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10 Nov 2016

Snapchat: the last social media barrier for marketers and communicators

Posted on November 10, 2016 by

There aren’t many brands out there that aren’t on social media. Whether it’s a retailer on Instagram, or a manufacturer on LinkedIn, most of us are used to seeing brand content in our daily social media feeds.

While many brands and businesses of different sizes post regular content on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and Facebook, Snapchat is a different platform altogether and is still in the early stage of brands using it for marketing and communication campaigns. This means that while huge international businesses have started to run brilliant campaigns on the platform, many smaller brands struggle to focus their efforts on Snapchat, and for certain audiences that can be a missed opportunity.

It’s a great platform for reaching younger generations. Of the app’s 150 million daily active users globally, around two thirds are over 18 and half of new daily users are 25 and over. Users are also highly engaged, spending around 30 minutes on the platform each day, demonstrating the huge potential for brands targeting this age range.

Here are some top tips for small brands wanting to take on Snapchat.

Build your audience

Unlike with other social media, such as Instagram’s ‘Explore’ section or Twitter’s promoted content, it’s not as easy to attract the attention of your audience, as users only see content from accounts they already follow.

It’s a good idea to give an incentive for your audience to follow you on Snapchat. This could be anything from including promo codes in your Snapchat story to scavenger hunts with clues on a series of snaps – there’s room to get creative with this one.

A great example of this is Mondelez’s ‘Candy Competition’ – where the brand used its existing offline audience as well as followers on other social platforms to spread the word about the Snapchat competition. To enter the competition, users had to take a picture of their chocolate bar, draw on the picture using the app drawing tools, and send it to the brand’s Snapchat account.

Show brand personality

In addition to using existing social media audiences to drive them to Snapchat, make sure the content you’re posting is exciting and attention-grabbing.

The app’s audience and existing reputation make it the perfect platform for showing brand personality. This works for both B2B and B2C audiences, as it’s a chance to share an insight into the people working behind the scenes and the company culture.

The big players in retail are great at doing this. Online retailer ASOS uses the app to show outfit suggestions, offer office tours and behind-the-scenes clips from photoshoots and events, which is a new way of showing staff and brand personality.

Work with influencers

If you’re in touch with any existing social media influencers and they have a large following on Snapchat, you can partner with them to help spread brand awareness and reach your audience.

This can include account take-overs, where you allow the influencer to run your Snapchat for the day, or even giving them specific promotional codes to use specifically on their Snapchat story.

Even local influencers can build up an impressive following on Snapchat, so smaller regional brands shouldn’t discount this type of influencer marketing as an option.

Use geofilters

Geofilters, the specially-designed overlay users can add to their snaps if they’re in a specific location, present businesses with multiple opportunities.

Creating a geofilter for an event, whether a product launch or charity event, allows users to share the event with their followers in real time, raising awareness for both the brand and the event itself.

Some businesses have even created geofilters for their office, as both a method of internal communication and a way to show customers or potential customers the company culture.

Consumer goods manufacturer P&G did a great job by marketing CoverGirl’s limited-edition ‘Star Wars’ lines to potential customers, offering a geofilter option to those in close proximity to stores stocking the collection. This not only raised brand awareness, but also peaked curiosity of the target market in short distance from the point of sale.


As Snapchat is different in terms of layout to other social media platforms, promoters can’t interrupt the newsfeed and the audience is typically harder to reach. That can make it seem intimidating at first, but it’s a fantastic way to create and share quality content and encourage brand engagement. If your brand, business or company wants to talk to millennials, it’s worth looking into.

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