By Brandy Price and Juan David Rodriguez Grisales
It seems that a new social media channel appears for artists and brands every single day. Keeping up with all of them can be a difficult task. Despite this fact, it is impossible to avoid one of the greatest media revolutions of today: Snapchat. This is definitely a platform to use if your target market is mainly composed of people younger than 25 years old and female.
With more than 100 million daily active users and a perfectly optimized interface for Millennials, this platform can help helps artists give a backstage experience to all of their fans. Unlike the popular Facebook platform, Snapchat followers receive all of the content posted in their newsfeed. Facebook filters down what you see, especially by brands and artists.
Our attention span is getting shorter and shorter because of media and technology. In fact, according to Ad Week, over the past 12 years the regular attention span has dropped from 12 minutes of focused attention to five minutes! And Snapchat provides a solution for the fast-paced millennial mind, thanks to the 10-second length restriction imposed on each piece of content. Moreover, unlike Instagram and Facebook, the spontaneity of Snapchat does not require the content to go through complicated Photoshop processes in order to engage the audience.
Below are some of the techniques you can implement in order to improve your artistic presence on the platform.
- Set up Snapchat for Public Viewing.
If you want everyone to see your Snaps, but you do not want to follow back every fan who adds you, you can change your privacy settings. Click on the little Snapchat ghost at the top of the screen and then click on the settings icon on the top right. Scroll down to “Who Can” and then tap on “View My Story,” then you can choose “Everyone.” Be aware that when you choose “Everyone,” the public can now see your stories, instead of just your friends. There is a difference between adding stories and snapping individuals and groups. Posting a story allows everyone on your friends list to see your story (unless you change your View My Story settings).
So what does this mean in terms of safety and privacy? Well, if you post stories while you are at an event or someone’s house and “Everyone” can view your post, well, let’s just hope that you don’t have a stalker. But that caution comes with all of your social media platforms. If you are posting what you are doing or where you are then anyone can know where you are if you have your settings open to “Everyone.” You could always open your Settings to Everyone during certain times, like when you are doing something that you want to broadcast.
- Share Your QR Code with Everyone.
A cool Snapchat feature is the ghost QR code (Quick Response Code). This is a type of barcode that is used to easily connect people with a digital location or product. The QR code is now a big part of consumer advertising, and that little ghost on your profile screen is actually a QR code for you to share with people so they can easily add you. You can screenshot this QR code and promote it on your other social media networks and on your website. Your fans can simply take a Snap picture of your ghost QR code and it will automatically add you as a friend.
A recent guerrilla marketing campaign for an electro-Latino artist, Jean Mundial, was quite successful. We promoted his QR code by creating stickers of his ghost. The promoters stuck 100 stickers around Panama City in order to promote the new artist. The Snapchat account of the artist went from 25 to 120 followers in six days (a favorable number considering he is a brand new artist).
- Upload Pre-Made Content
If your artist does not have a good angle for instantaneous photos or you want to invest more time and money on designing a marketing campaign, you can use an app such as SnapUp. This is an extremely useful tool to upload and edit your content before posting it. It was designed specifically for Snapchat users that want to Snap photos after editing.
- Teasers and Exclusive Content
Snapchat allows you to build hype and awareness around your release without the possibilities of unwanted content leaks. You can use Snapchat to provide exclusive content and teasers for upcoming releases and shows to your fans. Simply showing 10-second video clips and fun Snap photos while you are setting up at a gig engages fans and can help motivate them to come out to the show. Many artists such as Dillon Francis, Diplo, and Tiesto already tease their upcoming content through the platform. We recommend that you follow them to see how they are innovating with this tool. Creating exclusive footage from backstage and daily-life stories can really help you to create more engaged and loyal fans.
- Promo codes and contests
Promotional codes and contests are a great way for artists to keep their fans engaged and interacting with them. Snapping an exclusive code to unlock music from the website or to get a discount on merchandise is a great way to promote your brand. You can also engage your fans through contests or Q&A sessions. For example, ask your fans to take a screenshot of one of your snaps and then upload their own caption to it; the best one wins tickets. Some Snap accounts with great examples of contests are Seven Lions music, Shonduras, and Emgarber; make sure to follow them.
A Q&A session is simply setting aside a date and time when you will be available to answer questions from fans directly on Snapchat. The fans can send you Snaps with questions and you can then answer them with Snaps back.
- Boost Word of Mouth Exposure
Finally, a great way to increase your brand awareness is through the creation of Aficionado Fans in Snapchat. These devotee followers will talk about your artist to all of their contacts and will be more likely to buy your merchandise and tickets. In order to attract this kind of fan, connect with one fan at a time. You can start by sending snaps of your autograph to specific fans. This is a simple task that won’t take much of your time, but it would mean a lot to your fans, who will likely post a screenshot of the content to their social media, thus increasing word of mouth exposure around your brand.
One Last Thing
One of the problems you might find with the Snapchat app is the fact that it’s hard to get validation of your content. Although the number of views or the screenshots of your snaps can show you more or less how your fan base is interacting with your profile, actually knowing what kind of reaction your audience had to your content is hard (there are no thumbs up or heart buttons). Nevertheless, there are many different strategies you can implement in order to develop your brand on Snapchat; you only need originality and time to include another platform on your social media roster. Some artists resist trying new social media platforms because the artist’s teams already have to spend valuable time engaging fans on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Either way, you should analyze if Snapchat fits your target market. It’s the new big thing in social media.