Snapchat Basics 101

 In Blog

Is Snapchat really this generation’s TV? We’re not sure about that claim. But among Millennials, Snapchat is extremely popular and growing more so by the second. And like most social media, popularity is expected to expand beyond Millennials.

Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter all deserve more of your time and attention at this point, but if your audience is on Snapchat, you should be there, too.

Here are some steps to getting started:

1.Sign up and grab your username before someone else does. Choose a username consistent with your username on other social platforms so you have a unified brand online and it’s easy for listeners to find you.

Pro tip: Go ahead and lock up variations of the station name and tagline, as well as popular on-air show names. Don’t brand these or post any snaps so it’s obvious for Snapchatters who stumble upon them that they aren’t active.

2. Create a Snapchat QR code with your logo or photo. (That’s right. QR codes just got cool again.)

This code allows users to add you as a friend quickly. You can also change your Facebook and Twitter profile photo to show listeners you’re on Snapchat.

3. Add snaps and stories. Snaps (photos or videos) will last up to 10 seconds before disappearing on users’ phones. You can also string together snaps to create a Snapchat Story, which last for 24 hours. Think of a story as a tiny movie production with each snap as a 10 second scene.

4. Sell the show’s user name. Mention it in your “about” section on Twitter and Facebook. List it on your station website and promote it in regular recorded imaging on-air. Wait until you have the hang of Snapchat and your strategy is in full swing to start promoting, though. If listeners check it out and it doesn’t look active, they might not come back.

5. Create drama. Snapchat is perfect for storytelling. It allows you to be personal and intimate as a character and allows the audience to follow along on your various adventures. If these adventures happen to include funny stories about your co-host, well…

6. Snapchat with a cameo. Add a snap of celebrity interviews or meet and greets. Timeliness is key. Snapshot users are driven by FOMO (fear of missing out), so put a priority on content that is happening right this minute.

7. Create Live Stories. Live stories happen at events and locations around the world where users upload content and Snapchat curates everyone’s photos and videos into instant coverage. Try contributing your own story at the next big event you attend, and go light on the station logos – but make sure that people know who you are.

8. Amp up the audio. Radio is an audio medium, so stay true to your roots. Play sounds from the studio or sound effects straight from your phone during your snap.

9. Snapchat hints to big promotions. This is a quick way to add value for listeners and grow your following!

10. Connect one-to-one. If you were using Snapchat as you and not as you on the radio, what would you share? Be yourself and use snaps as an opportunity to create a human connection with your listeners. If that involves videos of your cat or your awesome dance moves (let us know—we’d like to see that), so be it.

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