Dosomething, a not-for-profit focused on making volunteer work and social change exciting to people under 25, is going after its key demographic where they’re comfortable: Snapchat.
The company used the photo-sharing platform, which has yet to launch a formal advertising or brand program, to run a Valentine’s-themed campaign in NYC.
“We noticed that teenagers, our core demographic, were flocking away from Facebook,” said DoSomething’s Colleen Wormsley. “But they love Snapchat .”
DoSomething first signed up for a Snapchat account in November of 2013, with Bryce Mathias in charge of the channel. The company alerted their Twitter following that they now had a Snapchat account, and simply waited for requests to come in. Mathias, a male model, mostly sent selfies to new friends making goofy faces.
The team learned that they received more response snaps during school days, so Mathias began setting aside a block of time just before lunch to respond to everyone’s snaps.
As February rolled around, DoSomething launched a Love Letters campaign that encourages teens to create Valentine’s Day cards for homebound seniors. As a part of the campaign, the not-for-profit created a Snapchat story promising that Mathias would deliver these Love Letters on Valentines Day dressed as cupid. In the middle of New York. In February.
All the followers had to do was text to vote for how he should deliver them: by bike, ice skates, or around Central Park. Once they voted, they would be sent a call-to-action to create their own Love Letter for a homebound senior.
In the end, 11 percent of the people who viewed the story asked him to go ice skating. Of those who texted in to vote, 57 percent signed up to participate in Love Letters.
Putting those figures in perspective can be difficult without much transparency into Snapchat’s monetization plan, but we may not have to wait too much longer.
The interactive portion of the campaign might be just the ticket on a platform where social media responses and feedback can’t be shared or showed off by brands. But that works in those brands favor. Younger demographics would much prefer a more authentic relationship with the brands they like, and with 400 million snaps sent per day, there could actually be potential to build lasting conversations between brands and younger consumers.
Snapchat was rumored to be building out a sales team last summer, and the company certainly has people in place to communicate with brands behind the scenes.
Snapchat’s Josh Stone responded to DoSomething shortly after they published the story to welcome them to the platform and lend a hand with any support or feedback they might need.