You likely know Snapchat for the invention of now-iconic features like Filters and Stories that debuted back in 2013. Nowadays, 190 million daily active users upload 3 billion snaps per day and 73% of all 18-24-year-olds in the U.S. have an account, making it an excellent platform for reaching younger audiences in 2020.
Let’s walk through the basics and what’s working on Snapchat right now.
Snapchat works similarly to Instagram. Open the app and take a photo or short video. Then, add it to your general feed (or, in Snapchat lingo – your Story) where fans can find it.
When capturing your photo or video, Snapchat offers a host of in-app editing tools and features to add personality to your post. Let’s go through each of those together.
Once you’ve captured the moment, you’ll see a menu of editing tools on the right side of your screen:
- Text tool: As you might have guessed, this allows you to add text in a few styles / fonts.
- Drawing tool: Choose from the color palette and go all MS Paint on your snap.
- Sticker tool: Add emojis or stickers instead of just including in a text caption.
- Link tool: Drive fans to a link of your choice by clicking the paperclip icon. Fans can visit the link by swiping up.
Next time #TBT rolls around, swipe up on the main screen to view Memories, which stores older content from Snapchat or your Camera Roll. Memories can be edited with filters, text, and other effects just like realtime snaps.
To share music with your followers, try tapping and holding down on your screen while snapping to Shazam a track in-app.
Did you know you can make a Snapchat Story exclusive to a single location? To do this, tap the “+ Custom” icon below the “Add a chat…” section of your feed, then select “Geo Story.”
This tool can be used to reward show-goers or record store shoppers with exclusive content.
Just one caveat: the story must be posted from this location.
No remote Stories, sorry!
Lenses and Filters
Users can also create their own Lens and Filters within the Snapchat App. Simply go to Settings and scroll down to select “Filters and Lenses.”
To create a Filter, simply click on the Filter button and then select one of Snapchat’s template themes to build out your custom Filter OR start from scratch and build your own by following the directions within the app!
To create a Lens, click on the Lens button and then select one of Snapchat’s Lens template themes to build out your custom Lens.
For those with advanced graphic design skills or working with a designer, Lens Studio can be used to create one-of-a-kind, custom Lenses for fans to access and enjoy.
You’ve gotten the hang of the basics. Now it’s time to make sure you’re getting all you can out of Snapchat.
Stories are a lot like a DVR – everything you post will be available for 24 hours so fans can (binge?) watch at their leisure. The 24-hour rule keeps Snapchat feeling casual and light-hearted, and also means it’s important to be consistent to maintain visibility on the platform.
Types of Content
What do people want to see on Snapchat? In a few words, humor and candid content.
Snapchat feels much more intimate than other socials, for a few reasons:
- Short content format
- Self-destructing posts
- Lack of pre-shot, edited perfection
For this reason, Snapchat isn’t the place for:
- Formal promotional materials: Instead, show a snap of an actual vinyl or store a fan can visit
- Previously shot, edited photos or videos: Although Snapchat Memories allows for these posts, use behind-the-scenes snaps instead where possible
Need some ideas to get started? Posting regularly but looking to get more creative? Here are some fun examples of how you could use Snapchat.
- Request fan snaps: Fans can see if you’ve opened their snap. Try asking for snaps of them listening to your album, singing along to their favorite track, or doodling on your album art.
- Promote a release: We now know that Snapchat isn’t the place for formal promotional photos and sales pitches. Try getting a snap of a CD or LP while in the store, or sharing in-studio content from Memories.
- Tease a track: Share photo or video of the recording process, a track in Pro-Tools, or a test pressing spinning. Even better, send it directly to super fans for an exclusive experience.
- Q&A: Invite fans to ask questions via Snapchat. Answer directly to select fans or add answers to your Story so fans can view them.
All Snapchat users have access to basic, high-level performance stats, but verified users can dig much deeper with Snapchat’s proprietary analytics tool.
Not verified? You can still see a few key engagement metrics. Tap on your Story and swipe up to see how many times your story has been viewed or screenshot.
Verified users can access the full analytics tool by tapping on their profile and selecting the “Insights” tab.
Here, you’ll find a host of stats, including:
- total Story views
- time spent viewing
- users reached
- average view time
- story view percentage
- popular regions
That’s it for our 2020 Snapchat update. Now get Snapping and try these tips and tricks for yourself!