Is it time for brands to BeReal?
As the rise of BeReal continues, brands could create their own presence on the platform. Social Media Manager, Annie Davidson, breaks down five things brands need to consider before they dive in.
The anti-filter social media app BeReal reached 10 million active daily users in the last week. This number continues to skyrocket as the app looks set to become Gen Z’s preference over Instagram. Its success means there is a unique opportunity for brands to create their own BeReal presence. But just because they can join, doesn’t mean they necessarily should.
In order for brands to be successful on BeReal, they need a unique channel strategy that uses the immediacy of the platform to tell a new side of the brand’s story.
A quick explainer
BeReal sends out one notification at a random time of the day to every user. When the notification goes off, users have two minutes to take a photo using their phone’s front and back camera simultaneously. Users can post late if they miss the notification, and they won’t be able to see their friends’ posts until they do. Since users don’t know what time the BeReal notification will go off, there is no time to ‘plan’ for a post. Users can react or comment on their friends’ BeReals. In many cases users have a small friend circle, unlike Instagram. The values are simple: Raw and unfiltered posts are embraced. Planned and late posts are not.
How can brands use BeReal while staying true to their values? Here are five things to consider before jumping in.
1. Authenticity is key
Take advantage of the authentic nature of the platform. Brands don’t need to curate aesthetic content on BeReal. Users can’t edit photos in the app so they must embrace the one shot wonder.
On Instagram, Tourism Fiji are carefully curated and glossy, but they’re using BeReal to share the local side of Fiji. In this case it works to communicate that Fiji is a destination that’s so gorgeous, you don’t need a filter. If your brand wants to play on BeReal, you’ll need a perspective that stands up to the no-filter treatment.
2. Take advantage of the 24-hour content lifecycle
BeReal posts are only live for approximately 24 hours. They are deleted once the next BeReal notification goes off. This impermanence is a unique feature that brands can tap into.
An example of this could be encouraging users onto the platform by sharing rewards for the first 1,000 followers or posting discount codes that expire in a day. The timely content offers tangible value to a loyal audience and can create hype around the brand account. However rewards should not be the entire BeReal strategy. Coupons are cool, but nobody wants them in their feed every day.
3. Prioritise ideas over aesthetics
Marketers need to think about content planning in a new way to thrive on the platform. In a BeReal content strategy, ideas and opportunities need to be prioritised over curated aesthetics.
Chipotle was one of the first brands to dominate BeReal, with a creative strategy of capturing photos in store or at home featuring meme-like Chipotle references. The ‘natural’ style of posting fits in seamlessly on the platform. As a result of their unique ideas and simple executions they now have a cult following of teens engaging with their daily posts.
4. Reference BeReal on other social media platforms
BeReal is the #1 most downloaded app in Australia. We’re seeing other social media apps try to replicate its features. Instagram developed the Instagram Dual feature and Snapchat has recently rolled out its dual camera. The dual feature is trending because of BeReal’s impact and this is a feature brands can repurpose or fake across their existing social media channels.
For instance, Ryan Air, Beats by Dre, The Teletubbies and Chelsea FC are using Twitter to enter the BeReal discourse.
On TikTok users share their BeReal moments in a video series. The ability to create BeReal related content without using BeReal is another clever way to tap into the conversation.
5. A smaller audience offers an opportunity to be innovative
Due to the lack of in-app monetisation, there are questions around how long BeReal will last. However, as it continues to be the most downloaded app in Australia, it’s a good time for brands to jump on it. By design, users have a smaller following, so brands can tap into their most loyal followers. It creates an opportunity to test and learn with their content, and behave playfully with a receptive audience. The ability to launch a unique presence on a new social media app doesn’t come around much, so when it does, there’s an opportunity to flex your brand’s skill in moving fast and innovating – translating the things your audience love into a new medium.
There are ways brands can nail BeReal, but curated content won’t work on this app. It’s not Instagram. You can’t schedule content or export a neat spreadsheet of your results. As a fairly new app, BeReal provides an opportunity to be clever with your brand and connect with your loyal followers in an authentic way. While it might require a unique channel strategy, its accessible production values mean you don’t have to blow the budget to do well – you just need to have a distinctive idea that has longevity. It also poses an opportunity for brands to consider how they are being authentic across other platforms. If it’s well executed, brands can be framed as leaders on this growing platform, creating positive conversations about their presence and building the relationship with your most loyal customers.
If you want to give it a go or learn more about how to BeReal, chat with us.
Annie Davidson is a Social Media Manager at We Are Social Sydney. You’ll usually find her appreciating the fine art that is the TikTok comment section.