Why your business should use Snapchat in 2017

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Back in 2011, Snapchat was just an idea thought up by Stanford University students, Evan Spiegel and Robert Murphy. Fast forward to today, and it has millions of active users, an abundance of fun features and a chance to connect with your favourite celebrities.

But how has Snapchat changed in 2016 and how can businesses use this app to effectively promote their brands?

A History of Snapchat – how vanishing photos became a social media game changer!

  • September 26th 2011: Snapchat was founded by Evan Spiegel and Robert Murphy.
  • 2012: Snapchat hit a whopping 10m active users in just a year.  
  • 2013: Snapchat introduced the ‘Stories’ feature that acted as an extended version of regular snaps but in a series.
  • 2013: Later this year, Mark Zuckerberg recognised that Snapchat was heading for social media stardom and offered $3 billion in cash to buy the app. Evan Spiegel turned down this offer knowing he had one of the most relevant and current apps at that time.
  • 2014: Snapchat introduced geofilters which allows you to promote your current location.
  • 2015: Snapchat launched what is probably its biggest update to date, the ‘Discover’ page. This allows users to receive content sent by media companies like Cosmopolitan, BuzzFeed and Sky Sports, and was an exciting opportunity for the app to focus on current trends.
  • 2015: Snapchat had 100m daily users later on this year.
  • 2016: The White House joined Snapchat.
  • 2016: Snapchat currently has 7 billion video views rivalling Facebook.

Snapchat and Walt Disney World

For celebrities and brands alike, having a Snapchat profile is a great way to build up a following of fans in an instant. But, when you’re already an established, global and let’s face it, unstoppable force like Walt Disney World, how do you go one step further?

A social media takeover, obviously!


(Image: mplatco.com)

When Disney joined Snapchat in May 2014, they celebrated the launch of their account by inviting Snapchat superstar, MPLATCO down to Orlando. Disney saw how popular he was on his personal account and gave him 24-hour access to the Disney Snapchat profile, breaking the hearts of every Disney fanatic that’s ever lived…ever!

So why did this Snapchat takeover work for the Disney brand?

The fact that this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience is an understatement and being such a huge brand with a worldwide following meant that Disney, in theory, could have chosen anyone to takeover their profile. But, as always, Disney chose to be different and picked a regular guy from Boston to delve into their magical world.

This was a smart move by Disney because rather than use a celebrity figure or an experienced sales executive to sell Disney as a brand, they chose someone who their Snapchat followers could relate to… a normal person who just wanted to have a good time.

Now, it’s true that not every brand has the mass following that Disney does but this approach did allow Disney to promote the fun factor through someone who

  • has a sizeable following on social media and
  • has more than likely developed direct relationships with those followers.

In a way, it was almost like using a regular guy gave Disney’s Snapchat followers a personalised backstage pass to the parks, characters, shops and more – which made it all the more exciting.

After all, Disney World is a place where ‘dreams come true’ and for MPLATCO, that’s exactly what happened!

The 🔑 to breaking into Snapchat

DJKHALED305 taught everything we need to know about the journey of success, embracing major keys in our lives, and the importance of not playing yourself – and all through Snapchat stories in the winter of 2015.

Now, I don’t believe that anybody can watch him on Snapchat and not find him to be a bit of a joker, you think, ‘this isn’t serious’… Then one day, everything changes.

His “mogul talk” grips your interest. You feel motivated, empowered and – must I say it – blessed.

You see, the moment the world really paid attention to DJ Khaled’s Snapchat profile
was the day he alerted his Snapchat followers (before the authorities) that he was on his way home from Rick Ross’ house on a jet ski,  and had found himself lost at sea. As you do.

If that’s not a great way to make your audience feel present and valued, I don’t know what is.

DJ Khaled was the first public figure to see the potential in Snapchat. He had the ability to gain and retain an audience by inviting them to share even the most personal of moments with him.

Many people don’t realise the way Khaled monetised this social platform to create a personal brand – his empire – from the ground up. With over 4 million followers on the app you cannot ignore his prowess. It wasn’t long before big brands were paying him to promote on his daily updates, to show up to their restaurants boasting about ‘fan luv’.

Better yet, for Khaled, global stars who weren’t even on his radar the year before wanted to work with him. We’re talking global stars like Beyonce Knowles, who had him open The Formation Tour. This is massive, and I’m not just saying that as a Queen Bey fan, but seriously it’s huge.


And as if that wasn’t enough, his merchandise site wethebeststore.com, which constantly see’s items out of stock, means his well-known Snapchat phrases can be proudly worn (talk about fan luv).

Why you should be using filters and lenses


What was life before Snapchat filters and lenses? Tell me please. How else would I break the ice with strangers at house parties? Keep younger cousins amused and grandparents impressed?

If you went somewhere and didn’t use the area’s geo-filter did you really even go?! ‘I woke up like this’ photos haven’t been the same since the app introduced me to augmented reality.

I’m not the only one hooked on this playful way of taking a selfie and capturing the moment you’re in, so of course it wasn’t long before big brands brought in sponsored lenses.

According to Snapchat, ‘on any given day, Snapchat reaches 41% of all 18 to 34 year-olds in the United States.’ That’s incredible. See the results here acquired by (RED) and Gatorade for their sponsored lenses and filters:

Screen Shot 2016-12-08 at 11.39.01Screen Shot 2016-12-08 at 11.37.56

Taco Bell currently hold the record for the most viewed lens to date – 224 million views in one day – followed not-so-closely by Gatorade who amounted to 165 million for the Super Bowl campaign above. It’s reported the Taco Bell social team worked alongside Snapchat for up to 6 weeks to create the lens.

This did not come cheap. Adweek reported that during the holiday season or big-ticket events (such as the Super Bowl) brands can expect to pay as much as $750,000.

As far as geo-filters are concerned, here at OVG we like to think of ourselves as quite the connoisseurs. We love creating filters to get people involved during events. We were proud of our customised filter for the COMBAs and wanted to share it with our Snapchat followers.


@DIB_Fiona took this picture of her table at the COMBA’s earlier this year, and don’t they all look fab? What a way to remember an event!

We’ve made these filters for tonnes of events – even our very own @sara_louise_b’s hen do!

Easily created on photoshop and approved within 24 hours, costing as little as £7 for 12 hours to the minimum location range, it’s a wonder to me why everyone doesn’t create their own!

For more information about why Snapchat is great for business, watch the video below featuring our very own Leah Bradburn.

This blog was written by Suzanne Goddard and Leah Bradburn

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About Suzanne Goddard

Suze has been part of the OVG Content Team since June 2015. She can usually be found at the theatre enjoying the latest musicals, in the Disney Store spending way too much money or baking tasty treats at home. She is also a massive fan of Harry Potter, French bulldogs and tea.

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