Well, you’ve made it.
You’re finally at the point where you feel comfortable enough in your creative skills to take your efforts seriously on Snapchat.
Just one problem. You’re struggling to grow your followers beyond your small group of friends or like-minded business contacts.
Ultimately, the issue lies in Snapchat’s greatest challenge for its users; a lack of built-in discovery. This isn’t necessarily news, but it’s something every Snapchat artist and storyteller has to contend with every day.
Outside of consistently creating great content and leveraging outside social platforms to promote yourself on Snapchat, this really only leaves you one option to effectively grow your followers. Luckily, it’s a great option to use.
Snapchat Takeover 101
If you’re a true student and heavy user of Snapchat, you’ll undoubtedly be familiar with takeovers. Until Snapchat makes some form of change to the platform where users can be turned on to new content creators to follow, swapping accounts will be here to stay.
When done properly, you can spread awareness to an entirely new set of eyes that may have never been exposed to your content in any other way. Sure, you may be repurposing your content for other channels like Instagram, YouTube, or even Slinger, but there’s nothing quite like experiencing what you’ve created when users are directly inside the platform. Not to mention that since they’re already in the app, this makes it slightly easier to screenshot your Snapcode or add you by your username.
There may come a time when takeovers will become overused and subsequently annoy users, but here are a couple tips to improve your strategy when going after your next takeover opportunities.
Let the Stalking Begin
Did I say I stalking? I meant to say RESEARCH!
Creators have gotten where they are not only by pure talent, but in combination with inspiration. So at minimum to perfect your craft, you have to force yourself to find other creators that inspire you.
And sure, you might not be able to convince someone as hugely well-known as Gary Vaynerchuk to let you do a takeover on his account. But you still need to watch the stories of others on a regular basis.
Organizing your list of friends on Snapchat can be a bit daunting if you’ve followed a lot of people. For our purposes, this is going to be absolutely critical to keep track of the Snapchatters you think may be a good fit to do a takeover with.
Now that you’ve made sure to tune in to watch these stories regularly, it’s time to take notes. Really dive in and pay attention to how these users leverage the platform. Are they posting every day? Do their stories have a specific narrative or are they day-to-day videos and images?
But the most important question you need to answer is whether or not these users have done takeovers in the past. If they have, then this most likely means that they are open to doing another one if there is some sort of value you’re bringing to the table. That isn’t to say that if they haven’t done a takeover as of yet that they wouldn’t be open to it, just know that these opportunities may take a little more finesse.
Building a Legitimate Relationship
In the world of business and social media, marketers and other professionals harp on the value of building relationships. Whether it’s to drive sales, brand awareness, or a better connection with the world at large, relationships and communication are at the core of Snapchat.
Because the platform was largely created as a messenger service for early adopters, a majority of Snapchat users still use it as an awesome tool for communication. And for our purposes to find your next takeover opportunity, so will you.
Short of paying creators to let you do a takeover on their accounts, it’s probably not wise to hit them up with a request to do a takeover straight out of the gate. Instead, you’ll want to slowly build trust and eventually an actual relationship.
The easiest thing to first is sending them personalized snaps or chat messages commenting on something you may have seen on their story earlier that day. For example, before I did a takeover for FigoAmericano, I noticed Ben featured tacos in a lot of his stories. So I would often tweet at him funny GIFs of tacos or chat with him about my favorite taco-themed snaps.
(These little details count, ya know)
Speaking of Twitter, if they are active on Snapchat, they probably also have a presence on a myriad of other social platforms. This should be a no-brainer, but it’s OK to go ahead and follow these folks posthaste!
Pitching Your Takeover Idea
Now that you’ve done what you can to build a real relationship with the folks you want to do a takeover with, it’s now time to ask if they would be interested. But before doing so, here are a couple things you should really have prepared beforehand:
Storyboard Your Idea
Not many people realize this, but the best Snapchat artists and storytellers plan out their stories in advance. Whether they’re trying to tell a predetermined narrative or a specific series of snaps, the point is that they’ve put some serious thought behind it.
You’ll need to do the same with your story idea for them. While what should be part of your story is totally up to you and expressive of your personal style on Snapchat, planning out your story shows that you’ve taken some consideration for the person you’re pitching your idea to. If you’re a day-to-day poster, plan it out meticulously. And if you’re a true storyteller, write out your script.
Once your story is ready to go, be prepared to show them your idea.
This one is huge.
Be upfront with your intentions and also be ready to answer any and all questions about your style of storytelling, how many views you normally get on any one of your stories, and possibly what your viewer retention rate looks like.
Be Sincere, Be Authentic
Sure, you are leveraging the audience of another creator to potentially grow your own. You just need to make sure you’re giving them value in order for them to consider it worth their time.
Being self-aware and honest with yourself should allow to quickly grasp what value you’re bringing to the table. Whether it’s to grow their audience as well or to offer a different type of content you think their audience will enjoy, bringing value will ultimately be their biggest factor in determining how interested they are in letting you takeover their account.
Final Thoughts – Danger, Will Robinson!
Before you go off and hit up every single person you think will be great to switch accounts with, you want to be extremely selective of who you choose. Whatever your brand or style of storytelling, there’s a good reason you have the followers you already do on Snapchat.
Don’t do a takeover for someone if it’s purely to gain followers at any cost. Finding similar storytellers to your style can help ensure that you’re reaching an audience that will more than likely enjoy your content as well. And as mentioned earlier, users may eventually become bored or annoyed if takeovers become too prevalent. Additionally, it’s also very possible that Snapchat will add a discovery tool and render takeovers useless.
For now, takeovers are one of the best ways to quickly grow your followers on Snapchat.
Thanks for reading! Did you like this? Hate it? Think I may have missed something? Be sure to leave a comment down below and let me know!
If we aren’t already friends on Snapchat, you can follow me at [Stephen.Hoops]
And if you didn’t get a chance to check out the takeover I did with FigoAmericano, you can still catch it here.