Nick Cicero is the CEO and founder of Delmondo, which is an innovative Snapchat analytics and influencer company. In a recent two-part interview with Lisa Buyer, he shared some of his experiences, tips, and hacks when using Snapchat for marketing purposes. It appears that 2016 is indeed the year for including Snapchat in your social media toolbox, so if you are still struggling to understand how to best use this platform these thoughts from Nick will be very beneficial.
As social media platforms tend to have peak years of growth, Snapchat is now beginning to take off in many age groups and for purposes other than just personal storytelling. Many more people are joining up and using Snapchat every single day, which means that brands are starting to pay attention and find ways to include themselves on the platform.
Nick says that brands are using Snapchat in one of two ways. Some brands are choosing to go the paid media route, which means they sign up for Snapchat’s commercial ad platforms. This includes using the branded geofilters that Snapchat offers or video ads. Brands can also just start their own accounts and create original content to post for their audience. They’re also being innovative with ideas on how to feature their brand through Snapchat. For example, some brands will go to an event that they’ve sponsored and create stories that let people behind the scenes. There are many different options for how a brand can tell a fun and engaging story.
Influencer Takeover of Snapchat Accounts
So far, one really effective strategy for brands has been to have influencers take over their Snapchat accounts. This continues to be a good strategy as discoverability can be a difficult thing due to the way Snapchat operates. Using this method gives a brand a personal element which allows the stories to be discoverable, helping to build a bigger audience.
Snapchat is built so that viewers have to actually click in order to open up and view a story. This makes for a place to create really unique content, and takeovers allow for brands to stand out even more. After using other social platforms like Facebook and Instagram, Snapchat users are acclimated to the trend of more brands in their feeds. However, Snapchat is an entirely unique platform that challenges brands to find new ways to succeed.
Making a Successful Brand Presence
Snapchat is a space where friends share photos with each other in a fun and engaging way. Brands are going to best create a sustained presence by understanding how users perceive and enjoy the platform. Nick says that brands need to make sure they are creating stories that are meaningful, then watch to see if the way they are communicating matures and grows in the way they hope it will. You need to be unique enough to stand out and build an audience.
An easy way to get your employees involved in the company Snapchat account is to have several employees tell their own stories about one thing throughout one 24-hour period. This gives an interesting voice to the brand, with unique perspectives that will intrigue your audience. Nick says that Snapchat is really “…just as simple as sharing a point of view.”
Nick’s Advice to Social Media Managers
When it comes to which platforms social media managers should use, Nick says that they should be familiar with all of the platforms but not use them all for each client. In order to create balance and avoid social media burnout, managers should analyze their clients’ needs and brand personalities, then pair it with a couple or a few specific platforms.
Nick recommends that managers “…find out what’s evolving and start there.” You need to find the platforms where you can create the best content that will evoke the best reaction, and then put all of your energy into those platforms. Take the time to experiment, measure your results, and fine tune your strategies.
Snapchat Analytics: How do you measure with Snapchat?
While Snapchat is a unique platform that utilizes a minimalist, mobile-only platform, there are ways to analyze and measure for optimization. Nick says that the analytics are all in the storytelling. He says, “When you create content as a person, or as a brand, or whoever, you’re telling really awesome stories. It’s like the beginning and the end of a book that has chapters all along the way.”
Since the essence of Snapchat is to tell stories, brands can gauge the engagement level of their audience through how often their stories are actually viewed. You also should find out when your particular audience is on Snapchat the most and then maximize that for your brand’s benefit.
Formulas for Creating Brand Stories
When asked about how brands can best create an effective and engaging story on Snapchat, he offers some tips and hacks for creating unique content. Snapchat stories give you a 24-hour window to post content, during which you can post as many different snaps as you want. It creates a natural story to your day, allowing viewers to watch from beginning to end in a natural progression.
- Post over a 24-hour window, while spreading your stories out. We already naturally tend to do this, as we share different pieces of our daily experiences as they happen.
- Share your story all at once, to make sure that people see it in the way you want them to. Turn your phone’s airplane mode on. This now allows you to create a bunch of snaps and then upload them all together so people see the story from start to finish. This can be time consuming, maybe taking an hour or two to put together, but then you have total control over how it uploads and how people see it.
Other Snapchat Tips and Hacks
- Native Only! There aren’t any third party apps to post to Snapchat, so you have to create native content.
- Phone to Phone. You can take video of a story with another phone. As long as the video is decent quality, you can hear it, and it’s informative, people don’t mind so much if it’s not perfect.
- Add Tunes. One cool hack is to open up Spotify, play a song, open up snapchat and hit record to make your video. The music gets recorded in your Snapchat video, which is a fun way to add a unique element to your stories.
- Download and Upload. To get Snapchat followers through other platforms and through search engines, download your stories and post them to your other social media accounts, on your website, and in your blog. Slinger is a great application that helps you do this smoothly.
- Snaps Drive Search. Snapchat can drive searches. If you include something in your snap, people will go search for it in the web. Though there’s not the ability to post a link in Snapchat, so it’s hard to track the searches and connections.
- Quality over Quantity. One tip for analytics is to looks at consumption over followers. You can have a lot of followers, but if they’re not watching your stories it’s not useful. You can easily go see all of your views. Don’t over-post. If you’re a beginner, stick to 5-12 snaps per day. See how many people are watching and if they’re not viewing all of them, cut back. Always emphasize quality over quantity.
- Be Consistent. You don’t need to create stories every day, you just need to be consistent. You need to find a unique voice for your brand, which might be different from what users are posting. Create a channel strategy, for example, plan to share an interesting story every Monday, and then promote it the days leading up – make it good.
- Try it All! Social media platforms are still under development, so a lot of people are trying many different things. Read ideas from different kinds of experts so you can create a strategy that is unique and engaging to your specific audience.
For more great ideas on how to maximize your brand strategy through Snapchat, follow Nick Cicero on Twitter: @nickcicero and on Snapchat: @nickcicero. Follow Lisa Buyer on Snapchat for thoughts on social media strategies @lisabuyer. Snapchat is a social media frontier, so continue to try new ways to tell your story, and keep on snapping!
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