By Rachel Lyall, Director of Marketing, EMEA and APAC, Mediaocean
Heralded as the Golden Quarter, the months between October and December typically represent a time when UK retailers see a lot of activity and secure a large portion of their annual revenue. As a result, in the lead-up, marketers are especially focused on how they can maintain and add to their brand’s customer base.
In the face of the current economic uncertainty and a potential recession on the nation’s doorstep, the next few months will be particularly instrumental. Marketers will be and are under pressure to maintain the customer experience, whilst retaining and hitting revenue targets.
As usual, it’s never easy to keep up with the ever-changing demands of customers and the platforms they’re using to consume content. The use of social media use is particularly hard to predict. As the latest sensation in the social media game, BeReal is a great example of this. It’s also one of the newest challenges marketers face, and many may be asking whether they should tap into the power of the platform in the all-important golden quarter.
Success by numbers
BeReal has all but exploded onto the scene – growing its user base from 10,000 to over 15 million in the last year alone. Understandably, this is sparking a huge amount of interest from brands and consumers alike. So why exactly has BeReal grown quite so rapidly?
Of course, there’s no one definitive answer to this question. But some of the theories allude to just how unique BeReal is among its peers and predecessors. In stark contrast to the curated content that is ‘the norm’ for many other forms of social media, BeReal actively enforces spontaneity. BeReal encourages users to take pictures in the moment, by taking a selfie and a photo of their surroundings at a random point in the day. In addition to removing the “always-on” aspect of social media, BeReal offers its users no options to filter or edit their photos.
Imitation, as they say, is the greatest form of flattery. And in that regard, BeReal’s competitors have paid it the greatest compliment going. If the drastic increase in subscribers wasn’t an accurate enough reflection of BeReal’s success, Tik Tok, Instagram and Snapchat have all recently released their own copycat BeReal-style features and services.
A renewed desire to be real
One of the key reasons for BeReal’s popularity is its authenticity. Authenticity and spontaneity are woven into the very fibre of the platform and ultimately customers want to engage with authentic brands that care about more than just profits. And we can’t forget that with unlimited access to social media and online news, today’s consumers are research-oriented and are keen to follow the activity of their favourite brands.
Though BeReal was created for and is largely being used by individuals, using the app could be a great way for brands to authentically showcase their narrative and tell their story. In fact, BeReal is so different to most forms of other social media it could be the best way for brands to connect with their customers in the unpredictable environment we are currently living in in a true and meaningful way. So, marketers and advertisers should consider incorporating it into their strategies.
Tapping into BeReal
The obvious issue is that BeReal currently offers no play-to-play options for businesses. However, the lack of paid options hasn’t stopped some brands from creating accounts and sharing content in the same raw manner that was intended for the site.
These brands will still be in the experimental phase of using BeReal. And it’s essential to begin by testing out the platform as it won’t be appropriate for every business. In an omnichannel world, it’s important for marketers to remember that they don’t need to be present on every platform – they need to pick and choose the channels which are going to be most relevant for their audience.
The brands which have already made a success of BeReal, are those which have made content that feels native to the platform. After all, sharing unrelatable content on a channel that doesn’t work for your brand, is likely to do more harm than good.
As it’s still in its infancy, BeReal hasn’t defined its revenue model. However, it hasn’t ruled out advertising or in-app purchases. The best plan for brands intending to leverage BeReal during Golden Quarter and beyond is to stay abreast of the updates so they can fully understand how they may impact their strategy surrounding the app.