10 Step Guide: How to Grow a Following on Snapchat
Okay, so you finally give in to your friends encouraging you to sign up for Snapchat. You understand the basics of how to use it (if not, read the “Noob’s Guide to Using Snapchat” here) so….now what? How in the world do you grow/build a following?
Logging into the app for the first time, you’ll notice that Snapchat is not your typical social media site. The app doesn’t allow you to find or discover people or brands. This is tough if you’re trying to grow your following within the app.
So how are you suppose to discover new and interesting people and how are people going to discover you? I’ve compiled a list below that will guide you. This list however, will require just a bit of “strategic work” on your part. Since Snapchat is purely word of mouth (at this point), creating great content is KEY.
The Checklist below, will help you get started on growing your following — whether you are a brand, small business or and individual user with no “following.”
For Beginners — Organic Growth through Word of Mouth
Follow people and/or brands. Again how do you do this if you can’t find people within the app? Thankfully there is a site called snapchat.codes where you can preview a user and snag their “snapcode” (Snapchat’s version of a QR code). There is also an app called StoryStar where you can view a snapper’s stories before you add them. Here are a few usernames to follow: CyreneQ, Shonduras, MarkKaye, WYSAMX, OperAmericano, Emgarber, TheSnapQuest, Mashable, TacoBell and don’t forget me, ShaunAyala.
Understand how to use the platform. Pay attention to top Snapchat influencers to understand how to use the platform more efficiently for you. They are doing something right to build a following, so pay keen attention as they create and share their content. Then try them for yourself and be sure to add your own unique spin to it.
Add your username/snapcode. Add your snapchat username and snapcode to your personal site and social media channels. This will let others know that you are on the platform. Also, put your username on the snaps you think people will screenshot. A screenshot means it might get shared and, therefore, generate more word of mouth.
Create content even with 0 followers.
You can’t be discovered if you don’t have any content right? So create content even if you have no followers. Then send your best snaps to the people you follow, yes, this is possible even if they are not following you back, (in my settings I accept snaps from everyone). This is an effective way to be discoverable.
Download your content from within the app. Use the download button after you’ve shared a snap or added a snap to your “Story” and save it to your camera roll. You can choose to download the snaps individually or you can download the entire story. Then be sure to archive all your stories — this will come in handy when promoting on your other social media sites which helps you become discoverable.
Post your content to other social media channels.
Re-share your Snaps and Snap Stories on other social media sites like Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook etc. This greatly increases your chance of becoming discovered and followed. It also gives people the opportunity to see the type of content you’re creating before deciding to add you.
Tag and Hashtag.
When posting your content to other social media channels, remember to tag the appropriate people, brands or business and use relative hashtags that are relevant to the content. For example, if your content is appropriate for Disney, tag them on Twitter or on Instagram then use the hashtag #disney so that your content will fall into the category for people who are viewing that hashtag. Then get into the conversation of those hashtags. People will be compelled to click to your profile to see who you are if they feel you are genuine and friendly, thus opening up opportunities for them to see your Snapchat content and potentially follow you on Snapchat.
Get featured on other Snapchatters’ Stories within the app.
Watch other Stories to find opportunities to contribute. Influencers love creating content that get their followers engaged and involved in their story. Participate in influencer’s Stories by sending them creative snaps. They might just feature it in their story. Doing this and getting featured exposes you to their audience. Collaborate with other Snapchatters in your field. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask. It’s okay if you get a “no”, it just means “not right now.” The key is to feature each other by providing value to each other’s following — BUT try not to make it spammy.
Build Relationships within the app.
a. Always follow back people who follow you.
b. Send new followers a “Thank you for connecting on Snapchat” video, — this builds rapport.
c. Answer back every individual message sent to you. This might be tough to do once you start gaining more followers, but try your best to get to as many people as you can. Engagement is key to building loyal followers.
Pick a time, each day, week or month to create a Snap or Story. I create content on my Snapchat account every Monday or Tuesday, so that way my friends/following expect to see something from me at the beginning of every week. Find a pattern that works for you and make it happen.
BONUS for Brands, Marketers, Small Business and Individuals on a budget
If you have a budget for Snapchat, here is the number 1 way to accelerate your growth:
Use Influencers to recommend your account. Have them take over your account, but let the influencer create content based on your goal and give them full control on how to execute. Refame and Delmondo are great agencies to work with as far as tapping into the network they’ve build with the Snapchat community of influencers.
Now that you have a guide, getting followers and new friends will come. The most important thing to remember:
You are only as good as your last Snap or Story
I firmly believe that content is KEY especially on this platform. As users start to follow you, create content you know that your following loves and enjoys, which you learned from the insight you gain from your other Snaps and Stories. Give them something to remember you by and get them excited to see your name in their feed. Create something memorable that has them wanting more and looking forward to your next snap.