun, think selfie!

The writer of the article is Miranda Carter, director of marketing, APAC, at etouches.

(Photo courtesy: 123RF)

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