The rise of TikTok influenced the layout and focus by of both Facebook and Instagram introducing more short video ‘Reels’ to increase engagement. However, Gen Zs are NOT happy about that, and this is when BeReal started to shine. Here is all marketers need to know about the rising social media star and how you can leverage it to your business.
What is BeReal?
‘Your friends for Real‘ is not only the slogan but the core value of the platform. It aims to be the remedy for annoying influencers, advertisements and unrelated content. The rebellious idea started to gain attention in early 2022 and acquired a 315% increase in downloads, and active 2.9 million everyday users. So, how did they attract that many individuals?
The momentum to reinvigorate a new social network is linked to creative constraints. BeReal’s two-minute time limitation shares a similar function with character restraint on Twitter, which promotes simplicity and straightforwardness. Moreover, users can also react with their facial expressions through “RealMoji”. That is, the content and reaction in the app are mostly simple and easy to understand.
The app only allows one post per day and merely friends and followers can view the content. Hence, unlike the upgraded Instagram nowadays: overflowing advertisements, fewer friends’ posts and repetitive TikTok repost content, BeReal focuses on the ‘real’ life experience. This encourages more people, especially college students and Gen Zs, to join this social media platform.
BeReal brings friends together. When notification pops up, everyone goes online together, posts together, and sees what each other is doing at the same time. It evokes nostalgia when all social media were still sticking to their nostalgic core value: focusing on close friends and purely sharing life experiences.
How BeReal Challenges Marketers?
No Formal Advertising Plan
According to BeReal’s terms and conditions, the app does not allow advertising and transmission to other sites for promotion purposes. This indicates that marketers who wish to create a digital marketing strategy on BeReal could face difficulties publishing their content. As the app emphasises the authenticity of friendship and interactions, marketers must come up with different tactics to make their audience believe in their genuineness in terms of content posted. That is, you will need to make the advertisement seem like a random daily life capture of a close friend, rather than a purposeful influencer-like promotion.
Post and Time Limitations
The first issue for marketers could be the constraint on the number of posts they can have on a daily basis. As mentioned previously, only one post is allowed per day. This may cause a problematic situation that brands have to carefully select what they can post each day. On the other hand, the post time is random and unpredictable; hence, it is impossible to schedule a post, and requires careful monitoring on the app if the marketer wishes to post ‘on time’ rather than ‘late’.
The most interesting part of BeReal is the visibility of the post. The paragraph mentioned above illustrates that users have to post to view others’ snapshots. This could hinder a brand’s promotion if its followers or ‘friends’ do not post. To explain, if the target audience does not post on time, they might not be able to see the brand’s content and could miss out on important first-hand information or promotion. Consequently, if the brand’s BeReal followers are not as active as expected, the brand awareness could be lower than predicted if marketers merely promote on BeReal.
So… is Digital Marketing even possible on BeReal? Definitely a BIG YES, but you need to think out of the box to make it happen.
Show What’s ‘Behind the Scene’
Since BeReal only allows ‘friends’ to view the content, does it mean we have less audience in terms of marketing? Well, that can be true, however, it also indicates that people who ‘add’ your brand to their friend list are the real customers. Those followers are more likely to interact with, purchase and react to brand activities or products. Moreover, they have a higher potential to be active brand promoters.
The key element and core value of BeReal is authenticity. Breaking the ice between your brand and potential target audience is a must to enhance accessibility and a sense of closeness. BeReal can be a helpful tool in this regard. Showing your brand’s unfiltered content, including everyday office routines, daily working life, or even meetings, allows your customers to view your brand in a brand-new way. Remember that BeReal is friend-oriented? Once the behind-the-scenes snapshot is posted once a day, you can have a stronger bond with the target audience and increase the potential to have a firm and united brand community.
Post ‘Exclusive’ Information
What can be better than giving your friend a special gift or a surprise? BeReal is a great channel for you to offer a sudden surprise for their brand community members. Let’s see how Chipotle, an American fast food restaurant, sends out little gifts to their followers. Chipotle launched its very first exclusive promotion on BeReal to its 2000 followers (friends) on BeReal ‘First 100 people to use the code FORREAL in the Chipotle app get a free entre‘. The result was impressive that the limited 100 codes were all redeemed within one minute. This implies that the audience, especially Gen Z, is active and keen to interact with brands on BeReal.
With Chipotle’s success, brands can think of other exclusive content to post. For instance, a sneak peek of the latest product or free-tasting opportunity could be a great way to start. On the other hand, encouraging customers to have a BeReal with the brand’s product can also increase brand awareness between the users and their friends.
Something to Keep in Mind when Marketing on BeReal
BeReal can be viewed as an anti-influencer social media app, however, it does not mean marketers cannot take advantage of the authenticity the app focuses on. Be friends and BeReal with your true customers can elevate both the image and engagement of your brand.
Nonetheless, it is also important to keep in mind that keeping the content posted as authentic and less filtered as possible is a necessary point to allow your followers to continue interacting with you on BeReal. Moreover, it is recommended not to merely use BeReal as the digital marketing platform.
Although BeReal is a great platform to make the audience familiar with your brand, the customer reach is still less than other platforms. Hence, BeReal is better implemented in strengthening brand community and deeper interaction with customers. In terms of reaching broader audiences, other major social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram or TikTok, are still recommended.
Ella is a final year Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne majoring in marketing and management. She gained experiences in digital marketing as a marketing consultant intern for a venture capital firm in Singapore, specialised in social media marketing. In 2022, she continued to expand her knowledge in management as an HR intern for a startup company based in Melbourne and HR director at the student union. She looks forward to explore more opportunities and acquire new skills related to social media and human resources management in 2023.