Since the beginning of 2016, we’ve been getting down with the kids and have grown more and more in love with Snapchat. It seems the world of food has been warming to it too and we’re delighted that there’s lots more Snapchat foodies! More and more bloggers are diversifying and adding Snapchat to their social media arsenal. As a social network, it has more daily users than Twitter, and it seems to be the future – In Ireland, at least, it’s the most actively-used platform, quickly overtaking Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
While some people do entertainment, beauty or comedy exceptionally well, the food community is really carving a niche out (and we’ve written about some of our favourite Snapchat foodies here). It’s like a tree’s branches, as more food accounts grow in popularity, others become inspired and so on and so forth. So as avid Snapchatters and long-time viewers, we’ve come up with some tips which you can take on board to become better Snapchat foodies.
Release your creativity
What we’ve always loved about Snapchat is that is creates stars out of ordinary people. There’s no need for fancy recording equipment, slick video-editing skills or insights into lighting hacks. You don’t need a self-built mini-studio and several camera set-up like YouTubers have. Everything you need is in your one hand: your phone and this one app. Use Snapchat’s special features such as filters, geotags and speed distortions to give your followers more than just a tired stream of front-facing, 10-second long monologues. It’s really customisable so just like you’d learn the intricacies of a brand new professional SLR camera by playing with it for a while, do the same with Snapchat. Learn the subtleties and use them to your advantage.
Snapchat is not live tv
The horrific downside of live broadcasting (take rolling news channels like Sky News for example) is having to fill in the gaps and keep viewers interested whilst monotonous things are happening. Not on Snapchat! If you’re at a loss for something interesting to say, don’t say anything. Don’t drivel on for the sake of it. There’s so much control in the hands of the viewer. Think about the length of your story and think two things: ‘less is more’ and ‘quality over quantity’. Would you Tweet as much as you say on Snapchat? Would you update your Facebook as frequently?
Snapchat is categorised as short-form media content. In fact it’s so short form, it disappears after 24 hours. It’s designed to be entertainment for the busy person on-the-go as an alternative, or maybe a complement, to Netflix or YouTube. There’s so much control in the hands of the viewer.
No, *seriously*, Snapchat is not live TV!
Snapchat is a self-editing machine. Our advice? EDIT. Edit to a nice little overview or insight, we don’t want a 30-minute life story; it should be a condensed snippet of your day. Think about the aspects you want to show off. Be choosy. Even ask your followers: “what do you enjoy seeing most?” and – if you’re brave enough – “what do you least enjoy?”.
Your viewer can skip every single one of your snaps very quickly, still giving you the views. Don’t be under any illusion that high views are an indication of enjoyment. It may be more an indication of endurance and stamina, don’t kid yourself. Stay humble and don’t be too self-indulgent. Leave your ego at the door, you’re not an expert at everything, so try not to pontificate.
Know your audience
This is a very tough one with Snapchat. At the time of writing, there’s no proper analytics. There’s no official or accurate way to measure popularity, which could be considered both the beauty and the ugly flaw of the platform. Yes, you can see how many views, screenshots and conversations you have going, but if you see 1,000 views, that could be out of 12,000 followers. You can’t tell – no one knows their definitive follower number and, BTW, that ‘score’ under your profile name is by NO means an indication of your follower number – people are confusing this way too much. That ‘score’ is a silly little points tracker which rewards you the more interactive you are (sending snaps, starting conversations, taking screenshots etc.)
Getting back to the point, judge the responses you get and try to work out your demographic – are they male/female/mixed? How old are they? What do they enjoy most that you share? What times are they most active? It’s trial and error but the main point we want to make is: know your audience. Don’t flog luxury travel experiences or premium beauty products to 13 year-old girls. Don’t urge us to seek out exotic ingredients to cook with if we’re watching in small-town Strabane. If you want to grow your audience, learn why they’re watching and what value you’re adding for them – these followers may be a little different from your other social media channels.
Strike a balance
While being able to speak on camera is great, try and find a natural balance between speech and text. Sometimes the written word can communicate your point far more succinctly than a soliloquy spread over several 10-second clips. People are also far more likely to screenshot stills as they’re great points of reference if they’re recreating your recipe or wanting to note something as a reminder of what you’ve been sharing.
Show your personality
Another thing we adore about this platform is that unlike Instagram where everything has to be utterly perfect (and is rewarded for being so) you’re broadcasting to your audience, warts-and-all. Personality, humour, even sarcasm can be so difficult to translate into text and words, but on Snapchat, your quirkiness comes across and can be really endearing and infectious. Celebrate what you are, who you are and what you’re about. If you’re cooking and you have a funny anecdote about the dish, ingredients or recipe, share it and add dimensions to what you’re doing. Make us laugh, make us relate, make us feel something. We’ve found people are far more human and relatable on Snapchat than any other platform.
Share your knowledge
Give people something to work with; one of our favourite sayings is: ‘Be so good they can’t ignore you’. People will probably follow you as a Snapchat foodie because you’re an authority on something – whether that’s recipes, ingredients, foodie travels or whatever. Educate them, inspire them, bring something new to the table, spark conversation (or debate, if you’re prepared), make a joke, relate to your followers, empower them to be able to do the things you do. Make them want to keep watching you!
Download, share, grow
One of the best things about Snapchat is the ability to download your content really easily and share it elsewhere. You can download an entire day’s story or just one snapchat, then you can use it to promote yourself elsewhere (instead of having to take content exclusively for each different platform). We both have iPhones, FYI, and, using a downloaded story, we can edit a snappy clip that we can further share to recycle content on Facebook or even YouTube. Likewise, still images can be shared on Twitter or Instagram. You have great examples of your talent and unique content, so share it ’round now and then.
The only way you’re going to grow properly as a Snapchat foodie is by interacting. Support other snappers, give them a shout-out and be involved in the foodie conversation. Start a chat with someone you admire, commenting on what they’ve shared. Ask for recommendations of other people to follow. It’s not a one-way street where you’re producing content that other people just have to sit, watch and be spoken to (YouTube), the beauty is that it’s interactive so make sure you’re also a follower yourself!
Be transparent (#AD, #SPON, products et. al)
It goes without saying but your reputation, integrity and respect is worth its weight in gold. Do declare any products you’re helping publicise that you’ve been sent for free and be open and honest about a brand or business’ involvement in any of your snaps. Don’t blur the lines. Just because you’re working with a brand or helping to give a shout-out to a business, declaring that you’re getting paid to do so won’t make people turn off, they’ll trust you more. We lecture about integrity all the time, but please just be up-front with followers.
Don’t forget your other channels
While it’s all good fun slapping dog filters over your face every day, you may be forgetting about your other channels. If you’re an existing blogger with an audience across other platforms, but your Snapchat game is strong, don’t forget about everyone else who just isn’t into Snapchat. A lot of people don’t have it, so don’t forget about your followers on other apps. There are still thousands who don’t understand how it works, nor maybe want to know.
Oh, add us on Snapchat BTW! Follow THIS LINK or simply scan the above snapcode in the app to add us to your snapchat foodie contacts!