Use Snapchat to Propel Your Organization’s Mission

How to cut through the hype and noise and deliver an impactful campaign


With over 8 billion video views and various reports that it’s the fastest growing social network among millennials, stating that your organization should be on Snapchat is a bit passé. The question you should be asking is: what story do you have to tell, and how can Snapchat help tell that story with the greatest impact?  Snapchat is great for on the ground stories; it tells them in a way that feels authentic, direct and visceral. Here are some ways to use Snapchat to promote your organization’s mission in an authentic, direct way.

Put a Face to Your Narrative

In December, Save the Children used Snapchat to document a Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. By capturing the day-to-day life in a camp in real-time, Save the Children eliminated the dissonance that traditional media creates between the subject and viewer. More importantly though, Save the Children gave refugees the power to tell their own stories. By simply handing them the phone, Save the Children gave the inhabitants of the camp the power to be seen on their own terms.

Create a Sense of Community

Snapchat now allows people to create custom filters in a specific location for a specific time period. A filter is a graphic that displays on top of the photo. It essentially works like this: you design your own filter through Snapchat’s On-Demand Geofilter page and wait for Snapchat to approve the filter within one business day. Pricing starts at $5, and analytics on your filter’s engagement are available the day after. This option is great to try out at a conference or rally to unite everyone attending the event and catch the attention of individuals in the area. By catching the attention of individuals in the area, your organization will be able to attract additional people to your event.

Interact with Your Viewer

Sometimes you want your audience to engage with topics that are very complex and appear dry on the surface. Secure America Now, a conservative foreign policy nonprofit, marketed a political issue in a highly accessible —and opinionated — way through paid Snapchat filters.

At a glance, Snapchat seems to be an odd platform choice for Secure America Now. Snapchat’s target demographic isn’t known to be extremely active in the foreign relations arena. But because Secure America Now’s filter forced users to place themselves in the ad and showcase their opinions, the ad proved to be popular with users who were simply looking for new filters to Snap with. As with any campaign, targeting was extremely important. The filter was only available to users in Ohio before the political debate in Cleveland, where discussions about the Iran nuclear deal would be had.

As Snapchat becomes the next platform for political candidates — Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are all on Snapchat — we expect to see more instances of politicians and organizations using it to create awareness on policy and political campaigns. Organizations should think of using Snapchat as a starting off point for their users. Historically, it has always been hard to get young voters engaged in political issues. By disseminating information on a platform like Snapchat, politicians and organizations are able to break down information in an easily digestible way that acts as a gateway for their audiences, which can be applied to all organizations, not just politically oriented ones.

Looking Ahead

Snapchat continues to evolve and mature. Its audience has slowly crept up, and we describe Snapchat now as where Facebook was a decade ago. You’re no longer early to the party — you’re arriving just on time, so don’t be overwhelmed by Snapchat and its rapid adoption. Let us help you build your brand and tell your story on Snapchat. Get in touch with us today!