SYDNEY: Brands need to tread carefully on Snapchat, where Australian influencers are largely welcoming of their presence as long as they don't push their message too hard.

Influencer marketing agency Social Soup surveyed Australian 1,221 users from its panel of more than 165,000 influencers and found that two thirds (66%) wanted brands to create geofilters, so they could integrate them into their stories.

A similar proportion (64%) were able to cite a brand they had created a Snapchat story around – an indication of the potential value of these influencers for brands.

Just under a quarter (24%) said they would prefer to see no brands using the platform, Campaign Brief reported.

As to the type of content they felt brands should be creating, respondents said it should be relaxed in tone, non-commercial in its messaging and consistent.

The unique feature of Snapchat – that content disappears after 24 hours – is not necessarily a problem, according to Sharyn Smith, CEO of Social Soup, who argued that "it's more like a real life conversation meaning you pay more attention to it.

"The ephemerality plays well for brands," she added, "but users have made it clear they don't want them to overtly commercialise the platform with their content which is a warning all should heed."

Nor are they keen to see the platform politicised – Australia's Liberal Party came in for criticism last week for doing just that.

"People don't want brands to upload a promotional message to be pushed and that's exactly what the Liberal filter did," Smith told AdNews.

"There was the opportunity for the Liberals to have fun with an element of the election such as the sausage sizzle, but instead they did a boring box and it failed for them,"

Social Soup's research also revealed that Snapchat is no longer the preserve of younger users; while two thirds of 18-24 year-olds said they were never off it, more than half of those aged 35 and up said they also used it a couple of times a day.

Warc is running a webinar on using Snapchat  on July 21. Readers can sign up here: How to build brand trust with Snapchat. A Guide to advertising on Snapchat is also available.

Data sourced from Campaign Brief, Ad News; additional content by Warc staff