Nick Westergaard

By Nick Westergaard on June 6, 2016

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How Snapchat Helps Humanize Brands with Carlos Gil

carlos gil on brand

“Snapchat is Twitter meets YouTube.” The meteoritic rise of this new network has left many marketers scratching their collective heads. Not Carlos Gil. An early adopter of social media from back when it was called AOL, Gil has led social teams for brands such as Winn-Dixie and LinkedIn. Today, as Global Head of Social Media for BMC Software, he’s become a leading authority on Snapchat for business speaking at events like this fall’s Social Brand Forum. I couldn’t wait to learn more on this week’s On Brand podcast.

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About Carlos Gil

Carlos Gil is the Global Head of Social Media for BMC Software. Previously, he served as Senior Social Marketing Manager for LinkedIn. His proven track record includes leading consumer-facing digital and social media programs as Social Media Manager for Winn-Dixie, where he developed strategy and led the launch of all Winn-Dixie’s social channels, social listenings, and blogger influencer program. In addition, Carlos served as the Head of Digital Marketing for Save-A-Lot food stories. A true digital native, Carlos maintains an active presence on Twitter, Snapchat, and YouTube in addition to speaking at industry conferences.

Episode Highlights

How does one become a leading authority on Snapchat? “I’ve been on social media since 1995 when it was called AOL! In 2008, I was laid off by AIG. That same day I created my LinkedIn profile. From there, I started experimenting with how Facebook and other social networks could be used to connect and sell.” In marketing, it pays to be an early adopter.

“I like to say that Snapchat is Twitter meets YouTube,” notes Gil. “The content is primarily video based but it disappears 24 hours later. It’s like Twitter because it’s short form — it’s the ‘no BS’ social network. But with higher engagement.”

Why is engagement higher on Snapchat? “That time stamp forces users to go back and see. Plus people show themselves in a very human form. It’s not indexed by Google. It’ll disappear. As Facebook has grown people have gotten very careful with what they post.”

Does everything we’ve learned about social media go out the window with Snapchat? “No. It’s just different. Outside the box. The content is all native to Snapchat. It’s more than an image or video from your agency. It’s about humanizing your brand and building community. Remember, most aren’t going to Snapchat to follow your brand.”

How to get started with Snapchat. “Download the app and go to ‘add friends.’ Then have Snapchat parse your contacts and find people using it. It’s okay to be a lurker. For most of 2014 I didn’t post any content. There’s no right or wrong way to do Snapchat.”

What’s one thing Carlos has his eye on down the road? “Keep an eye on Snapchat advanced analytics and advertising. Taking things to the next level with targeted audiences and more. Also, augmented reality.” Currently Snapchat is the only social network where you can overlay something onto your video. “We’re just scratching the surface with Snapchat.”

What brand has made Carlos smile recently? “Kohl’s. Have you seen the Chewbacca Mom?” Carlos is a huge fan of how the brand responded to this popular Facebook Live video (below).

To learn more, add ‘thecarlosgil’ on Snapchat and CarlosGilTV on YouTube.

As We Wrap …

Before we go, I want to flip the microphone around to our community …
This week I want to give a shout out to my friends at Sprout Social who let me host a recent #SproutChat on Twitter about how to #GetScrappy with your digital marketing.

Did you hear something you liked on this episode or another? Do you have a question you’d like our guests to answer? Let me know on Twitter using the hashtag #OnBrandPodcast and you may just hear your thoughts here on the show.

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!




Nick Westergaard
Email Brand Driven Digital

is a strategist, speaker, educator, and author of Get Scrappy: Smarter Digital Marketing for Businesses Big and Small. He is the Chief Brand Strategist at Brand Driven Digital, where he helps build better brands online. He also teaches at the University of Iowa and is host of the On Brand podcast. More about Nick.


1 comments
sprout_sarah
sprout_sarah

Thanks for the #Sproutchat shoutout, Nick! Pleasure was all ours. 


Love the conversation on Snapchat. So interesting how it's quickly become a main player in the space.


You have a great podcast voice, by the way! :)