May 31, 2016 by Jessica Kovar

Snapchat: The ultimate storytelling platform to grow your personal brand

Storytelling has always been a way for us to make sense of our lives and our environment, and to connect with ideas and with each other. It’s no different when it comes to building a strong brand for yourself, both as a person and a professional.

But when it comes to personal branding, it is important for the stories you tell to feel real. That is where Snapchat comes in. Yes, you read that right, Snapchat.

As a Community and Content Strategist, I made the decision to be really active on Snapchat as a way to grow my own brand, and over the years I’ve seen my follower and view rate grow more than I could have imagined. So I wanted to share insights and best practices I have come across over the past few years so you too could build your own Snapchat experience.

Connect with me on Snapchat @jnkovarova if you want more ideas! And happy Snapping!

Snapchat as a personal branding tool

What started out as a fun and easy way for teens to share videos and photos that self-destruct after consumption has turned into the authentic storytelling social media platform marketers are saying cannot be ignored – including to build a personal brand.

Why? Because Snapchat gives you the opportunity to give your audience an “inside look” into who you really are through unique video and photo narratives. The content feels personal, happens in real-time and comes with a sense of urgency since it only lives for 24-hours before disappearing.

Snapchat offers a lot of room to build relationships, not only because it is unique or because it can engage with your audience on multiple levels, but also because it is likely that your audience is already using Snapchat and looking to be entertained by accounts like yours.

Seven Snapchat tips for growing your brand

      1. Understand your audience – Just like any social platform, simply reaching your audience is not enough. You want them to listen and be engaged with your content and your brand. Once you have a successful strategic plan in place of who it is you want to communicate with and the means of doing so, you will see your following and story views grow. And if people keep viewing your content and coming back for more, then you know you’re giving them something of value and they’re engaged.
      1. Always look for ways to engage with people – Use Snapchat as a conversational tool to grow your relationship with your audience. Don’t just show them who you are and what you’re about, ask them to get involved too! You can do this by creating contests, starting a dialogue directly on the Snapchat channel or using Snapchat to connect with audiences across social platforms — By asking your audience to Tweet something, for example.
      1. Have a narrative and purpose to your content – More and more users are using Snapchat’s “My Story” feature to share their narrative. If you have a different, purposeful story each day that expands your personal brand while speaking to your audience, you’ll keep your content engaging and fresh. Always ask yourself what the purpose of an individual story is and what you want your audience to take away.
      1. Post frequently – With so many personal brands competing for an audience, and users logging onto the Snapchat app multiple times a day, there’s nothing more important than regular updates.
      1. Use Video – Whenever possible, using video to tell your story is the way to go. It simply brings more to the table as a branded story or experience than any other medium.
      1. Be human – Before using a social platform, you need to know the culture behind it. Snapchat is for authentic, personal, real-time experiences that audiences wouldn’t see on your other social platforms. You can still come off as a professional, but leave your pure business persona at home and let your audiences experience a more casual side that they can relate to. (That being said, too personal is still too personal).
      1. Have fun No matter what your personal brand is, don’t be too serious. This is a casual, fun environment and a place to show another side to your “business” demeanor. Play around with the features offered on the channel like stickers, filters, geofilters, and paint!

Some personal snappers we love:

Chris Pratt (ChrisPrattSnap) This lovable actor shows how funny and entertaining he really is off screen. He even takes you around for behind the scenes looks of his movie sets.

Jimmy Fallon (fallontonight) – You don’t have to wait for a rerun of SNL or for the Tonight Show to air, Jimmy Fallon gives you a taste of what it’s like in his world through the app.

Hillary Clinton (HillaryClinton) – Many politicians are now active on Snapchat and Hillary Clinton is one of them. Her Snapchat story consists of what it’s like on the campaign trail with snap interviews with supporters, updates on her travels and a peek inside her personality.

 Gary Vaynerchuk (garyvee) – Digital marketing master shows what it’s like to live the life of an entrepreneur on his Snapchat channel.

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