Snapchat, a social video, photo, and text sharing app created for a class project by three Stanford students, generates more than 400 million messages or “snaps” per day with about 100 million daily active users.

In addition, about 70 percent of users are women and roughly the same amount are under the age of 25. If you’re an advertiser vying for the buying power of millennials and women, this is your platform.

While it’s still slowly being adopted by most brands, there’s great organic potential for effectively reaching your target audience.

Here’s how Snapchat works:

Users can add a person and then send one another snaps individually or post snaps to their Snapchat Story, which is similar to a newsfeed anyone can view. Brands typically utilize their Snapchat Story for posting snaps.
Users can also snap brands individually, and brands can choose whether to post their content.
So, what brands are using Snapchat and, better yet, how are they using it?

NBA.

These ballers are using Snapchat to give users a behind the scenes look at all the teams, a marketing move that’s especially strategic during the playoffs. Users get to see sides of their favorite players that they might never get to see on TV.

Free People.

Similar to their account on Instagram, this national clothing boutique uses Snapchat to give consumers an inside look at their office and brand. They also use the platform for engagement by asking their followers relevant questions, such as “What was your first concert?”

Audi.

Audi did a Snapchat campaign around the TV show, Pretty Little Liars. It was a smart partnership because the show’s viewers are the same demographic as those using Snapchat. Audi gained 115,000 followers from the campaign. Check it out here.

Taco Bell.

Taco Bell used Snapchat to announce its spicy chicken cool ranch Doritos loco tacos. (What a mouthful, literally.) They combined snaps to create a six-minute mini-movie that was filmed in less than 24 hours.

Wet Seal.

Wet Seal collaborated with a key influencer among their target audience, MissMeghanMakeup, a popular 18-year-old beauty blogger. She sent out snaps about the company and wore outfits from their stores.

Company brands aren’t the only ones taking advantage of Snapchat. With the 2016 presidential campaigns gearing up, and the battle to get young voters to the polls already underway, politicians have been especially curious about promoting their personal brands on the platform.

Presidential candidates Hilary Clinton, Martin O’Malley and Rand Paul have all used Snapchat in the past year-and-a-half for various reasons.

See How Mobile Is “Crushin’ It”

Clinton wished users a happy International Women’s Day. Paul was the first high profile candidate to use the app back in January 2014. O’Malley sent out the location of where he was going to be when he announced his presidency, posting location teasers until the big reveal.

Most recently, Jeb Bush launched his campaign with a Snapchat story. Anyone at the event or behind the scenes could add snaps to the story.

In fact, Google’s leader in their political ad sales efforts recently gave up his position to go to Snapchat, and this could be why.

If this post is giving you ideas on how you can get your brand in the Snapchat game, there are a few things to remember before you start snapping.

Snapchat wasn’t built for brands, so it’s important to interact with other users like anyone else would on the app.

Your Snapchat photos aren’t going to have the professional flare we’ve become accustomed to. Try using the doodle tool (a tool that lets you draw on the screen using your finger) to make yourself appear more approachable.

Snaps sent to a user are more like a gift than an actual post. Offer a tip or something of value in your snap.

And don’t cram too much brand content into your snaps. Make them quick and simple. Look to regular users and/or influencers that are great at Snapchat.

Now get to snapping.

– Mackenzie Manternach, MITTERA and Elyssa Shapiro, Mittera Group

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedIn