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Since its humble beginnings as a photo and video sharing app in 2011, Snapchat has exploded into one of the most popular social media platforms in the world. It seems like everyone and their grandma is using Snapchat these days.
Consequently, businesses and marketers all around the world have been falling over themselves trying to find their place in the latest social media revolution.
Just like on Instagram, the Snapchat economy runs on the number of followers you have and the number of views your snaps get. So how do you get more views on Snapchat?
At Foundr, we began experimenting with Snapchat, testing out different strategies, kinds of content, and various growth hacks, and we’ve managed to go from zero to over a 1,000 views per snap in just four short weeks.
Our account has exploded, and with it we’ve found a new and exciting way to communicate and connect with our audience. As usual, we’re eager to share the secrets of our success with the Foundr community.
When you need to use Snapchat
I’m not going to lie to you.
When Snapchat first appeared on the scene, I groaned at the idea of having to figure out yet another social media platform. I quietly hoped that it would turn out to be another flash-in-the-pan fad that would quickly go away, just so I could be spared the embarrassing task of going to my younger sister again and having her explain it to me like the out-of-touch adult that I’ve somehow turned into.
But lo and behold, Snapchat has taken the world by storm and it’s growing fast.
In case you’re not impressed, in the four years Snapchat has been around, it has already surpassed Twitter in terms of daily active users. That is some serious engagement and growth right there.
Furthermore, with more than 50% of Snapchat’s audience being teens and millennials, combined with the intimate nature of the app, many brands and businesses have quickly embraced it as the latest must-have tool in their marketing arsenal.
According Dash Hudson, a Snapchat analytics company:
- A typical engagement rate for a leading brand is 50% (views / followers)
- Snapchat users use the app for more than 20 minutes per day, second only to Facebook
- 40% of leading brands and publishers are actively marketing on Snapchat
It’s undeniable that Snapchat is one of the world’s leading social media platforms right now, something that many businesses have been quick to notice. From deepening their relationship with their community, to promoting upcoming events, there’s a whole variety of ways you can start using Snapchat to bolster your marketing efforts.
With that in mind, it was only natural for Foundr to throw our hat into the ring and start experimenting with Snapchat ourselves. Here are the 7 growth hacks we used to get more more followers and views on Snapchat.
Change your profile pictures
The very first step to getting more views on Snapchat is to start driving people to your account. Unfortunately, there isn’t any organic search function within Snapchat, meaning that it’s pretty difficult to discover other users.
But it is possible to add new users outside of your contact list through their username or snapcode. A snapcode is basically a QR code that’s unique to your account and just so happens to be your profile picture on Snapchat. Anytime anyone takes a picture of your snapcode with Snapchat they’ll be able to automatically add your account.
Here I am adding our good friend Dan Norris on Snapchat using his snapcode
That means if you want to grow your Snapchat following, you should immediately change the profile pictures on all of your social media accounts to your new snapcode.
But the main problem with snapcodes is that you’re only given the option to take a photo of yourself, or whatever happens to be around you, to use as your profile picture. This can be a bit of a problem if you’re intending to run a branded account, like we are. The last thing you want is a profile picture of yourself with terrible lighting and bed hair.
But never fear, because there is a way to customize your snapcode for better branding.
Thankfully, Snapchat allows you to download your snapcode sans profile picture through their website. From there it’s a very simple matter of using something like Canva, or any other basic image editing tool, to create your branded profile picture.
The only caveat is that you can’t edit the snapcode itself otherwise it’ll make it unreadable.
Also be sure to frequently remind your followers that you have a Snapchat account. It certainly doesn’t hurt to try to give your snapcode more attention wherever possible.
Post content frequently
Just like with Instagram, the more you post, the more followers and views you’ll get.
In Snapchat, public stories are ordered chronologically, with the latest story shooting straight to the top of your follower’s feed. That means if you want more views on Snapchat, you should be posting as frequently as possible in order to stay at the top of your followers’ feeds.
But that doesn’t mean you should start firing off snap after snap of poorly thought out content that does nothing but annoy your followers. Like any great social media marketing plan, you need to come up with a great content strategy.
Your content strategy depends on your brand and what type of Snapchat account you have. But needless to say, the last thing you want to do is just post random snaps of your day and whatever it is you’re thinking about at that moment.
While this is great content if you’re a celebrity or if your audience is primarily made up of your friends and family, random snaps are terrible if you’re looking to appeal to a wider audience.
While it is important to post content as frequently as possible, never sacrifice quality for quantity.
Rules for good content
Just like any other content platform, the key to getting more views on Snapchat is to post great content. Here are some basic rules of thumb to make sure that your followers get excited every single time they see your username at the top of their feed.
Always Give Value
As the Content Crafter for Foundr, at the end of the day I live by one rule when it comes to creating quality content: great value equals great content. But what qualifies as great value depends on what your brand is like and who your audience is.
If you’re a celebrity, you can get away with doing snaps about your personal life, because your fans would find your routine hijinks valuable. If you’re not a celebrity, you might want to rethink that content strategy.
As always, the easiest way to give value to your audience is to educate them.
Here’s just a couple of the lessons and advice we give away on Snapchat
This is a great way to further establish your authority and influence by actually giving your audience content that’s relevant to them. A rule we always adhere to when it comes to the Foundr Snapchat account is to give away at least one lesson a day and each and every snap has to provide value.
Of course, it’s a little tricky trying to adhere to these rules within the 10-second time limit. But by doing this consistently, our followers know that they can always rely on us to give them something valuable every time they visit our account.
Bonus: Make your followers feel valued
You always want to make sure that your audience feels valued whenever possible, so reward them for taking the time out of their day to watch your snaps.
The most straightforward way is to offer deals or gifts exclusive to your audience.
Another way is to shout out followers who are really engaging with you. At the Foundr office we actually have a “Snapchat wall” where we print out the snaps our followers send us.
Show off what’s going on behind the scenes
What makes Snapchat unique among other social media platforms is that the content posted onto Snapchat actually feels personal and intimate. It doesn’t have that polished quality that can come off feeling disingenuous or fake. Instagram has become famous for this faux-slice-of-life content.
This is one reason Snapchat is such a great way to engage with your audience and really drive home your brand’s message and mission. While this may be off-putting to some brands, at Foundr we embrace the opportunity to show off what’s going on behind the scenes and really connect with our audience.
In order to achieve this, we make it a point to share our Snapchat account with the whole team, so our audience can get the full picture of the inner workings at Foundr.
Every day we have someone different on Snapchat duty to show off what it is we all do at Foundr.
With the Foundr Snapchat everyone on the team gets their own day to do snaps
Have a structure
A very important rule for creating good content is that you need a definitive structure or narrative. You need to set expectations early, otherwise you’re going to end up frustrating your audience.
People have short attention spans, in fact we actually have shorter attention spans than goldfish. If it’s taking you more than two or three snaps to get to the point, then you’ve already lost your audience.
The first three snaps you post should always be setting expectations, so your followers know if the rest of your snaps are going to be worth their time.
This can be something as simple as saying you’re giving away five tips, or that you’re going to teach them something in exactly 10 snaps or less works wonders. Letting people know that there is a clear end makes them more likely to view the rest of your story.
Treat your Snapchat stories as if you’re writing an article with a clear beginning, middle, and end.
As two highly visual platforms, you’ll find that there are lots of opportunities for you to promote your Snapchat account over on Instagram.
The most straightforward way to promote your Snapchat account is to post your snapcode on a regular basis. But don’t just post your snapcode and think that the job is done, because there is so much more you can do with Instagram to help you promote your account.
Take advantage of the bio link on your Instagram page.
Every time we promote our Snapchat, we’ll change the bio link on our Instagram for a couple hours. Doing so might not seem like much, but it means that we’ll gain a handful of new followers and, therefore, more views on our snaps.
You can easily generate your own Snapchat link by adding your account name to the end of this URL here: https://www.snapchat.com/add//
The best thing about that link is that if you click on it while you’re on mobile it’ll open up Snapchat on your phone and you’ll immediately be given the option to add our account.
Make sure that you’re using Instagram’s hashtag feature as much as possible. As I’ve explained before, hashtags makes your posts more searchable and allows your content to be found more easily by people who don’t already follow your brand.
Instagram allows you to have 30 hashtags per post, we highly recommend that you max out all of these hashtags in order gain as much exposure as possible.
Notice how we don’t put the hashtags in our caption but in our comment section instead. This way we’re able to hide our hashtags in the comments so that our posts look clean and still receive all the benefits of 30 hashtags.
If you’re serious about getting more views on Snapchat then you should definitely check out Ghostcodes. Ghostcodes is an app that allows you to discover other Snapchat accounts based on categories like: brands, adventure, fitness, and others.
With Ghostcodes, you’ll be able to create an account for yourself where you can fill out a quick profile, share your interests, and immediately start ranking in your category. Being able to rank and get featured in your category immediately makes your Snapchat account more likely to be discovered by an audience you actually want.
How you rank on Ghostcodes is based entirely on the number of those little purple hearts or “Kudos” you get from the rest of the Ghostcodes community. Meaning that if you want to be one of the top results in your category, let alone get featured, you need to dive into the Ghostcodes community.
You can do this very easily by finding other users who have listed similar interests to yours, or are in the same category as you. Don’t be afraid to reach out to other accounts that are in your niche, show them some love, give them a like, and they’re likely to give you a like back.
Also make sure to promote your Ghostcodes account when you get a chance. See if any of your followers have Ghostcodes accounts and offer them something in return for giving your account a like.
Takeovers and shoutouts
Again, similar to Instagram, if you want to grow your Snapchat audience you need to tap into the power of influencer marketing That means getting your brand and content in front of another influencer’s audience.
If you’ve ever read any of my pieces on Instagram marketing, you’ll already be familiar with the power of shoutouts. Getting an influencer to shout you out over their own account not only gives you social proof, but it introduces your brand to a relevant audience.
Getting someone to shout you out over Snapchat can sometimes be as simple as asking a friend for a favor, or striking up a deal.
With Snapchat, the strategy of share-for-share is more relevant than ever. Remember that it’s all about making sure there’s a mutual exchange of value. Don’t ask a huge influencer to give you a shoutout unless you either have a huge audience yourself or you’re willing to pay.
A great way you can grow your audience is to do account takeovers with other influencers, a strategy unique to Snapchat.
Just like with shoutouts, takeovers are all about getting your brand in front of another influencer’s audience. With takeovers, though, you come to an agreement with another influencer in which each of you will be given control over the other person’s account for a set period of time.
This is even more powerful than doing a simple shoutout, because you’re not just leaving behind an account name or snapcode. You’re showing off who you are in an authentic way.
Check out Evan Gerber’s takeover of the U.S. Open Snapchat account in order to get an idea of what takeovers are all about.
Holding Snapchat-exclusive competitions is a fantastic way to not only grow your Snapchat audience, but also to reward your existing followers. Due to the ephemeral nature of Snapchat, any contest on the platform just feels way more exclusive because it’s happening in real time and can only last for 24 hours.
However, Snapchat contests can take a bit of time to master, and if done wrong you’ll just end up turning followers off your brand. So here’s some advice on how too can start crushing your Snapchat competitions.
Don’t make your competitions overly complex if you can help it, for both your followers and yourself.
Make sure that the action your followers need to take doesn’t go beyond anything more than having to take a screenshot or record a 10-second snap themselves.
We’ve held very simple competitions over on our Snapchat where the prize is a year’s subscription to Foundr Magazine. All the contestants had to do was send us a video of themselves saying why they believed they deserved it.
From there, it was just picking out a winner and making sure to give them a shoutout over on our account.
Make sure to keep it simple on your end too.
Figure out the process of how you’re going to give the winners their prizes. If it’s going to require a back and forth conversation, or if you can just send them an easy-to-remember URL. If it’s going to require more effort than a five-minute conversation, then perhaps you need to rethink your prize.
Also think about how much time or resources you need to devote to the competition itself. If you’re requiring people to send you snaps or screenshot then it means you’ll have to manually go through and evaluate each and every competition submission. Do you have the time for that?
Really think this process through before you start holding competitions, because it may turn out to be more than you can handle. But when they’re done right, competitions work wonders in getting you more views on Snapchat.
That’s a crash course in what we’ve learned about using this booming social media platform, and so far it’s really paid off for us. I totally get that you may have put a bunch of work into your Instagram or Facebook account, and diving into Snapchat feels daunting.
But trust us, a little bit of effort goes a very long way, and when it comes to social media marketing, there’s just no set it and forget it. It’s so crucial to continue learning, experimenting, and engaging. And it pays off many times over. Hope this gives you what you need to hit the ground running!
What did we miss? Any new features or tricks going around since we’ve posted our advice? Let us know below!