Purchasing decisions are rarely made out of the blue. Customers usually go through a decision-making phase, during which it’s up to the company to convince the customer of their need for the product. This is most effective when you present yourself and your products as trustworthy and honest as possible – particularly on social networks, where your target group conducts research, asks for...
The Snapchat app, as a mixture of instant messaging and social media, is the youngest competitor of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and WhatsApp. And in comparison to other platforms, Snapchat addresses a much younger target group, which consists mainly of teenagers and young adults. What’s interesting for companies and self-employed individuals is that Snapchat isn’t only suitable for communicating with friends and acquaintances – it can also be used for marketing purposes, especially if the target group is relatively young. Snapchat is becoming an increasingly common marketing channel, but companies and bloggers are constantly discovering further marketing possibilities with the app.
In order for your marketing campaigns to work on Snapchat (whether advertising a product or company, or running self-marketing), your account needs a certain amount of followers.
This article will advise you on how to get more Snapchat followers and which benefits the app offers.
- More range on Snapchat: tips and basics
- Means for getting more Snapchat followers
- Why shouldn’t you buy Snapchat followers?
- Summary: To get more Snapchat followers, you need engagement
More range on Snapchat: tips and basics
Snapchat is a social network in which individual users connect with one another. Exactly as with Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, with Snapchat the range of a profile mainly depends on its followers – the number of people that have befriended you in the app and follow your Snapchat channel.
The platform has around 166 million users worldwide.
As is practical with any social network, the content that you post on Snapchat depends primarily on who your followers are. The social network is only accessible through the app, and so thrives on its users keeping in touch with one another. Followers are the name of the game on Snapchat. If you want to market your brand, product, or service via Snapchat, then having a big enough range is accordingly enormously important.
What exactly attracts followers on Snapchat?
The equation is as simple as it is logical: The more people follow your channel, the more attention it receives. And the more followers your account has, the greater your chances that your channel will continue to be recommended and new followers will become interested in it.
In the best case, a large number of followers develop their own dynamics and continue to snowball into further growth. Some of the most famous Snapchat accounts have established themselves according to this principle.
But influencers who have already established themselves also use the app, in addition to other social networks, and their Snapchat accounts are successful for self-marketing. Many YouTube stars or Instagram influencers also use Snapchat to help build their brand. Some companies have also been able to record a large number of positive reactions from their target group with their Snapchat content (e.g. beer manufacturer Heineken, television network HBO, and the National Hockey League or NHL). One notable example is the candy brand Sour Patch Kids, which used another social media personality, Logan Paul, to post a Snapchat ‘story’ to their account and draw in some of his own Snapchat followers as well as Vine users.
The followers of a brand’s Snapchat channel have a fundamental interest in the content posted there. Followers can also send messages to a brand’s channel (and the direct feedback capability of the users sometimes leads to valuable insights regarding the group’s interests), but the main focus here is less on having the same exchange between the users and the brand. Instead, it’s a predominately one-way communication in which the company provides content to followers. This is a different type of communication than typical Snapchat conversations between people who know each other privately and use the app to exchange information.
But it’s only possible to build a following for your marketing if users like the content that your account is posting and access it repeatedly. As soon as users lose interest in your channel and more or less ignore your content, even the biggest Snapchat following will bring you nothing: In this case, the channel content is barely perceived, which means that a majority of the work put into the entries literally fizzles out. Users remove channels from their contact list sooner or later once they are no longer interested in them. To make sure your followers enjoy following your account, and don’t decrease in numbers (or, in the best case, increase), the content of your Snapchat channel needs to address the target group.
In which forms can content be published on a Snapchat channel?
A Snapchat account offers various possibilities for keeping in contact with followers. Communication with your Snapchat followers can be established in the app via text messages in chats, calls or video calls, or by means of photos or short videos (called Snaps). Content distribution for marketing purposes on Snapchat is focused mainly on sending snaps as a private message or publicly on Snapchat Stories, which are shared with your contacts.
Sending a snap as a private message offers the advantage that it will remain marked as new in your follower’s inbox until it has been opened by them. Snaps on a story are not directly displayed to followers, but instead are added to the stories section of the app, where content is automatically deleted 24 hours after its release – even if the follower hasn’t viewed it. As a consequence, the user has to actively access a snap in the story section to be able to see your content.
But this format also offers an advantage, as Snapchat Stories aren’t only viewable by your followers, but also by all Snapchat users. The latter is absolutely recommended for a Snapchat channel that’s being used as a marketing tool.
Means for getting more Snapchat followers
The fact that Snapchat channels are only accessible through the app is the most substantial challenge when marketing your own channel. This circumstance is the main difference separating Snapchat from other social networks like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, which can be accessed directly via the web. Interested users have the opportunity to watch a channel first without having to log on to the service or download an extra app for it – by clicking on a link, they can be taken directly to the corresponding social media channel.
But promoting your Snapchat profile functions differently: Sure, you can provide redirection to your account via links and QR codes here as well – but these can only be used by people who have already installed the Snapchat app. If somebody doesn’t use Snapchat yet, then they have to install the app in order to visit your channel. Since there’s no classic feed on Snapchat with old channel entries, it’s not possible for visitors to get an impression of the channel in advance and then decide whether or not to follow: Users can only see an account’s new content once they follow the account.
As a result, marketing on Snapchat is much more complicated than on other social media. You shouldn’t let this put you off, though, because there are numerous tried and tested strategies for gaining new Snapchat followers. You can rely not only on the methods that quickly get more short-term followers, but also on those that retain and expand your Snapchat contacts in the long run.
How can you quickly get more short-term Snapchat followers?
How can you gain more followers on Snapchat? This is the first question that people ask when setting up their Snapchat profile. After registering on Snapchat, you generally have to be active yourself before you can win a sufficiently high number of followers. The following sections explain the best ways that you can do this.
Add friends and acquaintances
As a first step, you should send friend requests to people that you already know or already follow you on other social networks. Maybe you already know people from your personal and/or professional life who are on Snapchat, and would like to add these people? Or you know people that you suspect might already have a Snapchat account, and therefore want to search for them.
Searching for users isn’t quite as easy on Snapchat as it is on other social media. For example, you can’t just search for a person by first and last name (like on Facebook). Instead, the following possibilities are available for finding a profile and sending a friend request: Either you know the exact Snapchat name of a person and so can enter this into the app’s search function, using the account’s Snapcode (an individual QR code which is automatically created for each profile), or you use the corresponding Snapchat URL. For people that you already know on other networks, it’s easiest to simply ask them to send either their personalized Snapcode or their Snapchat link.
There are also additional ways to identify users of the app and send them a request. For example, you can search through your phone’s contact list for Snapchat users (though registering on Snapchat using your telephone number is optional, so only a small portion of users can be found this way). The app also gives you a function that allows you to search for Snapchat users in the surrounding area, which is particularly useful for events. This way, you can network with others directly after you meet them personally.
Promote your Snapchat channel on your previously existing channels
Anyone who can be found on Snapchat usually also uses a profile on another social media. So you should make sure to advertise your Snapchat account there as well. The same goes for your own website and e-mail newsletter: Use all the channels you can to draw attention to your Snapchat account. Design it so that making contact with your channel is as easy as possible: It’s advisable to not only provide the name of your Snapchat profile on your digital channels, but to also post your Snapchat code and/or Snapchat URL – both connect users directly to your account.
Using your Snapchat QR code as the profile photo on your social media accounts can be useful as well. The majority of companies don’t do this permanently, but return to another profile photo after their Snapchat channel has gained a sufficient number of followers.
As opposed to the Snapchat URL, the Snapcode can also be meaningfully promoted off the internet. You can print it on business cards, flyers, or posers, interested users can scan it directly with their smartphones. Of course you should ideally include a description of your Snapchat channel’s content as well. How detailed this description is depends on the space offered by the respective advertising medium. Space is pretty limited on a business card or product packaging, but you can offer more information in bigger advertisements on social media posts for blogs and websites.
You should at least give your target group an idea of what they can expect from your Snapchat channel, though.
A couple of explanatory words on your Snapchat account are especially advisable if the content is thematically different than that of your other accounts.
On your channels, you can not only spread information and links to your Snapchat account, but also show its content. If the Memories function is configured correctly in the app settings, photos and videos taken with Snapchat are saved in an album folder on the smartphone or device. Using this feature, it’s possible to upload your snaps to your other channels as well and display the type of content that users can expect on your Snapchat account. There are also various apps that enable the exportation of Snapchat content. In this way, target groups can get a first impression of your Snapchat channel without having to register themselves on Snapchat.
Involve influencers in the best possible way
Followers of influencers (a popular blogger, YouTuber, etc.) usually have an increased interest in the subject area that the influencer presents in their content (e.g. entertainment, fashion, sports, etc.). They also value the influencer as believable and/or likeable (otherwise there’s no point in following the channel) – so an influencer enjoys the trust of their followers. If you use an influencer for the promotion of your products and services, this is called influencer marketing.
By cooperating with an influencer, you can profit from their range and status: Maybe you already know about people who act as an influencer in an area related to that of your Snapchat channel (or at least in an area with a similar target group) through previous marketing measures and/or business and industry contacts. If not, then you just need to establish contact with suitable influencers from your industry. Make sure that you always offer an influencer a consideration, making it clear how you believe that the cooperation will be meaningful, and meet the person on equal footing. Influencers usually know their own value, and want to be understood as a business partner.
Influencer marketing is usually based on extremely prominent people making recommendations to their followers. But working together with micro-influencers Influencern is also generally quite promising. Even though they don’t have an outstanding range, they often address a group of people who are interested in a very well-defined topic area.
If your Snapchat content overlaps thematically with a micro-influencer’s content, then it’s promising if you can somehow procure cooperation with their Snapchat channel. Then you can be relatively certain that the ads for your Snapchat account are reaching the exact people that are really interested in your topic.
Possible collaboration tactics with influencers
How does working together with an influencer really look? Usually, your Snapchat account is mentioned and therefore advertised in one of the influencer’s posts. For this, the influencer’s platform doesn’t have to be Snapchat (your Snapchat channel could also be mentioned by an influencer on YouTube or Facebook, among others). But with a Snapchat channel, because of the social network’s closeness, it’s entirely possible that you’re collaborating with someone who already has a sufficiently large Snapchat following that corresponds to your target group. This type of promotion of another account is called a ‘shout-out’.
Another method is the ‘takeover’, where an influencer takes over a channel for a certain amount of time (usually a day) and determines the content of the profile. But a channel needs to already have a certain range established in order for a channel takeover to be worth it. On the other hand, you typically need a certain degree of popularity so that when an influencer leaves you with your own Snapchat account, you can advertise your own channel. A takeover is most appropriate for extending your previously existing range even further – whether you take over the channel from someone else, or leave your own channel to an influencer.
How to build long-term Snapchat popularity?
The Snapchat tips listed above help you get more people to follow your channel in the short-term. But even having a lot of followers won’t help you if you don’t provide them with appealing content. If you want to successfully market your Snapchat channel, your motto – as so often happens in online marketing – has to be “content is king”.
Simply by publishing content that fits your target audience, you keep your followers happy and prevent users from unfollowing your channel. In the end, Snapchat is the same as any other social network (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, etc.): You have to satisfy followers of your account and make it a popular place for users to visit.
Regularly publishing content plays an important role: Your channel should always offer something that appeals to your target group and makes them think positively of it. Of course, it goes without saying that the quality of your snaps is important. The way in which you deliver high-quality content depends on the topic of your account and your options. But you should make sure that your Snapchat channel is different from others in its area and has a certain uniqueness. In addition to a regular publication frequency, unique content is also important to keep followers truly interested. This not only keeps your follower bounce rate low, but also ensures that the quality of your channel gets around and gains you more followers.
Other Snapchat users can hear about your channel not just traditionally by word of mouth marketing, but also within the application: Since the update at the end of 2016, it’s been possible to share snaps from another user’s story with your friends via the Snapchat sharing function. This feature also allows content to reach users who don’t follow your channel. If shared snaps interest the recipients, then they ideally will be motivated to add the channel.
Regardless of which way users find your Snapchat account, good content is the best way to expand and maintain the range of your channel in the long run. The basic prerequisite for this is that, in addition to its content, your Snapchat profile’s marketing is also suited to the target group and implemented well.
Why shouldn’t you buy Snapchat followers?
In terms of social media, it’s often heard that some cheaters actually buy their followers. The motivation behind it is this: If a profile has a large number of followers, it indicates a high popularity (of the channel and so also the high quality of the content). But this approach isn’t usually advisable – not only morally, but also for marketing reasons.
On the one hand, buying followers is generally caught out pretty quickly: Because the massive and quick growth of a previously unknown account is simply unnatural, it actually hurts the reputation of a channel in the eyes of many users who detect the procedure in very little time. In addition, purchased followers are rarely active and don’t contribute to the distribution of your content (for example, by sharing content). Obviously, purchased followers don’t actually have a real interest in the publications of your channel – as opposed to users who follow a profile of their own accord.
Purchasing followers on Snapchat fundamentally doesn’t make sense, since the follower number isn’t specified on a Snapchat profile. Users can’t conclude the quality of a channel based on a seemingly wide distribution.
Especially in the case of a large following, it’s possible that followers are vulgar or unpleasant when communicating with you. Sending inappropriate snaps or an overwhelming flood of messages to your account are examples. In this case, you can either block the offending accounts (the person can then neither send you anything nor view your stories) or completely delete them.
Summary: To get more Snapchat followers, you need engagement
A large following on Snapchat isn’t built overnight – especially if you can’t rely on channels that already have a wide reach for support. Even if your company already enjoys high status in its industry or among its target group, it’s not unlikely that you’ll still have to start from square one with your Snapchat account. The isolated system is mostly responsible for this – Snapchat is only accessible via an app and your channel can’t simply be visited by anyone (as profiles on Instagram or Facebook can be). Users have to use their own account and add yours in order to be able to form an impression of your channel.
Of course, there are various strategies for achieving this and getting more Snapchat followers in a short period of time: Try to network with all the people that you know who have a profile on Snapchat. In addition to your personal contacts, this can include your followers on other social media platforms or the subscribers of your e-mail newsletters – be sure to let them all know that you’re on Snapchat. Extensive promotion of your Snapchat channel is extremely important. Collaboration with influencers can also score you a much larger following.
The ultimate factor determining whether or not you can encourage many users to follow your account in the long run is the content of your channel. This should cater to the target group and satisfy your followers with high quality content. It’s also important to post content at regular intervals. In addition, you should be aware that Snapchat is mostly used by young people. Tailoring your content accordingly to teenagers and young adults up to 30 years old will give you the greatest chance of success.