The Ultimate Guide to Snapchat: How to Get Your First 1000 Views
Growing your Snapchat audience is a big pain in the butt. If you are not willing to put in the daily hustle, you won’t grow in Snapchat. Unlike other platform’s you can’t simply aggressively follow other users to build your audience. Snapchat may be hard to grow your following but if you follow The Ultimate Guide to Snapchat: How to get Your First 1000 views—you will crush the the ghost like no tomorrow.
Snapchat growth isn’t about growth, it’s about retention.
Unlike other social medias, Snapchat has absolutely no native discovery features. You cannot aggressively go out and follow others to build your audience. It just doesn’t work. Snapchat is all about building an organic community. You can’t cheat or game the system.
Real Snapchat growth is about retention of users more than growth of new users. You only get 1 shot to impress new users so they keep coming back. That means your content must be DAILY and extraordinary. There are two ways to create extraordinary content daily.
#1 Invest time, money, and energy creating unique content that no one else is doing.
#2 build a community around an idea.
The latter is much easier to do. For more on that listen to Gary Vaynerchuk’s Youtube video: Advice to a young man. Then read the only Snapchat hack you need for marketing. Both are great pieces of advice that I would dub as required reading.
Once you fully understand the religion it takes to win in Snapchat can you move onto growth.
Snapchat Growth = Massive Hustle
If you are just starting with Snapchat chances are some of your friends are on already. Add all your phone contacts who are on Snapchat. They already know you.
Outside of adding all your phone contacts to Snapchat there are two main growth tools to utilize. The first is the much-loved QR code. Every user has a unique QR code called a “Snapcode.” This is Snapchat’s secret hack to finding other users. Whenever someone new takes a picture or scans the image with Snapchat open, they will find that Snapcode’s user. This is my snapcode—try it out.
Step 1) Take a picture of this Snapcode
Step 2) Open your Snapchat app and tap add friends
Step 3) Hit add by Snapcode
Step 4) Touch the picture you just took in your phone
Boom! Simple as that you just added me as a new friend. Your own QR code can be found by swiping down from the main screen. For a high-quality image tap your own Snapcode and hit the export button in the top righthand corner.
The second tool is only really powerful if the person is on a mobile device. There are limited uses if the user is on a desktop.
Step 1) Open your favorite internet browsing application on your mobile device.
Step 2) Type into the URL Snapchat.com/add/austiniuliano and hit enter
Snapchat will open up a unique page that opens your Snapchat account and searches for that user. In this case, my account. If you happen to be on a desktop, it will just bring up my basic Snapcode for you to snap with your phone.
To access your secret Snapchat page, just change out austiniuliano for your user name.
Now that we are clear on how to be added on Snapchat it is time to get discovered. This is where hustle mode has to go into overdrive. To build up an audience you have to become more creative and share your Snapcode everywhere. As I said earlier, there’s absolutely no native discovery on Snapchat.
There is however, a 3rd party services out there that will help you get discovered. Like any other tool they can be used for good or evil. So reader beware, you must put in the hard work to make them effective. Let me say this upfront: don’t expect your numbers to grow just because you add 10,000 people on Snapchat.
The most well known 3rd party Snapchat discovery service is Ghostcodes. The app wads created by two Snapchat influencers as a way to be discovered and find other relevant Snapchatters. This tool can be amazing for finding other like minded individuals who share similar interests.
STEP 1: Download the App “GhostCodes.”
The first thing you want to do is open up the app store and download the app Ghost codes.
This app is the best discovery platform for Snapchat. Once you downloaded the app, open it up and make a profile. If you are prompted for a secret access code use the word “boo” or “slimer.”
STEP 2: Create Your Profile
Upload your QR code, pick your interest, and hook up your social media’s to your profile.
PRO TIP: Upload a high-quality pic of yourself and you’ll get more hearts and more downloads!
STEP 3: Search for Interests & Add People!
Once you have your profile created, click on the magnifying glass at the bottom of the app. Search for things you are interested in. Let’s say you are a Star Wars nerd like me. In this case, search for Star Wars.
Download the profiles of anyone who likes Snapchat, add them on Snapchat and become friends!
Currently, there are 828 people who love Star Wars, and that means if you consistently talk about Star wars on your Snapchat stories… well you get the picture. Good things will happen.
The last thing to remember when adding people from Ghostcodes is this… Don’t expect people to watch your stories because they added you.
You must create real relationships with these people. You have to spend the time talking to them and learning about them. Adding 1,000 people from Snapcodes and never engaging with them will net you very little results.
However, on the flip… adding 1,000 people and maintaining 1000+ relationships will get you loads of results! The key to all social media success is depth over width, deep relationships vs building a huge following.
The next 3rd party discovery service is newer to the market called Snapdex.
Snapdex calls itself the Wikipedia of Snapchat. Everyone can sign up and add their Snapchat account. Once you do, fill out your profile, description and upload some screenshots of your Snaps. This gives people a preview of your type of content.
Once you have uploaded the photos and gotten approval. Ask your friends to give you some reviews of your Snapchat account.
Will it make you famous overnight? Heck no but it is another place with your Snapcode, links to your socials and ability to be discovered. Plus it also gives you a nice clean URL to use if you want to. https://www.snapdex.com/austiniuliano
Snapchat Growth Strategy: Start Local and Think Globally
It doesn’t matter if you’re a local business or looking to build your personal brand. Nothing beats making a face to face connections with your audience. There is a reason presidential candidates to this day still tour around the country shaking hands and kissing babies. Is it the most efficient use of a president’s time? Absolutely not, they can reach a much great audience giving a speech that is broadcasted throughout the world.
But that simple human connection secures votes for a presidential candidate. Building a social media following is no different. You have to go above and beyond to create authentic human relationships with as many people as you can.
It is very easy for people to forget about you and not care in the least bit about you. But as soon as you meet someone, even once, you form a tighter friendship.
Start with your local high traffic areas as a means of connecting with new potential followers. Do you live in a metropolitan area or have one that is close by? How about a college campus near you?
Once you identify those high traffic areas do the following.
Go to Nextdayflyers.com and have them make you 5,000 QR code Snapchat stickers. They should cost you about $200 and by far are the cheapest I have found.
Once those stickers arrive, go to the high traffic areas and yell “FREE SNAPCHAT STICKERS!” It’s embarrassing and a bit crazy! However, people will walk up and claim their free Snapchat stickers (with your snapcode)!
Over 2 days I handed out stickers to roughly 500 people directly. Not counting the small children who just wanted stickers. Of those 500 people I generated 100 new views to my Snapchat story and now have permanent (or semi-permanent) billboards around town. Those stickers consistently get me new followers adding me.
People send me new snaps daily of where they found my Snapcode. It is a great way to meet new people, build an audience, and make friends.
Customized Snapcodes Increase New Followers by 20-40%
Little known fact, your Snapcode can be unique. Inside the ghost outline, you can create any image you want. Find yourself the best graphic designer and have them create you a customized image. Just remember to keep the black border outline, the ghost outline, and the dots exactly where they are.
When I first started handing out Snapchat stickers I would see a small uptick in new users. People still got excited by the plain Snapchat QR code and would add me, just not as frequently. Once I had the image customized, I saw a massive increase in new followers. On average 1 out of every 3rd person would add me with the new design.
People would add me because the image looked awesome and they wanted to know more about me. It gave a stronger first impression, it made me seem bigger since they were professionally done, and they captured attention. People would go around with the new stickers and place them in different locations because they were cool.
This also netted me new followers since people would see it and want to check it out. To get a Snapcode customize find a local graphic designer or go onto Fiverr.com.
Create a Custom T-shirt with Your Snapcode
Turn yourself into a walking billboard for your brand. A simple black T-shirt with your custom Snapcode on it will turn heads like no tomorrow. Most people won’t say anything and just smile as they pass you. But roughly 1 in 25 people will start a conversation with you. They will say something like, “Love your shirt” or “SNAPCHAT!”
That is all you need to spark a conversation. Once you engage in a conversation and tell them that they can actually scan the shirt they’ll want to try it. This creates a big scene and more people will come to see what’s up. This also becomes the perfect time to hand out those stickers from earlier.
Once you start building your following the custom T-shirts become awesome gifts to send to your audience. Creating an army of brand advocates who rock your Snapcode as they go for walks or runs.
Going Global Through Social Media
Share your Snapcode on every social media. I am sure you have read this before but it truly does work. Change your profile image on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram to your Snapcode. Once that is done whenever you are using social medias you have the opportunity to attract new users.
Aggressively follow new users on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, I would recommend following at least 200 new users a day. On average you will generate about 20-25% of users following you back. This builds your social media profiles. If you follow up with the real work of having conversations and doing community management, 5-10% of those followers will become Snapchat friends.
This may amount to only 2-4 new followers a day per platform. But that is also 2-4 new followers per platform. Over the course of one year that is easily 2000+ new followers.
2 new followers a day for Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram is 6 new followers daily. 6 followers/day x 365 days = 2190.
Use the Subreddit /r/Snapchat
Reddit has hundreds of subreddits that totally kick butt. But for the purpose of this article, there is only one subreddit you need. /r/Snapchat is a great place to find other people looking for more followers and friends. Plus it is also a safe place to go and not find a bunch of creepers since there is an entire subreddit for dirty Snapchats.
This is one of the few subreddits where self promotion is okay! Normally Reddit hates self-promotion.
When using this subreddit make sure to follow the rules posted in the guidelines, and give the people a reason to follow you. Don’t just post your username. Say something like “I have the silliest snaps in the world.” This way you will get people who actually want to watch your stories.
Write Blog Posts With your Snapcode in The Article
One blog post can be the difference between obscurity and minor celebrity. If you have a blog that generates any sort of decent traction, Then writing a blog post is a great way to build some decent exposure.
Even if you don’t have a blog that generates traffic, there are places like Linkedin, Medium, and other places that you can write. Linkedin and Medium are simply extraordinary because articles do go viral quite frequently. Both sites have an internal feedback loop that shares your article to more people on the site as it is recomended by connections.
My friend Justin Wu better known as Hackapreneur was put on a list in medium. As one of 10 top entrepreneurs to follow, with the likes of Gary Vaynerchuk. This one post blew Justin up almost overnight to 1000 views a day on his Snapchat stories.
Authors note: I endorse Hackapreneurs content 100%. Seriously, this guy drops amazing knowledge bombs in marketing, growth hacking, and entrepreneurship. Follow him.
When entrepreneur and Twitter expert Joel Comm wrote an Inc article, he single-handedly established new authorities in the Snapchat community. This was a result of the sheer amount of traffic Inc receives daily.
Syndicate Content on Other Blogs
If you have access to other authority sites and the content is relevant to those sites, syndicate away! Syndicated content is a means of re-using content onto other authority sites. This is a great way to get additional exposure.
I mentioned earlier Linkedin Pulse and Medium are two sites everyone can syndicate too, but they are far from the only ones. If you write for Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, Inc, Fast company, business.com, etc. they all allow you to syndicate content. (Plus if you write for them I would love to talk to you!)
Syndicating content takes some additional time but it can massively increase your reach.
Run FB Ads
I don’t recommend running Facebook Ads just to get more followers unless you only care about that. I am a marketer and a businessman first and the number followers you have doesn’t equal revenue. That being said there are great ways to use Facebook powerful advertising platform to increase key metrics while building your audience.
One of the top techniques I use is to run Facebook ads to a key blog article with my Snapcode in the post. This will generate your blog and marketing funnels more traffic while also building your Snapchat audience.
It’s a great method to proverbially kill two birds with one stone.
With retargeting, “look-a-like audiences” and some really honed in design and copy you can generate clicks to your website for cents on the dollar. Nothing beats Facebook ads right now in growing your email list.
Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google Ads
These other advertising platforms can be bulked into one giant section. I believe no matter what advertising platform you use, it shouldn’t be for the sole purpose of generating more followers. Unless you are a full blown Snapchat influencer and the more followers you have = more money.
It doesn’t make sense from a business perspective. That being said, these other forms of advertising are all extremely powerful and can be major assets in growing your online empire. Take the time to learn each of them and test what one works best for your business. I have seen some massive success from Instagram advertising and Pinterest too!
Build your Musical.ly Account to Grow Snapchat
Musical.ly for those who don’t know is the newest social media app making waves. Musical.ly is a lip sync singing app much like if Dubsmash met Vine. I am not gonna lie, I couldn’t believe this app was so popular with the tween market. But after I started playing around with it I was hooked too!
Once you get in and start looking at what other kids are doing you will see why. First off—ANYONE can lip sync sing. Second, there is an entire culture around choreographed dancing along with lip sync singing.
Musical.ly feels very much like Vine. Except the ability to add music into your micro pieces of content is much more native.
Of course the Musical.ly audience is young kids around the age of 10-16 if your audience isn’t this demographic you don’t need to focus here. That being said these kids absolutely dig this type of fun native content. The Musical.ly content can also be uploaded to Instagram, Facebook, Vine, and shared on Twitter.
The other extremely awesome thing about Musical.ly is right now there are very little follow restrictions. That means you can do a f*#& load of follow and unfollow actions to grow your account. I have been super aggressive in this department and have generated an audience over 5,000 fans in a matter of days.
Overall growing on Snapchat takes a ton of hustle and hard work. That being said personally I don’t think it is difficult. Growing on Snapchat is more of a mindset. I think of it like how I can run fast while still approaching this like a marathon.
This is the complete guide to getting discovered and how I grew my first 1000 views in Snapchat.
Are there any other ways to get discovered in Snapchat that you can think of? Let us know in the comments!