BeReal, Social media’s drive for authenticity

You might have seen a new platform at the top of the social media charts … BeReal. With its quick rise to fame there are many questions that brands must answer before they consider joining the platform. What is it? How does it work? More importantly, how will it add value to your brand? Let’s dive in.

A screenshot of top downloaded apps chart:
BeReal at number one
WhatsApp Messenger on number two
Facebook on number three
BeReal remains firmly among the most downloaded Social Networking apps

What is it?   

BeReal’s mission is to be the antidote to traditional social media. No influencers… no filters… no likes and most importantly, NO ads. It promises `a new and unique way to discover who your friends really are in their daily life`.  As of April 2022, the platform has over 2.9 million active daily users and has seen a 315% leap in downloads since the start of the year (Social Media Today). So, what is it that has drawn so many people to it?  

How does it work? 

The BeReal app is simple. It sends a daily notification at a random time, to `BeReal`. You are then prompted to take a simultaneous snapshot from both your front and back-facing cameras, showing what you are doing and what your reaction is.  It allows only two minutes to respond, and you can’t see anyone else’s BeReal until you have posted your own.

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 that reminds me a lot of other popular apps such as Wordle. You can either share your images with friends and followers, or post onto the `discover` page to help increase your reach and gain new followers.  

How can brands get involved? 

Having brands and adverts on the platform goes completely against its’ ethos, and although there are currently no pay-to-play advertising options, it doesn’t mean there won’t be any in the future.  

The brand frequently shares limited-time deals on the platform

Chipotle was the first brand to create an account. As their VP for Digital Marketing said, `We see a massive opportunity to highlight our brand’s transparency in fun ways for our fans on BeReal`. Ryanair and Duolingo used the same approach with TikTok – focusing on fun and transparency. When approaching a new platform, it’s best to see what users are doing first, and experiment with how out how you can best fit in.  Chipotle joined the platform by posting a discount code giving the first 100 people who used it a free meal. They have taken the platform’s values to heart by ensuring the content they put out isn’t glossy, prioritising the lo-fi nature of the platform instead. The brand identifies with promoting raw, authentic content, by being transparent about their ingredients and the way it operates. This tactic is particularly effective with Gen Z consumers as they demand humanisation, humour and honesty from brands.  

What does it mean for other social platforms? 

Chipotle has managed to make BeReal a success because they make content that feels native to the platform. This doesn’t mean that every brand should be rushing to open a BeReal account yet. Instead, we think there are 3 key lessons that we can take from BeReal and apply to the platforms you’re already on:

  1. Put your audience first. Your brand doesn’t have to be on every platform – instead, you should pick your channels based on where your audience spends their time.   
  2. Would I engage with that? (Be honest!) So many brands create content that just sits on their channels with little or no engagement because it doesn’t appeal to their audience and the way they interact with on social. Before you join a platform, make sure that your creative strategy doesn’t revolve around broadcasting, and instead is geared towards harnessing genuine relationships with your followers.  
  3. Time to be real [sorry 😳] when it comes to creator partnerships. Some brands are particularly weak at building genuine partnerships with the creators they work with. Choose creators that genuinely fit your brand. Don’t just chase followers and prioritise long-term exclusive partnerships over one-off ads. 

One of the reasons Chipotle has been so successful when tapping into BeReal is that they add value. Ryanair and Duolingo have had a similar success on TikTok, because they think about everything through the eyes of their audience.   

If you are interested in developing your social media strategy, please get in touch!