This week, we are thrilled to welcome Alicia Drewnicki, writer, video host, travel addict and Snapchat travel expert. We first met Alicia at Travel Massive in London early this year, where she co-organised the event with us. During the event, she put together an impromtu Snapchat competition for us and we were convinced we needed to interview her about this growing platform.
She replied to my email interview while in Edinburgh covering the Paralympic Swimming Trials. I am truly grateful for the time she's taken to share some great Snapchat advice with our readers.
Q. Hello, Alicia! Can you summarise Snapchat in one word?
Q. What’s your favourite feature on this app?
It's impossible just to pick just one! Well firstly - the majority of my snaps are videos rather than photos. I find the geofilters fascinating when you arrive at a new location (many brands and destinations create custom geofilters) and it's fun to experiment with the lenses.
Q. Who are the big companies that use Snapchat well and why?
In the travel world – Marriott Hotels were one of the first travel brands to experiment with the platform in order to reach millennial travellers. They hired 4 influencers for a 3 month campaign where users could interact with them and give feedback on which locations they should visit. This campaign gained over 24 million views so was a huge success.
W Hotels were the first hotel brand to have a geofilter campaign where they created custom filters with the W Hotel logo accompanied by humble brag captions such as 'you wish you were here' and 'current situation'. This meant whenever anyone visited a W Hotel in the UK or US – they could choose one of these geofilters.
National Geographic has a dedicated Snapchat team and a permanent channel on the 'Discover' platform (which runs like a TV channel). They have daily quizzes, fun facts, articles, photos and videos.
Q. Why should tour and activity companies get on Snapchat?
It's a great new way for travel companies to connect with their existing customers and to reach new audiences. It allows them to get creative with photography and video, and to quickly spread their company's message around the world.
Q. Could you recommend some marketing strategies to get tour and activity businesses started?
The number one tip is to watch, test and learn.
You need a strategy behind your activity, it can't just be random. Before you start experimenting with your own content, follow big influencers and see what they're doing that works well. Consider working with influencers to promote your brand through their channels before jumping into the deep end with your own channel.
The possibilities are endless – have fun, launch competitions and reach out to the audiences on your current social media platforms to direct people to Snapchat. You can also consider 3V (vertical, video, and views) advertising opportunities.
Q. How can they measure their efforts on Snapchat?
With every snap you post, you can see how many views you've got in a 24 hour period and the names of all the users. Going beyond the platform - you can also include trackable links (e.g. bit.ly) or give a call to action or redirect them to another platform, so you can track exactly how many people are engaged from Snapchat alone.
Q. What are some unknown features that can really make a difference to a company’s marketing efforts?
I really believe that using video is the key way to bring destinations to life and to connect with your audience.
I always save my content then re-post it on other channels – this way, you can regurgitate content and make it last beyond the 24 hour window.
In a Miami hotel, I spontaneously challenged the bellman to dance to Justin Bieber - people found this hilarious and it was really popular. My followers kept asking to see the footage again, so I posted it on YouTube. I also managed to get into the cockpit on an American Airlines flight (after it had landed) which was a lot of fun.
Q. How can we follow you on Snapchat and your other social media platforms?
On Snapchat you can scan my snapcode (we've added it in the header image) or add me at 'AliciaExplores.' I save and post my best Snapchat stories on my YouTube channel so you can subscribe to it. You can also find me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or visit my website Alicia Explores.
Let us know what you thought of these tips in the comments below.
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Written by Nicole Kow
Having graduated from the UK, Nicole travelled around Europe before joining TrekkSoft's marketing team. She is now based in KL and regularly blogs about her travels at Next Train Out.