Some brands may steer clear of Snapchat because it's more popular with a younger demographic. But that fact hasn't stopped countless other brands and marketing execs from jumping on board. In fact, that younger-generation appeal may be what’s driving brands to slide outside of their comfort zones and get a little Snapchat-wild.
Thinking about joining them? There’s no harm in trying. Compared to other, pricier forms of old-school advertising, Snapchat will cost you very little.
Of course, we’re a few years past the 2013 rollout of Snapchat Stories, which offered brands a longer conversation format than just 10 seconds with original posts. The platform's Stories combined -- still do -- multiple snaps to create a replayable, linear story that stays visible for up to 24 hours.
And because brands have since had the time to fine-tune their snap skills, some are seriously shaking up media marketing and taking fun, human interaction to a new level.
Check out what these seven brands are doing on Snapchat to turn heads.
1. Sour Patch Kids
The infamously sour, delicious treat has made its way to Snapchat. Sour Patch Kids quickly gained popularity among followers by pulling off a variety of public (and harmless) pranks, as well as launching outfit contests to help build buzz around the brand.
Its stories also feature Blue Kid, a life-sized Sour Patch Kid let loose on the world. The original campaign gained Sour Patch Kids 120,000 new Snapchat followers.
FeatSocks: Can a sock brand really kill it on social media, especially with such a human-centric platform as Snapchat? You bet it can. The brand is constantly engaged directly with its fans as it posts special promotions, among other interactions.
What’s even better is that Snapchat tells you when someone takes a screenshot, and FeatSocks’ conversation lists feature a ton of screenshot notifications showing that followers didn’t want to miss out on a single promotion.
3. Taco Bell
Taco Bell was one of the first companies to get on board and take advantage of the storytelling tools inside Snapchat -- something that likely attracted attention to its social media app.
While snaps' short lifespan may not actually make the medium the best choice for product announcements, Taco Bell continues to use them for new products like its Beefy Crunch Burrito. The company has also shared valuable tips on how to score a date on Valentine’s Day.
The Tex-Mex brand is a great example of how you can step outside the norm for your brand and get playful.
Mashable isn’t the traditional consumer brand, but it’s a brand nonetheless. Mashable doesn’t just snap about new gadgets and tech news, either: The digital media site has turned its Snapchat into a source for live reporting. From its coverage of New York's "Snowmageddon" to its amazing coverage of SXSW, Mashable’s snaps pull you in and make it feel as though you’re right there.
There are people in my life, including me, who can’t help but be sucked in by Amazon around the holidays; Black Friday is no exception. Last year, Amazon killed it by launching its Snapchat account with exclusive promotional codes for amazing deals, like $60 wireless Bluetooth speakers for only $1.
Amazon's move isn't just a Black Friday thing, either. The brand also uses Snapchat as a means for creating inclusive exclusivity for its followers.
Acura showed us the potential of product teases on Snapchat. This luxury division of Honda used its already-large following on Twitter to tease out a six-second clip of its new NSX prototype -- but only to the first 100 people who added the brand on Snapchat.
Acura later released the footage on Instagram and Vine, but you can bet that its initial move brought in a flurry of Snapchat sign-ups and new followers.
Birchbox, the makeup brand, leveraged Snapchat Stories to create a series of snaps that showcased how one woman went from completely natural to 100 percent glam. The move was a smart way to highlight BirchBox products while also dishing out value to followers.
After all, those followers learned a thing or two about makeup application, and BirchBox reminded us all of the importance of telling a story that’s built around providing value.
We might not have access to analytics in Snapchat yet, but that’s no reason to stay away. Sometimes you don’t need detailed metrics to tell you that there’s real value in making a human connection.
I talk to over 100 people every day on personal Snapchat conversations, where I share marketing advice and behind-the-scenes tips. I don’t worry about ROI, time cost or engagement metrics because I already know the personal connection is there.