When Snapchat first came out, I thought it was the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen.
I could not understand why on earth anyone would want to send 10 second video “snaps” to each other when they could just face-time or text or call or even just walk across the room and say hi.
The times are changing, as they always are. History doesn’t wait for people to catch up, so after a few months of grunting and complaining about it, I decided to dive in and learn as much as I could about the platform.
Even now, I wish I cared about the platform more. It is without a doubt the hottest social app and the most powerful marketing tool since Instagram and since Facebook before that. The reason I keep talking about Snapchat is because I need to make sure you all understand how important it is for brands and companies in today’s market.
Related: How to Create a Snapchat Geo Filter
I made a decision to go all in on Snapchat about 3 months ago. We use it as much as we can and as a company we are experimenting with the platform every day and I am excited to see where Snapchat goes in the future. There are a few concrete and practical lessons I have learned that I would like to share with you all.
Let’s get right into it.
Lesson 1 – Don’t Be Shy
Snapchat is another level of attention grabbing.
If you are still uncomfortable posting a selfie on Instagram, there is a good chance you will find it difficult to comfortably create content on Snapchat. Nonetheless, it is something you need to get over.
I can relate to this myself. I do not have a great personality for Snapchat. I like to write, I like to take the time to process my thoughts and articulate my message.
I have practiced being quick with my delivery, being more candid and being more open to posting micro bits of content at a higher frequency level.
You need to get over the anxiety if you are going to have any success on Snapchat.
Now this next part is important!
Some people just don’t have the personality for video. It’s not for everyone, and that’s okay. If you are one of these people, your best bet is to find someone who is. Sometimes I hand my phone over to the crew and let the squad handle the snaps for the day. I know my weaknesses and Alex is a natural at it.
Where there is a will there’s a way. No matter what, you must find a way to create content for Snapchat. There is too much attention on the platform for you to simply ignore it.
Get out of your comfort zone and keep at it. I promise it gets easier and you will get more comfortable creating video content.
Lesson 2 – Tell Stories
If you’re a real content marketer, you should already know the importance of storytelling. It is the foundation of what we do. Storytelling is in our DNA. As human beings, telling stories is a foundational element of culture, interaction, and even survival.
With all that being said, even the best content marketer can lose sight of this!
Lucky for us, Snapchat is a story tellers paradise. Creative thinkers and great storytellers will excel on Snapchat. There is limitless creative freedom on this platform, especially after the most recent update and the “continuous story” feature. You are bound only by the limits of your imagination.
You have filters, features, time lapse effects, and all the time in the world.
In the next year as Snapchat continues to evolve, I guarantee we will see amazing storytelling become even more widely used and delivered. I find this to be rather exciting because the great stories are going to capture all the attention and the typical “look what I’m eating for lunch” type content will slowly fade away.
As of this moment, I am realizing that even I am falling short on the storytelling capabilities Snapchat has to offer. We practice what we preach so you can expect to see more storytelling posts and snaps in the near future.
Lesson 3 – Give, Give and Give Some More
Snapchat is revolutionary in two big ways.
First, it is an active interface. Most social apps present you with content on a feed. You simply scroll through what the interface presents to you. Snapchat is completely the opposite. The user is in complete control of what he or she wants to look at at any given moment.
Second, Snapchat doesn’t have any built-in share or like functionality. There aren’t even good analytics to help you measure your success. It is completely lopsided in favor of the user. It is very difficult to “force” your content on an audience through Snapchat. Because of this, your only option is to be so good that people want to see you.
Everything you do on Snapchat should be either to entertain, to teach, to inform or to interact with your audience. There is no room for grandiosity or overly sales-driven content. People will simply ignore you because they have no reason to pay attention to you if they don’t want to.
Your primary focus on Snapchat should be to provide value to your audience. Doing this will earn you the right to go in for a conversion when appropriate.
This may be difficult for you to wrap your head around, but the best way to market yourself on Snapchat is to talk about yourself as little as possible.
You need to give value at every opportunity. In doing this, people will be drawn to your product or service in a more natural way.
Snapchat is the future
I still have a lot to learn about this platform. I feel that missing out on the initial two years of Snapchat was a big mistake on my part. Most of us are still playing catch-up, but that’s okay because we won’t see Snapchat hit its maximum exposure for a few more years.
I would love to hear any feedback. How have you been using Snapchat? What has been successful for you? What has not? Please join me in the conversation.
Thanks for your attention.