SNAPCHAT FOR BUSINESS (Carlos Gil, BMC Software presentation takeaways)

Carlos Gil of BMC Software gave one of the most attended seminars at this year’s Digital Summit in Phoenix. In his talk, Carlos gave an overview of Snapchat for businesses and how brands can use this to their advantage. You can view the full presentation here, but I wanted to provide a summary and my key takeaways as well.

Some of the data that Carlos shared really surprised me:
• 41% of 18-34 year olds in the US use Snapchat daily. The short-term nature of Snapchat content seems to drive repeated usage. This is fueled further by the fact that Snapchat is significantly simpler than both Facebook and Twitter, and relatively “brand-free”
• 77% of Snapchat users are 18 years or older (with 12% of Snapchat users over the age of 35)

Carlos describes Snapchat as Twitter meets YouTube and encouraged brands to not view Snapchat as another social network to sell. At the same time, Carlos often needs to explain to brands that Snapchat is, in fact, a legitimate brand and shared how Gatorade used a “branded lens” campaign to garner over 165M views.

In working with brands on Snapchat, Carlos sees three common problems and had a few tips to help combat them:

1. Determining who the brand is trying to reach?
a. Leverage existing social media channels. By promoting a brand’s Snapchat presence with their existing audience on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc, they can quickly start to build out their Snapchat audience
b. Social Media influencers is another way Carlos has found to help brands increase their Snapchat reach
c. Takeovers are great ways to use influencers to help a brand make a splash, and he shared examples of how both Chegg & Sephora leveraged a takeover to gain a massive following on Snapchat 
2. How can a brand reach their ideal audience?
a. Targeted Instagram and Facebook Ads – Carlos called this a “ninja growth hack” that he tried on his own, spending only $50 in ads to gain over 1k new Snapchat fans. He recommends targeting people who like Mashable and Snapchat as two examples of helpful targets
b. Leverage Geofilters – Carlos talked about how geofilters are great for brands, particularly B2B brands and that there is a lot of opportunity for even-based targeting
3. How will the brand keep their audience engaged? (Brands have one chance to create good impression with this audience)
a. Content should be fun, creative, and educational (ideally all 3, but at least 1)
b. Importance of being real – people relate to people (DJ Khaled example)

Lastly, Carlos shared these as the major keys to converting on Snapchat:
1. Keep stories between 2-3 minutes in length (lead in – I’m X, today we’re going to talk about)
2. Always end with CTA (with trackable URL)
3. Mix-in brand content with takeovers
4. Keep content fresh and updated often (same as Facebook & Twitter)
5. Give exclusive “VIP” offers and run 24-hour flash sales
6. Cross promote on other channels (don’t just repurpose the content and put SnapChat content on Facebook… removes incentive for following on SnapChat)