If you’re a travel brand that is looking to reach younger travelers, Snapchat is swiftly becoming a vital platform. Skift reports that 45% of Snapchat’s users are aged 18 to 24 years old. Meanwhile, 23% of Instagram’s users and 18% of Facebook users’ are 18 to 24-years-old.

Yet, many travel brands have yet to make the leap onto the platform. And no wonder – it’s not exactly an easy one to grow an audience on. There’s no way, as of now, to promote your account directly to users, and many of the paid capabilities are far outside of most marketers’ budgets. However, below we’ve put together 5 tips and tactics you can adopt to begin growing your brand’s presence and make the platform work for you.

Audience Growth
First, brainstorm ways you can integrate Snapchat into other platforms’ content. For example, many Youtube creators have begun publishing Snapchat Q&As where fans send them snaps with questions that they film and answer. Not only is that a fantastic form of direct engagement, but it also allows them to promote a new account on one where they already have a strong following.

Screen Shot 2016-03-08 at 5.40.15 PM

Second, take advantage of the ease of following someone! Unlike Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, following someone on Snapchat just takes one step: scanning a Snapcode. The Snapcode is basically a QR code that people actually use. Simply scan someone’s code with your Snapchat camera, press and hold the screen, and you’ll be following them!

You can print your code on billboard ads, place it on signage around live events, include them in television ads, or share them as photos to your other social accounts.

Exclusive Content
When it comes to the content you publish onto your account, avoid anything that feels too much like an ad at all costs. Just like on other platforms, focus on creating content that inspires, educates, and engages. Luckily, few topics inspire people like travel. Take travelers behind the scenes at local events, show them awe-inspiring skylines, showcase experiences unique to your destination or hotel. And promote that you’ll be sharing this exclusive content on your Snapchat across your other social accounts.

When it comes to measuring the effectiveness of this content, don’t just look at the growth of followers. Track how many opens you get along with the types of content you shared. This will give a fuller idea of what content people enjoy the most.

Paid Geofilters
Back when paid geofilters first launched and were done as exclusive ad deals between a brand and Snapchat, W Hotels became one of the first brands to test out the format. Their filters added a tongue-in-cheek illustration inspired by the classic Wish You Were Here postcards.


Today, creating a geofilter is much easier with On-Demand Filters. Anyone can create one, and the price starts at $5 (depending on length of time and size of area). The trick is creating filters that people are excited to use and that they will feel enhance their photo better than just drawing and typing on their photo would. Basically, avoid illustrations that look more like ads than filters.

Snapchat & Influencers
Back in 2014, Marriott became the first hospitality brand to make the leap onto Snapchat, and they did it by partnering with influencers. They sent Shonduras on a travel adventure where his schedule was dictated by fans. Meanwhile, Brittany Furlan explored and shared her New York escapades.


Chances are, you’re already having blogger tours or influencer takeovers on your social accounts. Having these people also take over (and promote) your Snapchat is a great addition to partnerships. See how Furlan announced her partnership with Marriott below.

Want more digital marketing tips and tactics? Be sure to get the full Millennial Marketing for Destinations and Travel Brands guide!

About The Author

Monica is a book hoarder and gets overexcited about community-driven marketing. She lives in New York City and dreams of a day when a landlord will let her have a cat.