Snapchat has arrived and how! The visual networking platform of the selfie generation has seen phenomenal growth since its launch in 2011. Over the last few years, Snapchat has amassed 100 million active daily users who share an average of 9000 photos each second. For the millions of 18-24 year olds who make up 45% of Snapchat’s user base, this is now the place to be – and so it should be for brands targeting digital millennials.

But content on Snapchat is fleeting and relevance needs to be established real-time. How do brands fit themselves into this unique, highly ephemeral narrative?

Well, here are some brands that have found a way to use the network to their advantage.

Cover Live Events: Louis Vuitton

Snapchat is perfect for generating buzz or for sharing real-time updates about an event. The highly immersive and interactive nature of the platform makes it the next best thing to physically being present at an event. Brands can use it to share behind the scenes footage, live audience reactions, or string them all together to create a story snippet of an event.

Though Snapchat stories are about real-time action, put some thought into your narrative and ensure that you capture relevant moments. Stitch it all together to create a cohesive story that encapsulates the essence of the entire event.

How To Win On Snapchat: 6 Brands Show You How_Louis Vuitton

Louis Vuitton recently teamed up with Snapchat to provide a first-of-its-kind live coverage of the professional sailing event, Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series in New York. The event let Snapchatters get a taste of the race through live story streaming. Users also got the opportunity to contribute to the story by submitting their own pictures and footage. The final product was a short video stream that incorporated aspects of owned and user-generated footage and was made available on their page for 24 hours.

Run Contests: Bloomingdale’s

The transient nature of Snapchat lends an informality to contests and allows brands to be a bit more experimental and edgy.  Since there’s a time limit to the contest, followers need to be quick with their responses, which snowballs to high engagement for the brand.

How To Win On Snapchat: 6 Brands Show You How_Bloomingdale's

Bloomingdale’s uses Snapchat in many ways to reach their younger demographic. Quoting Jonathan Paul, VP of Social Media at Bloomingdale’s, “Snapchat allows us to bring the energy and animation of what’s happening at our stores to our followers.”

Their first ever Snapchat contest enticed followers from the NYC metro area to snap a picture of their fashion adventure essentials on Snapchat and send it to the brand. Winners with the highest number of votes stood a chance to win a whole bunch of goodies including a Yacht Manhattan wine-and-cheese tasting session.

Create unique experiences: Gary Vaynerchuk

Snapchat’s geofilters allow users to tag their pictures with filters that are specific to the location they’re at. While artists are invited to submit art for common locations like universities, local landmarks or public locations, brands can purchase their own customised geofilters. These filters are made available within a specific geo-fence and are visible to Snapchatters logging in from that location.

How To Win On Snapchat: 6 Brands Show You How_Gary Vaynerchuk

Image Courtesy:

Geofilters are a great addition to have during events since they build engagement and act as a promotional tool as well. Snapchatters using a geofilter on their picture feel connected to the brand and with other users who post their own pictures from the same location. Gary Vaynerchuk used it during a Book Launch event in London. The event, #Vaynerworld had its own geofilter that Snapchatters could add to their own photos and videos while they were at the event location.

Partner with influencers: New York Fashion Week

Snapchat’s biggest win lies in the authenticity of its stories. Brands on the platform need to be just as real and authentic to win over their audience. This presents a huge opportunity for brands to collaborate with Snapchat influencers who already share a level of trust with their audience.

How To Win On Snapchat: 6 Brands Show You How_New York Fashion Week

Image Courtesy: Harper’s Bazaar

Many fashion brands actively engage with their audience on Snapchat owing to the demographic it caters to. Events like the New York Fashion Week are ideal opportunities to combine the anticipation and energy of the event with the dynamism of the platform. Tommy Hilfiger and Thom Browne partnered with top Snapchat influencers to capture their experiences at New York Fashion Week 2016 and share them with the audience.

Have coupons and giveaways: Oak

It’s the impermanence of media on Snapchat that makes it unique. Content on the channel is consumed completely and follows an ‘all or none’ principle. It shortens the lifespan of your content and makes the idea of content deluge less relevant. This extends a huge opportunity to brands but also makes the task a lot more challenging.

How To Win On Snapchat: 6 Brands Show You How_Oak

Flavored milk brand, Oak recently launched the world’s quickest coupon on Snapchat. They offered Snapchatters the opportunity to win a free drink by capturing a screenshot of the snap promoting the coupon that would appear on their feed for just one second.

Use Discover: Burberry

Snapchat’s Discover allows brands to rent space on their board to curate and create an entire channel of their own content. Brand stories still have to be just as authentic but the audience gets the chance to choose content that is on the lines of what they’d like to see. It is also less interruptive to their own conversations. It’s the power that users have to opt in or not, that compels brands to create interesting stories.

How To Win On Snapchat: 6 Brands Show You How_Burberry

Burberry is one of the few luxury brands that has always been big on digital. They were the first luxury brand to utilise Snapchat’s Discover feature to run a native ad on the channel. The sponsored Discover channel was primarily targeted at promoting Mr. Burberry, their men’s fragrance and grooming products collection and was filled with interviews, styling tips and articles specific to men’s fashion.


Bonus Tip: An additional idea that seems relatively unexplored is using Snapchat to share short videos with tips and how-to like advice in your area of expertise. Instead of focussing on studio produced videos that are time consuming and require huge budgets, use Snapchat to pose questions to thought leaders in your industry, share ideas with your community and engage with an active audience that is interested in consuming content, albeit quickly.


Can you think of any other brands that are using Snapchat to engage with their audience? Drop us a tweet and we’ll add them to our list!