Though it’s been out since 2011, Snapchat is still relatively unknown. That’s a shame because it’s a tool that can come in really handy especially for event planners. If used the right way, it can really foster engagement among followers and create some much needed hype.
More marketers, however, are beginning to catch on, as is the general public. As of May 2015, there are an estimated 100 million active daily users. Furthermore, roughly one in five social media users also use Snapchat.
Read more on how event professionals around the world are incorporating social media tips and trends into their event marketing and attendee engagement.
Snapchat Best Practices
- Provide a First Peek
Remember, Snapchat is distinguished for its “one-time view” feature. Once opened, content can be viewed only once and usually for a duration of only 10 seconds before it self-deletes. How might you be able to take advantage of such a concept? One way is to provide an insider’s look into a product or service.
If your event is unveiling a new product, for example, then you can use Snapchat to provide a sneak peek of the product. Since viewers only get a one-time look, they’ll be debating about it on social media about what the new product is, how it works, how it differs from previous products, etc. This kind of gives the item an aura of mystery that encourages online discussions.
- Provide a Behind-the-Scenes Look
You can also take a page out of Hilton’s playbook and use Snapchat to provide a behind-the-scenes look. To promote its Live Nations concert series, which provides live entertainment to reward program members,Hilton used Snapchat to unveil behind-the-scenes snippets of some of its concerts.
This included one with Jason Derulo during his performance at San Diego’s Hilton Bayfront. The goal was to target millennials and get them to sign up for the company’s loyalty program, which is made up primarily of older members.
You can do the same. Granted, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to get celebrities on board for your event. Nevertheless, you can still use Snapchat for providing a behind-the-scenes look, which can include a look at board meetings, venue scouting, or backstage happenings from a previous event.
- Make a Game Out of It
Find a way to make a game using Snapchat. Heineken did this to perfection. In collaboration with the Coachella festival, the beer company sent out cropped images on Snapchat, which included obscured photos of celebrity performers.
Image courtesy of Event Marketer
The image revealed a surprise performer scheduled to perform at the Heineken House, the company’s performance stage for the festival. Snapchat users that were able to correctly decipher the image and identify the performer were rewarded with a confirmation of the star’s identity and details of the performance.
You can use Snapchat to create your own guessing game. Perhaps provide an image or emoji relating to a company product or service. Participants that guess correctly within a set number of tries will be rewarded with a small prize, such as a discount code.
- Incorporate It into a Contest
Social media contests are a tried-and-true strategy for encouraging consumer participation. Snapchat can be used in one way or another.
Here’s one example: create a word scramble game consisting of multiple rounds that progress in difficulty. For one of the later and more advanced rounds, the scrambled words can be sent via Snapchat, and participants only get a brief look before it automatically deletes.
Of course, players can cheat by taking a screenshot or snapping a photo of it with their mobile phone. That’s fine if they do that; what’s important is that you create some sort of contest that generates engagement. Those who successfully complete every word scramble round will, of course, be the winners and receive some sort of prize, such as a free event ticket.
- Take Advantage of the “Our Story” Feature
“Our Story” is a feature designed specifically for events. It allows planners to send live content right as their event is in progress. When you enable this feature, users present at the event can join in and submit their own image or short video from the event and share it with their own followers.
That is a lot of free marketing right there courtesy of your own guests. If you’re going to use Snapchat, then it doesn’t make sense not to milk this feature.
Don’t Ignore Snapchat
If you’re already using prominent social networks like Facebook and Twitter, then you might as well incorporate Snapchat while you’re at it. It’s just another tool in your arsenal that you can add for acquiring more publicity for your event.
Guest Author Bio: Dan McCarthy is an Event Manager at JD Parties, an event management company based in the UK. Dan has 5 years of event project management under his belt. He has worked on many successful events, and currently he shares his knowledge by writing on the company blog. Follow him on Twitter@DanCarthy2.