SnapChat in Indian Social Media Marketing

With over 100 million daily active users and 400 million snaps per day, SnapChat is one of the largest audiences in the world. The messaging app, which allows to chat with photo & text that last only 24 hours, is popular in the 14 – 30 age group across the world. 

In a world where content moves quicker than it can be created, this could be the perfect app for brands, which has over 1 Billion “Snap Stories” shared every single day. 

However, there are very few Indian brands that are using this app for maximum marketing efficacy. As the running joke goes, no adult could figure out how to use SnapChat. 

Social media strategies have evolved beyond merely putting up a post and boosting it for 50 bucks. A cohesive strategy that aligns with the broader communication plan is important for effective branding.

So how exactly would SnapChat fit in the marketing plan?

Non-Paid Content:

SnapChat is about quick, entertaining storytelling. A photograph does speak a 1000 words, so to start with you need engaging, smart content that reflects your brand and can connect to the target audience. 

SnapChat is not Facebook. Nobody wants to see boring, ol’ content everyday. The sheer impermanence of the platform makes it necessary to have memorable content. 

  1. SnapChat Influencers:

Yes, they exist! Some popular names  in India are @hoezaayc (Jose Covaco), @thetanmay (Tanmay Bhat), @missmalinisnaps (Miss Malini), @abishmathew (Abish Mathew). There are several others who have great followers on SnapChat. Similar to Twitter, you can follow anyone as needed – though there is no way to see how many followers someone has to identify them as influencers. 

The rest would be a simple influencer marketing strategy.

2. Fan Loyalty:

SnapChat can be a great place to reward and earn fan loyalty. Fashion brands like Michael Kors have used Snapchat to debut their collections to followers before they hit the runway. The use of Snapchat at Fashion Week made consumers feel included in an exclusive world, and by doing so, they felt like they were part of the event. Offers can be shared exclusively on SnapChat, particularly for specially-crafted 24-hour sales.

3. Brand Engagement:

Brand loyalists love getting sneak-peeks of their brand, be it a new product line or an exclusive, untold story. SnapChat is the perfect platform to offer those sneak-peeks. This could be used to provide a view of the production process, packaging, the ideation behind a product and more. 

Paid Adverts:

If there is an audience, it will be monetized. So does SnapChat. Snap Inc offers a range of paid features for brands, though most of these costs can be prohibitive for new brands. 

1. SnapChat Filters & Lenses: 

These are official ad options offered by SnapChat. A ‘filter’ is a sticker that can be added after a potential user clicks a photo. This filter could be geo-based or about a brand. Take your pick.

Lenses, on the other hand, are animated overlays when one is taking a photo (Know the infamous SnapChat Dog?). The costs for a sponsored lens can range from $500,000 to $750,000 – so if you are a small brand, absolutely out of the question.

Local Geofilters can be pretty cheap, starting from $5. National-level geofilters can be considerably more expensive. These work great for events, where you have a massive audience.

2. Snap Ads

Like regular ads on social media, these ads feature on your target audience’s feeds. Take a look at Snap’s detailed ad specs before even beginning to plan out the ad. 

The Conclusion:

SnapChat ads are currently brands who have deep pockets, for most part. SnapChat has not yet normalised the ad rates, unlike Facebook. Geofilters can help, but unlike Facebook or Twitter, there is no way for a new brand to appear on a potential customer’s horizon without paying for an ad. You cannot stop at merely creating a GeoFilter. It needs to be marketed and people need to be allowed / told to discover it. 

But if you are a brand with deep enough pockets or a fascinating product, this is a great way to market it.

With one drawback – Virality isn’t the byword in Snapchat. You just have to depend on a person’s interest in a product and their willingness to actually share it with their friends. 

Then again, SnapChat is essentially a messaging platform that allows some ads. So till the day they decide to allow a special brand access and features, we just have to make do with expensive ads and SC Influencers.  


If you are interested in using SnapChat & other social media marketing for your brand, contact Pepper Interactive Communications.



  1. Fascinating read! Being a frequent SnapChat user, I follow some brands because it is fun, entertaining content. Brands don’t use this platform to create and put together expensive ads, they use it for sporadic and fun content the brand is engaging with, such as backstage at a Michael Kors fashion show. As you have mentioned above, only successful and wealthy brands/companies can afford to appear in the filters and lenses. In your opinion, do you think SnapChat even offers very much to these big brands besides simply trying to keep the fans loyal and excited? As you have alluded to above, the only brands that can afford it already have huge followers and loyal customers, is there any room for smaller, startup companies on SnapChat?

    • Hello Holly,

      Thank you for reading the blog. Yes, there are several opportunities for startups on SnapChat. We’ll be doing a blog on the same soon, but a few pointers in the meantime:
      Geofilters are always a good & economical way to engage the target audience. Snapchat doesn’t need regular, ongoing content like some other platforms, but startup can always use the platform to highlight some of their fun features via videos & photos. The key difference is in building an audience – people would find a Michael Kors and follow him, but a startup will have to push Snapchat to their audience in the initial stages.

      The communication strategies need to be cohensive to ensure that Snapchat gets its place, and visbility. And the Snapchat audience feels unique.

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