Is it time for your brand to BeReal?
With the rise of Gen Z on social media, everyone’s talking about BeReal. But what is it?
Launching in 2020, BeReal is a social media app that aims to be the antithesis to mainstream socials. It had 47.8 million monthly active users and 13 million accessed the app daily in February 2023, with over 10.1m app downloads in the UK.
The app notifies users to “Be Real” at a random time every day. Photos can be shared with ‘Only Friends’ or on the ‘Discover’ page where your pics will be seen by the general public alongside photos from other users. This gamified app encourages users to share raw and unfiltered images with their friends. It’s therefore no surprise that this app is one of the fastest-growing social media apps to date, resonating so much with younger consumers. In fact, its focus on raw and unedited content appeals to Gen Z principles of authenticity, community and honesty. For those same reasons, the app has no influencers and no ads, explicitly stating that it can’t be used for “advertising or commercial purposes to publish or facilitate the transmission of advertising and commercial solicitations.” So the question remains… Could BeReal be to Gen Z what Instagram was to Millennials?
Should brands be on BeReal?
There’s no black and white answer to this question, as the app’s not been around long enough for us to be able to strongly advise either way. What we will say is that based on your target market, being on BeReal could mean your brand would be part of the forefront of a cool new way to communicate with customers and create an organic community. But how does one do that without sponsorships, ads or influencer marketing?
Here’s a few case studies of brands doing it right:
Posted a coupon code to their BeReal for a free meal to the first 100 customers. This created a sense of community as only those who were friends with Chipotle would have access to the deal.
Launched a “BooReal sweepstakes” contest on Oct 31st. Customers were asked to take a BeReal in a Chipotle restaurant wearing a costume, and then share it on Instagram with the hashtag #BooritoSweepstakes for a chance to win a prize.
Used BeReal to show behind the scenes photos many of which with their brand mascot Mr. Bones.
Ran a 12 Days of Deals campaign showcasing Elf on the Shelf next to products especially curated for the Gen Z audience found on BeReal in the hopes of driving sales and email sign-ups.
One of the most popular brands on the platform, having surpassed BeReal’s friends limit. Their content is created to support their TikTok marketing, showcasing products with googly eyes, establishing two-way communication with their audience as demonstrated by the abundance of positive comments and reactions.
The launch of their BeReal was announced on all of their other channels to drive customers there and build an audience of loyal followers.
Post exclusive checkout codes and interactive content to promote products and incentivise brand loyalty.
They promoted their BeReal through an email campaign, and even used UGC from BeReal in one of their campaigns along with product reviews.
Shared real and unedited photos of the country working alongside Fijian locals.
What can we learn from these brands?
When thinking about starting your brand’s BeReal, here’s what you should consider:
1. Behind the scenes
Showcasing the behind the scenes of your brand helps personify and humanise your brand. Seeing the brand in a different, unedited and raw way helps foster camaraderie and customer loyalty.
2. Community building
Community-focused social media platforms like Twitch, Discord and BeReal are preferred by 65% of Gen Zers who feel more comfortable on them compared to algorithm-driven apps like Twitter and Instagram.
3. Conveying brand values
BeReal is the perfect app to convey your brand values. If your brand wants to foster authenticity, integrity, truth and community then this is the right app to do that on. A great way to do this is for brands to post unedited photos or BTS shots depicting true reality as opposed to overly-photoshopped billboard or instagram pictures.
4. UGC (User Generated Content)
BeReal allows brands to communicate and collaborate with customers in a unique way that apps like Facebook and Instagram don’t allow for. This sense of shared value and community that the app can help foster is ideal when looking at user generated content. UGC can help brands maintain a steady buzz year-round, providing marketers with great genuine resources and content beyond the in-house team. So why not use the app to encourage customers to create their own content featuring your product?
What can we take away?
Based on these examples, we can conclude that BeReal is best for:
Humanising your brand
Establishing a community around your brand
Sharing exclusive promo offers
Showing behind the scenes of your brand
Getting User-Generated Content
Here are some more ideas of content you can publish on BeReal as a brand:
Showing off your team
Sharing your day-to-day life in the office
Teasing your audience with the products your brand is currently working on
BTS of events
However, there are some cons. The biggest downfall of this app is that there are little to no ways to grow your BeReal account organically. This means that to gain a following on the app, you have to actively promote it on other channels, or get influencers with a following on BeRal to promote it.
Additionally, there is currently a limit on how many “friends” you can have on the app, meaning you will only be able to have several thousand followers to your account. However, this could create a sense of FOMO, especially in loyal customers, that will make them want to be included.
So, before joining the app with your brand, think of these three key things:
1. Is your target audience on this app?
2. Do you already have an audience on other channels?
3. Is this social media platform a good fit for your brand?
Will it last?
Despite BeReal being an up-and-coming app catering to the tech savvy Gen Zers, we’ve seen that the future of a new social media app is never safe. Remember Clubhouse?
Some say that there are threats to the new app by TikTok, another Gen Z favourite, who recently launched a feature identical to BeReal, except it asks for videos instead of images. Even their catchphrase “Time To Now” sounds vaguely familiar… We also heard that Instagram is planning to hop on the trend by adding “IG Candids” to their stories. However none of these competitor alternatives have taken off quite as well as BeReal has.
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