Introduction - brand following on Snapchat
The first time I used Snapchat, the words "generation gap" painfully sprang to mind. Nothing was intuitive and I found myself googling basic features, not understanding how to upload an image or who sees it. Apparently that's intentional - Snapchat's "user-unfriendly" interface is intended to make you feel old. It's an app for teens, and as that it hides an opportunity. With over 60% of Americans between the ages of 13 and 38 (most under the age of 24) these eager Snapchatters generate more daily views than Facebook! So if your buyer personas are within that age group, read Snapchat's "getting strated" instructions and then dive in to these 15 quick tips to help you create a brand following on Snapchat.
1. Promote your profile on other channels
Spread the word about your brand's profile and invite people to follow you on:
- other social networks where you are already present
- email signature
2. Make it easy to follow you by using your Snapcode
This is code that users can scan and follow your effortlessly. To find your code:
- open Snapchat
- click the ghost icon at the top of the screen
- click on your profile pic
- take a screenshot of your code
Your potential followers already know this but FYI, in order to follow a user using snapcodes, take a screenshot of their code --> click on "add friends"--> "add by snapcode" --> choose the screenshot from your image library.
3. Be authentic
Snapchat users are looking for the real deal. They don't want photoshopped images and edited videos. They're interested in what's truly happening, uncensored, uncut. Be prepared to provide that by sharing behind the scenes videos, and day to day images in order to gain your followers respect and engagement.
4. Publish exclusive product sneak peeks
Snapchat content has a short life span. Create a sense of secrecy by adding sneak peeks to new upcoming products. Your Snapchat following should provide a members only experience and a sense of elusiveness. Here's a great example from McDonalds:
5. Give out exclusive coupons
Provide your Snapchat followers with member perks such as coupons and freebies. Be sure to create a sense of urgency. Look at this great example by OAK - "think and you'll miss it".
6. Conduct contests
Create contests encouraging people to create snaps that include your brand. If you have an offline location, you can set up images that must be included in snaps in order to participate. Online you can still get people to take selfies with a website image of yours or an offline representation of your brand. You can use Snapchat stories to explain how the contest works. You can even combine between two social networks as in this great example:
Consider this: Try to leverage contests to associate your brand with a trigger. if you create cues that will make people think about your brand when stumbling upon something that's around them in their natural habitat - you've created grounds for virality. Checkout these examples of triggers used in marketing and then think how you can leverage contests to create your own.
7. Create short videos with tips and useful info
As with any other channel, make sure you are providing value and educating your followers. When on Snapchat your followers are in an impatient state of mind so make sure to cut to the point or else you will lose their attention.
8. Use your followers content in your stories
People love to see themselves and get credit. Include your followers' content within your stories to boost your engagement and grow your following.
9. Get your entire team on board
Encourage your team to contribute, spread the word and engage.
10. Keep your stories no longer than 90 seconds
11. Keep your videos no longer than 60 seconds
Notice a trending topic that can be tied down to your content? Snap about it. Make sure to do so within this timeframe:
13. Follow other brands to get inspired
Here are some recommended brands to follow:
- Taco Bell - @tacobell
- Karmaloop - @karmaloop.com
- DJ Khaled - @djkhaled305
- General Electric - @generalelectric
- The New York Times - @thenytimes
- Domino's Pizza UK - @DOMINOS_UK
- The Ellen Show - @ellen
- Amazon.com - @amazon
- Marriot Hotels - @marriotthotels
14. Reach out to influencers
Find the influencers in your industry, follow them, reach out to them, invite them to follow you and try to cooperate with them. Mind that these guys are getting approached constantly, so make sure to offer something of value to them in order to get them on board. Don't be discouraged if you hear "no". That no could at some stage turn into a yes, and in any case, judging by results, not trying is as good as getting turned down yet you're raising the chances of hearing a "yes" by trying.
15. Evaluate your response rate
Check what content performs better among your followers.
Note that this evaluation needs to happen within a 24 hour timeframe after sharing your story's first snap. You can track this by clicking on "see who viewed my story"
Snapchat can be intimidating at first yet if you're willing to be authentic and creative, there's great potential there that's worth exploring.