Snapchat is one of the fastest growing apps, and it’s incredibly popular among teens and young adults. So, of course, brands have been trying to figure out how to utilize the popular “secret” messaging app for marketing purposes. Obviously, it’s a bit difficult – Snapchat’s appeal is that it offers privacy that Facebook, Twitter, etc. do not by erasing messages within 10 seconds of their opening.
But, it turns out that at least one non-profit has figured out a way to reach out to the growing youth user base on Snapchat. DoSomething.org, one of the largest non-progits for young people in the US, connects 13-25 year-olds through social causes. Snapchat’s users predominantly fall in this age group, and DoSomething.org knew that it couldn’t pass up the opportunity to tap into the network.
The non-profit has been focusing on building a strong Snapchat following by creating engaging Snapchat stories. They’re connecting their followers to get them excited about and engaged in important social causes, from poverty to violence to the environment. Every campaign has a clear call to action that doesn’t require money, an adult, or transportation, making it easier for young people to get involved.
DoSomething.org creates “interactive Snapchat stories” that are all about the absurd and fun. They’ve been experimenting with cross-channe; engagement too, using things like text messages.
For example, in a recent “Snapchat story,” DoSomething.org encouraged young people to sign up for their Would You Rather campaign (which focuses on finance and is a partnership with H&R Block). Their team member handling Snapchat, Bryce, made a Snapchat story that told followers he was going on a cheap date to save money. For the interactive component, he gave users options for his date and let thme choose by voting. Users had to text in specific keywords to vote for the date, so they could then continue to encourage via text Would You Rather campaign sign ups.
Sure, it’s obvious that a non-profit for young adults, run mostly by young adults that aren’t trying to sell you anything, can tap into the Snapchat market. But, other brands are seeing success, too. Brands like 16 Handles, Taco Bell, GrubHub, and the New Orleans Saints have figured out ways to encourage Snapchat users to engage with them. The common thread? Offer exclusive content only on Snapchat, which encourages users to engage. Otherwise, they’ll just stick to Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram.
For more on DoSomething.org’s Snapchat efforts, check out an interview on Mashable with two of its team members: http://mashable.com/2014/03/09/dosomething-snapchat/