Fashion Social Media

Snapchat Marketing Ideas: 11 Ways your Online Fashion Brand can Build an Audience with Snapchat

Snapchat isn’t about capturing the traditional Kodak moments. It’s about communicating with the full range of human emotions — not just what appears to be pretty or perfect. It’s exactly like its mascot – “the Ghostface Chillah”. It’s unique, it’s fun and snaps disappear into thin air within seconds; like ghosts vanish.”

The company’s mission explains in simple terms, the philosophy behind it. Snapchat is a fun, in the moment mobile app that allows users to capture pictures and videos that disappear after few seconds. The user decides while sending the message, for how many seconds between 1 and 10 will it appear on the recipient’s screen, after which it is history.

It’s popularity can be measured by the fact that :

  • More than 4 billion photos and videos are being shared by the app’s users every day.
  • Snapchat Stories content is being viewed more than 500 million times per day.
  • Mark Zuckerberg CEO of Facebook offered $3 Billion to buy Snapchat, which it had the audacity to reject.
  • The company has a valuation of $10–$20 billion according to multiple sources.

Snapchat’s native content?
We have already spoken about the importance of sticking with the native content of a social platform. As far as Snapchat goes, the kind of content that works best on the platform is:

  • Fleeting moments
  • Humor
  • Rare information
  • Controversial content/ secrets
  • Selfies
  • Fun shenanigans
  • Simple chats
  • Meaningless chatter

Now you might wonder, why you as an Fashion eCommerce Marketing Brand should care about a social media platform which is mainly used to share meaningless, private, embarrassing, goofball kind of images?

Let me tell you about the 2 inherent qualities of Snapchat which make it so important for brand marketing:

  1. Fear of missing out: If you don’t see the snap or video in time, it will disappear. Thus Snapchat chat users are forced to keep coming back to the app seeking more.
  2. Art of storytelling: Millennials or young people, in general, receive a sense of instant gratification while sharing their life experiences in the form of beautifully crafted stories or seeing stories created by the people and brands they care about.

Here are some terms you must familiarize yourself with before you register your brand on Snapchat:  

  • Snaps are picture or video messages taken and shared on Snapchat in real-time. Snaps can be viewed for up to 10 seconds, depending on the amount of time the user chooses.
  • Stories string snaps together to create a narrative that lasts for 24 hours. To create a story, a user chooses to add their Snaps to their Story. Depending on their privacy settings, the photos and videos added to a story can be viewed by either all Snapchatters, just the user’s friends, or a customized group. Stories honor the true nature of storytelling – in sequential order with a beginning, middle and end.
    To create an account on Snapchat, follow the simple steps given here

Now let’s talk about the 11 Snapchat marketing tips which you can use to build new audience for your fashion brand.

1) Be creative with the ‘Draw feature’
Snapchat is a platform where there is no limit to creativity. With the help of the draw feature, you can transform your snaps into anything you can imagine. The most important aspect of Snapchat is that “it is a zero judgement platform”.

2) Create anticipation for product launches
Snapchat is a great place to introduce new products. Makeup brand Urban Decay did an excellent job while introducing their ‘Smoky eye shadow collection: Naked’.

Urban Decay Snapchat

They announced their Snapchat presence to coincide with the launch of their new eyeshadow range on May 27th 2015 to their 560,000 Twitter followers, many of whom added them on Snapchat. They skillfully played with the built-up anticipation before they launched the new product line on Snapchat.

 3) Informal works better
In the world of Snapchat there is no room for being phony or fake. Snapchat users are not interested in knowing about your brand; they can visit your company’s website for formal details. Snapchat allows you to post snaps captured only by using the app, users can’t post snaps that are already in the photo gallery of their phone, which makes it possible to only share genuine and in the moment snaps. As a brand, try to keep your snaps timely, unstaged and authentic. Avoid being too puffed up or too corporate.

4) Let interns/production assistants/young team members manage your account
On Snapchat, you want to sound like person not a logo. Users should think of you as one of their friends who shares cool stuff. Each Social media platform is different in terms of user demographic. Snapchat is mainly used by millennials and young audience. You need to understand the medium to shape and curate its online reputation. Use your interns to add a human touch to your snaps and stories instead of being too plastic.

5) Keep it consistent
Many brands join social media with a big boom but then go totally MIA (missing in action). If you are on Snapchat, make sure you post on it regularly. Every social media platform has different ideal frequencies for posting; in case of Snapchat you should post twice or thrice a week. Try posting more often during product launches, Fashion events etc

6) Give followers a glimpse behind the scenes
Snapchat is a platform for real time sharing. You can give your followers a glimpse of your company’s culture, behind the scene pictures of brand shoots, teasers & sneak peaks, shots of employees having a fun-time.

Brands like Valentino, Stella McCartney and Michael Kors shared exclusive images of moments captured during  New York Fashion week via Snapchat and received a lot of engagement and attention.

7) Use Influencer Marketing parallel to Snapchat
One of the disadvantages of Snapchat is that it is relatively difficult to build a large following on it. Although cross promotion on other social media platforms can largely help reach a wider audience and so can Influencer Marketing Agency. Like all other social media platforms Snapchat too has star users who have the power to influence large number of followers. You can partner with influencers, who can help you increase your following, site views, engagement levels and sales.

8) Promotions Contests and Coupons
Keep your followers engaged. You can promote contests like best snap awards or Snap hunts, where the first one to find all the products in a snap wins. 58% of college students in the US said in a survey they’d likely purchase a product from a brand that sent them a coupon on Snapchat. Your brand can host contests where the user has to take screenshots of your snaps within a few seconds to receive prizes such as – coupons, codes, product giveaways, early access, etc.

freepeople snapchat article

Online Apparel brand Free People gave its customers an exclusive look at their Intimates collection through Snapchat.

9) Use video to your advantage
Users are now viewing 4 billion videos on Snapchat per day.  Snapchat video is a great tool to use in an age where your audience has a very short attention span.The video lasts only a few seconds, thus creating excitement and allowing brands to receive full attention while they try to deliver their marketing messages across.

10) Use call to action smartly
When a user opens your snap, that is your few seconds of window of opportunity. Try to create immediacy for action. You can ask them to click and a picture of their favorite product from your brand, ask them to send a selfie snapback, or take a snap if they are in your store.

11) Don’t measure success based on ROI
Last but not the least, Snapchat is very different from all other platforms. It’s important to treat it differently. On platforms like Twitter and Facebook, you can keep track of user engagement through retweets and number of shares. In case of Snapchat, it is difficult to measure success based on the usual social media parameters. Snapchat notifies its users when a viewer takes a screenshot to save a photo of their message, thus you can keep track of screenshots taken by your user.

There has been a growing trend among fashion brands and designers to give their customers a glimpse of the ultimate brand experience using Snapchat. Though it may not for everybody; you should analyze if it makes sense for you jump aboard. But if you do decide to use Snapchat, get ready to be astounded by the beauty and power of this ephemeral messaging app.

In my opinion, the platform is still relatively young and is yet to mature into a marketing platform for marketers. Thus for now, you might want to use Snapchat only for image building and connecting with young audience; and which I feel is the best way to market a ‘brand’ on Social Media 🙂

I know this can’t be an exhaustive list of snapchat marketing ideas; but I hope it does helps you kick start your brand’s journey on Snapchat. Do you have any other recommendations? Feel free to share in the comment section below.

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