photo-1462078563783-650e23af549dBy Sarah Moore of social media agency Eleven Lights Media.

Contrary to popular belief, Snapchat isn’t just for the teen population trying to escape their Facebook-friending parents.

As of May 2015 there were 100M active users daily and over 77% of them are above the age of 18. As well as this, Snapchat is now boasting 8M daily views equaling that of Facebook (who has a much larger user base). When you consider these statistics, it becomes clear that for the most part, Snapchat incorporates most businesses’ ideal client.

The questions I see flying around right now are – What benefit is Snapchat to me as a blogger? How do I use it effectively without wasting my time? How do you find anyone on the platform?

Essentially what people are asking is – How do I use it for business?

So if you haven’t jumped on Snapchat yet I want to share a few cold, hard facts with you before I answer the above.

1. Snapchat is not a scalable platform.

2. For the most part, the way you use Facebook or Instagram or Twitter or Pinterest can not be applied to Snapchat.

3. It’s difficult to measure ROI. Discoverability (the ability for you to find people and for people to find you) is not as simple as other platforms and really has only been opened up in the last few months with apps such as Ghostcodes.

4. You can’t really run ads on Snapchat yet unless you’ve got a lot of financial capital or at least a decent sized marketing spend ($10k is a good round figure to start with).

5. Finally, the user experience isn’t known for being super user friendly – at least initially until you find familiarity with it.

1:1 Relationship Building

That being said, Snapchat is amazing for building 1:1 relationships.

Yes, this can be time consuming but the return from this can be far more exponential than broadcasting your message elsewhere.

Consider the fact that you can message, call, respond to in-feed snaps, send video, send audio only and easily send photos all from within the app. It’s basically a comprehensive communication tool that can be used no matter what industry you’re in.  

So below, I’d like to give you some tips on how you can use the platform effectively for blogging.  

1. Storytell 

I know it’s on trend at the moment to talk about storytelling but the truth is, this is actually what Snapchat is great for. You have a mixture of image, video and editing capabilities that allow you to tell a story any way you like.

The reason storytelling is vital to your brand is because that’s how we as humans have communicated from the beginning of time. A story is compelling and invites the onlooker to not only discover your world but also to engage in it too in a digestible way.

2. Repurpose

If you create a fun, compelling or informative story make sure you repurpose it elsewhere. Whether it be YouTube, Facebook, Instagram or your blog, don’t let it go to waste.

I’m so passionate about repurposing because I know how busy life gets and repurposing allows you to keep pushing out content and reaching your audience without running yourself into the ground trying to be original and creative every single day.

3. Test + Measure

If you have a new blog post waiting to go out and you’re choosing between titles, consider putting it to your audience and asking them to vote for the best title.

Stringstory often talks about screenshots being the new ‘like’ of Snapchat.

With this in mind, set your audience up and let them know you need some help choosing a title and you need them to snap the one that they like best. Then use the next few snap screens to individually showcase the titles. Change the snap length to 10 seconds to give them the maximum amount of time to read and snap their choice.

Another idea is to create links that you ONLY share with your Snapchat followers. This allows you to measure how many are coming to your website and/or blog posts from Snapchat and gives you an idea on the relevancy and return from that audience.

If you sell products or are an ecommerce store I suggest the above method also to see your immediate ROI in relation to specific product.

4. Circular Viralocity

Bit of a mouthful, I know. But basically what this means is to use Snapchat to push people to other platforms if you have something going on there.

I watched Gary Vaynerchuk do this a lot during his #AskGaryVee book launch. He would push people to his Instagram account through Snapchat, ask them to write something that they would only know if they had come from Snapchat and they would have the chance to win a book.

What this does is further cement your community by having them see you and engage with you on multiple platforms. Without going too heavily into it, this just means that further down the track it will be easier to sell to them because they have more buy in.

5. Have fun

As cliché and abstract as this sounds, it’s actually imperative that you have fun on the platform. If you don’t, people will see right through it and write you off.

As with any platform, try to avoid being too in-your-face with sales, always give value where possible and engage when time permits so that people know it’s a two way street and not just a broadcasting tool for you.

6. Engage

This is probably one of the most important things you can do on this platform and in my opinion, is what Snapchat is truly designed for.

If you are not willing to engage individually it almost defeats the purpose of being on there in the first place. Because Snapchat is not particularly scalable, you are going to have the most success by interacting with the people that reach out to you.

Personally for me, this has led to ongoing business as well as overseas travel, speaking gigs and most importantly, new friendships.

I’ve reached out to influencers and had responses from them where I know I wouldn’t be able to get that on other platforms because there’s so much more noise. This is good news for those of you looking to guest blog or who have someone in mind to feature a product or engage in influencer marketing.

7. Consistency

As with any platform you have to be consistent in order to adequately measure whether it’s working for you. Figure out what consistency looks like for you and try your best to keep to that.

I know a number of people who have thematic days or choose a theme to define the week in order to help them with their constistency. Currently Ahna Hendrix (CEO of ARCH Digital Agency) is doing this and for the past week has been creating content around the word ‘determination.’ She talks, shares quotes and songs and thoughts positioned around her theme and creates a cohesive week of thematic content.

I share this with you to encourage you to do something similar for yourself so that you don’t get too overwhelmed with creating new content all of the time. Overwhelm is a very real problem in the social media space and we want to avoid that by being organised and making it as easy for ourselves as possible.

These 7 suggestions to me, are the keys to the Snapchat kingdom and if you can master them I truly believe you will not only find success within the platform but you will grow to love creating content this way.

My final suggestion is to give it a go. Often times we let overthinking paralyze us when really we could have spent the same amount of energy just trying it in the first place.

Sarah is the CEO + Founder of Eleven Lights Media, a social media agency. If you want to connect you can find her on Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat. She is everywhere (as you might expect) but these are the best ones to connect! 

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