How To Use BeReal to… Be Real

Have you heard of BeReal? Their mission has been to be the antidote to traditional social media. No influencers, no filters, no likes and – most importantly – no ads. In an era of filters and even AI images, BeReal encourages its users to be authentic and real, instead of trying to present their best selves.

What is it?

BeReal describes itself as “a new and unique way to discover who your friends really are in their daily life”. Every day at a different time, everyone on the platform will receive a two minute warning that it is “Time to BeReal”. When this happens, everyone is encouraged to take a photo of whatever they are doing in that moment by taking a photos from the back and front cameras of your phone – with no opportunity to pose for the perfect selfie. Your BeReal friends will see the photos, and will also be notified if your post is late.

The app has been around since 2020 but experienced 315% growth in Q1 2022, with around 7.5 million downloads causing it to rank 4th by downloads in the US, UK and France.

Should brands be on it?

As with any new social media platform, marketers will immediately be asking how they can take advantage of it. In the case of BeReal, the lack of ads and the requirement to build mutual connections could cause a challenge. But is there still an opportunity?

e.l.f beauty was an early adopter and joined BeReal with a bang by offering its first 150 followers an exclusive code to receive a free travel kit from its new skin-care collection. Laurie Lam, E.l.f.’s chief brand officer, said, “the objective was very simple: Create a space where our fans can see this unfiltered, authentic e.l.f. life.” They aim to use the platform to build authentic connections with customers, sharing behind-the-scenes stuff, new product launches and sneak peaks. More brands have followed and joined the ‘hype’ because they want exposure and BeReal is the way to do it.

But to be successful, brands are really going to have to embrace the unique approach of the platform, which may be a significant time investment. Is it worth it? It depends who you are trying to reach. According to GWI, 80% of the UK population have never heard about the app before. But it very much depends on your target audience — 16% of respondents aged 16 to 24 were on the app, compared to 5% of people aged 25 to 44 and 2% of people over 45.

⚠️ Time to BeReal? ⚠️

Whether or not you choose to join BeReal, there is perhaps a learning here for all of us. Brands can be inspired by the platform’s idea of life without filters, and start showing a more authentic side to build real connections, particularly with younger generations who are increasingly looking for a more personal touch. How about giving behind-the-scenes sneak peeks, showing the people behind the company and building a real community around your brand?

Social media has always been about building relationships, and the rise of BeReal suggests this is unlikely to change anytime soon.

Will you be giving it a go?

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