FACT: Snapchat is growing rapidly in the UK with almost 10m Brits using the photo messaging app every day. For any business owner that should read as 10 million daily opportunities to build awareness about what you do.
Imran Khan, Snapchat’s chief strategy officer, said;
“Advertisers in the UK from Burberry to KFC had already begun to experiment with the app, Mr Khan said. Coca-Cola UK created a national geo-filter — which people can apply to their photo messages — which was viewed 70m times in one day.” – via FT.
If you want to engage with a core audience of 18-25 year olds – why aren’t you already using Snapchat??
Also, an older audience is growing too with the FT stating that over 40% of recent signups have come from users 25 and older.
So what can Snapchat do for your business?
Why Snapchat Builds a Killer Loyal Audience
I know – it’s just for kids, isn’t it? Or perhaps for adults, but in a rude way that’s definitely not suitable for work…
That’s what I thought about Snapchat, so I didn’t give it a second thought. That is, until around 6 months ago, when I first found out about Stories. I mean the Snapchat kind, not just telling a tale. I’m not quite that out of touch…
Since then, I’ve been experimenting with the platform in every way possible. And, do you know what? It’s for everyone! For the first time since Facebook became the dominant social medium, it’s been unseated in popularity. Snapchat is now more popular than Facebook for under 24s.
The thing is, not only is there a huge audience there, but it has the potential to engage at a higher level than almost anything else. You can build trust, loyalty and fanatical fans, and all of that is great news for your content. Loyal fans are regular readers and prolific sharers after all. So, how does it work? If you’re under 24, you probably don’t need me to tell you. But if you’re an ancient 30-something, like me, let’s take a look…
What’s Snapchat Good At?
In a lot of ways, Snapchat has really similar benefits to my own favourite subject: Podcasting.
I see the power of podcasting as honest engagement multiplied by attention. You project your honest, transparent personality through the airwaves, listeners engage with that and, because of the context (consume alongside other activities), they listen for a long, long time. This builds trust and loyalty, which naturally encourages them to read your content on a regular basis.
Snapchat is similar, to me, in two ways.
The Transparent Life
First, it does transparency so well. This is honest storytelling at its best. You can watch filmstars snapping about driving their kids to school, or business tycoons showing off their favourite little Italian restaurant. You get a real insight into their lives.
Similar to podcasting, that polarises people. But, it creates rabid fans. Some people wont like you, but others will LOVE you. Personality, honesty, transparency creates that divide, but that’s exactly what you want. So much better than a chorus of “Meh….”
Save your Snapchat stories and revisit them. Look over how you might want to improve them and share them on different social platforms to help you start growing. But…
Before you Start Growing, Start Showing (The Love!)
This goes for almost any medium, but even more so for Snapchat. Take care of the audience you already have first. Show them some love. There are a couple of good reasons for this.
First – and pretty obviously – if you want to guide followers from Snapchat to your blog, you need their trust. That requires really nurturing the relationship, building engagement along the way. It’s often easy to get lost in the race to find new followers and forget the reason you’re looking for an audience in the first place.
Second, looking now at growth, Snapchat is a word-of-mouth medium. There’s no directory in the app, no search-by-interest, so your existing audience is one of your best sources of new followers. This, again, is something that’s based on trust, on building proper relationships with those that follow you. Once they trust you, once they’re fans of your work, THEN they’ll refer you to their own audience.
So, how do we build that relationship?
Question the People!
Every time someone follows you, you’ve got a golden opportunity to get talking. When you see that yellow-backed ghost at the top that signifies a follow, just click into the ‘Added me’ list and follow them back. Then pop over to your Chat window and refresh it. You’ll see those new followers at the top of the list, all signified by a cute little ‘new follower’ baby emoji.
It’s easy, now, to send a quick: “Hey, thanks for following me! I’m interested to know, what’s keeping you busy right now?” Record it as a video, and send it to all of your new followers at the same time. It takes about 30 seconds in total once you’ve practised the process.
I’ve had some amazing responses to that, and it’s started many a conversation that’s led to far more than just a new fan. Talking of which…
Take it Over
A great way to build further trust and credibility is to ask your current followers to shout you out. Do it for a few of them in your story, and you’ll soon find them reciprocating. Or, just make the ask: “Hey, if you enjoy my story, I’d love it if you could shout out my snapcode on your channel.” If you’re doing good content, that works surprisingly well.
Of course, not only does this build trust, but it grows your following at a rapid rate.
But, the next level is a full takeover. A Snapchat takeover is when someone sends over their login details, and you contribute directly to their story for a set time. It’s brilliant fun! You get to speak to a new audience, show them a bit of what you do, and hopefully gain a good percentage of their followers as a result.
You can do this as a swap with people that you follow yourself, people that you know have their own engaged audience. If your niche overlaps in any way, then the results can be fantastic.
Airbnb did just that with great results. Their takeover sessions are now becoming common practice, through which online influencers with an existing engaged audience are helping brands to increase their audience and build new connections on Snapchat – you could do the same too!
Show Them Off
I have one final tip that not only builds loyalty, but makes for more engaging stories. It’s a method that’s emerged thanks to the new Snapchat Memories feature.
Memories is a big move by Snapchat to move away from it’s historic ‘time limited’ approach. In the past, the fact that images and videos only hang around for a short time has been a big USP for Snapchat. But, there’s no doubt that’s also held back wider use by businesses or even casual users that want to store their creations.
Memories changes everything. You can now store and reuse snaps much more easily. Most importantly, it allows you to insert external images into your story; something that has never been possible before.
This is a huge audience engagement opportunity, because it means that you can share your community’s responses.
Say you run a contest, asking your readers to show how they’re enjoying the current heatwave. You can share the best responses back out to your story, allowing the community to get to know each other. This is really powerful, showing a lot of love to those winners, and encouraging others to get more involved.
I know a lot of you are still on the fence. Snapchat comes with a LOT of baggage, but the traction they’ve achieved is undeniable.
For what it’s worth, I’ve seen more engagement, more loyalty and more feedback on my content through Snapchat than ANY other social platform so far. If you want a demo of what it can do, and how I go about it, I’d love you to follow me over there.
Whatever you do, though, at least download the app and start experimenting. Keep it private initially, just a friend or two, but get to know the platform. Once you see what’s going on in there, I’d wager you’ll be hooked!
7 Creative Snapchat Tips to Improve Your Stories
Wondering how to sustain engagement with Snapchat users?
Looking for ways to improve your Snapchat stories?
By trying these tactics, you’ll keep your Snapchat fans engaged and coming back for more.
In this article, you’ll discover seven ways to keep people engaged with your Snapchat stories.
#1: Keep Their Eyes Moving
Talking-head videos get boring after a few snaps, so constantly switch things up to keep viewers engaged. Snapchat gives you 10 seconds for a reason, so don’t break the rules by having 5-minute videos from the same angle made from 30 snaps.
Sure, you can go multiple snaps in a row to get your point across and tell a story. In fact, you should do this. However, mix it up with some short photos, filters, different angles, different settings, or show something with the back-facing camera. It’s not hard to do and makes all the difference.
#2: Get Creative and Play With Filters
Snapchat is a creative person’s dream. There are so many different things you can do with it. You can use emojis, 3D stickers, text, a pen tool, filters, geofilters, and so on. You really can go nuts. Use each of these creative tools in your next story, as they’re easy to add and can make a big impact.
Check out this article to get five beginner and five pro tutorials on how to use these creative tools.
#3: Keep Your Snaps Snappy
Ten seconds doesn’t sound like a lot, but on Snapchat, it is. You don’t need to show every snap in your story for 10 seconds. With photos especially, the human brain is quick; it doesn’t need 10 seconds to process a photo. If your story is entirely that, people will begin tapping to skip, and eventually they’ll drop off.
Use shorter videos and photos to quicken the pace of your story to keep it more engaging.
#4: Tease ‘Em
Try to create intrigue about your story right from your opening snap. To motivate youraudience to keep watching, tell people immediately if something interesting, useful, or entertaining is coming up. If your story isn’t hinting at least one of these three criteria, people will swipe to the next story.
Be prepared for strangers to stumble across your story. If that first snap is just you making morning coffee, they may not stick around to find out more.
Bonus tip: Use an interesting last snap thumbnail. The tiny circular thumbnail of your story always shows your last snap, so make it intriguing! I’ve watched entire 10-minute stories just to find out what that last snap was all about. You’ll likely get more views on the entire story if that last snap looks interesting, as opposed to just a talking head or selfie.