Brands drive engagement in Snapchat, Pinterest, and Instagram

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Snapchat, Pinterest, and Instagram are three distinct networks with three different audiences and one common thread: they excel as visual mediums.

Many brands of varying sizes use these social platforms to engage audiences, drive sales, and boost brand awareness. Read on for examples of brands that have excelled using them as part of their content marketing strategies.

Snapchat: Taco Bell

Snapchat is proof that 10 seconds can go a long way. Many brands seem to struggle coming up with a Snapchat strategy, let alone successfully posting engaging content. Taco Bell isn’t one of them.

Arguably one of the biggest brands to have fully embraced Snapchat, Taco Bell is a brand that clearly understands its audience. The brand puts in a lot of effort to create fun, energetic, and entertaining Snapchat stories without taking itself too seriously.

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Whether the snaps announce contests or new menu items, or they capture moments from sponsored events, Taco Bell has it covered. The fast food chain consistently posts quirky, light-hearted, and engaging content. Its Snapchat profile is a perfect example of how time constraints shouldn’t limit creativity.

Pinterest: Sephora

Pinterest could be seen as a broad collection of digital, interactive pin boards, as opposed to a social network. In fact, Pinterest’s very own chief executive (CEO) Ben Silbermann has publicly decreed that his platform is not a social network. But that doesn’t stop pinners from sharing and liking items, commenting, participating in group boards, and more.

These simple but robust features make Pinterest much more than just a series of pin boards, as users are doing more than saving items for later. They want to be inspired and entertained, just like with any other piece of content on a social network. Sephora is an excellent example of a brand that has been able to fully utilize Pinterest as both a visual network and social platform.

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This is but a snapshot of how Sephora has been able to use Pinterest. The retailer posts sales promotions, makeup tutorials, and featured items, among other content.

Julie Bornstein, Sephora’s Chief Marketing Officer, has attested to Pinterest’s utility as an essential part of the brand’s marketing mix. Pinterest has actually used Sephora as one of its own case studies and quoted Bornstein, who said, “Pinterest is the perfect venue to visually share shoppable new products, how-tos, and cool images. It’s a place to get inspired by beauty.”

Instagram: Ben & Jerry’s

Instagram is one of the earliest image-centric social networks. It was a big hit with photo junkies as a way for them to share beautiful images with their friends.

Facebook acquired it back in 2012 and didn’t hesitate to roll out sponsored posts on its news feed a year later. Ben & Jerry’s was one of the first brands to execute an Instagram campaign.

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Adweek wrote up the results of this initiative, which Ben & Jerry’s deemed a success as the brand reached almost 10 million users who had a 33-point increase in ad recall.

As an added bonus, the campaign boosted awareness of the new ice cream flavor Scotchy Scotch Scotch by a 17 percent. Not bad for a series of beautifully crafted imagery.

It is clear in looking at these 3 visual social sites that engaging visual content is a critical piece of the puzzle for any brand looking to embrace digital marketing in 2016. In my next ClickZ installment, I will review other content marketing trends for 2016 and how marketers can take advantage of them to drive up engagement and conversion.

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