Every day, Softway’s 200+ people are constantly asking one very important question: What’s possible for our clients?

But in early 2016, we had to ask a different question: What’s possible for us? After one of our employees shared a light bulb moment, we decided to put the full weight of our agency behind a single, promising idea. One that would ultimately change the way users engage with one of the world’s most popular social media platforms, but more immediately, one that would change the way we saw ourselves.

It was official. We had become our own client—and we were on the brink of something truly brilliant: GhostCodes.



GhostCodes is a companion app to Snapchat that
helps users find people and brands to follow
(no discovery features exist inside Snapchat).


The opportunity: Expanding potential for branded marketing on Snapchat

With the recent explosion of users on Snapchat, marketers and business execs are scrambling to take full advantage of Snapchat and its potential for brands. The truth is, without brands, there is no future for Snapchat, and further, brands won’t invest in Snapchat until they can be assured they can be found and followed with ease.

So how do you find people or brands to follow on Snapchat?

This was the challenge that started it all. With no discovery feature built into SnapChat, we set out to create GhostCodes as a companion app that would allow users to find people and brands to follow that share their interests.

Using influencer marketing on GhostCodes

Influencer marketing is the alignment of brands with digital endorsements from real people (the influencers) who are trusted and followed on social media. It’s a simple idea, but it takes immense expertise and resources to make it work. With GhostCodes, all Snapchat users—including influencers—are able to showcase their Snapchat personalities in a more targeted way than ever before.


The strategy: Making our mark

The idea behind GhostCodes was so simple: make it possible for users to easily find people to follow on Snapchat. With experience in the social media space developing content for brands, coupled with our influencer marketing expertise, we delved headfirst into the idea that Snapchat could be a better place for influencers to find brands, brands to find influencers, and for Snapchatters to build an influencer following of their own.

We had the people. We had the plan. Now, all we had to do was move fast. Really fast.

The execution: Hitting the ground running

The race was on. Every Softway team member was asked to be a part of incubating, building, and marketing a Softway product totally in-house. To make it happen, we followed a process that embraced our company values. We push you, but we don’t let you struggle. Have courage. Speak up. Challenge everything. The same mantras that drive our day-to-day business were put to the test. The main difference was that this time, we were building something straight from the hearts and minds of our people.


The result: GhostCodes becomes a phenomenon

The GhostCodes beta launched at SXSW 2016, grabbing the attention of techies and Snapchatters from around the world. At the festival, Softway’s Directors of Social Strategy and co-founders of GhostCodes, Frank Danna and Hunter Harrison, were featured and interviewed by Mazda as part of their Driven to Inspire SXSW video.

“Our goal was to help people find and follow the best Snapchatters on the planet,” said Danna. “That’s why GhostCodes had to launch at SXSW.”

Between the beta in mid-March 2016 to Summer 2016, the Softway office has been GhostCodes crazy. The user growth has been unstoppable, and the customer reviews and feedback have been inspiring and motivational.

What it all means for Softway

We now have a successful product that is quickly developing into a new line of business for our agency. But with it comes something even more valuable: lessons learned, pride garnered, and a fundamental shift in the way we work together.

GhostCodes is ours—an app all our own with countless users relying on us to release new features, to support the existing platform, and to keep showcasing the best and brightest talent on Snapchat. We continue to set goals for the product, and more importantly, we’re collaborating regularly to ensure that as success grows—so do the possibilities.


Download GhostCodes

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Visit ghostcodes.com