Oh snap!

Unsure of your first steps onto Snapchat? Many big brands turn to young creative influencers to show them the ropes


Unsure of your first steps onto Snapchat? Many big brands turn to young creative influencers to show them the ropes and help finesse their strategy. One such influencer explains the right approach to being snap happy.

The one thing with Snapchat you will not find on any other platform is an audience that consumes your content with sole attention. Users have to be focused when watching Snapchat content. Snapchat users have to be focused and in the moment watching your story. The reason for this is simple: content posted on Snapchat’s My Story will only be available for 24 hours. Following this it will disappear forever. The focus of the user has to be at its fullest when consuming content in Snapchat or else they know there is a large chance they will miss out on something good.

Snapchat for brandsA snap from Geir Ove’s viral “Random People” project

When it comes to Snapchat, brands should forget about how they post content on other social media platforms. Snapchat is the place to show a different side of your business and give their followers something extra. Snapchat is meant to be a playful, loose platform and not to be taken too seriously. It’s like showing a view from your inside your brand and not just displaying the polished exterior as is the norm on other platforms. This helps build greater trust in your brand. By working with a creative Snapchat influencer, companies can boost following or sales to new heights. A good example is the Force Friday campaign for Sphero that I was a part of. They hired five creative Snapchat influencers to promote the launch of their new robot BB-8. Each influencer made a story related to the product and it sold out within a few hours after the launch. My followers were talking about the Force Friday story for weeks after that project.

This shows why it`s important to use a creative Snapchat influencer. They produce entertaining stories suited to your audience. This leads to people talking about your brand or product with good reach among Snapchat users. I have also helped clients with their Snapchat strategies, often aiding them with their first steps. Many brands don’t know how to start their own channel on Snapchat or what kind of content works. If you approach it with a plan to boost sales through only showing advertising, I can say right away that the channel will not do very well. Companies should think of Snapchat as a television channel. When you are at home watching your favourite show on television, what do you do during the ad break?  Often, you do something else. But what if I told you that you could create a new “favourite show” for your followers on Snapchat? And also include some of your advertising in it? Then you would have your own successful Snapchat channel.

“Companies should think of Snapchat as a television channel.”

Targeting audiences

Companies should have in mind whom they are reaching out to and how they are going to do it on Snapchat. I have always kept a clean profile when producing my content and stories in Snapchat: by that I mean avoiding posting potentially offensive content. In this way I have built a huge audience of all ages who truly care about me and the content I put out there.

When working for specific audiences for a brand I normally go into the minds of what the typical consumer wants on Snapchat. My first rule is that they all love to be entertained. I also ask myself the questions; what kind of people are they, what are their ages and what do they like about the brand? My experience is that something creative with humour is always a good way to get people talking and Snapchat is the perfect medium for this.

But different projects always have different approaches.  Sometimes a beautiful artistic story may be more apt. However, the main goal to keep in mind is that people should talk about the brand or product after the story is live. So if I can come up with something that amazes people or they haven’t seen done before on Snapchat, then I`ll know that the campaign will be a success.

My story

My name is Geir Ove but most people know me by my Snapchat alias Geeohsnap – the Snapchat influencer making people happy on a daily basis.  My first ever Snapchat was a picture I took of a random person. I made a doodle on top of the image, turning it into something funny, new and interesting. I sent this image to my 10 friends on Snapchat. By looking at the enthusiastic responses I received from my friends, I set my own strategy for my account thinking that this could become something big. And so it did.

By autumn 2014 I had reached 100,000 daily views of my stories within a month since I started with Snapchat. Today I have reached over 1,500,000 daily views of my stories. I make a living off speaking at conferences, working with Snapchat content and creating campaigns for clients and brands.

Setting strategies for you brand on Snapchat is not the same as on any other platform. Snapchat is meant to be a bit playful – you should make people curious and you should engage regularly with your audience. By setting the right strategies and producing good content you get an audience that you will not find on any other platforms. This is an audience that is like the true friends of your brand. Not an audience that merely likes your brand.

Geir Ove Pedersen

Geir Ove Pedersen is a Snapchat strategist and influencer better known by his username Geeohsnap.  He works fulltime creating workshops and campaigns for brands and companies all over the world. His creative work includes campaigns with companies such as Walt Disney, Starbucks, Microsoft and Sphero.