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Is Yik Yak Actually Good For Marketing?

Steven Skunberg
Feb 25, 2015 · 4 min read

In the past 6 months Yik Yak has been exploding in the college demographic. For those who don’t know, Yik Yak is a app that allows you to post on a local chat board anonymously. It has a voting system very similar to Reddit and anything deemed “not cool” instantly gets down-voted to hell. The question on a lot of people’s mind is, “Can I use this to promote my business?”

The Answer Is Yes

Over the last few months I’ve been playing with the app and testing its potential by promoting random local businesses around my house. I’ve promoted restaurants, gyms, bars, and even a strip club. I’m going to share a couple of the key insights that I’ve discovered on Yik Yak for promoting a brand.

Ask Questions That People Actually Want To Engage With.

“What 3 items would you grab and take to the register to freak out the cashier at Walmart?”

“I need a public place to break up with my crazy girlfriend, Any Ideas?”

“Need to impress my mom for Mother’s Day so I can take less heat for failing 2 classes. What should I do!?!?

All three of these scenarios evoke viewers to make a creative response that leads to up-votes or ultimately Yakarma. (Yakarma is the exact same thing as Reddit kara, points you get from people up-voting your comments and post.) Study how theYik Yak in your area behaves because the second your content gets out of context your dead. To gain some brand recognition you could include your brand in the question, as I demonstrated in the Walmart question. You could also ask a question that leads up to a clever answer about your brand or business, as I show in the other two questions. The best part is that your answer about your brand has context because of the question it’s responding to. As Gary Vaynerchuk, the social media powerhouse, has mentioned many times before “Content Is King, But Context Is God.” Don’t be afraid to fail, the beauty of Yik Yak is that it is anonymous, use that to your advantage.

Creatively Comment

“Hallmark Party Invitations, Bleach , and an Ice Cube tray.”

“Take her to Chipotle, that way after you break up with her she can sleep it off on a full stomach.”

“Get the puppy roses from 1800-flowers, works on my mom every time !!”

You can literally get 2 smart phones and be the person that responds to your yak. And the person who responds to that person, and also the person responding to that person. YOU CAN CONTROL THE CONVERSATION & YOU CONTROL WHAT IS THE RIGHT CONTEXT. This is a huge feature in Yik Yak that needs as much exploring as possible. You could also make an answer that comes off as “marketing” more acceptable by agreeing with it from the perspective of another “Yaker”.

Make People Laugh.

“To the girls at LA Fitness that wear yoga pants, THANK YOU!! It’s the only reason I’ve lost so much weight this year!”

“Nothing beats hearing “WELCOME TO MOE’S” screamed at you like you’re an important mother fucker. Damn, I’m really high.”

“Drake, the type of dude to wrap the chord around his finger.”

This concept is simple. Make stuff that’s going to entertain people by appealing to their sense of humor. For me it is appealing students at KSU. Who are your Yaks appealing too? (Hint: notice how every Yak had a brand in it)

Relate To Something Local.

“KSU Wifi is absolutely the worst, I guess ill be spending the rest of my studying hours at Starbucks.”

“To the gorgeous blonde girl with the pink North Face jacket at the commons today, I really wanted to talk to you but didn’t have the nerves.”

“CVS Pharmacist: “Why do you think you need a Plan B?” Me: “Because there is an egg hunt going on where there shouldn’t be.”

The best part about Yik Yak is that you know that everyone lives within your area. That means there’s a good chance when you talk about that hot waitress at Guston’s they’ll know exactly who your talking about. Or maybe they can relate when you complain about all the construction going on around the McDonalds on Bells Ferry Road. Use this factor to help appeal to your local demographic.


The truth is, people do not mind seeing your business’s name on Yik Yak. Only thing that bothers them is if you are trying to sell them something. Use creativity in your Yaks to actually entertain people, because when you do they won’t mind seeing your business at all. I’m not saying Yik Yak is necessarily the best Social Media out there, but there is definitely a lot of people giving their attention to it and if you don’t respect their attention they wont respect you. So pay close attention to that little Yak and remember the culture of Yik Yak is completely different depending on what area you are in. The best way to understand it is to hop right in and start Yaking.

By: Steven Skunberg

Twitter: @stevenskunberg

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