If you are considering using Snapchat for your small business you might be wondering how to get started creating stories that will engage your audience.
I am speaking at New Media Europe this weekend and will be featuring four professionals and business leaders who I know are doing great work in creating engaging stories on Snapchat. They are not the usual big name ‘celebrities’ from the US. Nor are they the ‘celebrities’ bloggers and influencers that are being hired by brands at the moment to ‘kick start’ brand Snapchat channels.
They are people in small businesses or organisations that you would not think would be involved in using Snapchat.
I hope you will be inspired by their case studies – there are four in total – and I am delighted that each of them did not hesitate to share with me some insights that I think you will be able to apply to your visual content creation and storytelling on Snapchat.
Let me introduce you first to Jane Jones, a work at home Mum and learn how she uses Snapchat to support her small business.
Jane is based in Yorkshire in the UK and is a Mum of three children aged 8, 9 and 14. She is a YouTuber doing mobile app reviews and also is a network marketer for a makeup and skincare company. Jane is a recent adopter of Snapchat and has been using the platform for 6 months.
Krishna: How do you get your inspiration for your stories – especially in relation to how you open and close each day with your Snapchat art and music?
Jane: Normally I don’t know how my story is going to start until I start it that day. But I like to start it with music just because it’s what I like to hear first thing in the morning and it’s a great conversation starter as I always share my favourite cheesy tunes!
Most days stories involve at least one of my children. So I’ll either do a vlog style day just sharing my day or I do a funny theme for the day. For example ‘things I do when child free’ and I make some comic stories about what you can do with your new freedom.
I always like to close a day too if possible just so anyone watching my stories can see when the day ends and if I don’t reply to peoples Snaps, they know that is why. But it’s also a great way to show closure ready for the new day if my older snaps are still showing the next day.
I like to end with a drawing or emoji’s just because it’s different and stands out. My Snapchat friends remember it.
Krishna: How have you used Snapchat to help you grow the subscribers to your YouTube channel or Periscope live streams where you post app reviews?
Jane: In the beginning I didn’t even think about how it could help my YouTube business or Periscope live streams. Then after a week or so I suddenly had all these new friends and all wanting to know what I did and I saw its potential.
So now I’ll mention if I am about to jump onto Periscope or I will share a link if I’ve made a YouTube video during my vlog style Snap day. Rather than say ‘go check this video out’ I just mention what I’ve been doing and say ‘Here’s the link if your interested in seeing it’. I try not to be ‘salesy’.
Krishna: What has been the most successful way for you to build your Snapchat following?
Jane: Sharing on other platforms I already use has helped a lot, such as to Periscope , Twitter and Facebook.
Interacting with new friends also helps – you can build great relationships and they recommend you to others. If any friends recommend people I add them too. I also join in fun weekly challenges people do as a great way to get new friends and meet new people.
Krishna: What has been the impact of you using Snapchat for your business?
Jane: I’ve met some great new people and friends and all I have added them as connections on Facebook and Twitter too. So the numbers of connections I have has grown on all platforms with great engagement.
I have also found that my YouTube subscribers have increased. My networking reach is so much bigger now after using Snapchat and I’ve met some remarkable friends on there that I’m glad I have in my day.
Krishna: How long does it take for you to create your story – or are you the master of the one take Snap?
Jane: It doesn’t take long at all. The vlog style snaps showing my day just happen as and when. The ‘funny’ themed ones sometimes take a few takes but again not long at all. Nothing is scripted. Snapchat for me is for real time and genuine content.
Krishna: You include your daughters in your Snaps – what if any things do you consider re privacy or what you would not share on Snapchat as they are an integral part of what you share in your stories?
Jane: Normally I make sure that things like school uniform with name aren’t shown but otherwise it’s just a quick snap with them singing or saying something so I’m not too overly concerned that they are in any danger etc.
If I saw any signs of people taking screenshots with my children in then I’d probably remove that person.
Krishna: What one tool or tech has been essential to you in creating and publishing your Snaps that you could not live without?
Jane: I don’t really have one tool that I couldn’t manage without as most of the time I am snapping on the go. If I had to choose one it would be my tripod as it is great for keeping the phone still.
Another tool I use is a remote button to press play but again not something I use all the time but it does help improve snaps
Krishna: – Do you repurpose any of your stories for other platforms?
Jane: Not often but I do from time to time share pictures or clips on Facebook.
When I mention the Snapchat content I publish I make people aware if they want to see this kind of picture or funny video they need to follow me on Snapchat. I give them a reason to add me Snapchat so they can see each platform I use offers them something different.
Krishna: What is the one thing that you have learnt from using Snapchat for business that you would like to share with the audience?
Jane: That people like to know about you and your life and your business.
It is true we all like to have a peek in someone else’s life. People are interested and want to interact and engage. They don’t want to be sold too.
You can successfully use snap chat as a business if that’s how you plan to use it but without any sales posts just by showing your day, how you live it and what you do but mostly being yourself and genuine. People will ask about you and show interest as your showing them “behind the scenes”.
It is all about engaging though. If you don’t watch other Snaps or even chat to them it’s noticed. You have to make an effort and it works both ways.
If you want to get the viewers to watch your Snapchat stories you have to be a viewer to them too. It’s about building relationships and that’s how you get better rewards from your Snaps for your business. Building genuine relationships with them.
If you would like to learn more about Jane and her stories you can follow her on Snapchat here.
Resources To Help You Grow Your Business With Snapchat
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