More than just a communication tool, marketers and musicians everywhere have been experimenting with the platform to start promoting their products and services.
Should you be on Snapchat too? Well, that depends on a number of things:
- Do you like using Snapchat?
- Do you have the time to be active on Snapchat?
- Is Generation Z a large part of your fan base?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, here are some tips on how to promote your music on Snap Chat.
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Learn How Snapchat Works Before Your Band Starts Promoting On There
As with any other game, you can’t play it without first knowing the rules. Snapchat isn’t like Facebook, Twitter, or even Instagram (well, it’s somewhat like Instagram). It’s an entity unto itself, which means you have to learn how it works to get the most out of it.
We’ll give a basic overview of the app here, but you should also take the time to watch some video tutorials and read some blog posts if you don’t know how it works already.
One way to use Snapchat is as a messaging app. If you have a smartphone, you’re probably using Messenger already, so you should have a good idea of how that works. The main difference being that video messages are more commonly used on Snapchat.
You can also use Snapchat to create “stories.” The idea here is to capture still photos and videos throughout your day and publish them to your feed. After 24 hours, the content expires and disappears for good – which means your content doesn’t have to be the most polished to be engaging.
That’s something you absolutely need to be aware of before you decide to incorporate Snapchat into your music marketing efforts – pretty much everything you create disappears after a certain point. You can still back up that content to your phone, but whatever you publish today won’t be there for everyone to see in perpetuity.
When you create a Snap, you can add text, emojis, filters, and even draw on it. Then, it can be sent to your friends as a private message, or you can add it to a story.
As A Musician, Create A Following On Snapchat & Connect With Your Fans
The main benefit of Snapchat is that you can connect with people. You can send them personalized messages, and let them know how you’re doing and what you’re up to.
When you first install Snapchat on your phone, it will access your contact list and let you know who you know that’s already on Snapchat. This is a good starting point, but you’ll want to extend your reach beyond your immediate circle of friends and family members.
You can let all of your fans know that you’re on Snapchat as well. Tweet about it, send an email to your list, and mention it at every show.
When you meet people in-person or at gigs, you can encourage them to take a Snap of your “ghost”, which is a fun way to grow your following.
Don’t forget to remain in contact with your followers while you’re building your contact list. You can engage them in any number of different ways. Here are just a few ideas:
- Let people know what you’re up to. Recording in the studio? Playing a big gig? Getting interviewed on the radio? Eating a great hamburger? Make a quick Snap.
- Share about promotions. Are you selling your first three albums in a bundle at a discounted price? Let your fans in on it.
- Announcements. Tell your followers when you're coming out with a new single or when you have a big tour coming up.
- Encourage participation. Get your fans to Snap about your latest album, or take a quick video at one of your shows.
Be creative – there are plenty of different ways to utilize the photo and video medium to promote your music.
As new social platforms emerge, we’re often too quick to think in terms of how we can use them to promote ourselves and our music. Don’t get me wrong – we should be leveraging every opportunity available. But if you focus strictly on return on investment, not only will you be disappointed by the results, the process will feel like a drag.
Social media is all about being social. This doesn’t mean that you can’t sell your merch or build your brand on social networks – it’s actually a really great tool for that. But people are tired of spamming. They’re also tired of those who only do things out of self-interest. Whenever you’re promoting anything, you always need to return to the question, “what’s in it for them?”
If you have fun on Snapchat, others will have fun watching you too. They’ll be entertained, and they’ll enjoy connecting with you. But don’t expect people to bend over backwards to interact with you, especially if you aren’t adding value to them in some way.
Also keep in mind that connecting with people takes time. There can be a lot of back-and-forth, especially as more people interact with you, and you want to be able to answer their questions in a timely manner.
For better or for worse, anything you create on Snapchat eventually disappears. Like I said earlier, you can back up the content to your phone and repurpose it in other ways, but then the question becomes why? Snapchat is all about being candid and spontaneous, and you don’t necessarily want people to be able to access this content for eternity.
So if you’re thinking about using Snapchat to promote your music, you need to consider whether or not it’s the right medium for you. For some, it’s a godsend, because it gives them a more direct way to interact with their friends and followers. That’s one of the primary advantages of Snapchat. For others, it will just feel like a grind, and not a natural extension of their personality.
Take some time to experiment. I think you’ll find out whether or not you’re a Snapchat person pretty quickly.