This week was a bit more challenging – although we have all successfully incorporated Snapchat into our marketing repertoire, there are still some growing pains. I, along with some of the agents, am having trouble keeping Snapchat present in my mind at all times. A few times, I realized too late that I had missed out on an opportunity to take a cool snap.

I am hoping this is something that develops with practice, and not a continual problem.

I tasked our agents with trying selfie photos and videos. A number of people I follow on Snapchat post selfie videos, which prompted me to research exactly why they find this effective. It’s a marketing truism that content with human faces performs better, which has carried over to social media platforms like Instagram. But why?

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When I was in college, I took a philosophy and ethics course and read French philosopher Emmanuel Levinas. Levinas was known for writing about face-to-face interaction, and the way seeing someone’s face offers a powerful recognition of another human that would otherwise be lost. You can read some of the text here (warning: incredibly dense).

I think with a platform like Snapchat, which offers content in short bursts, mixing in a friendly human face achieves the same effect. At the most basic level, it makes followers feel like something is being “shared”, rather than “shown”. The snap becomes conversational, making it more engaging.

That isn’t to say you should only take selfies (though some do), rather that you should put a face on your Snapchat account in order to engage your followers. I am pleased to report that some of our agents are already getting in the habit of creating selfie videos and photos.

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I asked some more questions of our agents. Although some had little to report, others offered some good feedback.

Have you tried anything new on Snapchat?

“I haven’t really tried anything new per se, but just continuing to do what I usually do on Snapchat: share info. People love to see tours, anything new being built or changes coming to the city.”

This was the overall tenor this week, and it isn’t a bad thing. Although I am all about experimentation, I think it’s critical that people develop their ‘voice’ naturally. Short of offering brief feedback, I don’t want to ‘force’ them to do anything.

Honestly, the biggest challenge I’ve faced with this Snapchat project is explaining what agents should actually do with it. Snapchat doesn’t work naturally as a marketing tool, myself included, and doesn’t offer a ton of feedback initially. I’m glad to see our team taking to it, even if it isn’t yet a huge part of their branding effort.

Have you used GhostCodes for promotion?

“I’ve been using GhostCodes and am slowly building my network of other agents and entrepreneurs around the country!”

As I mentioned last week, Kenny was kind enough to clue us in about GhostCodes. I’ve been using it for about a week, but I can already see the benefit.

The primary downside is that you need to do a fair amount of legwork to get it going, particularly offering ‘kudos’ to other users in order to get some in return.

Once you build up a following, it gets much easier to get your name out there. Even if it requires a lot of engagement, what you put into it you definitely get back in terms of followers and attention.

What do you have planned for next week?

“More of the same.”

If I learned anything this week, it’s that the early stage is the hardest part. The initial phase of Snapchat marketing is a challenge because you have to:

  1. Find a voice and style that people like.
  2. Keep iterating on that voice with minimal feedback.
  3. Accept the fact that you probably aren’t going to get any tangible benefits from your snaps, at least for a little while.
  4. Try lots of different promotional techniques to get your name and username out there.

Frequent users like Kenny have already surged past this stage, and, because they have reaped the benefits of using Snapchat, it’s easier to keep things rolling.

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I got a new car last week, but it is only new in the sense of having a new owner. The engine is from 1971, and every time I turn on the ignition I can hear it struggling to turn over. The trick I’ve discovered is to put a little gas in the engine before I turn the key. It still struggles, but it eventually turns on.

I see the early stage of Snapchat as basically the same thing: it’s tough to get things going initially, but once you do, it’s open roads and high speeds. The question I’m wondering about is, where does the gas come from?

(I will be taking the car to the mechanic tomorrow.)

Other weeks: Week 1, Week 3, Week 4



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