5 Creative Snapchat Promotion Ideas


Quick. Look at this message before it disappears. It’s a coupon for a free….


Too late. Your Snapchat message already disappeared.

Snapchat promotionsThe idea behind Snapchat is that you can privately message someone and set the message to delete after 1-10 seconds. And while many marketers may think that this platform does not lend itself to promotions because of things like disappearing coupons, with a little creative strategy you CAN utilize Snapchat to run offers, sweepstakes and contests that will drive brand awareness and increase sales.

But first, a little background on Snapchat.

Snapchat is a social platform that has become one of the most popular mobile apps with the teen to twenties crowd. It allows users to send private messages and leave no trail, so it is perfect for any sort of illicit conversation or photos you want to send to your friends that you don’t want your parents or boss to see. If someone takes a screenshot of your Snapchat you send them, you will even be alerted, helping to ensure you control your privacy.

There are a few brands already on Snapchat, and there have been a few promotions run with the platform, including a Sweepstakes for tickets and an in-store coupon campaign by 16 Handles. Snapchat has  a feature that allows users to save a Snapchat to a “Stories” feature for 24 hours. Stories work like a newsfeed item, but since they disappear after 24 hours, they still have a short shelf life and the user has control. (See more information about Snapchat stories here.)

Snapchat Promotion
16 Handles Snapchat Coupon Promotion

If your primary audience is the Snapchat demographic, then now is the time to be a promotions pioneer on Snapchat.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  1. Go ahead and run a coupon campaign with Snapchat. Position it like Sixteen Handles and ask your customer to Snapchat a photo of what they are purchasing for an immediate Snapchat coupon to show the cashier and use on that purchase. Or you could simply ask people to follow your brand and run a weekly coupon offer. Make the coupon something simple, like a secret phrase or keyword to tell the person at the register. For example, if you were an ice cream parlor, you could Snapchat a photo of a brown cow to your followers with directions saying, “Get a free cone! How? Mention BROWN COW at the register. Offer expires 12/31/13.” If you keep the coupon offer simple, generic and easy to remember, people won’t need to fish around to get a code from their phone.
  2. Surprise and delight your customers by encouraging the sharing of content. Send out photos to your followers with the call to action being for them to 1) share their own photos featuring your brand on their Stories posts and 2)follow your brand. Then spot-check your followers to see who has your photo on their Stories feed and reward them for it!
  3. Run a scavenger hunt! Use clues posted on signage in-store or from a web site to guide users to send back photo answers. The more clues answered, the more points a user can accumulate towards a reward of some type. For example, you could ask users to post a photo of a new product. If they do that, then you ask them to post a photo of their salesperson’s nametag. If they do that, you want to see them trying on the product… If they get to an ultimate goal they can show the salesperson the “winner” photo you send them to get a free item.
  4. Host a quick themed photo contest. Make it something near and dear to your brand (for example, a Pets in Ugly Sweaters Contest if you are a doggie daycare) and set criteria for how the photos will be judged. As entries come in take screen shots and post all the appropriate entries to your brand’s Stories feed for the world to see (for 24 hours) before announcing a winner.
  5. Just ask for followers. Ask people to follow your brand on Snapchat for a chance to win. This is how promotions on Facebook started — one “Like” at a time. As the Snapchat platform expands and your followers increase, you can run more promotions to your loyal Snapchat fans.

As with all social media platforms, be sure to check the promotion guidelines for the platform. For the lowdown on Snapchat’s Promotion Guidelines, read our write up.

For help on running a legal Snapchat promotion, from drafting Official Rules or just to help you strategize, contact us.

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