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BeReal as a Marketing Tool: Bad for Brands or The Best Yet?

Debora Silvetti, Social Media Content Creator

Will BeReal be the next Clubhouse? Or the new Instagram? What even is BeReal?

Topping the US App Store’s ‘Most Downloaded’ list with more than 10 million daily active users, BeReal is quickly becoming the social app of 2022. Originally launched in late 2019, it saw significant growth in 2021 reaching 500,000 downloads, but 2022 has seen BeReal become social media royalty with downloads increasing by 1000% and usage by 315%.

How does it work?

The concept is extremely simple. At a random time during the day, users are sent a daily notification asking them to ‘Be Real’. You are then prompted to take a simultaneous snapshot from both your front- and back-facing cameras, showing what you are doing at that moment. The app gives you a timeframe of 2 minutes to respond and you are unable to see anyone else’s BeReal until you have posted your own. Once you get another notification the next day, all the posts from the previous day are deleted.

There is no option for filters, likes, ads and no retakes (if you do, the app will show other users how many re-takes you took). The random timing of the notification and the fact you can only do it once a day adds a game-like quality to the app – ‘a new and unique way to discover who your friends really are in their daily life’.

BeReal brand themselves as not just another social media network, they aim to bring back authenticity to online interactions by removing any option to edit the photos you post. It’s all about spontaneity and authenticity, two key reasons as to why it has become so popular with Gen Z and Millennials, generations who intensely value honesty and authenticity.

Can brands incorporate BeReal into their marketing strategy? —— Should luxury brands hop on the trend?

BeReal is designed to be consumer first and as of yet, there are no ads or pay-to-play options as this would go against their ethos. However this doesn’t mean there is no potential for companies to leverage the app. 

Chipotle has been an early adopter, offering a limited-offer reusable promo code on its BeReal posts. For four days, the first 100 consumers to use the code online or on the restaurant’s app scored a free entrée. This is a great example of successful unique brand marketing activation on the new social media platform, one that doesn’t involve the abundance of planning or scheduling required for other channels.

If you are a luxury brand with a younger audience and want to form deeper connections with them, BeReal presents an easier and effective touch point. 

The platform can help to brand’s showcase personality, increase loyalty and connect with consumers through behind-the-scenes snapshots from shoots, meetings, everyday office life or social events. Forming a community with their audience, developing deeper connections and helping customers view the brand in a different light. However, if your brand wants to be perceived as prestigious or any other synonym, then BeReal might not be for you.

Like with any other app, BeReal has its negatives. When posting, you can choose to post just for your friends or the discovery page. Regardless of where you publish, if you’re thinking of taking BeReals at work, you have to be conscious of what is showing on the photo, keeping in mind confidentiality and privacy of data and projects.  

Would we recommend it?

Community and authenticity continue to reign supreme when it comes to social marketing and for that reason we believe there is plenty of potential for brands to take advantage of, especially if the aim is to create a close-knit following. 

Looking forward, we can start to predict how brands and marketers will be utilising this app, for example, collaborating with influencers by having them ‘organically’ show the product on their posts. 

Although there are opportunities for advertising and collaborations, due to the nature of the app being grounded in authenticity, we would recommend only joining if your aim is to nurture a better and closer relationship with your consumers. 

“If [brands] do feel the need [to join BeReal], it’s relatively obvious that we’ll end up with the same influencer strategy we’ll see elsewhere, albeit perhaps in a more nuanced, subtle way. I don’t think the value is there yet though – [there’s] not enough of a user base to try to invade what is purported to be a safe, authentic space for users.” Brady Donnelly, Managing Director, Sela

Want to take the leap but don’t know where to start? Our social team can offer a tailor-made solution for your business through BeReal and the catalogue of other channels consumers are scrolling, all you have to do is get in touch.

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