BeReal has undoubtedly shaken up the social media scene. Gen Zs (myself included) have gone crazy for the app in recent months. It’s forced other social media apps to think of ways they too can move away from encouraging the ‘perfect’ and ‘polished’ versions of ourselves and start promoting authenticity.
What is BeReal?
Imagine an app that is everything Instagram isn’t: no more filters or back-breaking ‘candid’ poses. Just real people sharing their everyday selves - spots and eyebags included!
A scary thought at first? Perhaps! Influencer culture has conditioned us to be our own biggest critics, encouraging us to edit out anything less than perfect from our photos. BeReal strips that away and forces people to share their everyday, ‘un-instagrammable’ selves. In fact, the app boasts to be breaking down people’s toxic perception of themselves, that has been built through using the ‘perfecting’ filters available on other apps. Yes Instagram, we’re looking at you!
So, how does it work?
It starts with BeReal sending a notification simultaneously to everyone on the app. Users then have 2 minutes to capture their BeReal - a photo taken using your front and back camera at the same time. This is then added to a feed where you and your friends can live react and comment on each other’s posts.
Who has already jumped on the trend?
You may have already seen brands using BeReal style content on other social platforms. Why? To connect with their audience and show they understand what they’re loving! For example, although not on the app, Love Island famously used this style of content to make memes relevant to the show and encourage conversations & buzz.
But what about those brands who've already taken then plunge? Who is on the platform, and what can your brand learn from their approach?
Always willing to try something new and keen to push connection and relevancy with their Gen Z customer base, e.l.f were quick to spot the potential of BeReal. Laurie Lam, Chief Brand Officer, e.l.f. Beauty
said on joining the app “We see the platform growing, right? We know Gen Z is playing on this; we know our consumers are on this platform. [So we asked] ‘How [can we, as a] brand, authentically lead and lean in?’ This is a new frontier, and we’ve always conquered new frontiers. This is an opportunity for us”.
The brand enticed people to follow and engage with them on the new platform by promoting an exclusive product offer to their first 150 followers. Those users were served a BeReal contaiting a promo code for a free ‘Hydrating ever after kit’ – who is going to say no to that?
This ‘exclusive offer’ strategy is a great way for brands with the budget to introduce themselves to a new space, by offering reward and incentive for people to follow and engage.
Looking to increase brand awareness within their target audience, K18 hair joined the buzzing platform. As you'd expect, coming in hard with a bunch of sales messaging isn't going to cut it on BeReal, so K18's strategy has been to focus more on sharing behind the scenes content, helping to connect with their audience and position themselves as experts, while using the platform in a way that feels authentic.
In an interview with Glossy
Michelle Miller, K18’s SVP of Global Marketing said on the app. “We know that BeReal is still in that early stage, where not a lot of brands are playing. So, I think there’s a lot of opportunity for K18 to show our innovation. [For example] we can give [the account] to our scientist in Portugal for the week.”
A behind-the-scenes approach is a low-cost, low-maintenance way for brands to start playing and engaging in the space, without having to allocate lots of resources and budget.
Chipotle made their mark on BeReal in a similar way to e.l.f, releasing limited promotions in their posts, such as the first 100 people to use the code displayed in their post get free starter. This promotion has encouraged Gen Zs everywhere to engage with Chipotle on the platform.
Candice Beck, Chipotle’s Director of Social and Influencer
highlighted the importance for brands to be pioneers on new apps & trends. She said, “It’s very clear that time after time, the earlier you are on a certain platform as a brand, the more success you’ll have on it."
This promotion has encouraged Gen Zs everywhere to engage with Chipotle on BeReal as they eagerly await a new limited time offer!
The street wear brand uses the app as a way of engaging with their largely GenZ audience, posting behind the scenes life with staff at the Broken Planet offices and on location at shoots. The clothing brand release their products in time-sensitive drops, and this approach is great fit with BeReal, allowing them to post exclusive previews of upcoming product launches to help build buzz around upcoming drops.
This tactic of using BeReal to ampify the noise around time-sensitive moments - events, premieres, product launches, promotions, etc. - feels like a smart fit, building anticipation and fostering a sense of exclusivity while ensuring the brand stays fresh in their target audience's mind.
so why should brands get involved?
It’s clear to see that brands who are targeting Gen Z need to be as relatable and real as possible, this is part of the reason the body positivity
movement has ramped up in recent years.
By being on apps such as BeReal and TikTok, where appearing personable and unpolished is promoted, brands show that they understand the importance of this to their target market. It also provides a platform, which if used correctly could help raise awareness, and engagement with their target audience.
With an estimated 3 million monthly users already, BeReal isn’t showing any signs of growth slowing down. With Instagram allegedly prototyping their own version of the app - “Instagram Candid” - this concept doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. It's certainly being taken seriously by the big boys in social media, and brands, especially those targeting Gen Zs, should absolutely be doing the same!
Posted 12 October 2022 by Paige Byrne