At this point you have definitely heard about Snapchat. I don’t need to tell you that it has grown by over 25 million monthly users since the start of 2016. I don’t have to tell you that it has over 7 billion monthly video views (compared to Facebook’s 8 billion, at 1/10 the user base). I don’t need to tell you about the crazy high percentage of engaged users, where over 50% of your followers will likely watch your snap stories. These are all things I don’t need to spend time talking about, because everyone else has already told you about them.
What I do need to tell you is that of all the current major social media platforms, Snapchat is the hardest to actually build a following. Most other platforms have search capabilities or advertising abilities that will allow you to find people to connect with and allow you to gain followers. Snapchat has no user discovery feature, and no way to advertise to reach new people (even with geo-filters you can’t promote your username or snapcode). So, how do you gain followers on Snapchat?
Have Great Content
While I am not actually 100% convinced that you need to have good content in your stories, if I don’t include this as one of the tips I will be attacked by everyone. So, I am fulfilling my requirement now and moving on. Obviously, having good content is incredibly helpful to get people to recommend you, but there are plenty of accounts on the internet that have horrible content that seem to have plenty of followers. In a future article I hope to discuss how to get high video engagement, and great content is one of the best ways to do that.
My biggest fear is that people use other tactics (like the ones below) to gain a large following, without producing high level content. This is the easiest way for a platform to lose credibility. If people follow a lot of uninteresting people, then they stop paying attention, and they leave. So, while it is possible to gain a large following on Snapchat without producing high level content, engagement will not last very long.
Follow Me, I Follow You
On many platforms there is a general courtesy, that if you follow someone they will most likely follow you back. For Twitter this is so standard there are actually companies that offer you the service of following and unfollowing people on Twitter in order to build you a large following. On Snapchat it is so hard to gain an audience that most people are fine with following you back, because they are following so few people anyway. If you can find people, and you follow them, there is a very good chance that they will return the favor and follow you back.
So, search the internet for snapcodes. You can use Google Search, Twitter search, Facebook search, or even the new app, Ghost Codes. Simply type into any search engine the words “Snapchat” and whichever niche you are in. Then, just follow as many people as you want. You will be shocked at how many people will follow you back when you do this.
“The average person is more interested in their own name than in all the other names in the world put together.” This is a quote from Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. This book was written in 1936 and this statement is more true than ever. If you give someone a shout out they will be incredibly grateful. Who doesn’t like getting recommended? This is even more true on a platform that is so difficult to gain followers. So, if you recommend someone it is very likely that they will do the same for you. The catch here is that since Snapchat content only exists for 24 hours it may happen that the person won’t see your shout out, so make sure to private message them telling them that they were mentioned in your story.
Articles and Videos
Another way to get your snapcode seen by a lot of people is to write an article or create a video about Snapchat. Now, every time someone sees this piece of content they will see your snapcode, and you are more likely to get a follow.
As always, working with other people helps spread your name. There are a few ways to do this. Either, you can get people to take over your snapstory. Simply, give them your username and password (I would advise changing your password first) and ask them to log in and snap a few interesting things. While doing this you should keep your audience in mind. If people followed you because of your amazing art abilities and then you invite a bunch of business people to takeover your Snapchat to give business advice your audience may not be too happy.
Another thing you can do is reach out to those same people that you would want to takeover your story and ask them if you can do the same for them. This allows you to reach their audience, and show them who you are.
The last way you can collaborate is actually being in the same location as another snapchatter. By doing this the person can actually introduce you and you can tell them about yourself in a few snaps.
Sharing on Other Platforms
I am sure you have noticed many people changing their profile pictures on other platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. to their Snapcode. This is a great way to get new followers on Snapchat, especially if you comment on large accounts or are in a lot of groups. Snapcodes are so easily recognizable so people already know what to do when they see them. It’s almost instinctive to pull out your phone and scan the code. Don’t limit your snapcode exclusively to your profile picture. You can also share it on your business page, on your wall, or in groups.
Knowing that people instinctively will follow almost anyone, getting your snapcode in front of as many people as possible is a great way to get new followers. One of the best ways to do this online is through Facebook ads by targeting people interested in Snapchat and your niche you can grow your audience very quickly. You can try this on any platform, but with Facebook ads you can actually use “Narrow Audience” to only target people that are both interested in your business and also interest in Snapchat.
Save Your Stories
There is a serious issue with Snapchat, which is that people cannot watch your story unless they are following you. This means that people who are only looking to follow people with great content, you need to prove to them that your content is worth following. The best way to show people what your stories are about are to save them and upload to other places like YouTube and Facebook. By doing this, people will be able to watch your stories and know what to expect when they follow you.
Going Old School
Since there is no built in discovery feature within Snapchat many businesses have gone old school with their tactics. Even Gary Vaynerchuk can be seen at times wearing a t-shirt with his snapcode printed on it. (In fact, you can get your own snapcode printed on a shirt if you contact Ayelet Fleming, who made that shirt for Gary.) You can also print your snapcode on your business cards, on stickers, or in your local newspaper or magazine. Heck, I have even seen pictures of snapcodes on billboards in New York City. So, hang up a sign on in your store with your snapcode, with a message saying “10% to anyone that follows us on Snapchat!” Get creative, because unlike QR codes, which totally failed in America, Snapcodes are used all the time.
Time It Right
While this is not a way to directly grow your following this will keep you on your follower’s mind. Since, as of now, Snapchat orders stories in by the time they were sent, you need to make sure that you are consistently showing up somewhere near the top of their stories feed. To do this you need to plan your day and what you want to talk about accordingly. By planning out your day you can scatter the posts over the course of the day. This way, you will always be close to the top of the recent updates.
Business Accounts you NEED To Follow!
Did you honestly think that I would pass on an opportunity to do shout outs? I mean come on!? Everyone of these accounts truly delivery amazing quality content. So, you best be following all of them!
If you haven’t already, make sure to follow me.
Besides me, the first person on this list is honestly the best person on Snapchat. The tips she gives are incredible insights into human psychology, business optimization, and landing page optimization (with a focus on mobile.) If you could only follow one person on the platform I would suggest she should be that person, don’t miss out on Talia Wolf follow her now!
The next person on the list is the great Morgan Brown. His insights into marketing and business are in depth and simple to understand. Also, I wait every Sunday to see him have fun with his family. No other platform allows you to be super professional. then allow you to share videos of your kids rock climbing. This is one of the reasons I love Snapchat so much.
If you aren’t following Chris Kubbernus aka Kubby, what in the world is wrong with you?! He is a rockstar. He talks marketing, business, so what are you waiting for?!
Want to learn about investing, the venture capital world, and building businesses? In that case Mark Suster is a must follow!
Jason DiNunno inspires me every time we interact. You need to follow this guy, and start a conversion with him, you won’t be sorry!
My cousin, Jonathan Caras, Chief of Operations at Glide talks about business, sci-fi, puzzles, life and much more! Go follow him now!
Austin Iuliano is incredibly creative. He is constantly testing the abilities of Snapchat, and trying new things like stop motion, lip syncing battles, and a lot more. He truly is a master of Snapchat.
Why should you follow Gary Vaynerchuk on Snapchat? Well, because no one eats banana’s like Gary, that’s why! But in all seriousness, Gary is basically the Godfather of marketing on Snapchat. I personally would not be on the platform at all if not for him, and his #SnapchatSecrets are amazing, so make sure to give him a follow.
Major Key: Follow Carlos Gil
If you love business, marketing, and growth hacking you need to follow Justin Wu, or how most people know him, Hackapreneur!
Last but not certainly not least, I recently found Suzie Nguyen, much better known as String.I seriously love her analytical approach to everything. Each days story has a clear outline and breakdown. You need to follow StringStory!
There are a ton more people that I think that you should follow, but this article would be way too long if I gave each of them a description. So, give them a follow and say hi to them!
There are tons of other people that I want to shout out, but I wanted to get this article out today. So if you think that I forgot you, please reach out and I will add you. It was not intentional!