Snapchat: how to grow your community?
Alexandre Oudart / 23 October 2018
Increasing your followers on Snapchat can be trciky compared to social networks like Instagram or Twitter.
Increasing your community on Snapchat is a real question. Snapchat is THE social network of the moment, and its meteoric success seems to hold the distance. If its use by millennials is obvious, it is much less so for marketing professionals who are facing serious difficulties to easily increase their subscribers on Snapchat.
How to make the Snapchat account of its brand known to the greatest number ?
What is Snapchat ?
Before considering increasing the number of Snapchat subscribers, it is necessary to understand the company and the uses of its users.
Snapchat is an application created in 2011 by 2 students from Stanford University, who proposes to send messages (text or images) that are visible only a few seconds. Reduced initially to the status of application to exchange naughty messages, Snapchat quickly finds a community of enthusiastic users: millennials.
These young people between 15 and 25 years old will very quickly handle the codes of this social media based on ephemeral exchanges that will move from simple messaging to a real social network.
In addition to messages, the application offers many off-the-shelf features such as lenses (disguises and accessories that are added to the user’s face and adapt in real time), filters indicating the location, the time, temperature, speed …, the ability to add emojis to any place on the image or draw.
All these features that look like gadgets actually become addictive very quickly.
The application is in breach of Facebook by the use of the Facebook pseudo backward looking for everything taken to obtain the identity of its users. The youngest find a playground for their sociability, far from the eyes of their parents.
The Snapchat application is starting to make a name for itself by refusing several acquisition offers, including Facebook for $ 3 billion.
The audacity of CEO Evan Spiegel came to public eyes when the company, despite having a large user base, was unable to generate revenue while refusing to sell its users’ data.
It was not until October 2014 that Snapchat opened up to advertising in a non-intrusive format, leaving users the choice of viewing them. Snapchat’s will implies brands have to be creative.
In November 2014, Snapchat partners with the payment service Square to offer Snapcash, its payment service for its users. In January 2015 Snapchat launches Discover, a space dedicated to advertisers (media) that gives them wide visibility and engagement with millennials.
Then comes the time of acquisitions with first Bitstrip in March 2016 that will allow him to offer bitmojis (emojis that users can customise their image) and Vurb en aout 2016, a service that allows you to book trips near you, but which has not yet been integrated to Snapchat.
Finally since September, the company was renamed Snap and announced the launch of Spectacles, connected glasses that can shoot small videos and upload them directly to the app.
These Snapchat videos have the particularity of offering a panoramic view by tilting their smartphone during the viewing.
These glasses, recently on sale (to a close hype audience) in vending machines in different locations, are a huge success..
This new positioning precedes an IPO, with a valuation announced at more than 20 billion dollars for Snap.
Some numbers about Snapchat
- 150 million active users worldwide (including just over a third in the United States).
- 760 million snaps are traded each day generating 10 billion views.
- 8 million active users in France (30% of French internet users)
- 30 minutes of use per day on average
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Grow your community on Snapchat is a major challenge for any brand that wants to exist on this social media !
Increase Snapchat’s followers: the difficulty of getting visibility
One of the specificities of Snapchat is not to allow its users to have a profile page (unlike other social networks) and do nothing to facilitate the discovery of new accounts. There is indeed no search functionality, either by the content (like hashtags that can propose Twitter for example) or to find accounts, nor is there any way to bring to the fore inside Snapchat (other than by advertising).
The only way to add an account on Snapchat is: to know the exact name of the user (beware of typos, there are no suggestions) or to scan his snapcode (a kind of QR code containing the form of the little ghost of Snapchat).
It is therefore very difficult to build a community on Snapchat from the features of the platform.
Rely on other social media platforms to expand your community on Snapchat
You’ll understand, unless you have a budget to be able to advertise, you will have to rely on other social networks to make your Snapchat account known.
A simple tip is to replace his profile picture on Twitter or Facebook with his snapcode, telling your community your presence on Snapchat.
This trick has the advantage of attracting the eye, but has two disadvantages: first it gives no indication of what your posts on Snapchat are and therefore has no argument to encourage users to follow you.
Moreover, this generalising practice is becoming less effective. You will have to be more ingenious and make people want to join you on Snapchat.
You can offer teasings as video clips or snapshots appart from your story to spark interest and get your community to see what’s happening on your Snapchat account.
You can also start an adventure on another social network and continue on Snapchat. Be creative and show that what’s happening on Snapchat can not be done elsewhere.
The exemple of Oasis is typical of using existing networks to drive traffic to their Snapchat account. Oasis has created a parody of reality, “Fruits at Ibizananas”, staging his characters.
The brand relied in particular on YouTube and Twitter to make its launch on Snapchat!
— JEREMSTAR (@jeremstar) 21 novembre 2016
Oasis does not hesitate to communicate regularly on other networks to continue to communicate on its operation on Twitter and Facebook to increase its number of subscribers on Snapchat.
The quality of content is critical to the growth of his community on Snapchat
As on all other social networks, the quality of the content will make users most eager to follow you on Snapchat.
Snapchat offers opportunities that do not exist on other social networks, you must stand out by using features.
A relevant idea that many brands use, is to create an new kind of communication while launching a new product or experience on Snapchat with a real dedicated event, to build in a short time, a first subscriber base. This kind of operation is renewable, and can create air calls benefiting from the interest for a short campaign.
Nerf took the opportunity with his campaign #LeSnapLePlusLong, in collaboration with their Agency Marcel. At the beginning of October, the brand of toys famous for its foams-darts guns, very popular in all open space offices launches a story of 10 hours in stop motion narrating the adventures of a dart.
Nerf’s idea was to produce an announcement to increase his followers base on Snapchat while producing a long content, but shared as short formats likely to appeal to his audience, and to stick to the use on the “queen of ephemeral content” platform.
The main question to develop Snapchat is varying the types of content in order not to tire your audience (and not just showing behind the scenes of the brand), and not hesitating to create short operations to attract the audience’s attention to the brand’s Snapchat account at regular intervals.
Also bet on engaging content and push your community to share on other social networks with relevant hashtags that will allow you to track the fallout : surprising images, quotes, sentences to complete, images to caption, drawing to finish, etc.
The promotion of his Snapchat account in Real Life
Everything does not happen on the web, thanks to snapcodes, you can also promote your Snapchat account on physical media.
Remember to display your snapcode inside your store for example or during your presence at an exhibition.
You can also put this snapcode on different media, again feel free to be creative!
From the business card to the T-shirt and the receipts, the more unexpected the place, the more likely you are to be noticed.
A good example of using Snapcodes is the one used Universal Pictures to promote the release of “The Girl On the Train”. To promote the film, the company has installed signs in the subways in New York, Washington and Los Angeles.
Teasing makes it possible to remain mysterious, and to increase its number of fans on its Snapchat account by the simple desire to discover the content proposed on the social network.
Prize competition also works on Snapchat
As on other social networks, the contest is a great way to share your Snapchat account and interact with your community. The principle of the contest can be the same as what can be found on other social networks. But remember to adapt to the specificities of Snapchat by playing on the format of the 10 seconds of video, the addition of drawings, filters, lenses…
This is what has recently been done by Hôtels Ibis with its Sleepathon. The principle was simple: it was necessary to take a picture every hour (the hour filter as proof) for 12 hours lying down in the most unlikely places to try to win 12 nights at the hotel.
The campaign is explained by Creapills.
Those contests generate high visibility, but require a significant promotion budget because it must be made known on other social networks with great support of sponsored posts.
Another good example of a contest is the one Adidas hosted on Snapchat. The brand offered its subscribers to be creative by customising an outfit offered by the brand.
Beyond the communication on the operation launch, the brand used two tactics to increase the number of participants. The first was the participants had to follow the Adidasneo account. The second was to share his creation with the hashtag #MYNEOLABEL.
Adidas is a good example of to build a special operation around the goal which was the gain of subscribers on his Snapchat account during a contest-type operation..
Take over and influencers on Snapchat
It is also very interesting to use take over to earn visibility on tiers’ community on Snapchat.
Nocibé has selected 5 influencers to take over of their Snapchat account. The cosmetics brand has let the beauty influencers of the platform taking control of its Snapchat account to present the products with which they have the most affinity with.
Working with influencers also provides very good impacts.
However, it is necessary to set up an interesting operation for the influencer and his community and not just ask him to “advertise” his product or put it discreetly in his stories. This work with influencers therefore requires the same precautions as other social networks like Instagram especially.
Snapchat can hit millennials’ popular target but its operation makes it difficult to use for brands. It is above all an ephemeral and instant exchange network between users whose content is not intended to be shared.
It is therefore a real challenge for brands to be able to grow their community and they will need to build on their existing communities, on other social networks and be very creative to achieve their objectives.
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