When venturing into Snapchat, a new social media platform for HP, the team knew they had to create a content plan, while also challenging themselves to put up on-the-fly content.
Through over a year of consistently testing what worked with users and what didn’t, HP finally found a voice on the platform and a steady source of engaging content. See how they were able to increase engagement 10x.
“Our target audience is young: Gen Z and millennials, and these groups are very tech-savvy and know what they want from brands ... our goal was to really connect with these people — [and] connect authentically,” said Stef Brower, Global Social Media, HP.
With HP’s customers mainly falling into the categories of millennials and Gen Z, the company needed to be in the same spaces they were, day in and day out, and “come across as an authentic voice in that space, but also adding value into their everyday life,” she said.
It wasn’t enough, she said, to just have a Snapchat account; they needed to find topics that HP could own and be knowledgeable on within Snapchat.
The visual nature of the social app worked for the company from a product perspective because “HP is moving beyond the standard laptop. We’re really focusing on innovation and design with every product,” she said.
As a large, well-known brand, HP didn’t want to jump into any new platform without investigating it carefully.
“We didn't want to invest a lot of time in a platform strategy that was going to be a flash in the pan and gone the next month,” Brower said.
Before investing significantly in Snapchat, she and her team investigated and followed the platform’s progress, and they joined the platform almost two years ago. They gave it time before launching to make sure that it was attracting the right audience — millennials.
The issue with Snapchat that made it unlike all of HP’s other channels — Facebook and Twitter for example — was that it was much more low-production than what her team is used to.
“I think we were used to getting an agency in and creating something very polished that goes through rounds of reviews, and that's just not how Snapchat works. That just wasn't the nature of the platform,” she said.
This was a challenge not only within her team, but in getting management expectations aligned with a less polished, even irreverent Snapchat approach.
It was important to be aligned on that approach because “we didn't want to look like we were a brand that came there and was just publishing content that was not in line with everything else you see on Snapchat,” Brower said.
The team then had to face the challenge of what exactly to post. The brand voice was entirely different from all other social media channels, and Snapchat is a very in-the-moment platform.
“We’re not at live events every single week, but we wanted to keep our content fresh,” she said. “What is a story we could tell week over week that we could really own?”
It took at least a year, Brower said, to get into a comfortable rhythm with Snapchat content.
“We didn't go out of the gate with a detailed content plan. Week over week, we would concept different stories, and then finally, after a lot of learning and experimenting, we found an angle that could deliver consistency,” she said. “We got to topics we could really own it.”
After testing out different story lines, the team was able to find their own best practices in both storyline and in using all of the features Snapchat has to offer.
“We found it was important to use the native features of the platform: doodles, filters, etc. … because it’s what felt natural on the platform,” she said.
The main goals, Brower added, were to grow a follower base on this platform, the way they had with others like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. They also wanted to use Snapchat content views as a key metric to show that HP followers were engaged.
There was still a lot of experimenting to do, but it was all about testing and learning to grow, she said.