Meet the 15 Second Social Press Release: Snapchat, Instagram and more


SnapchatPRSecretsIf you thought 140 characters might cramp your social press release style, try 15 seconds or less with social newbies like Snapchat, Instagram and Vine! Social PR is now a Snap.

Snapchat says that we are not the sum of everything we have said or done or experienced or published – we are the result. We are who we are today, right now.


As visual social media platforms continue to evolve, so does the ever-changing news release. At one point we sent press releases by snail mail on the company’s letterhead in 400 words or more! Today, the interactive users on social networking sites are our brand journalists and we must cater to their needs so they will share our message… So we adapted. But now there are some new players in the game and the social press release is undergoing some “micro” changes.

Today you can quickly create short form videos that are only seconds long to reach your audience on the latest platforms. Microvideo and microphoto social sharing sites such as Snapchat, Instagram and Vine are where your audience is getting personal; talking through content not around it.

The SocialPRChat news team recently got a behind-the-scenes look at how these apps can help brands build relationships during Bootcamp Digital’s Webinar  “Marketing in 15 Seconds or Less.”

Fast and Easy Social Media Creations

Depending on who you want to reach, Snapchat can be the next social press release. A study finds 77 percent of college students use Snapchat daily. The photo-sharing app with self destructing images has been around for a year and it’s one of the top micro sharing platforms. More than 400 million Snaps are sent daily which is more posts than Facebook and Instagram combined!

What the Snap?
Snaps are photos or video clips that can be shared with as few or as many people in your friends list as you want. The sender can also add drawings or text to the Snap and chooses how long the recipients can view it, up to 10 seconds. To view a Snap, the recipient must press and hold down on their screen. After the time limit expires, that Snap is gone forever.

Let Snapchat Stories Share the  Brand Moment
You can also create Stories which are a series of Snaps that can last for 24 hours so users can view it as many times as they want before it disappears. For brands, this is a great opportunity to tie in an offer and entice a sale. See an example of how food delivery service GrubHub does just that “>here.

Another example of brands doing Snapchat right is the frozen yogurt shop 16 Handles that sends discounts of 10-100 percent off with a picture behind it, so you can’t open it until you’re actually at the counter and ready to redeem. This drives a lot of foot traffic as people are reminded of their favorite shop and want to uncover their mystery offer.

So why is Snapchat so effective?

  • New Push PR – Snaps cause a push notification directly to the recipients’ phones; unlike other social networks unless you tag the individual.
  • Pause PR – To view a Snap is not just a passive act, it’s a pressing choice. Users must hold the screen to see the image or video unlike other sites where one can scroll through images in their feed.
  • Hipster PR – It’s a hip and visually interactive way to get publicity and exposure and brands can make personal connections by responding to Snaps they receive.
  • Personal PR – With it’s peekaboo content, Snapchat makes users feel like they’re getting exclusive news content.

On the downside of Snapchat; there is no way to discover users so you either add friends who are already in your phonebook or have to know their username. Snapchat will be releasing a discovery portion of the app and will have an ad platform but when these will be available is currently unknown. To get friends, promote your username where your audience is. Take a tip from Taco Bell and share it on Facebook or Twitter and consider unique ways to get your name out there like the New Orleans Saints who advertise it on their Jumbotron.

Social PR Secret: Build an audience now before you have to pay for it.

Instagram Filters vs. Vine Videos

Are you going for the viewer or the creator? Instagram and Vine offer news and storytelling opportunities as microvideo sharing sites. Vine hit the social scene about one year ago and is owned by Twitter. It emerged quicker than other video networks because it immediately became known as a source of comedy. Instagram saw the videos catching on and quickly added the video option to its app. The table below compares the video options for both platforms.

Vine vs. Instagram

Some more information you may want to consider before choosing which one your brand should report news on are the numbers. Instagram has 150 million users, although not all of them are using video, and 70 percent of users log in daily. Ninety percent of users are less than 35 years old. There are 8,500 likes per second and 1,000 comments per second and Instagram tends to get more engagement than Vine because people primarily use Vine as viewers whereas Instagram is a community of creators.

On Instagram, brands may see more traction than they’re used to on Facebook or LinkedIn because users are more active. For example, an image posted by the Ben and Jerry’s account reached 9.8 million people in 8 days.

Instagram was the number one iPhone app for months because people liked sharing filtered images with their friends. People enjoyed the ability to seamlessly take, edit and share their photos and videos through social media. It also allows users to make their posts more searchable and increase engagement through the use of hashtags.

Social PR Secret: #Hashtags are vital on Instagram but don’t hashtag bomb your description because it will look awful when shared on other social sites. Instead, leave the additional hashtags as a comment after the fact.

Vine does not release as much demographic information, however, there a several key things to point out before you decide which network to use.

  • On Instagram you have to press play to get video and audio.
  • An embedded Vine plays in a loop as soon as it’s loaded. This attracts attention without being intrusive because the volume is turned off by default.

Social PR Secret: Keep it short, fun and interactive.

Check out how GE is using Vine videos and then pushes them to Tumblr. Their #6SecondScience shorts are fun and creative given the time limit.

If everything is equal then generally speaking there is a bigger audience on Instagram, but don’t rule Vine out. If your content would do well playing on a loop and if you’re not interested in sharing photos, Vine is perfect social reporter for your brand.

  • Preview a product
  • Give a sneak peek at a trade show
  • Show the behind the scenes of a photo shoot or event
  • Demonstrate a quick tutorial
  • Promote a blog post
  • Review a book, product or service
  • Share the moment in realtime

Why wait? Start experimenting with social press releases using Vine, Instagram or SnapChat and see what works best for your brand. To learn more about digital marketing visit Bootcamp Digital for a complete list of online classes and events.
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We no longer have to capture the “real world” and recreate it online – we simply live and communicate at the same time. via @evanspiegel CEO of Snapchat

Read the recent keynote delivered by Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snapchat, at the AXS Partner Summit on January 25, 2014.

Article contributions by: Jennine Miller
Image credit: Bootcamp Digital


  1. I love the idea of Snapchat, that sounds great.  Storytelling and human interest is at the heart of PR and I can see that this provides huge scope for combining the two.

  2. I enjoyed reading your post! I agree that Snapchat is a great tool for PR and a great way to engage followers. I recently wrote a post on my blog regarding the Association of Surfing Professionals’ Snapchat account and their efforts to build stronger relationships with followers. In ASP’s case, they launched a digital autograph session with Rookie of the Year, Nat Young. This idea proved to be a huge success! ASP is one of several organizations taking advantage of Snapchat’s branding tools. It was interesting to read about organizations putting together special deals in their “My Story” section – I have never thought about using the “My Story” section for offering immediate deals. That is a great idea! Thank you for sharing!

  3. Does anyone else feel this is abuse of social media? I also sincerely hope nobody is going to rely solely on these 15 second releases as a means of spreading news.

    Social media is and always should be a means of 2-way communication with your audience, not a platform to blast a release. If you really want to influence you audience and reach serious reporters/bloggers and others with a lot of clout, you simply can’t replace the old-school press release, period.

    Otherwise, I think this is a great means of telling stories and sharing “soft” news.

    Mickie Kennedy


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