Snapchat continues to roll out features that make it easier for communicators to use the platform. Last week's addition of Memories may eat away at the ephemeral quality that helped Snapchat rise to prominence, but it undeniably expands the possibilities for content production. It also offers communicators more ability to shape the message, a concern brands have with Snapchat.
The ability to post content from the camera roll opens up the platform to campaigns like "Throwback Thursday" and offers greater flexibility in deciding which pictures get posted. This expansion of content options should help PR pros keep their feeds fresh and enticing, which is essential for cultivating a Snapchat audiences.
Even though Snapchat lacks many of the brand-friendly features of Facebook and Twitter—native analytics, business profiles, etc.—it's never been a better time to join the growing community. For cautious communicators, there are plenty of ways to participate in the conversation.
At PR News’ Snapchat Boot Camp July 12 in New York City, speakers offered a variety of case study examples to show how PR can use the burgeoning platform effectively.
Missed the boat on our Snapchat Boot Camp? For more interactive workshops to keep your visual storytelling skills up-to-date, register for the PR News Big 4 Social Media Summit and Visual Storytelling Boot Camp, Aug. 9-10 in San Francisco.
Speaking from her experience as director of editorial creative with media brand NowThis News, Lo Martin offered these tips:
- The first snap needs to be a balance between hard news and clickbait. Using trending or breaking news works on the platform—and you want to catch the eye of time-strapped users—but being too heavy-handed won't work. There needs to be a symbiotic relationship between hard news and humor to grab and retain attention.
- You can tell stories though separate snaps, but make sure that each is a stand-alone, shareable moment.
Kat Lapelosa, senior social media editor, SheKnows Media, urged attendees to keep it simple and get more people involved in creating content.
- Don’t overthink your content. Use Snapchat as a place to refine the ideas you want to test or that you don’t have a home for anywhere else. Some of the best content is the least complicated.
- Opening the account to multiple employees will expose your Snapchat strategy to the unique viewpoints of individual staffers. Your employees have great ideas; you’d be remiss to ignore them. Just be sure to assign social producers to oversee the production process and help employees create usable content.
Youyoung Lee, director, editorial insights, Hearst Digital Media, spoke about being easy to find on Snapchat and diversifying the type of content posted on the platform.
- Snapchat makes user discovery difficult. Promote your brand’s snapcode/handle on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to help get out the word. You can even temporarily change your avatar to feature the snapcode to make discovery easier for users.
- Mix up your content. Celebrity and influencer takeovers are a relatively easy way to boost your follower numbers. Fans love it and the added exposure will help bring people to your account. Try to show off your brand’s personality with regular programming. Having a reoccurring series will create loyalty with your audience and develop employees into Snapchat stars.
Snapchat influencer and the brains behind the Times Square New Year’s Eve Snapchat campaign, Frankie Greek, stressed the importance of having fun with the platform and using it to tell stories.
- Work with influencers on Snapchat, but don’t be afraid to be your own influencer. To do this, think like a wedding photographer. Snapchat is there to capture the experience and moments that no one sees.
- If you don’t have fun making it, people won’t have fun watching it. Have a good time by taking risks and constantly trying new things, but remember to tell a story—and every Snapchat story should have a beginning, middle and end.
Follow Lo: @helloimlo
Follow Kat: @lts_Katka
Follow Youyoung: @Youyoung_Lee
Follow Frankie: @frankiegreek
Follow Mark: @MarkRenfree