The average Snapchat user’s Story is a visual diary of their day. Followers see what people are eating, wearing and where they’re staying, among other things. These visual moments can also be animated with filters, emojis and fun effects. The end result is an inside look into someone’s lifestyle, whether it’s funny, aspirational, clever, or promotional. (For reference: Read up on DJ Khaled’s much-lauded life on Snapchat.) But it’s a fleeting record – after 24-hours the Snapchat Story record wipes clean, allowing users and followers to start a new connection the following day.
Brands have clued in to Snapchat in recent years, using it to promote products, integrating custom filters to promote visibility, and more. Marketers who are cultivating stellar feeds are likely keeping in mind the demographics of Snapchat. The platform is targeting a millennial audience – 45% of users are aged 18-24 years old – the highest percentage for that age bracket of any social network, according to comScore.
So, it makes sense that a clothing company could easily see engagement from Snapchat. Younger millennials would be happy to follow their favorite brands that are featuring well-known influencers, “behind the scenes” photoshoots, a day in the life of a designer, or sharing an inside look of a particular store. But how can travel and hospitality brands who might not have massive millennial followings see similar results? It turns out that a little creativity can go a long way for travel brands. Here are several who are finding success on the platform.
1. Carnival launches a cruise on Snapchat.
Instead of just snapping similar things every day (an easy rut to fall into with the app), Carnival Cruise Line focused on a specific Snap project to keep viewers interested.
Carnival Cruises utilized Snapchat for the launch of Vista, one of their new cruise ships. Prior to the ship’s May 2016 debut, Carnival created a Snapchat account @meetvista so fans could watch the ship’s completion and follow along for its initial voyage.
2. Marriott taps influencers to drive engagement.
Marriott Hotels is also taking advantage of Snapchat to drive engagement and bookings. The brand chose four influencers to launch a three-month campaign, handing over the reigns of their account to these users in different cities. At the end of the campaign, a winning influencer/city was chosen. The goal was not to connect users to room bookings, but rather to promote the perks that come along with the Marriott experience in each city.
Millennials are known to prefer authentic, storytelling content over direct advertising, so this was a strategic move on Marriott’s part. The use of influencers was crucial to this. Shaun McBride (@Shonduras), a popular Snapchatter, noted in Adweek that Snapchat’s short content lifespan attracts more users. Fans feel compelled to tune in every day when they know it’s their only chance to watch.
3. W Hotels gets busy with geofilters and localized offers.
In October, W Hotels became the first hospitality brand to launch Snapchat sponsored geofilters. They can be used at all W Hotels to help promote activities, perks and experiences.
The W Hotel Doha took it one step further and launched its own Snapchat account to interact directly with guests of the property in real-time. The team at the W Doha shares news of limited offers and experiences in fun, quirky ways. They update their content often, providing guests with a variety of things to do throughout the duration of their stays.
4. Airlines fly to new heights with Snapchat.
Whereas other channels can be challenging for airlines, who have limited creative content to share, Snapchat is the perfect platform for the “storytelling” of a journey.
Aer Lingus was the first airline to start a Snapchat account, hoping to learn more about their customers and increase transparency across social. They have featured behind the scenes footage, celebrating their first Dublin to San Francisco flight, as well as interesting conversations between employees.Air New Zealand recently took a page out of Aer Lingus’ book and started snapping as well. They’ve done a great job of sharing content that’s fun and engaging. It serves to promote the airline as well as New Zealand tourism as a whole. And, as you can see, they get extra brownie points for using millennial-friendly captions and emojis.
The casual, real-time nature of Snapchat allows for a travel brand to humanize its social presence. You won’t find curated, filtered photos or strategic campaigns – just day to day activities, personalities, and lifestyle commentary.
To see how Curalate does it, follow us on Snapchat @curalate.