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Snapchat Could be the Next Best FREE Marketing Tool

Snapchat Could be the Next Best FREE Marketing ToolSnapchat is a new way to share moments with friends, family, and, most recently, consumers. Snap a funny picture (or take a short video), add a caption, and send it to one or multiple people. They’ll receive it, giggle (hopefully), and then the snap is gone… forever. You can show the image or video for up to 10 seconds before it self-destructs.

It’s a pretty basic concept, but if executed correctly it could be a great marketing tool for restaurants. In fact, Taco Bell has become the first major brand to pursue the latest social media phenomenon.

In May, Taco Bell tweeted that fans should add them on Snapchat.

Snapchat Could be the Next Best FREE Marketing Tool
Snapchat Could be the Next Best FREE Marketing ToolWhat was the secret announcement they so desperately wanted to share via Snapchat you ask? It was an announcement that Taco Bell was reintroducing the Beefy Crunch Burrito.

Snapchat Could be the Next Best FREE Marketing Tool
According to Mashable
, Taco Bell’s Director of Social & Digital Marketing, Tressie Lieberman said the brand was blown away by the response it had gotten on Snapchat. “People are obsessed with Beefy Crunch Burrito so Snapchat seemed like the right platform to make the announcement,” she says. “Sharing that story on Snapchat is a fun way to connect with the fans that we are thrilled to have. It’s all about treating them like personal friends and not consumers.”

Yes, it is difficult to market a message when you only have 10 seconds, but brands need to get creative.

Here are 5 Ideas for Marketing with Snapchat

  1. Follow Taco Bell’s lead and use it to share exclusive sneak peeks – If you’re announcing a new menu item, chef, location, etc., SnapChat your fans so they’re the first to know!
  2. Showcase contests and promotions – Have a giveaway, concert, or benefit coming up soon? Create excitement, buzz about the event by snapping your fans!
  3. Share exclusive content - As with other social media sites, you can use Snapchat to improve your brand image, and engage customers by showing them what goes on behind the scenes. Remember, snaps are supposed to be funny and quirky!
  4. Release coupon codes and special offers - Send image-based offers to fans. In some instances, you can encourage fans to redeem these offers using screenshots saved on their mobile phones.
  5. Encourage customer-generated images – This is another way to build brand loyalty. Customer-generated images have the capacity to greatly improve brand advocacy. Invite guests to snap images of themselves at your restaurant(s), your events, or at home eating take-out. You can then engage with them about their experience.

Snapchatters are sharing over 200 million snaps every day, so the social media platform is really taking off, but there is one caveat.  Technically, the image/video could be screenshot before it disappears, meaning it can be re-shared without you intentionally wanting it to be.  However, as a brand, I’d hope that you weren’t sharing anything dirty on any social channel… especially as a restaurant (dirty + restaurant never seem to go together that well).

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