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How to build your personal brand on Snapchat

Snapchat personal brand

Oh I’m not on Snapchat, that’s for teenagers!

Sound familiar? Snapchat was the social media channel for tweens, sending their crush pictures that quickly disappear.

Times have changed.

In a world where social media focuses on perfection and broadcasting our highlight reel to the world (think perfectly curated Instagram flatlays and European summer holiday pics on Facebook), Snapchat emerged as the social media channel for those who want to get real.

And you know what? It looks like we were all ready for a little reality. The app is growing at a faster rate than Instagram, and now has more more users than Twitter.

Whether you are looking to build your personal brand, or a savvy marketer building a business brand, it’s time to consider throwing Snapchat into your marketing mix.

Ready to get started? Here’s my tips to building an authentic presence on Snapchat.

1. Get serious about snapping

If you are not already on Snapchat, sign up and start exploring. Adding your friends, and finding influencers in your niche is a great way to see how a mix of people are using the app. To build your brand on Snapchat, it’s important to understand why people love Snapchat (you too will be a convert!), and how to use all the features like filters, stickers, text and drawing tools.

If you have had the app for a while and have been watching from the sidelines, it’s time to find your groove.

If you are a perfectionist on social media, it can be hard to adjust to the intimacy and immediacy of Snapchat. To build an authentic brand, you need to be willing to show your followers the real you. To ensure authenticity, corporate lawyer and Snapchat influencer Mel Storey Scott (the.lean.lawyer) recommends not replaying videos after you have filmed them. As Mel says, if it feels forced, it’s for Instagram!

2. Think like a Publisher

The best Snapchatters think like a publisher — and the best thing about Snapchat is that it’s easy to become a publisher!

You don’t need a fancy camera, sound recording gear and an editing studio to start creating videos for your community. What you do need, is a plan.

To build your brand on Snapchat you will be crafting a narrative on your “Snapchat Story”. This posts all of your pictures and videos together to create a story of your last 24 hours, after which they disappear.

Snapchat is a powerful storytelling platform, so think about what you want to be known for. Are you going to share insights into your day, perhaps you are able to share some of your work life and routine? Or perhaps you want to commentate on the little things that inspire you or make you tick? Do you want to inspire, educate or just have fun?

3. Get creative on Snapchat

Now you have your Publisher hat on, it’s time to get creative! Even though Snapchat is all about short and snappy videos, there’s heaps of room to be creative. This is great particularly if you don’t get many opportunities to be creative in your 9-5.

You might want to pick different days to focus on different topics, or follow a particular issue that’s important to you. “Curious geek” Suzanne Nguyen (stringstory) describes the app as “an interactive TV in your pocket”, and you can tune into her broadcasts on #SnapchatMonday, #TechTuesday and #TakeoverThursday.

To build your brand you will also have to think about creative ways to attract new followers to your community.

One of the challenges about Snapchat is it’s much more private than other social media channels, with no discover feature. Think about using your Snapchat code as a profile picture on your other social media channels as a way to invite people to come and hang out with you on the app. As your community starts to grow, engage with other Snapchatters in your community with shout outs, sharing the love.

If you are a marketer, you might even want to think about using Snapchat influencers to do a take over of your channel… promoting it amongst their own followers of course!

4. Work out your boundaries

Building an authentic brand on Snapchat is all about showing behind the scenes insights into your life. For many of us, this may include some snaps during our work day. Sharing your routine and day is a great way to showcase what you do, inspiring and educating your community.

If you work for yourself then you set your own boundaries, but if you are working for someone else, it’s important to be open and transparent about what you are doing.

If you are thinking about Snapchatting at work, or even mentioning your work, it’s important to set some ground rules. While it may seem simple, be careful not to share any confidential information or information that identifies your clients, and make sure you also check in with your colleagues to ensure that they are comfortable with your snaps. Take the time to review any social media policies and run your boss through your plan. Remember, you have been hired to perform a particular job… not snap!

5. Have fun!

Finally, remember that Snapchat is all about having fun: it shouldn’t feel fake or forced. While it’s important to keep in mind your brand’s core values and objectives on Snapchat, take the time to play around on the channel and you will soon find your own groove.

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