Storytelling Advice from Three Snapchat Influencers

Sep 27, 2016 admin

Last Monday, I attended my first Gone Social event titled, “Learn to be a Snapchat Pro.” During the event, a group of Snapchat influencers and storytellers – Mike Platco, Frankie Greek and Justin Wu – participated in a panel where they discussed their rise to stardom on the platform.

We’ve probably all been talked to death about why Snapchat is important for brands, but each panelist brought up a few key points that you may not be thinking about. And as Snapchat rebrands to Snap, Inc. while launching its own attempt at Google Glass, called Spectacles, what better time than now to discuss how to become relevant on the platform. Here are the top four takeaways:

  1. Those Snap Stories take lots of careful planning. Mike Platco will sometimes plan content for months before premiering it on his Snapchat story. Frankie only shows bits and pieces from her life and is mindful about whether the content she posts will be inappropriate for her young, impressionable audience. And Justin spends hours storyboarding out each of his stories. Regardless of how you do it, or how much time it may take, the key thing to remember is that even though content can be posted to your story within seconds, it shouldn’t always happen that way. Treat the platform as you would any other social media channel, and create a content calendar, a storyboard or other method for keeping track of and planning out your content. 
  2. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Each of the panelists became an influencer thanks to the guidance and expertise of other Snapchat influencers. So if you’re just starting out on Snapchat and curious how to grow your audience, just ask. What brands or influencers do you follow that you admire? Reach out to them and ask about the challenges you are facing, whether they’d be willing to collaborate so you can share followers, or even what they are paying other influencers who may take over their Snapchat channel for events and/or festivals. Use other Snapchat’ers as a resource to help you better understand how to create the best content. 
  3. Instagram Stories won’t replace Snapchat. When Instagram Stories was first released, Frankie received a ton of messages from her Snapchat followers asking her if she was afraid she would be out of a job. But instead, she was excited. If anything, Instagram Stories would give her twice as much work. In fact, if your goal is to build an audience on Snapchat, you need to be on as many other social media channels as well, including Twitter, YouTube and Instagram. Through each of these channels, you will not only gain a more diverse and broader audience, but can also direct people back to your Snapchat channel through all other social content. 
  4. If you want to better understand your audience, engage with them. Snapchat doesn’t currently have a feature that allows you to understand the demographics of your audience. The only thing you have to go on is a username. So if you really want to know who your audience is, you need to engage with them. Answer their questions, open their Snapchats and engage with them on other platforms like Twitter, YouTube and even through email. It’s also good to keep in mind that you won’t know how many followers you have unless you reach out to Snapchat directly and ask for it. You can always assume based on views, but it’s likely you have twice as many active followers. 
Lastly, each panelist was fairly adamant that all people and brands have a place on Snapchat, even those in in the B2B tech industry. For instance, Frankie once had a plumbers’ union reach out to her and ask if they should be on Snapchat, and they found that a fairly large portion of their audience was already on the platform and willing to engage. At the end of the day, don’t discount Snapchat as a platform for engaging with your audiences.
Topics: How To, Social Media, Storytelling

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