How to use Snapchat for event marketing
According to Snapchat’s CEO Evan Spiegel, more than 25% of UK Smartphone users are now on Snapchat. This makes it the third most popular social media platform. The user and engagement numbers are high too, very high:
• 1 billion Snapchat stories are viewed every day
• 10 million active users
• 400 million snaps a day
Despite these impressive figures and being an ideal platform to drive a sense of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), Snapchat as a platform for marketing events is still relatively new.
If you’re marketing to teens or millennials, you can’t afford to ignore Snapchat.
This guide looks at the best ways to use Snapchat to market your next event.
What is Snapchat?
In the words of Snapchat themselves:
‘Snapchat lets you easily talk with friends, view Live Stories from around the world and explore news. Life’s more fun when you live in the moment!’
If you’ve been on Snapchat, it’s easy to assume that there’s not much more to it than turning yourself into a cute animal for 10 seconds or sending photos with witty messages to your friends that will quickly disappear and be lost forever.
Luckily for us event professionals there is so much more to the platform. By using a myriad of features, you can now use Snapchat as a marketing tool before, during and after your event.
Snapchat target audience
A 2016 report published by Statista reported that 61% of Snapchat users are 18-29 years old, aka Generation Y. Currently Generation Y makes up 21% of the UK population. That’s a staggering 13.8 million people!
As a generation, they want quick and accessible information; they don’t have time to spend on long, time-consuming promotions. The instantaneous nature of Snapchat makes it an ideal way to reach out to this audience and engage with them.
Like all other social media platforms, you can use Snapchat as part of your event marketing campaign for a whole host of events. Being the third most popular social channel at music festivals, Snapchat is ideal for live music and performance shows. Product launch events also make the perfect candidate as you’re introducing something brand new to market – another push for FOMO.
If you’re hosting a conference or event for university students then you really can’t afford to leave Snapchat out of your marketing strategy!
How to get started with Snapchat for Events
With Snapchat becoming an increasingly popular social platform, it’s one of the latest channels event professionals can use to reach their target market.
Registering for an account is easy. As Snapchat is a purely mobile app, all you need is a smartphone with access to the App Store or Google Play.
Once you have the app simply add your desired username and password.
It’s advisable to create your unique Snap Code at this point – more about why below. This is Snapchat’s own version of a QR code and is pictured on the right. Simply press the big Snapchat logo on the main page and the app will take you through choosing an image, or taking a selfie, in order to create your branded Snap Code.
From here you can start taking Snaps! That’s videos and photos to Snapchat novices.
How to get more Snapchat followers
• In your next email campaign, let people know you’re now on Snapchat
• Share your Snap Code on your social accounts
• Save your Snapchat photos and videos then post it on your social accounts to raise awareness of your Snapchat profile (more on this later)
• Add your Snapchat username into the bio or ‘About’ section of your Facebook and Twitter profiles
Promote your event on Snapchat – Before
Make your own Geofilter
Geofilters are a fun way of showing where you are when you send your Snap. They appear as an overlaid frame or illustration.
UCL Snapchat Filter
Geofilters can be free – this is where artists create free frames for cities/places of interest and submit them to Snapchat. Alternatively, Geofilters can be sponsored. This is where a company pays to ring fence and show a branded filter within a place or specific geographical area.
Create your own branded Geofilter and launch it a few days before the event. Let everyone who’s interested in the event know where it is, making sure it’s easily accessible.
Create an Ad with Snap Publisher
Snapchat’s insistence on its portrait format used to be annoying to some, especially if you had to pay a designer extra to make specific content. Thanks to the release of the Snap Publisher platform you can now repurpose existing videos and photos for Snapchat Ads, automatically turning portrait media in landscape.
Target audiences based on where they live and their age or by what they’re interested in. You can even upload custom email lists and create look-a-like audiences, just like Facebook. For more information visit Snapchat Ads.
Use ‘Snap Famous’ influencers
Snapchat influencers can help you connect with your target audience in a creative and entertaining way and can really boost the awareness of your event. These can be guests , performers or speakers at your event, or simply users with a relevant following.
Grant them behind-the-scenes access during the event’s organisational stage and allow them to capture their experience in an original and engaging way. After all, most ‘Snap Famous’ users are pioneers of the platform and know exactly what to do to get the most engagement.
Include fun facts on your story
A Snapchat Story is a 24-hour feed of pictures and videos that is linked to your profile. When you add Snaps and videos to your Story, friends can view them an unlimited number of times over that 24 hour period.
In the build-up to the event, post interesting and related facts to your Story. This will start building awareness around your event.
Run Snapchat competitions
Thanks to Snapchat having so many features like the ability to apply fun filters and Geofilters to pictures, and even overlay drawings and text onto images, it can be used to create competitions. Snapchat competitions are a great way of immersing your audience in the experience and increasing the awareness of the event before it even starts.
Ask people to draw something or take a picture of a certain object or in a specific place to enter. Prizes can be anything from a free ticket to the event to money off at the bar or merchandise.
Daily countdown to the event
Use your Snapchat Story to post countdown pictures to the event. They can include behind-the-scenes photos that give sneak previews, or simply a graphic which ties into your overall branding.
Snapchat is famous for its ‘in the moment’ ethos. Build excitement on the day of the event by asking event organisers and volunteers to Snap their experience – this can begin before the doors open to tap into an air of anticipation.
Use Snapchat for engagement – During
Snapchat live events
Snapchat was born from the notion of living in the moment, making it the ideal social platform to share videos and photos as events happen. Send Snaps to your friends or publish to your Story to show live highlights of your event.
Promote your custom Geofilter
Promote your custom Geofilters to attendees of your event. This will advertise and build interest of the event to their friends, and you can also ask them to submit their Snaps – giving you access to fantastic user-generated content!
Engage your audience
People love to feel involved, especially Generation Y socialites. Encourage them to share fun and creative snaps about their favourite parts of the event, interesting things they’ve learned or new connections they made. Post the best ones on your other social media channels such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, remembering to include your event hashtag to build momentum.
Get more followers
Snapchat’s Add Nearby feature allows you to add groups of people in the same location as you. This feature is a great way to quickly and easily add users in-person at your event.
You can’t add people without their knowledge so you should promote this at one of your stands or reception desk and encourage attendees to link with you.
Market your event on Snapchat – After
Event highlights and recaps
At the end of each day, ask event organisers, ‘Snap famous’ guests, event speakers and even your attendees to share a few photos and quick videos reviewing the highlights of the day. This is especially beneficial if your event runs over a number of days or you plan to run similar events in the future.
Turn your story into a memory
Either day-by-day or after the event has finished, download your Snapchat Story before its 24-hour expiry. This means you can now reuse this content weeks, months, even years after the event has taken place.
Saving your Snapchat Story to your camera roll means that you can repost the Story to your Snapchat account later down the line.
You can also post it on your other social media sites and advertise your Snapchat account to get a bigger following to increase the popularity of other events in the future.
Engage your followers
Just as you engaged your followers before and during the event, you can also involve them after the event by asking what their favourite part was. This is a great way to continue talking about your event and get valuable feedback, as well as generating even more powerful user-generated content.
There you have it. With these top tips you can make Snapchat part of your wider social media marketing strategy for your next event.
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Main Image: Davis, Fremont Science Service by Smithsonian Institution via Flickr