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How to Build and Grow Your Snapchat Community

Do you Snapchat? If not, you're definitely missing out on one of social media’s biggest success stories.

Since its 2011 launch, the app that allows users to send videos and photos that automatically self-destruct has expanded to over 6 billion daily views. While the original audience were high schoolers looking for a little privac, the platform has dramatically expanded as in recent months as major companies are adding Snapchat to their digital marketing strategy.

And for good reason, as the stats on the service are quite impressive. Among the highlights:

  • 71% of Snapchat users are millennials under the age of 34
  • 70% of Snapchatters are female
  • 100 million daily active users, who upload upwards of 800 million photos and videos

Getting Started

Using the application is relatively simple. Once you download it to your smartphone, you need to first select a Snapchat handle to go by. For branding purposes, it’s highly recommended that you try to either use the exact spelling of your business name or to have it match the same name as the rest of your social profiles.

When your handle's selected, you'll then have the option of creating a unique Snapchat QR code. Once you do, anyone looking to follow you can simply hover the app’s camera over your 'ghost' image.

How to Build and Grow Your Snapchat Community | Social Media Today

Users and Snaps

Unlike Twitter, Snapchat doesn’t suggest users for you to follow. Instead, adding friends can be done in one of four ways:

  • Add by username
  • Add from your phone’s address book
  • Add using QR Code (Snapcode)
  • Add nearby-which accesses your phone’s location feature to find other Snapchatter

In addition to four ways above, you can also find content produced by a few curated brands in the Discover feature. As you can imagine, the easiest way to add others is via Snapcode, and I'd advise that you actively share yours throughout your social media channels to encourage others to follow.

Content (commonly referred to as “Snaps”) can be generated on the application’s home page. From there, you have your choice of either taking a picture or creating a quick video. Once your content is created, you can have fun with it by adding stickers, text and even emoji.

If you have a regional brand, you might want to utilize Snapchat’s Geofilter feature. Doing so allows you to highlight your area with a special overlay.

How to Build and Grow Your Snapchat Community | Social Media Today

Remember, Snaps made to disappear after a maximum of 10 seconds, so the idea is make it memorable for your followers.

When you’re ready to share your masterpiece, you can select either a single user or mass broadcast it among your followers. You can also select a feature called My Story which allows users unlimited access to the material for up to 24 hours.

A Word about Analytics

Being a relatively young form of social media, Snapchat doesn’t have sophisticated analytic tools built in like Facebook or Twitter. However, they do offer some help in determining how many followers have access your content.

For Snaps shared as part of My Story, you can access the information as follows:

How to Build and Grow Your Snapchat Community | Social Media TodayWhen it comes to general Snaps, you can determine if it was read using a color-coded icon system:

How to Build and Grow Your Snapchat Community | Social Media Today

Key Takeaways

Snapchat's a fun social media platform that's designed to offer users a safe environment in which to share photos and videos. For marketers looking to connect with Snapchatters, they can create a special QR Code (known as a Snapcode) to make it easier to find followers (just like the one below of me). Because of the limited nature of most Snaps, it’s imperative that they be memorable, so take advantage of the available tools (adding text and overlays) to help your message stand out.

This post originally appeared on Bryan Kramer's blog

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