It was announced last week that Snapchat has now surpassed Twitter in it’s number of daily users. That’s huge! It now boasts 150 million daily users globally. Coupled with its rawness, creativity and lack of algorithm is a compelling and worthwhile reason to start taking this seriously.
It’s also a great reason for businesses to start thinking how they can use its features to their advantage. I met a fellow Wiltshire Snapchatter during a local Twitter chat a few months ago. Straight away I was impressed by the way he was using it for personal branding. Danny Matthews (theactualdanny) is a financial services adviser, our guest blogger, and this is his success story in using Snapchat:
Around two years ago, I remember sitting in the garden of a local pub with some friends as they poked fun at each other and laughed about what they had seen on Snapsomething.
Like most people it seemed like a way for kids to secretly message each other using pictures – which at the time, is exactly what it was used for but like all social media and messaging platforms it evolved and introduced a ‘Story’ feature.
Being who is commonly referred to as ‘millenial’ or ‘generation y’ I always had an interest in social media. However, I didn’t realise you could use it to actually drive business results. But over the last 3 years I have learned the core principles of ‘the social business’. However, I had a BIG problem.
By day, I’m a Mortgage Adviser for Wiltshire and Gloucestershire. This means I work in a heavily (like, really heavily) regulated industry. Therefore, by law I am forbidden to participate in what the regulator calls ‘Financial Promotion.’
Luckily for me, I had no intention of promoting my services because I understand something that is overlooked by businesses every single day;
We are living through the biggest consumer driven shift in history and you are doing your customers the biggest disservice by not participating in the evolution of communication.
I downloaded the Snapchat app, and although I wasn’t following anyone at the time, I could see that there were some huge international brands showcasing videos on Snapchat.
I started playing with the filters for a few days, I read articles, videos and podcasts talking about the use of Snapchat in business and that’s when it started getting interesting.
MY BUSINESS SUCCESS.
Those new to Snapchat need to firstly understand that the larger demographic is 13-25 year olds. However, now that businesses and personal brands are utilising it the age range of people on the app is getting higher.
There are huge benefits of being an early adopter on a new channel or app. Because I took that leap, let me share with you the results of my ‘Snapping’.
Since being on Snapchat and as a direct result of that way I’ve used Snapchat I have been featured in:
- 5 Financial Times Articles (with a feature in progress)
- 3 Local Publications
- Offered (and accepted!) a monthly resident column of my own for a local property magazine
- Acquired a contract to train Mortgage Advisers
- And, made some great friends and business connections in the process – 5 of which are guests on my Podcast ‘Mortgage Moments with Danny Matthews’.
At the time, you could count my followers on both hands.
LESSONS FROM MY SNAPCHAT SUCCESS.
You need to understand that although this is a different platform, the rules are the same for any social profile, blog or content distribution platform in that:
- Consistency is top priority – your story disappears after 24 hours so keep that loop topped up. Even if you tell people that you only snap on a Monday, you better make sure you make it good and show up, every single Monday (that includes Christmas Time!).
- Give Value, and don’t sell – just like anywhere else. Same rules apply.
- Have Fun – I work in what is considered one of the most boring industries. If I can entertain, I’m doing something right – right!? Just have fun, play with filters, picture and video, draw on it. You’re given the tools but you need to put them to work.
If you’re on the edge of considering Snapchat, do it! You’ll be surprised how much fun you have while working.
Most of all I need you to understand one thing; as a financial services professional it is harder for me than anyone else to even exist on social media (in the regulators eyes), never mind the fact that its almost 100% untraceable after 24 hours.
If I can get these results, the future looks so bright and exciting for all you creative bookkeepers, consultants, digital nomads, social engagers and product providers.
Time to get to work!