By Sarah Moore of social media agency Eleven Lights Media.
Contrary to popular belief, Snapchat isn’t just for the teen population trying to escape their Facebook-friending parents.
As of May 2015 there were 100M active users daily and over 77% of them are above the age of 18. As well as this, Snapchat is now boasting 8M daily views equaling that of Facebook (who has a much larger user base). When you consider these statistics, it becomes clear that for the most part, Snapchat incorporates most businesses’ ideal client.
The questions I see flying around right now are – What benefit is Snapchat to me as a blogger? How do I use it effectively without wasting my time? How do you find anyone on the platform?
Essentially what people are asking is – How do I use it for business?
So if you haven’t jumped on Snapchat yet I want to share a few cold, hard facts with you before I answer the above.
1. Snapchat is not a scalable platform.
2. For the most part, the way you use Facebook or Instagram or Twitter or Pinterest can not be applied to Snapchat.
3. It’s difficult to measure ROI. Discoverability (the ability for you to find people and for people to find you) is not as simple as other platforms and really has only been opened up in the last few months with apps such as Ghostcodes.
4. You can’t really run ads on Snapchat yet unless you’ve got a lot of financial capital or at least a decent sized marketing spend ($10k is a good round figure to start with).
5. Finally, the user experience isn’t known for being super user friendly – at least initially until you find familiarity with it.
1:1 Relationship Building
That being said, Snapchat is amazing for building 1:1 relationships.
Yes, this can be time consuming but the return from this can be far more exponential than broadcasting your message elsewhere.
Consider the fact that you can message, call, respond to in-feed snaps, send video, send audio only and easily send photos all from within the app. It’s basically a comprehensive communication tool that can be used no matter what industry you’re in.
So below, I’d like to give you some tips on how you can use the platform effectively for blogging.
I know it’s on trend at the moment to talk about storytelling but the truth is, this is actually what Snapchat is great for. You have a mixture of image, video and editing capabilities that allow you to tell a story any way you like.
The reason storytelling is vital to your brand is because that’s how we as humans have communicated from the beginning of time. A story is compelling and invites the onlooker to not only discover your world but also to engage in it too in a digestible way.
If you create a fun, compelling or informative story make sure you repurpose it elsewhere. Whether it be YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or your blog, don’t let it go to waste.
I’m so passionate about repurposing because I know how busy life gets and repurposing allows you to keep pushing out content and reaching your audience without running yourself into the ground trying to be original and creative every single day.
3. Test + Measure
If you have a new blog post waiting to go out and you’re choosing between titles, consider putting it to your audience and asking them to vote for the best title.
Stringstory often talks about screenshots being the new ‘like’ of Snapchat.
With this in mind, set your audience up and let them know you need some help choosing a title and you need them to snap the one that they like best. Then use the next few snap screens to individually showcase the titles. Change the snap length to 10 seconds to give them the maximum amount of time to read and snap their choice.
Another idea is to create bit.ly links that you ONLY share with your Snapchat followers. This allows you to measure how many are coming to your website and/or blog posts from Snapchat and gives you an idea on the relevancy and return from that audience.
If you sell products or are an ecommerce store I suggest the above bit.ly method also to see your immediate ROI in relation to specific product.
4. Circular Viralocity
Bit of a mouthful, I know. But basically what this means is to use Snapchat to push people to other platforms if you have something going on there.
I watched Gary Vaynerchuk do this a lot during his #AskGaryVee book launch. He would push people to his Instagram account through Snapchat, ask them to write something that they would only know if they had come from Snapchat and they would have the chance to win a book.
What this does is further cement your community by having them see you and engage with you on multiple platforms. Without going too heavily into it, this just means that further down the track it will be easier to sell to them because they have more buy in.
5. Have fun
As cliché and abstract as this sounds, it’s actually imperative that you have fun on the platform. If you don’t, people will see right through it and write you off.
As with any platform, try to avoid being too in-your-face with sales, always give value where possible and engage when time permits so that people know it’s a two way street and not just a broadcasting tool for you.
This is probably one of the most important things you can do on this platform and in my opinion, is what Snapchat is truly designed for.
If you are not willing to engage individually it almost defeats the purpose of being on there in the first place. Because Snapchat is not particularly scalable, you are going to have the most success by interacting with the people that reach out to you.
Personally for me, this has led to ongoing business as well as overseas travel, speaking gigs and most importantly, new friendships.
I’ve reached out to influencers and had responses from them where I know I wouldn’t be able to get that on other platforms because there’s so much more noise. This is good news for those of you looking to guest blog or who have someone in mind to feature a product or engage in influencer marketing.
As with any platform you have to be consistent in order to adequately measure whether it’s working for you. Figure out what consistency looks like for you and try your best to keep to that.
I know a number of people who have thematic days or choose a theme to define the week in order to help them with their constistency. Currently Ahna Hendrix (CEO of ARCH Digital Agency) is doing this and for the past week has been creating content around the word ‘determination.’ She talks, shares quotes and songs and thoughts positioned around her theme and creates a cohesive week of thematic content.
I share this with you to encourage you to do something similar for yourself so that you don’t get too overwhelmed with creating new content all of the time. Overwhelm is a very real problem in the social media space and we want to avoid that by being organised and making it as easy for ourselves as possible.
These 7 suggestions to me, are the keys to the Snapchat kingdom and if you can master them I truly believe you will not only find success within the platform but you will grow to love creating content this way.
My final suggestion is to give it a go. Often times we let overthinking paralyze us when really we could have spent the same amount of energy just trying it in the first place.
Sarah is the CEO + Founder of Eleven Lights Media, a social media agency. If you want to connect you can find her on Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. She is everywhere (as you might expect) but these are the best ones to connect!
Sharing your experiences with images and videos are increasingly becoming important. In this era of semantic web, platforms like snapchat and instagram will eventuallly become more and more important. Great article. Thanks.
I completely agree! Thank you for reading and replying :)
I really suck at snapchat! Thank you for the article! :D
It really takes time Krysten and I think because we are lacking in that commodity it’s just been easier to avoid it.. so glad you enjoyed it. Would love to see you on SC when you start using it! :)
Snapchat is the best tool, it has so many interesting features to use.
It does! It’s a complete communication tool and I’ve done a lot of Biz Dev on there myself and secured some of my higher end clients because of it!
I am on SnapChat but I don’t know how to use it yet.
I need a tutorial from my son!
I have followed the people you mentioned in your last post about SnapChat.
I thought this would be more of a TUTORIAL type post… and am disappointed it isn’t.
I’d like to know how to use this app/platform for growing a freelance writing business. Any ideas? I’m all ears!
Leslie Samuel has a thorough tutorial on his site, http://becomeablogger.com—just do a search for “Ultimate Snapchat Tutorial” when you’re there.
Oops, sorry about that dash that messed up the link I posted.
No worries, Coco. I got it. :) Thanks!
Hi Lorraine, I’m sorry you feel disappointed that it wasn’t more of a tutorial post. Personally, I know of a number of SC tutorial posts which is why I went more with the business application.
If you’re growing a freelance writing business I suggest posting tips and tricks on the platform and even linking out with bit.ly links to more comprehensive posts. Show behind the scenes of what you do and also the real life stuff. At the end of the day, people buy you more than they buy ‘what you do’ – so find those connection points and you will start to see your regulars as your tribe builds.
Great post Sarah.
I run a digital agency like you but have resisted using Snapchat my self even though a few of our clients have given it something of a tentative effort.
I can see that it’s gathering paces a s a platform and that there can be real marketing benefits for some if it’s used well.
I’m definitely going to look into it some more. We also run a site all about Apple products and Apps so I think that will be the natural place for us to use it to get the experience beofre trialing it with clients.
I have to say I am mystified by it in a way that I’ve never experienced on other social platforms when I see my 13 year old son using it and showing me those face mapping overlays. Bonkers!
Hey Will, thanks for your comments. I do agree that the UX is a bit overwhelming for the most part and it took me a while to ‘love’ it but it really just requires time on the platform. Eventually everything that seems confusing now becomes second nature and you won’t think twice about the learning process, you will begin to think more about the storytelling aspect and the engagement.
As a digital marketing agency it’s something you will need to consider adding to your repertoire at some point and I’d be more than happy to chat with you if you wanted to flesh out that idea further.
A few of my peers in the space have incorporated this into their offering and have SC clients already so it’s definitely something that is being explored by businesses already.
Feel free to reach out if you want to discuss anything further.
Cheers Sarah – I have a teenage son to walk me through it!
I know I need to get to grips with it when wearing my ‘other hat’ for the agency I run – it’s not needed for my own content sites I don’t think.
I may well take you up on that offer.
You mentioned to be engaged and snap back. Majority of random snaps (from strangers) I get tend to be dick pics. I don’t get normal snaps. Any ideas on how to combat this?
Hi Nina, thanks so much for your comment. Unfortunately women tend to get this a little bit. I myself have only had to deal with 2! But I have friends who seem to receive them a lot more. At the end of the day you need to feel comfortable and safe using the platform and that is something only you will know.
You can always mention in your snaps that if someone doesn’t have a profile pic or doesn’t introduce themselves you will just block them if they don’t introduce themselves. It isn’t ideal but there isn’t a whole lot you can do.
I can tell you though as you build your tribe and the people who truly want your content – you will get that less and less.
Snapchat is by far the most fun social media platform for me! How cool is it that my audience can see the random things that happen during my day, and the next day learn about a new book I’m writing the instant it happens? I’m convinced Snapchat is going to be huge, maybe Facebook- and Instagram-level huge.
Brian, I love this comment! I feel very much the same. Not only that, it’s a great biz dev platform and I spend more time talking business on SC than ANY other platform. I’ve cut deals on there and set up meetings, executed meetings and networked on there. I really really love it. There is a level of transparency that helps you know a lot quicker if you’d like to deal with someone in a business capacity.
I know people who make a lot of their purchase decisions based on SC and getting to know the people behind the business too!
Good luck with your business ventures on there. What’s your handle? Would love to follow :)
Can We Download Stories from Snapchat
Sarah thanks for your article! Snapchat is so underestimated these days, that it gives great opportunities to any blogger who is finding the ways to engage more followers with Social Media. You are right, Snapchat is truly designed for engagement, especially for millennials. But it works only if the targeted group of people isn’t considered as a solid thing. For example, there are lots of articles talking about ways to engage millennials with social media. I thought that all these articles were 100% right until I’ve read this one http://www.datasciencecentral.com/profiles/blogs/big-data-millennials-on-social-media-digging-a-little-deeper . The point is millennials (as any other social group) are such a heterogeneous group that it should be divided into 5 or 6 subgroups according to different criteria. So if we don’t consider that, even Snapchat and the best tactics won’t work.