Beyond Selfies and Parties – How Snapchat is Repositioning Itself as a Major News and Brand Management Platform

snapchat Snapchat has outgrown its roots. What started as a platform primarily used by teens to send risqué photos without repercussions has evolved to become a powerhouse of news content and a strategic resource for brand management. Here’s the rundown.

After turning down Facebook's $3 billion cash buyout offer, Snapchat made it clear they have their eye on the prize. As other major players continue to brand themselves as a cost-efficient marketing solution for businesses, Snapchat refuses to be left behind. In the latest update, Snapchat redesigned the stories section of its app to emphasize content from its media partners. The stories screen of Snapchat now prioritizes discover and live stories showcasing popular events and cities over the ones from users’ contacts.

So what does this mean for brands and how can they effectively utilize these updates? The University of Michigan serves as a great case study, showcasing how brands can effectively integrate Snapchat into their strategic marketing plan. The school launched their account in February of 2014 and has now become a thought leader in the field of brand management via Snapchat. Within the first week of activation, the account had over 1,100 followers and received over 800 snaps.

how snapchat is reinventing itself Photo Courtesy of Universit of Michigan








Here are some ways UM was able to increase community engagement and turn students into brand advocates:

  • Ongoing Campaigns: UM led 80 campaigns via Snapchat in their first year. Campaigns include:
    • T-shirt giveaway contests
    • Doodle contests
    • Q&A‘s with incoming students utilizing #AskUMich through Snapchat’s chat feature
    • Collaborations with student organizations, university departments, and schools to cover events
  • User-Generated Content: UM crowd sources user-generated content for their snap story to increase connectivity to campus life
  • Cross-Platform Sharing: UM reposts regular engagement photos from followers onto other visual social platforms such as Instagram, connecting the student population to the outside world



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