BeReal is a platform that has gained popularity this year, but should brands be adding it to their social media strategy? Keep reading to find out why this may or may not be a good idea.
With 10+ million daily active users, BeReal is a social platform that is growing in popularity by the day. The premise? You must show who you are at a moment’s notice when the notification goes off. No filters, no hashtags, no edits – the idea is to… be real.
Widely accepted among younger generations, primarily Gen Z (born between 1997 – 2012), this social platform allows users to share snapshots of their day using their front and back cameras at the same time, while also seeing images from their friends or the public on the discover feed. The catch is that the only way to see the images of others is to take one yourself.
As a brand, you might be wondering if there is any point to having a presence on the platform, especially since it currently doesn’t have advertising options. And while the choice ultimately comes down to your brand’s identity and audience, it can be an important conversation to have within your social media strategy, especially when you consider the popularity of the platform and the audience who engages on it.
The Rise in BeReal Popularity
BeReal launched in 2020, but it didn’t obtain much attention until this year, 2022. In January 2021, it received around 10,000 daily active users, and in about a year, it jumped to 2 million. On an upwards trajectory, it has now reached over 10 million active users and as of September 2022, it has been installed over 28 million times. This growth is incredible and is reflective of what the young generation is seeking – authenticity.
There are not a lot of brands currently on the platform, but this can (and likely will) change. A prominent participant is the food chain Chipotle. Recently, when the BeReal notification went off, which can happen at any point of the day, they snapped a picture of their food bag with a promo code for the first 100 people to receive a free entrée.
It is important to keep in mind that according to BeReal’s Terms, you cannot use the platform for “advertising or commercial purposes” and this includes collecting information or data from the content and users without permission. However, there can be room for brands to make a presence for themselves on the platform, which can naturally create more brand attention without violating policies.
Gen Z Wants Authentic Content from Brands
The majority of digital natives can see right through overly produced, unauthentic content from brands. Advertising that seems too pushy or scripted can push many away, particularly younger generations. This is why 82% of those within the Gen Z generation say they have higher trust for brands that use real customers within advertisements. And while being authentic, they want brands to be fun, especially since 65% of Gen Zers use the internet for entertainment.
A Word of Caution
The platform’s name and its intention align, as it is all about posting and consuming real content. Users gravitate toward the platform for authenticity, which can often lack in other social media platforms where there are advertisements, filtered images, and content that many can never truly confirm is real or not. Without a clear plan in place, brands on BeReal could go against the intention of the platform, which can shine a negative light on the brand.
It is important to proceed carefully if you do decide to post on the platform, as you want the images you share to be organic while giving users insight into your brand.
Sharing Behind-the-Scenes Images
Creating “behind-the-scenes” content is all about being unfiltered and unscripted. For brands, this can be about removing the high production behind their content and advertisements and showcasing a more natural, human side. This type of content can add to a brand’s identity, which contributes to its overall storytelling strategy. In turn, this creates a stronger relationship with current and prospective customers and a greater customer experience.
In the context of BeReal, you can’t typically plan what content you will share, as the notification to take the picture can be at any time and you only have two minutes to take it. However, posting when you can and sharing content that your audience may not typically see can provide a cool, entertaining way to engage them. If the notification goes off during a meeting, for example, seeing the people behind the brand can be very appealing to your audience.
By removing the high production quality and flashy copy, brands can better showcase who they are, which can allow customers to feel closer. This can be a major benefit since 73% of consumers are willing to pay more for products if they love the brand. Cultivating this “love” in a way that remains authentic is key, and BeReal could be a stepping stone to get there.
Other Social Media Platforms Following in BeReal’s Footsteps
One of the factors that makes BeReal stand out is the dual camera feature that allows users to show what’s going on behind and in front of the camera at the same time. Instagram recently released this same dual camera feature when shooting Reels or adding to your Story. Similarly, Snapchat has also implemented a dual camera option.
TikTok, which is also a platform that has gained immense popularity over the last couple of years, has launched ‘TikTok Now’ that follows a similar idea to BeReal, where users have two minutes to post a picture or video (with a dual camera) in order to see what others are posting. With many brands already on TikTok, exploring this new feature could be an additional way to share content on the platform. TikTok Now is also available as a stand-alone app.
If you decide not to use BeReal for your brand, incorporating a BeReal vibe into your social media content by using a dual camera to share content can still be a good way to appear on-trend. A fun example of this is from Trident Gum and Sour Patch Kids, where they used a BeReal picture design to share a product.
This new way of capturing content on BeReal is increasingly popular, especially since the features are being replicated on almost all of the widely used social platforms. Determining if your brand should take part first comes down to determining if your target audience is using the platform. If they are, planning out what type of content you would like to share on the platform and ensuring it remains authentic is key. Plus, you only need to post once a day, which can help keep your content “in the moment” and require less time out of your day to engage.