As we are all well aware, Influencer Marketing is the go-to strategy when it comes to selling products and services. Rather than thinking that Influencer Marketing is simply likes and shares on social media platforms, brands must think of it as a way for a single customer to recommend products and services to thousands—even millions— of friends. Unfortunately, with so much hype focused on influencers and their ability to push and sell products, people have started to feel a bit of influencer fatigue. Influencer fatigue can result in consumers’ distrust and disgust of brands. While Influencer Marketing is still booming, many brands have tried to figure out ways to make sure the sponsored content being shared is more creative, innovative, and authentic feeling. As part of this marketing revolution, some brands have stumbled upon BeReal—a shocking gam-changer.
What Is BeReal?
“BeReals” (the terminology users call the posts) are candid photos (compared to the altered/filtered photos that are popping up all over social media). So, why do companies love it? To answer the question: it has a rapidly growing audience. Because of its messaging and approach, the app is a smashing hit with Gen Zs and younger users. Despite being only two years old, BeReal has over 21 million downloads and 3 million daily active users.
BeReal is a social media application founded by French entrepreneur Alexis Barreyat. BeReal serves as an antithesis to popular platforms where people can heavily edit their feeds. The app randomly notifies users to post a photo within a two-minute time frame, leaving them no time to customize a picture-perfect post.
Creative Ways for Brands to Use BeReal
Besides advocating for authenticity and “living in the moment,” BeReal presents a creative constraint. The two-minute timer forces users to be creative with what to post. Its essence is one of the most potent forces that increase the app’s popularity.
BeReal’s policy restricts commercial ads and influencers, so brands cannot have a formal presence within the app. However, brands creatively found a way to crack the code and be part of the authentic movement. Here are ways brands have managed to bypass BeReal’s brand regulations:
1. Events’ Behind-The-Scenes Shots.
It is uncommon for brands to hold events for PR stunts. However, not many take advantage of the content they can gather featuring the things that happen backstage. Those who do this give the public an insider’s view of what happens behind the glitz and glamor. This content can be interesting.
2. Production Procedure Scoops.
Some companies also use BeReal to capture what happens during production or the rendering of services. This content is popular on TikTok and Instagram because it is not as blatant as other marketing ads. Besides, the sweat and tears of people behind production and packaging counters are not things you can easily stage.
3. Scenic Photos.
The scenic photos do not refer to high-production images that underwent a series of Photoshop retouches. Instead, these can be shots of the store or products. Think simple, like burger or lipstick sitting on the side of a table.
4. Discount Codes and Vouchers.
Photos of vouchers and discount codes can bypass BeReal. While marketing intent exists in such content, it is not as direct as the others. As a result, this type of post will stand out, and BeReal’s algorithm does not pick up on these promotions … yet. Since influencers are not around, these shots of vouchers and discount codes are not affiliated.
5. Customers Enjoying the Products and Services.
Since product reviews and the like are obvious marketing ads, why not post a picture of customers enjoying your products and services? It is a smart way to bypass BeReal’s brand regulations because it does not appear too commercial. For example, a picture of customers lining up for their meal can look random and casual.
6. Random Moments.
Go back to the core of BeReal—post anything. Brands do not think too hard about what to post because the more streamlined and imperfect a post is, the more it can bypass BeReal’s algorithm. Post pictures that have the minutest connection to brands or products. A slouched-over shopping bag bearing the brand’s logo can be subtle enough.
Brands Who Succeeded with BeReal
As shared earlier, BeReal does not allow paid advertisements on its platform. With that said, some companies succeeded in bypassing this rule and continued to “advertise” within the app. Unlike the campaigns that brands run on other social media platforms, the ones on BeReal still qualify as unedited and casual.
It is challenging to think of content that may pass BeReal’s qualifications. However, these brands are geniuses in creating BeReal-worthy not-so-marketing posts:
Chipotle, America’s most beloved Mexican fast food restaurant, was the first brand to get into BeReal. On April 2022, Chipotle took a photo featuring a limited-offer reusable promo code. This post informs the public that the first 100 who use the code online will get a free entrée.
ELF Cosmetics is a known drugstore brand known for its inexpensive but high-quality products. It is the go-to products for make-up enthusiasts with a budget. Recently, ELF Cosmetics shared a snapshot of a hydration kit that has a code emblazoned on it. The first 150 users could claim the featured product on the brand’s website.
PacSun, or Pacific Sunwear of California, is a retail clothing brand that offers an assortment of lifestyle apparel, swimwear, footwear, and accessories. Their targeted market is teen and young adult consumers. PacSun posted a seemingly candid photo of three girls leaning against a white wall. While it is not obvious, the models’ clothes come from PacSun’s denim and casual wear collections.
Trident Gum and Sour Patch Kids
Trident Gum and Sour Patch Kids are some of the most well-known candy brands in the United States. These brands entered into a collaboration and made a genius move by announcing it to BeReal. The post is a mere snapshot of the new product’s interior. Trident Gum and Sour Patch Kids did not do much, but the photo is mouth-watering enough to tickle curious taste buds. They later shared the post on Twitter to make the announcement more public.
Scream 6 (Movie)
Who said only brands could use BeReal for marketing purposes? Scream 6, a horror film set to show in 2023, found its way on BeReal. Celebrities and backstage personnel posted on the platform to feature behind-the-scenes photos and other juicy tidbits. These pictures gained traction as many anticipate the film’s sixth installment.
Ways You Can Capitalize on BeReal
The developers did not design BeReal for brands and commercial purposes. However, with how competitors use it, no company can deny how much potential it holds. Moreover, BeReal is active and has millions of users. Therefore, it is highly encouraged to figure out a way to
If you are a company trying to get into BeReal without coming off as too aggressive, there are a few pointers that you should consider. Take a look at these factors:
1. Share Authentic Posts.
Since BeReal’s audience is full of mostly Gen Zers and younger consumers, it is crucial to appeal to their values. One of the most common values that they believe in is authenticity. These consumers enjoy originality and integrity. Take note that it is easy for them to detect lies and unrealistic promises.
2. Promote Social Causes.
Another way to make an impression in BeReal is by trying to promote social causes. One of the most relevant causes right now is sustainability. Try sharing images that encourage people to recycle their trash or become more serious about waste management. This kind of messaging can help consumers develop a positive attitude towards your brand. Aside from spreading awareness, you are also building a positive image.
3. Be Inclusive.
BeReal is a product of Gen Z and younger consumers’ interests and initiatives. It is only natural for this platform to be inclusive. It’s important, especially as a brand, to share photos that support all ethnicities and genders. If you cannot post this type of content, then avoid posting images that may offend any group.
4. Build a Community.
Social media is an escape for many people, and your profile should do the same. You can create a safe space through your photos by making people feel welcome and cared for. Simple greetings or messages can already provide tremendous comfort. Be casual about your posts and create content with which many can relate.
5. Do Not Try So Hard.
Simplicity is one of BeReal’s strongest suits. While it does not mean that you should not put any effort into the photos, it is best to keep everything uncomplicated. The more straightforward an image is, the better. The audiences in BeReal are looking for genuine experiences, so it is not a place for spotless and edited photos. Do not worry too much about blurred or against-the-light shots.
Wrapping It All Up
BeReal is a non-commercial social media platform. It is a space for self-expression that encourages authenticity. It is a platform for people to be themselves. However, companies found a way to promote their products and services without violating BeReal’s brand regulations. Considering BeReal’s following, it is practical for other companies to jump on the bandwagon.
Brands like Chipotle, ELF Cosmetics, and PacSun have laid down the groundwork for interacting with BeReal and its users. Keep a low profile but be intentional with your posts. If successful, your photos can quickly go viral.