Cases & Strategies

Snapchat: How to Use

Snapchat is the social media everyone is talking about. With a fast growth, constant innovation and an average of 10 billion video views per day (!) it won’t be long until it steals Instagram’s status as a social media darling. If you have a brand or want to brand yourself on Snapchat, here is a concise, practical guide to make your life easier between swipes (and here is the 101 on the app history and tools).

How to Start: so you decide to be on Snapchat just because everyone else is there, right? Wrong! As in any social media, you need to be where your audience is. If yours is teenagers and young adults, makes perfect sense to be there, otherwise, create an account to guarantee your brand name and just observe if you are not willing to invest time on it yet. Once you are ready to go, don’t start snapping randomly. Create a content strategy first.

What to Post:  with filters, lenses, emojis and letterings to choose from, and new features every now and then, it is easy to be overwhelmed and feeling like a child on arts class. Focus on the strategy again and try to stick to certain visual patterns to build consistency.

On the other hand, Snapchat is all about spontaneity. The retouched images of Instagram don’t fit here so let your creativity flow and have fun! Behind the scenes, real-life moments, making-of, teasers and giveaways are some of the content to be explored. One of my favourite accounts is Sophia Webster, that mixes snaps of her personal life (she has an adorable daughter) with everyday life in the office. Posts include her team talking about the shoes they are wearing and some other very funny moments that feel like you are watching a mini TV series.

Speaking of TV, Snapchat has the potential to compete with the larger screen as users spend an average of 25 to 30 minutes a day on the app. Talk about engagement… This doesn’t mean you have to post videos exclusively nor that they need to be 10 minutes long (you can only record 30 seconds but can do it over and over). Sometimes, a series of pictures can work better and be more entertaining. The same applies for shorter videos: it is better to be brief and leave the audience waiting for more than being annoying and get a right swipe.

When to Post: unfortunately, Snapchat doesn’t provide metrics yet (and doesn’t allow post scheduling) so there is no way to figure what are the best times to post. The most important thing is to have constant updates. Tip: posting a few times throughout the day will keep your story at the top, instead of just posting all at once.

How to Get Followers: if you are a teenager, probably all your contact list will be at Snapchat too, but for a brand it is a bit trickier. The best way is to use other social media to promote the account, but instead of posting your Snapcode and hope for the best, put a little effort here. Add your handle or link to your profile on Instagram, Twitter etc and every now and then save your snaps and publish in them, inviting people to follow you there. Giveaways, previews and sneak peeks exclusive to Snapchat are also very good ways to get more followers. Apps like Ghostcodes offer another way to discover and be discovered.

Finally, take advantage of Geofilters and customise an event, for example. It can be really good to build brand credibility. Keep in mind that the app is growing fast but is still being uncovered and improved, which means there will be tons of things to explore in the near future!

By the way, my Snapchat is Mirela_Lacerda and I’m there almost every day posting about my favourite beauty products and life in London. See you!

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