Snapchat’s popularity is booming. The video and photo sharing app currently has an estimated 150 million daily users, compared to Twitter’s 140 million. And with Snapchat being the number one free app (or not far from it) in the App Store for the last few months, I’d bet that number will only rise in the near future. If you aren’t already on Snapchat, it’s likely you will be soon.
Understanding Snapchat is trickier than most social networks. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all make it easy to see what content is popular and what doesn’t work. On Snapchat, only the publisher can see how many views a story gets, making it more difficult to learn from others. Thankfully for you, we wrote this blog post which will help you up the quality of your Snapchat content.
Snapchat lets you share a photo or video of up to 10 seconds of length privately with friends and/or to your Story, which can be accessible by anyone, depending on your privacy settings. Each photo or video shared to your story is available to view for up to 24 hours from the time it is shared. After that, it disappears. The ephemeral nature of Snapchat taps into the desire for authentic experiences and connections.
To understand how to create better Snapchat Story, one must first gain an understanding of story structure.
There is a difference between a story and Snapchat story. I can publish a Snapchat Story that’s one photo of my dog, but that doesn’t make it a story. Understanding the principles of an effective story will help you make better Snapchat content.
What’s a Story?
At the most basic level, a story is a character who wants something and overcomes conflict to get it. This definition is helpful when creating Snapchat content, but it isn’t sufficient, as you can still create engaging Snapchat Stories without some of the storytelling principles you’d find in a screenplay or novel.
A Story in the Context of Snapchat
All stories have a beginning, middle, and end. Great Snapchat Stories are no different. Aim to go beyond sharing random snippets and strive to include a beginning, middle, and end for every Snapchat Story. Most people who aren’t aware of story structure forget to include the beginning or end. With each Snapchat Story, pay extra attention to ensure you include a beginning and end to each story.
Where are you? What are you doing? Who are you?
This is the core of your Snapchat Story. Ideas for content to include here are featured below.
When your story has reached its conclusion, make sure you have a “sign off” snap. For example, if you’re creating a Snapchat Story for an event, don’t leave people hanging with a photo/video from the middle of the event. Share a photo or video that provides resolution. For an event, you could mention that you’re leaving or the event is ending and give a quick recap.
These elements are things you can sprinkle into your Snapchat Stories to make them more interesting.
- Jeopardy, conflict, and obstacles
All of these story modifiers relate to emotions. If you want to entertain people with your Snapchat Stories you have to tap into an emotion.
Snapchat Content Ideas
Whenever you’re struggling to create content, a Q&A session is an easy way to provide entertaining content. Simply ask your audience for questions around a certain theme, then provide quick answers.
The “takeover” of your Snapchat account could be from an influencer or an employee at your company. Takeovers are a great way to gain Snapchat followers, especially if the person taking over your Snapchat account tells their followers to follow you.
Show people what life is like at your company, whether it’s how something gets made or going backstage at an event. For example, Taco Bell often takes their followers into their test kitchen where they demo new creations.
We’re all a little curious what it’s like to live a day in someone else’s shoes. GE frequently gives a day-in-the-life perspective from one of their many employees. In the example below, the NBA follows along with the Cleveland Cavaliers during their championship parade.
Giveaways are generally popular no matter the medium. If you’re launching a new product, you could share about the product and conclude with a link to enter a giveaway. Make sure the link is short (use bit.ly or a similar service) and give people enough time to screenshot the photo with the link.
Related to giveaways are scavenger hunts. For example, a sports teams like the Minnesota Twins could hide tickets around Minneapolis. The photo would reveal just enough information for someone to find the tickets. When someone finds the prize, make sure you share a photo (with or without the winner) that lets people know the prize has been claimed.
Get to know your audience better by providing an entertaining way for them to share feedback.
To do a poll:
- Tell people you need to make a choice or want to know what’s most popular.
- Share all of the options.
- Tell people to vote by screenshotting their choice.
- Introduce the options one by one, ensuring you leave enough time for people to take a screenshot.
Teach people something new! For example, you could teach people how to cook something. At the end of the Snapchat Story, provide the complete recipe and encourage viewers to snap a screenshot.
Question and UGC Request
Pose a question to your audience and request they share their own experience.
For example, you could share a few activities that you like to do on a warm summer day. Then ask people to share their favorite summertime activities. Take a screenshot of your favorites and feature them in your Snapchat Story. Make sure you conclude the story by thanking everyone for sharing.
Want more Snapchat tips and tricks?
Follow The Social Lights on Snapchat where we’ll share a few Snapchat tricks throughout the next week.