How do you get started on Snapchat?
Snapchat offers a fantastic support menu, which details all of the features and how-to’s, but I’ll help you get started on the basics.
Snapchat offers a fantastic support menu, which details all of the features and how-to’s, but I’ll help you get started on the basics.
“Which one social media channel will net me the most book sales?” an author asked me recently during my new weekly #BookMarketingChat.
If you’ve begun to query agents and editors, you’ve heard the dreaded P word dropped.
Sarah Garnham is a Publicity Assistant at Ebury. Here’s her summary report of Snapchat for publishers, looking at the publicity opportunities it offers, and when to use them.
Although a number of these statistics are out of date or estimated (mainly because Snapchat doesn’t often reveal exact figures), it is clear that Snapchat is an incredibly popular app and user platform, particularly with younger target audiences.
Stories are a really good way of updating our users with new news and updates and the recent addition of an auto-play function means that when they are checking their friends’ everything plays through. This is a delicate balance of making sure the snap is relevant and frequent (but not too frequent). Special events with big lead-ups can be very good if you know you’ll be posting a longer story on a different day as this way you won’t annoy too many people and can build the hype. PRH Careers did this prior to their long “follow me” stories for The Scheme where you got to follow an editor/assistant/manager for a day.
Discover seems to be a much more costly way of advertising as big companies such as BuzzFeed and The Sun use it. It’s a daily update from either a news/food/entertainment source and tends to contain about 10-30 snaps, videos and challenges.
This function continues to gain in popularity with media outlets and could lend itself really well to publishing; however this would be an expensive task. You can however buy ad space in this feature, the price of which can be negotiated with that particular discover partner. This means that they can earn money back, and you can save money as it could work out much cheaper than advertising in between stories.
Streamed from viral events, including the London location which is likely to be the most likely place where an event might get featured. However advertisers can buy time in between these which might be a possible way to advertise if you wanted to do so (although these can be skipped).
At a larger event e.g. BAFTAs, new stories are created, with fans and those attending able to add images and videos to the story. One idea might be to try and get featured at bigger events e.g. Summer in the City as these will almost definitely have a Live feature or at the very least be included on the London stories function. In combination with a filter, this could be really popular.
Geofilters are digital graphics that layer on top of images or videos and are specific to a location. Often if enough of these are shared to do with certain events or simply as part of the ‘Our London Story’ function in a single day, then they can get featured and seen by many more people.
There are two main ways in which a Geofilter could be utilised. Firstly is if an artist or designer submitted one and this was chosen by Snapchat. No brand logos are allowed, but this option is free. However this wouldn’t be particularly useful as it is likely that the location would only be the office, so generally used by staff. However visiting authors give it the potential to be seen by more people.
The second way, which would probably be a lot more useful is by temporarily purchasing one for a special event e.g. a launch/reading/signing. These can be approved in one business day and start at $5. They can cover a space between 20,000 square feet and 5 million square feet, so would be able to fit the perimeters of a bookshop or venue. These encourage people to share their images and would be particularly useful at large blogger events. (This article goes through the steps of the process: http://techcrunch.com/2016/02/23/how-to-make-snapchat-geofilter/).
Many brands and locations use these, and particularly well designed ones are likely to be further shared on Facebook or Instagram. As this is being proposed to be used for advertising the classics, you could really utilise the different designs of the sets e.g. birds and bees and they have a fun and bright design.
These are graphics that fit over a user’s face, sometimes even available for multiple people in the shot. They follow the movement of the face and are often animated, usually when the user opens their mouth.
A recent popular example includes the Cadbury campaign to push individual chocolate bar brands such as Crunchie, Twirl and Wispa. They launched a featured lens that appeared first in the list (before the popular dog lens) which appeared every Friday to tie in with their Friday Feeling campaign. It featured a gold mask which covered the whole face, music and a feature which rained Crunchie bars across the screen and said either “Give Me That Friday Feeling” or “Obey Your Mouth” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJEGL6Aa3xI).
These are reported to be quite expensive, although they get a lot of traction. The Face Swap lens offers a way of utilising this function for free although you would have to promote it elsewhere.
On the 2nd of August, Instagram launched ‘Instagram Stories’, essentially a direct copy of ‘Snapchat Stories’. This allows users to post photos and videos, overlay these with words, emojis and a drawing function. The photos and videos disappear after 24 hours and don’t appear in you feed. If you tap on someone else’s picture you can send them a DM about it and you can also make your story private so no one, not even your followers, can see it. You can see who has viewed your story by opening it and swiping up on the screen, you can see the number and the name and these statistics are private. It also offers an easy way to share a picture/video from your feed into your story using the (…) function. You can also download the images to your phone, much like snapchat.
Full list of differences and similarities here: https://techcrunch.com/2016/08/02/instagram-stories/
We all live in the digital age and for us writers, that’s mostly a good thing. After all, it gives us more opportunities to tell others about our stories. The internet has evolved in so many ways through the years and the popularity of social media channels have given us writers a lot of platforms to put our works out there. And that’s a good thing, right? There are numerous channels we can choose from: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, etc. And then there’s Snapchat. Numerous companies have been using Snapchat to promote their businesses and make a name for themselves. Don’t be under the impression that Snapchat is only for millennials or for the young ones, though.
What, exactly, is Snapchat? It’s an app that captures videos and photos, with its filters making it fun to do so. You can also send those photos and videos as messages to your friends. The only catch is this: whatever you upload in Snapchat is only available for 24 hours. Given its fun nature in terms of sharing, Snapchat has become a hit. As writers, I think we can use this app to help gain more audience and keep a stronger connection with existing readers.
As writers, here are the ways we can use Snapchat:
This will help your readers (both existing and potential) catch behind-the-scenes look. I think the rawness of this approach makes it more genuine and interesting. Think of capturing yourself while at a coffee shop, with your laptop or your tool of preference all ready to use and you talking about what it’s like to write there – your thoughts, your process, how the environment affects you, etc. Another interesting idea would be to talk about what tools you use when you write, like which software or what kind of pen and notebook. Letting your audience catch glimpses of these scenes help establish a deeper connection.
It’s already a fun app to use. Why not add fellow writers and see what they are up to within that day? This not only helps build friendship but it also encourages us to build each other up. We writers most certainly need each other, if not to keep sanity and loneliness at bay! Also, isn’t it more fun to send messages to each other with all those cute filters?
Ellen DeGeneres’ Snapchat account is a perfect example of someone else taking over your Snapchat. It promotes establishing connections in a fun way with fellow writers or other similar brands / influencers. This captures attention of the readers of all the writers involved. Fresh faces and candid footage or videos are always interesting. This article here talks about the ways to get started with Snapchat takeovers.
People are visual creatures. Let us writers leverage our Snapchat accounts by giving our audience some photos of a new book cover or maybe a snippet of that novel we’re working on. Or if you’ve been to a book fair or a book signing event, it’s a great idea to show them that. Sharing makes your audience feel like they can relate to you. Snapchat can bring you closer to others by simply sharing things about your novel and, sometimes, your life.
Don’t limit sharing to just yourself. Ask your readers to join in the fun. Like the aforementioned account takeovers, you can always ask your readers to share photos or their own videos. Encourage them to connect with you, be it via takeovers or Snapchat messages. Engaging them to participate and share with you helps create and foster familiarity and, hopefully, friendship.
Snapchat is really a fun way to grow your audience, expose your brand, and build connections. Why not give it a try and see how it goes for you? You can do just about anything with it while having a good time doing so. Got a story to share about what got you into writing in the first place? Or how about that time you got your first rejection and how that helped shape who you are as a writer? Perhaps you want to snap photos of that walk downtown as you clear your head when you’ve got writer’s block. Maybe you attended an open mic session and simply want to share that moment with your readers. The possibilities are endless! So go ahead. Use Snapchat for all it’s worth. Grow your audience and build your followers while staying true to who you are and what you’ve got.
Anna loves stringing words together to tell stories, be it horror or conversations with friends. She also wanders and tends to get lost in the internet, always on the lookout for something new to read. Armed with her love for coffee and horror, she writes regularly to keep sanity at bay. Check out her blog, and follow her on Twitter or Instagram.
This is a guest post by Julie Proudfoot. Julie is an Australian writer and blogger and award-winning author of The Neighbour. Julie writes from her home in Bendigo where she lives with her husband and children and a menagerie of cats and dogs and kangaroos and snakes and lizards. You can find her on twitter, Instagram, Snapchat @julieproudfoots and at her blog, Proud Foot Words.
Bloomberg recently declared that over 150 million people are using snapchat, daily. That’s more users than there are on twitter. So as an author, why wouldn’t you get on board?
But how can we as authors best use snapchat as a tool?
There is so much to explore on Snapchat, don’t be afraid to try it all out. Be real, be yourself, and have fun!
Although Snapchat has been around since 2011, it has recently become one of the top ways young people communicate. However, Snapchat is not exclusively used by YA tweens and it is time that publishing took note of the platform. The latest data reveals that 71% of Snapchat users are under 34, and Snapchat has potential to reach far more audiences than the YA market.
The ability to share visual content through a Snapchat story, rather than directly to friends in your address book, allows it to be the perfect social platform for forward thinking brands and bloggers alike. Followers can view images and videos as many times as they like over 24 hours before it disappears. Snapchat can help you create a personal relationship with your followers while keeping content fun, fresh and interesting.
So, how can publishing use it?
Top bloggers become personalities, and even celebrities, in their online communities. Brands such as Kylie Jenner (@kylizzlemynizzle) and Zoella (@officialzoella) have made an art form of promoting themselves through their Snapchat accounts. Why not do the same? Posting video and picture content is an easy way to advertise your bookish lifestyle.
Posting images to your Snapchat story is a great way to announce the publication of a new post as it only lasts 24 hours. It is also a great way to forge connections to other bloggers by promoting other blogs and Snapchat accounts.
Already managed to create a hype around a new book? Intensify it by allowing fans to witness every stage of the publishing process: from the arrival of proof copies to publicity coverage and bookish events. This is particularly effective for sequels or books coming out as part of a series.
It makes sense to recruit dynamic, diverse and creative social media experts from their natural habitat – social media. Penguin Random House revolutionised publishing recruitment when they announced the introduction of ‘The Scheme’ an 18 month paid training programme via Tumblr.
The decision to launch ‘The Scheme’ was clearly designed to reach a more diverse, and younger, cohort to the entry-level scheme. Many publishers also use Facebook to advertise work experience placements. While some brands are clearly utilising social media to reach the talent they want, no publishing house has yet managed to create an entirely social recruitment process. Snapchat would be a perfect way to keep applicants up to date with the latest developments in the application process.
Demelza Griffiths is an English Literature finalist and social media enthusiast who can’t wait to escape the ivory towers of university to seek a career in book publicity. Her blog, Books feat. Politics covers the latest and greatest in political non-fiction and literary fiction. Find her on Twitter, Instagram and WordPress.
Social media is always evolving, and that’s why I like it. If you don’t keep up with the latest updates, you’ll get mired in old ways that worked six months ago but have since bit the proverbial dust.
Here are recent changes from 5 of the big players.
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