If you or your brand are just starting out on Snapchat, then you might be struggling to gain a significant following straight off the bat. If you have a strong following on other social networks, then cross-promoting might do the job, but not everyone has that luxury. For new businesses, getting Snapchat followers can be a slow and arduous process of paid ad campaigns on other networks and amazing content, which is daunting for anyone. However, there is a shortcut! Have you ever thought about Snapchat takeovers?
The problem with Snapchat is that there is no ‘discovery’ feed, no list of similar accounts, no suggestions about whom others are following. This presents a problem for those wanting to be noticeable because it doesn’t really leave many ways for you to be found randomly. So, if you can’t be found randomly, then you need to proactively put yourself in front of audiences. The best way to do this is by asking somebody who already has a large following on Snapchat to ‘takeover’ your account for a while and direct their audience to view them on your platform. This results in a very engaged following hearing what your brand is all about and hopefully lingering long enough to follow your account.
To do a successful Snapchat takeover you need to keep your key goals in mind. It is worth working out what you aim to get from the takeover before starting it at all. This will inform everything, from who you choose to do it, to what content is in it. Is the aim simply to increase your following or to gain excitement around a product launch? Both of these will have different outcomes.
The second step is to decide on the person that will do the takeover and approaching them properly. This can be a celebrity, or a social influencer, but it needs to be someone who has both a large fan base and a personal brand that aligns with yours. Finding the right person takes diligent research by following potential candidates and watching all of their content in order to get to grips with the kind of thing that they usually produce. As a good rule of thumb you should at least find their Snapchats interesting enough to watch on a personal level – this will of course tell you that their content is the sort of thing you would want for your brand. However, if you aren’t sure, then don’t do this research alone and ask others around you to watch a few different Snapchat stories of potential candidates and see what the differing opinions are.
Once you know who you might want, follow their other social media accounts, interact with them online and build a relationship with them. This is the best way to get someone on your side and interested in your brand – build a friendship first before reaching out to them about doing a takeover.
Once you have established who your influencer is going to be and they have agreed to do it, you can begin to plan what it will consist of. As with the majority of Snapchat campaigns, the most effective content follows a ‘story’ format of a beginning, middle and end. To this end you will need to create a detailed storyboard in order to get a good grip on how it will look as a final product. If there are any gaps in the storyboard that don’t communicate what you want it to then you can fix it at this stage (rather than on the day).
The likelihood is that your chosen Snapchatter will have some good ideas about what would work, so be sure to include them in your discussions – you chose them for a reason after all. One innovative way of connecting with audiences and reminding them of your brand throughout the takeover is by using custom Geofilters. Leading up the event you might want to consider working with an external designer in order to perfect a professional custom Geofilter that will grab your audiences and draw them in. If the takeover is happening in a particular place, then go ahead and make the Geofilter available for anyone passing in that location – turn this into an exciting event that will be talked about and stick in the public consciousness for some time. Finally, put some serious thought into the timing for your takeover event and secure it in the diary far in advance.
A lot of the work that goes into a takeover is in the promotion of it. Leading up to the time of the event you will need to make sure there are steps set out for your own promotion as well as that of the person taking over. As their reach is likely to be more extensive than yours, you will need to impress upon them the importance of talking about the takeover across all social networks. Tag them in anything you post about it and ask them to do the same. Ensure they are also directing their audience to follow your brand in the lead up so that they don’t miss a single moment on the day.
During the takeover stay involved and stay on top of the tone of voice being put out by your influencer. It should be authentic and still align with your brand, so make yourself readily available in case they have any issues. It is important that you learn from any takeovers you do, so be sure to screenshot the whole thing and ask your influencer to do the same with any interactions they have from your audience. Next time you will be able to get them out and get a head-start on the prep work!