A Beginner's Guide to Curating a Killer Snapchat Story & Building a Following
It’s no secret that Snapchat is among the hottest social media trends, with 10 billion + video views daily and Gary Vaynerchuk’s blessing as the platform of the year. If you’re still not convinced, consider that Snapchat has more users than Twitter and has grown more in one year than Twitter did in the past 4 years combined. Despite the lack of transparent analytics associated with the platform, influencers and brands alike are starting to figure out how to implement branded content strategies on Snapchat. But before you can start approaching brands or fielding sponsored content requests, you need to understand how to curate a killer Snapchat story.
Do's and Don'ts
- .Candid and unscripted moments. Your Snapchat story is not meant to be highly polished content, so keep it simple and show personality. Your followers should feel like you’re their real-life friend when watching your story.
- Behind-the-scenes moments. Take your followers behind the curtain and into everyday day life at the office or in your studio. Tease them with exclusive sneak-peeks at new content or projects you’re working on. Show them parts of your life and career that you don’t share on other social media platforms.
- Demos & How-to’s. Demonstrate various components of your creative process that they can learn from, like demonstrating which applications you use for creating and editing your content, or a step-by-step how-to. Whatever you do, throw in some learning opportunities and create educational value!
- Q&A sessions. Ask your followers to snapchat you questions, and then answer them on your story. Don’t waste time repeating the question in your video-- write it in the caption text on top of the video while you speak your answer.
- Narratives. Random disconnected snaps can be visually choppy and aren’t as engaging as fluid narratives, so string together several snaps to tell a cohesive story.
- Lenses and geofilters. Have a little fun with various lenses and relevant geofilters, or speed up/slow down/rewind your videos for dramatic or comedic effect
- Long view times for photos. Don’t set the timer to 10 seconds for a photo. Ever. We’re consuming content faster and faster, and no one is interested in looking at the same photo of your dog wearing a stupid costume for 10 seconds. Keep things quick and snappy--think 5-6 second view time limits for images with text, and something a little shorter for plain images.
- Landscape photos and videos. You’ll annoy your followers if they have to flip their phone sideways to read or watch something.
- Lots of videos that require sound. People often view Snapchats in public places where they can’t or don’t want to turn their volume up. It’s okay to require the sound on some videos (like when you’re answers questions for Q&As), but try to convey some of your messages through the text caption on your photos and videos.
Building a Following
Once you’ve nailed down your unique process for creating quality Snapchat content, you can begin to build your following. Since Snapchat does not have an in-app discovery function for finding people to follow, it’s vital that you employ cross-platform promotion. Share your username or individual snapcode with your followers on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Better yet, download part of your new killer Snapchat story and push it on other platforms to show people what they’re missing! It also helps to offer exclusive content, discounts or other promotions via Snapchat if possible. Tease that content on your stronger channels to draw attention to special opportunities only available on Snapchat. You can also plug your Snapchat handle in your bios on channels where you have a developed following.
Another effective strategy for gaining followers is participating in Snapchat takeovers for brands and other creators. Takeover someone else’s account for a day, and throughout your takeover tastefully plug your own snapchat username. Check out Michael Platco’s Walt Disney World takeover and Logan Paul’s Sour Then Sweet Hijinks Sour Patch takeover for inspiration.
PRO TIP: don’t forget to change your profile to public in your settings. Tap the small ghost at the top of the screen, then tap the settings button in the top right corner. Scroll down to the “Who can…” section and change the settings for “Contact Me” and “View My Story” to “Everyone.”
What’s your favorite type of content to share on your Snapchat story?
Creative Community Developer at Snapfluence.
I'm the Oxford comma's biggest fan.