6 Snapchat Secrets to Promote Your Brand

December 17, 2015 | blog | By Mike Sullivan


In our last post, we talked about how to decide whether or not Snapchat is right for challenger brands, and now, here are 6 Snapchat secrets to promote your brand.

1 – Snap exclusive deals, passwords or coupons.

Part of the appeal of Snapchat is its ephemeral nature, which allows challenger brands to tap into two consumer motivators – the fear of missing out and the desire for exclusivity. The short shelf-life of Snaps lets you promote limited-time-offers (LTOs) on free samples for the first [you decide how many] followers who Snap back. Sending secret, one-time passwords for deals, makes your Snapchat fans feel like VIPs and is a great way to build a loyal customer base.

2 – Invite fans to try new or seasonal menu items.

Send a “sneak preview” to followers with a look at new dishes or limited time menu items. Sharing photos and news tidbits makes customers feel like insiders. Again, this appeals to a desire to feel part of an exclusive group.

3 – Let your culture and brand personality shine through.

Give customers a 10-second behind-the-scenes video peek at your restaurant. Remember, Snapchat is all about “the moment,” so an unpolished video of a cook expertly chopping veggies while other staff “ooh and ah” over his skills could work for you. The important element is to be creative, make it fun and make it reflect your brand. Another technique that some companies use is Snapping behind-the-scenes images or video and allow followers to “guess” what it is by using a Twitter hashtag. This is also a great way to cross promote across social media platforms to garner more followers on multiple platforms.

4 – Ask for customer selfies enjoying your food.

The visual nature of Snapchap lets you engage customers at your site. Promote this through in-house signage and ask wait staff to chat up customers. This also attracts new Snapchat fans. A successful example of this promo was launched by the frozen yogurt brand, 16Handles, when they asked customers to snap selfies while eating their yoghurt for a Snapback coupon. Customer were instructed open the Snapback coupon at the register, otherwise, it would expire within seconds of opening. Discounts ranged from 16% off to 100% off. This type of promotion is a great way to allow your customers to boost your social media marketing through their social network and it adds an element of fun and creativity that lets you showcase the personality and style of your Challenger Brand.

LOOMIS MarCom Strategy Guide

5 – Build and engage your customer base.

Snapchat is one of the fastest growing and most popular social media platforms for younger demographics, and this 13- to 34-year-old age group is a prime target for challenger brands. The interactive nature of Snapchat lets you engage with your customers by sending responsive snaps to those who send ones to you to help followers feel they are being heard. An early adopter of Snapchat, the delivery serviceGrubHub, continues to find clever ways to engage their followers. And when the company was looking for a Snapchat guru to intern in their Marketing Department, rather than advertising on LinkedIn, they launched a Snapchat Doodle promotion for the position.

6 – Get feedback.

Snapchat is a great way for customers to provide instant feedback on their experience with your brand. From a consumer point of view, it’s simple via this medium – no log-in or website is required, unlike Yelp! or other restaurant rating sites. From a restauranteur’s point of view, you can immediately respond to feedback – remedy negative remarks by asking the customer to contact you so you can correct the situation or if the feedback is positive, and you can ask the follower if you may share it in your other social media outlets. Remember to cross-promote across your social media platforms whenever possible.


Bottom Line: Whether you start small or launch a full-throttle Snapchat marketing plan, be certain you assign the right person to the task. The instantaneous nature of Snapchat means once you launch a promotion, someone needs to stay on top of it until the Snap (message, image, video, etc.) expires 24 hours later. But don’t be intimidated by the apparent need to “babysit” the promotion . You simply want to ensure you don’t send a Snap and fail to respond if your followers Snap back. If all this seems a little fuzzy, find the closest teenager and ask them to explain it or follow GrubHub’s example and launch with a plea for a Snappy guru.


Mike Sullivan

President at LOOMIS, the country’s leading challenger brand advertising agency


We challenge underdog brands to think differently. We help them find their voice, and urge them to blaze new trails to make sure they stand out from the pack. Whether you need an agency of record or support on a project, we are here to help you win.