There are plenty of options for wine brands when it comes to interaction on social media – including Snapchat. In this article, Dr Rebecca Dolan from The University of Auckland Business School Department of Marketing, works through the reasons Snapchat deserves attention.

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Snapchat offers a glimpse into the future of mobile marketing. On the most basic level, users (such as brands and consumers) can send image or video ‘Snaps’ directly to a recipients inbox.
Snapchat has over 100 million active daily users who collectively send around 400 million Snaps per day, making Snapchat one of the fastest-growing social network platforms.
Many brands are already using Snapchat to produce daily updates (known as ‘Stories’) that engage and excite audiences. A ‘Snapchat Story’ lasts only 24 hours, and is a string of Snaps used to create a video-like narrative.
More than 1 billion Snapchat Stories are created each day. The platform provides many native tools and features, such as filters, geofilters, text, emojis, and music. Snapchat is quite unique compared to other social networking platforms. The posts aren’t archived, and the sponsored ads don’t stay for more than 10 seconds. In this article, we will focus on some simple ways that brands can use Snapchat for marketing.

TELL A GREAT STORY
Snapchat allows you to collate videos and images into ‘Stories’ on your channel. When you add content to your ‘Story’, it remains there for 24 hours. The advantage of adding content to your ‘Story’ is it allows your followers to replay the material. This differs to a single Snap, which can only be viewed once. You can also continually add Snaps to your Story, keeping the content highly relevant. As a brand, you can create a Story for an event, adding new content as the event unfolds. Before using the Stories feature, make sure you log in to your Snapchat account and permit all followers to see your Stories.

ACCESS TO LIVE EVENTS
If you’re hosting or taking part in live events (e.g. trade shows, charity events, gourmet weekend, new product releases), then Snapchat is a great tool to leverage. Audience members are granted direct access to your live event, no matter where they are. Additionally, using a tool like Snapchat allows you to liaise directly with event goers. This gives you access to real-time, relatable brand ambassadors that your customers can relate to.

BUILD BRAND AWARENESS WITH SNAP ADS
Snap Ads is a new feature that provides a targeted approach to reaching your audience.
A Snap Ad is a 10-second, full screen vertical video advertisement that appears between Stories.
Advertisers can offer Snapchat users the choice to ‘swipe up’, which allows the user to engage with more in-depth content.
Examples could include longer videos, articles, or a mobile website.
According to Snapchat, the ‘swipe up’ rate is five times higher than the average click-through rate on comparable social media platforms.

PROMOTE ENGAGEMENT WITH ‘ON-DEMAND GEOFILTERS’
Geofilters make it easy for Snapchat users to let their friends know when they are at an event or particular location. A great example of this would be a Snapchat user applying a filter to their Snap that lets their friends know they are at a cellar door or winery.
Starting at just $5, a Geofilter can be designed on the Snapchat website.
It allows you to customise the location of the filter as well as the time period the filter is available to visitors for.

PRODUCT DEMONSTRATIONS
Give your Snapchat followers a private tour of your business and products, and explain the reasons why and how you have made them.
A great example of a company who are achieving this is Vinomofo, who frequently update fans with Stories related to the wines they have tasted, cellar doors they have visited and so on.
TAKE YOUR AUDIENCE BEHIND THE SCENES
On Snapchat, it’s easy to add a human touch to your Snaps. Your content does not need to be over polishes or pre-prepared. In fact, the more it looks like one of their friends created it the better!
This helps the audience to think of you as their friend who is sharing important details with them. Behind the scenes content can include: images of staff having fun in the winery or vineyard, a glimpse into the company culture, a product launch teaser or even a guided tour of an event.

USE Q/A TO INTERACT
Snapchat is a highly interactive platform. The disappearing nature of content encourages quick replies and provides you with a unique way to interact with fans and followers.
Remember, questions don’t necessarily have to be related to your product or brand. For example, you can ask the audience about their weekend plans, or what famous person they would share their favourite bottle of wine with. These questions, although trivial, begin to position your brand as fun and interactive, rather than too promotional or serious.
Remember the Q&A can be the other way around, allowing fans to ask you questions about your recent ‘Snaps’.

FINAL THOUGHTS
The team at Snapchat are getting very serious about competitive marketing solutions. It is a young platform, and marketers (particularly in the wine industry) are just getting started.
This means there is an opportunity for you to attract followers and build an active community, without facing a lot of competition. On Snapchat, users always have a limited amount of time to see your content. This means for that one-to-10 second window of content availability, you have 100% of your audiences attention.
It is important to ensure that a range of company representatives have access to your Snapchat account. This will help to ensure that your content remains varied and engaging, which are both keys to successfully leveraging Snapchat as a communication tool.

This article first appeared in the Grapegrower & Winemaker magazine.
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