Snapchat for
Influencers

In this guide we’ll cover everything you need to know to become a social media influencer on Snapchat.

snapchat izea logo man dancing

If you’re a teen or of college age, Snapchat is your kind of place. If there’s a brand highly focused specifically on the Generation Z or Millennial demographics, Snapchat could be its first stop when looking for an influencer. But this unique social media platform isn’t like all the others, and it doesn’t consistently grow by leaps and bounds like other platforms. However, it has a compelling and powerful reach that goes beyond numbers.

Over 90 percent of Snapchat’s global users are between the ages of 13 and 24 (13 is the minimum age allowed on the platform), according to the Techjunkie newsletter. You’ll find a random mom or dad following their kids, but brands and influencers aren’t interested in getting the attention of those older Snapchat outliers.

According to other stats by Pewresearch.org, around 61 percent of all Snapchat users check the site once or several times a day, which is on par with other top platforms. If your goal is to add Snapchat as a tool in your influencer toolbox, here’s what you’ll need to know — and how to get started.

If you’re a teen or of college age, Snapchat is your kind of place. If there’s a brand highly focused specifically on the Generation Z or Millennial demographics, Snapchat could be its first stop when looking for an influencer. But this unique social media platform isn’t like all the others, and it doesn’t consistently grow by leaps and bounds like other platforms. However, it has a compelling and powerful reach that goes beyond numbers.

Over 90 percent of Snapchat’s global users are between the ages of 13 and 24 (13 is the minimum age allowed on the platform), according to the Techjunkie newsletter. You’ll find a random mom or dad following their kids, but brands and influencers aren’t interested in getting the attention of those older Snapchat outliers.

According to other stats by Pewresearch.org, around 61 percent of all Snapchat users check the site once or several times a day, which is on par with other top platforms. If your goal is to add Snapchat as a tool in your influencer toolbox, here’s what you’ll need to know — and how to get started.

snapchat izea logo man dancing

How to Set Up Snapchat

If you have a smartphone or other type of device, such as a tablet, you can have Snapchat. It’s a free app to download from Apple’s App Store for iPhones or Google Play for Androids. It takes up little space on your phone, but just like with Instagram, it does eat up a chunk of storage space if you have an overabundance of unmanaged photos. Before you start Snapchatting, you’ll need to follow the easy prompts to set up your account and profile.

snapchat download phone try

Your Username

Think about your username before you type it and hit “enter” on Snapchat. It should represent your name or brand. If you’re serious about using Snapchat as part of your influencer goal, choose something thoughtful that you won’t regret. You can’t change your username; you’ll have to create a new account with a different username if you don’t like your original pick.

Your Bitmoji

bitmoji snapchat

To create your Bitmoji, you need to download the app from the App Store or Google Play. It’s not solely used on Snapchat; the avatar can be used for other functions and on other apps (see bitmoji.com for more details).

Instead of using a profile photo, Snapchat offers the option of using the popular Bitmoji. A Bitmoji is a personalized cartoon avatar emoji that expresses your physical look, personality and character.

Once the app is downloaded, follow the prompts to create your image and link it to Snapchat. Your Bitmoji will also show up in your Snapchat chats.

snapchat bitmoji examples

Above clockwise: A Bitmoji inside of a Snapcode. Scenes you can create using a Bitmoji. Access your library on the bottom bar you see in chat mode (shown here bottom right square). You can easily create scenes using your Best Friends’ Bitmojis, as well.

Though you can’t change your username very easily, you can indeed change your Bitmoji when you want. Most Snapchatters change it season to season. You can always unlink your Bitmoji and instead choose a true photo of yourself that will show up inside of your Snapcode.

snapchat ghostcodes

Above: You don’t have to have a Bitmoji on Snapchat. As you can see here on Ghostcodes.com, a number of viral Snapchat stars use head shots placed well in the middle of the ghost, or an action shot framed in the silhouette.

Become a Snapchat creator

Creating Content on Snapchat

Becoming an influencer on Snapchat is more complex than it is on other platforms. Plus, it’s not readily apparent to other Snapchatters who’s an influencer and who is not just by looking at their Snapchat profile.

Establishing an Influencer Brand on Snapchat

A number of Snapchat influencers became popular on the app because they learned early on to leverage their fame on other social media sites. Here are four early Snapchat influencers from 2017:

  

Above: Early Snapchat influencers.

As much as Snapchat has evolved since 2017, some things remain the same. For example, unless you have someone’s username, it’ll be tough to find friends, much less influencers. Friendships are private so you can’t tell the number of a Snapchatter’s community. You also can’t go by the number of Snaps, which is located under the username. Someone can have six figures worth of Snaps or hearts, but the thousands of Snaps could have all gone to one person.

This aspect of Snapchat can be frustrating, especially to brands seeking influencers. There are even websites dedicated to releasing the Snapchat usernames of celebrities, though some stars use their names so they’re easy to find, ie: KimKardashian or taylorswift. Besides jumping into Snapchat as a celebrity, let’s look at other ways to become an influencer on the platform.

Types of Influencers

There are a few paths towards Snapchat influencership that aren’t readily apparent unless you dive deep into the platform. To become recognized on Snapchat, join its Community of Creators. Within the community, get noticed by producing lenses or finding your way into the Discovery section. In addition, you can rely on your other platforms to promote your Snapchat feed. However one of the best ways to become an influencer is to join a Snapchat influencer network, such as IZEA.

Official Lens Creator

Becoming a Lens Creator means joining the Lens Studio on Snapchat. You don’t need to have a graphic design degree or any other artistic credentials. All you need is the willingness to be creative to become noticed on Snapchat. You’ll also want a solid understanding of what AR (augmented reality) is all about if you don’t already. The Lens Studio tools are free to use.

Just download the templates to start creating AR, otherwise known as lenses. To find this AR lab, you’ll have to dig a little, but you can begin by going to the lensstudio.Snapchat.com. Luckily, there are step-by-step instructions plus an interactive tour for lens creators to begin creating AR.

If you want to go this route, you’ll be able to use a “lens-studio” tag so that others can discover your work and use your lenses on their own photos. You’ll also have the following credentials for additional exposure:

  • Creator profile with a Snap Star profile status
  • Potential partnership opportunities
  • Potential revenue opportunities
  • Access to your audience insights

You may also be featured in the Community of Creators’ page in the Meet the Official Lens Creators section. Here’s a sampling of a few of the hundreds of celebrated Snapchat lens creators:

Above: A few of Snapchat’s Official Lens Creators, aka Snapchat influencers. This is the new Snapchat Creator Profiles live.

Snapchat’s community of Official Lens Creators can make serious money designing custom augmented reality (AR) lenses. The real money-making venture is in the creation of sponsored AR lenses for brands. A company like Nike, for example, is always open to discovering new lens creator talent. Official lens creators are known to charge between $1K to $30K to work with brands to design custom lenses.

Explore the Discover Section

When you have a Snapchat account, you can access the Discover section by clicking on the icon on the bottom right of the screen. The section has evolved over the years to become a place where you can become discovered for your Snaps. The section used to be dominated by brands and companies, but now it’s a mix of Snapchatters, brands, and sponsored content. In addition, there are also Snap Original shows in the Discover section. But as an influencer, you’ll want to understand the Discover section a bit more, and its “sections” or “channels.”

There are a number of channels available on Discovery. Subscribe to them, manage your subscriptions, and select your interests to edit what you see on Discovery. One example is the So Satisfying channel, which highlights the most viewed satisfying Snaps of viral content, such as petting kittens or slicing colored sand sculptures.

snapchat so satisfying discovery

Above: So Satisfying is a channel found on the Discovery section of Snapchat on which Snapchatters can submit Snaps and videos.

You can also submit Snaps to channels, which are run by various publishers. You can also submit a Snap to “Our Story,” a service launched in 2014. Our Story aggregates, with discretion, Snaps from an event, such as a football game, festival, concert, or college event, and builds a story using submitted Snaps. Campus Stories is offered on select college campuses, and it could be an ideal way to become a local Snapchat influencer: You’re able to access Campus Stories if you’re on the map where there’s a live story occurring that day.

Spread Your Snapcode

One way to link your platforms while growing your Snapchat audience is by using your Snapcode anywhere possible. Snapchat made those old QR codes cool to use. Your Snapchat icon (the silhouetted ghost in a yellow square), with random black dots, is your Snapcode.

The main purpose of your Snapcode is to allow other Snapchatters to take a photo of your Snapcode. Doing so links you as Snapchat friends. In other words, if someone takes a photo of your Snapcode, they are automatically added to your account as a follower. There are two main ways to use your Snapcode to build followers:

  • Use your Snapcode image as a profile photo on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Add your Snapchat username or image of your code in your Instagram bio area. You can’t use the code as your Instagram circular profile image because some of the code will be cut off.

Activate Your Paperclip

The paperclip will turn Snapchat friends into followers on your other platforms. When the paperclip icon was added to Snapchat in 2017, users hoped that it was a message that the platform was beginning to help influencers grow their brand. It has changed how influencers use their Snaps, even to this day.

Using a paperclip requires a little work. You’ll need to allow Snapchat to access your clipboard so you can use the paperclip tool. Steps to do this:

  • Go to your camera screen.
  • Tap your profile icon.
  • Tap the red settings button.
  • Scroll down and find Additional Services section.
  • Tap Manage.
  • Tap Permissions.
  • Scroll down to find Clipboard.
  • Tab to enable Clipboard which will allow you to attach links with the paperclip tool.

Above: Note the paperclip tool icon is found on the right side of the screen.

Use a paperclip icon (right hand side of screen) to add any URL to your Snap, including your other sites and feeds. The paperclip lets Snapchatters swipe up to land on the clipped website. It’s also a way to track click-throughs on each link.

Snapchat Influencer Network

If you’re a serious influencer and seeking monetizing opportunities, you’ll want to tap influencer networks. You can sign up with a network so that when brands and marketers, who have also signed up with the same network, look for influencers, they’ll have a much easier time finding you.

The best influencer network goes beyond mere lists of people with Snapchat accounts. Consider signing up with a network that offers more detail, data and stats on each Snapchat influencer, including information on the user’s other social media profiles and platforms.

Become Verified on Snapchat

Having a verified Snapchat account can be important for an influencer to show users you’re official. Here are the steps you can go through below to verify your Snapchat account:

  • What is a verified account? Since 2015, Snapchat has quietly verified celebrity and public figure accounts so users know they’re following the actual star rather than a fake one. A verified account means you have an official status on Snapchat as the genuine celebrity or star. A verified account will also come up with a banner heading that says, “Official Story.”
  • How do you become verified? Now, you don’t need to be a celebrity or a public figure to become verified. If you’re an up-and-coming Snapchat star who receives loads of views on every story, you’re likely eligible to become verified so no one else can use your name and photo on the app. You’ll need to go through a process, however.
  • What’s the process? You’ll need to contact Snapchat to let them know others may be impersonating you and that your followers are confused and don’t know who the real influencer really is on the app. Steps include:
    • Find your red gear settings icon and click.
    • Scroll down to the Support bar and click on “Help”
    • Hit “Contact Us.”
    • Click on “My Snapchat isn’t working.”
    • Scroll down that list and click “Other.”
    • Press “Yes.”
    • Press “My option is not listed.”
    • A form will pop up. Fill in all the fields.
    • In the “What information should we know?” you will need to say you’re getting impersonated, others are making fake accounts using your name, and that users are getting confused and following the wrong accounts and compromising your Snapchat account.
    • Ask to be verified so users will know that you are the official account. Important: add a government identification image to show you are who you say you are. Submit this image into the form as an attachment. Snapchat will be able to more swiftly move to verify your account.
  • How long does it take? Submit the form and wait a few days for a response. If you receive an email that said you cannot be verified, try the entire process a second time.
  • What emojis are used for verified accounts? Snapchat’s verification emojis are unique to each user. No two celebrities or public figures have the same emoji and they are allowed to choose their own. For example, it’s reported that Hillary Clinton’s Snapchat verification emoji was the U.S. flag, Justin Bieber had praying hands, Ryan Seacrest had a film slate, Kim Kardashian had the strawberry emoji and Selena Gomez had a pink heart emoji. Verified emojis tend to change frequently, so these may have changed.

Snapchat Influencer Best Practices

The first order of business for an influencer and a brand is to know whether or not your audience is on the platform, which audience you’ll want to focus on, and what niche is right for you within your audience.

For influencers and brands, audience is everything. The two largest audiences on Snapchat: Gen Z and Millennials.  Let’s take a deeper look into Snapchat’s main audiences:

Understanding Gen Z Content

As mentioned, Gen Z is Snapchat’s largest demographic. To better help brands, and influencers, Snap Inc. published a guide to understanding Gen Z.

global trends among Gen Z

Snap Inc. partnered with GlobalWebIndex to sample around 79K 16- to 22-year-olds in 45 markets to gain important information on what makes this generation tick. Here are five key insights from the report that can help influencers hone in on content so that in turn, companies can find on-brand influencers:

  1. Of most importance, Gen Zs need to belong to a community that accepts them wholeheartedly. Although every human being may feel this, it’s important for a Gen Z to feel this way about an online community. That’s because they’re the first generation to be true digital natives, born into a world where it’s the norm to be constantly connected to their phones or devices.
  2. They have their eyes open and antennas up. About three in four of Gen Zs interviewed say that it’s important to know what’s going on globally. They understand global issues affect present and future generations.
  3. Entertainment is tops on a Gen Z’s list of personal interests. Their top five interests include music, film, food and drink, gaming and technology. They are also more interested than Millennials in urban/modern art and adventure sports. That explains why lenses and filters are popular. It also explains why it seems  many brands like to have sporty influencers takeover their channels.
  4. Gen Zs prefer to make healthier choices than older consumer groups. Gen Zs have reduced purchases of snacks and candy over the past few years as they’re taking a holistic view of their own self-care.
  5. Gen Zs are extremely concerned about online privacy. That’s likely due to all the warnings they’ve heard from adults about the risks of the Internet. In fact, 60 percent interviewed say they’re worried about how personal data is used by companies. More than half of Gen Zs prefer to stay anonymous online, and, they like to block annoying and irrelevant ads.

Gen Z niches

If you want to appeal as an influencer or marketer to Gen Z, you may want to consider these niches to focus your content and your brand partnerships:

  • Film
  • Music
  • Gaming
  • Urban Art
  • Technology
  • Healthy food/drink
  • General global issues
  • Adventure sports/general sports

Understanding Millennial Content

Gen Zs are heavier users than Millennials on Snapchat, but that doesn’t mean the older group is small by any means. Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996, making the youngest 23 years old and the oldest of this generation turning 38 years old in 2019, according to Pewresearch.org.

In Snapchat’s world, the generations overlap in terms of statistics. For example, 73 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds in the U.S. use Snapchat, which incorporates Millennials. Here are a few other statistics including Millennials on Snapchat:

  • Users under 25 are on Snapchat on average 40 minutes a day.
  • Seventy-one percent of users aged 18 to 24 use Snapchat multiple times a day.

In Snap Inc.’s report on Gen Z, there are a few similarities noted between the generations:

  • Seventy-four percent of Gen Z say they want to achieve more in life, similar to 73 percent of Millennials who feel the same.
  • Seventy-two percent of both Gen Z and Millennials say they like to challenge themselves and push themselves to be the best they can in life.
  • Sixty-five percent of both generations are very career oriented.
  • Fifty-seven percent of both generations feel insecure without their smartphones.
  • Half of both generations are interested in fitness, exercise and play sports.

The report had a few things to say about the differences between Gen Z and Millennials on Snapchat, as well. Of course, the differences occur due to maturity levels and financial stations in life along with disposable income:

  • Millennials are less spontaneous than Gen Zs.
  • Surprisingly, Millennials are not as cost-conscious as Gen Zs.
  • Millennials appear to be more interested in gambling, gardening and local issues and activities than Gen Zs.
  • Millennials don’t seem to care about being contactable 24/7 as do Gen Zs.
  • Millennials also don’t seem to care as much as Gen Zs about having the latest tech products.
  • Millennials love technology, but they’re more inclined than Gen Zs to say that they don’t understand new technology or that it complicates their lives. Brands and influencers need to take note to keep their Snapchat campaigns simplified.
  • Millennials are more likely than Gen Zs to invest in smart devices other than smartphones due to disposable income.
  • Millennials spend about 30 minutes less per day on smartphones than do Gen Zs.
  • Millennials are more apt than Gen Zs to use their smartphones to keep up to date with news/events and to research products/brands.
  • Millennials are more interested than Gen Zs in buying experiences than products.

Other Important Generational Takeaways

One of the most popular niches in which to market to Millennials: travel. According to the report, 35 percent of Millennials prefer to spend money on travel, high-end hotels and resorts, vacations and experiences versus 28 percent of Gen Zs.

There’s another fascinating takeaway from an article on Forbes.com about the timing of reaching Gen Z and Millennial Snapchatters. It’s easier to reach the Millennial audience at nighttime after work. However, Gen Zs are active on Snapchat throughout the day, and not concentrated on any time during the day or night in particular.

Snapchat Platform Etiquette

The way you behave on Snapchat is important. As you’ve read above, Gen Zs take notice of behaviors that are questionable. Though Snapchat is considered more casual and fun, it’s expected that Snapchatters should maintain an element of decorum, especially if you want to be a respected influencer. There’s no specific rule book for Snapchat influencer etiquette, but here are a couple of do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:

  • Do return a Snap. If someone sends you a Snap, always send one back (it’s good for engagement, as well). If you wait too long to respond, however, you may forget what the Snap said in the first place.
  • Don’t abuse a screenshot. Never take a screenshot of someone’s Snap and then repost it elsewhere. It’s a form of content stealing. Someone else’s content is not yours to post.
  • Do keep your stories short. For example, don’t put an entire concert on your story.
  • Do keep your stories relevant. In other words, don’t post something every few minutes if there’s no point in doing so.
  • Don’t use stale filters. The dog filter, and the rainbow regurgitation filter, are both overused, especially if you’re an influencer.
  • Don’t post gorgeous landscapes on Snapchat. Landscape shots are meant to linger on Instagram.
  • Don’t overuse a geotag/geofilter. Put it on the first Snap, not on every single image on your story.
  • Don’t buy followers or scores. Though it may be a little tough for a brand to determine if you’ve inflated your audience through purchasing your followers or scores, the truth always comes out.

Popular Influencers on Snapchat

It is possible to grow your Snapchat audience. Besides adding friends and linking to your other platforms via Snapcode or paperclip, take advantage of another award-winning app, Ghostcodes.com.

Ghostcodes.com is like a phone directory for Snapchat. It’s not affiliated with Snapchat or Snap Inc. Since Snapchat doesn’t have a comprehensive discovery feature built into the app, this independent app helps you find like-minded Snapchatters, many of whom are influencers. You’ll be able to use this app to connect with followers.

ghostcodes influencers snapchat

Once on Ghostcodes.com, you’ll see endless categories that you can click in and explore. Each Snapchatter is listed with his or her Snapcode, so it’s easy to link. Look for Snapchatters who are viral stars, artists, comedians, fashionistas, travelers, foodies, pet lovers and dancers. The list is endless. You will also find lists of trending and viral Snapchatters.

The app also ranks users through a system of hearts and number of downloads. Anyone can sign up with Ghostcodes.com; it’s still considered a hit-or-miss way of finding Snapchat influencers. Here are a few examples of Snapchat influencers who are winning the Snap game.

emma chamberlain influencer snapchat

Emma Chamberlain

Emma is one of the most prolific social media influencers sharing her content on Snapchat, as well as across all of her platforms. She began her social media career capitalizing on her “weird” teen life. She began selling her own brand of merchandising, and partners with various brands, including Hollister and Audible. Chamberlain is also one of the first YouTubers to portray her lifestyle as less than perfect with cameras pointed at unflattering angles, as opposed to other influencers who prefer to produce staged content.

Today, Chamberlain is over 18, though still a teen, and focusing her content on her messy adventures in adulting, made with the raw and authentic energy that catapulted her to fame. She takes advantage of Snapchat by posting quick, funny and quirky lifestyle videos, such as putting on her first dinner party.

emma chamberlain influencer snapchat

Categories of Popular Influencers on Snapchat

We can’t stress enough how challenging it can be to find Snapchat influencers, but they are certainly on the app. If you’d like to emulate a Snapchatting influencer, or you’d like to know how a brand determines how relevant an influencer will be to a campaign, it’ll help to see who makes the mark in various categories and learn why they’re popular.

We’ve given you lists of popular Snapchatters that are culled from articles and posts from around the globe that discuss discovered Snapchat influencers. (We did not dip into the pool of Snapchatters on Ghostcodes.com to compile this list.) If you can’t access their Snapchat account, look for them on other platforms (which we’ve provided when possible) so you can see how they navigate the influencer world.

Artist Influencers

Shaun McBride: Snapchat, @shonduras – McBride uses Snapchat to showcase fun and quick original art works, like his finger-drawings. But he also likes to share Snaps about his family. He is a full-time Snapchat influencer, working with brands such as Disney, Taco Bell, and Red Bull.

Cyrene Quiamco: Snapchat, @CyreneQ Blog, The11thSecond.com – Now a full-time Snapchatter, Quiamco is a classic success story when it comes to the platform. She’s an artist creating not only colorful doodles and celebrity drawings, she’s also one of the famed Lens Creators at Snap Inc.

Chino: Snapchat, @turbanchino – Though this Snapchatter is hard to categorize, he’s known for his images from pop culture shows and movies which he modifies by pasting and inserting his face into the scene. In one example, he pastes his animated face onto an enlarged big toe as a toe clipper descends upon the foot.

Geir Ove Pedersen: Snapchat, @geeohSnap – This Snapchatter likes to take goofy photos of random folks and use filters and drawings to enhance the shot. He’s considered a top Snapchat influencer and has attracted brands such as Gucci and Air France to partner with him.

Christine Mi: Snapchat, @Miologie Instagram @christinexmi – This artist, also a Yale graduate, has made a name for herself on Snapchat for her artwork. She also has an Instagram account dedicated to her art, which she titled @sadgirlpop.

Evan Garber: Snapchat, @emgarber Instagram, @emgarber – Garber turned his Snapchat fame into a full-time art career. He creates intricate drawings, which can also be seen on his Instagram account.

Celebrity Influencers

Ashley Graham: Snapchat, @Theashleygraham Instagram, @ashleygraham – A wildly popular plus-sized model who’s been on the cover of major publications. She’s also an advocate for body positivity, speaking at high schools around the country about body acceptance.

Bella Hadid: Snapchat, @babybels777 Instagram, @bellahadid – Another fashion model who uses all aspects of social media to increase her sphere of influence. She shares selfies and Snaps of other friends on Snapchat.

Gigi Hadid: Snapchat, @itsgigihadid Instagram, @gigihadid – Gigi, sister to Bella, is also a model who is in the press constantly, thanks to her strong social media presence.

Imaan Hammam: Snapchat, @imaanhammam Instagram, @imaanhammam – A Dutch model who also shares her lifestyle on Snapchat. She is brand-oriented and has modeled for many including Prada and Dior.

Chrissy Teigen: Snapchat, @chrissyteigen – Model, actress and wife to music artist, John Legend, she’s been sharing her life, mostly as a mom, on Snapchat. She’s also the darling of many ad campaigns and glossy magazine covers.

Devon Windsor: Snapchat, @devwindsor – This model likes to share sneak peeks behind the scenes of her modeling career and successes on Snapchat.

Kylie Jenner: Snapchat, @kylizzlmynizzl Instagram, @kyliejenner – Any of this makeup guru’s posts tend to become online entertainment news. It’s one of the most go-to names there is on just about all of the social media platforms.

Emily Ratajkowski: Snapchat, @emrata Instagram, @emrata – This popular model and actress has social media covered, and she’s also a Snapchat influencer, sharing Snaps of fashion shoots and bits of her lifestyle.

Entertainer Influencers

Brittany Furlan: Snapchat, @brittanyfurlan Instagram, @brittanyfurlanA comedian and internet personality who lives in Los Angeles, Furlan uses several social media platforms, including Snapchat.

Khaled Mohamed/DJ Khaled: Snapchat, @djkhaled Instagram, @djkhaled – DJ Khaled actually rose in fame by using Snapchat as his main platform. He’s a record producer, DJ, radio personality, and executive for a music company who relied on Snapchat to promote music.

Frankie Greek: Snapchat, @WTFRANKIE Instagram, @grankiefreek Twitter, @frankiegreek Website, frankiegreek.com — This influencer takes Snapchat more seriously than most users, labelling herself as a “Snapchat Journalist.” She also was the first person to host a Snapchat talk show.

Logan Paul: Snapchat, @LoganPaul  YouTube, @LoganPaul – Logan Paul has long been an influencer on the big social media platforms. He likes Snapchat because it’s short form which allows him to Snap over-the-top videos that disappear in a poof.

Amanda Cerny: Snapchat, @AmandaCerny Instagram, @amandacerny — This ex-Playboy Playmate managed to use Snapchat to launch herself into an acting career.

Jenna Mourey, aka Jenna Marbles: Snapchat, @jennakermarbles YouTube, @JennaMarbles – This Snapchatting influence made a name for herself on YouTube with her random funny videos. She took her on-camera hilarity to Snapchat.

King Bach: Snapchat, @kingbach Instagram, @kingbach – Another funny man who is a Snapchat influencer because of his love for making short-form videos. He turned his Snapchat venture into a possible acting career and has appeared on a few comedy shows.

Michael Platco: Snapchat, @mplatco Website, mplatco.com – There’s nowhere else to categorize this Shorty Award-winning Snapchatter but in the entertainment category. He’s entertained followers for years, garnering his slot as a top Snapchat influencer. His website tagline describes him as a Snapchat Storyteller, Artist and Influencer.

Casey Neistat: Snapchat, @caseyneistat YouTube, @CaseyNeistat – This New York based filmmaker made a career out of his Snapchat and YouTube fame, forming a social media company, Berne, which was acquired by CNN. He then founded another company, called 368, as a collaborate space for creators.

Lilly Singh: Snapchat, @iisuperwomanii  YouTube, @IISuperwomanII – This singer/rapper and vlogger is another YouTube star who transferred her talent for making short, funny videos onto Snapchat.

Karlie Kloss: Snapchat, @karliekloss YouTube, @Klossy  Website, kodewithklossy.com – This model and science expert is also the founder of an all-girl’s coding school. Her popularity spans all the social media platforms but she’s especially prolific on Snapchat where she can connect with her demographic of young women.

Fitness Influencers

Neghar Fonooni: Snapchat, @negharfonooni Instagram, @negharfonooni – A fitness coach and writer sharing workouts on Snapchat. She’s also a writer about spiritual life coaching, business coaching, and helping women become better writers.

Cassey Ho: Snapchat, @blogilates Website, blogilates.com YouTube, @blogilates– A fitness influencer who likes to encourage followers by using Snapchat to share her meals, daily activities, and exercising routines.

Other Categories

Lifestyle

Naomi Davis: Snapchat, @love.taza Blog, Lovetaza.com – A New York-based lifestyle and mom who uses Snapchat as an extension of her blog telling stories of raising three kids.

Photography

Brandon Harvey: Snapchat, @BrandenHarvey Website, brandenharvey.com Instagram, @brandenharvey – A professional photographer, he began on Instagram but found that Snapchat was extremely friendly to photographers. He’s now said to have one of the largest audiences for photography on the platform.

Travel

Kate McCully: Snapchat, @adventurouskate Instagram, @adventurouskate – A solo female traveler, she travels the world sharing her adventures, such as being shipwrecked in Indonesia and other odd events that seem to happen only to her.

Connecting With Other Snapchat Influencers

If you want to be a serious Snapchat influencer, you’ll want to tap into Snap Inc.’s Creator and Partner Summits. Snapchat is well-known for ignoring its stars and influencers, as well as brands. That all may be changing now that Snap Inc. launched a couple of important Summits.

In 2018, it hosted its first Creators Summit where a handful of top Snapchat influencers from around the world where handpicked and invited to gather in Los Angeles to meet with Snap executives. It was a signal to creators that Snapchat is more than willing to collaborate to build influencer presence so they can secure monetization options, such as sponsorship deals.

In 2019, Snap Inc. embraced brands and ad partners with its first Snap Partner Summit tech conference. The company announced top over 400 brands Snapchat’s feature updates, focusing on its AR community. Attendees learned about the future of the Lens Studio and why its thousands of lenses are so important to Snapchat’s venture into AR. It was also at the summit that brands learned influencers in the lens creation community would now have Creator Profiles to showcase their work.

In order to find out about the next summit, you’ll need to contact the organizer as of this writing. Head to Snappartnersummit.com, scroll down the page to “Contact the Organizer,” and fill out the fields to submit. You may be on your way to the next Snap Inc. Summit as an influencer or partner. Just remember to bring your Spectacles to capture the event.

How to Increase and Improve Engagement

You have 24 hours to engage with your audience once you post a story. You’ll want to make that 24 hours count. Make it so your followers will want to tune in so they won’t miss a beat on anything you’re doing, saying or Snapping. Here are three strategies to increase Snapchat engagement, especially if you’re working with a brand.

  1. Behind the scenes: Give your followers a sneak peek at a photo shoot, an event, a show, a group event, bloopers, or anything that will get a quick laugh and goodwill from your audience. If working with a brand, bring followers along to a new store opening, an interview with the CEO of the brand, or take them on a fun tour.
  2. Ask for feedback: Are you trying to decide on how to use a product or whether to buy a certain item? Encourage participation and ask for advice and feedback. If you’re partnering with a brand, ask fellow Snapchatters how they think the product could be used or improved. Have them share in the experience of testing the product or kicking its tires. On Snapchat, it’s entirely acceptable to be goofy, silly and have fun with your engagement.
  3. Ask for user-generated content: This can go hand in hand with option #2. Followers love to send in photos and videos with the chance of being included on your feed. Make the challenge simple so it’s simple for someone to send you a Snap.

Measuring Your Success on Snapchat

Finding Snapchat’s Analytics

For years, Snap Inc. didn’t provide any analytics or other way for influencers to see if they were in fact, Snapchat influencers. It was tough for Snapchat stars to become noticed or monetize their expertise and following. In fact, it was nearly impossible to know what following you had on the app.

Creators would try to find out their numbers through third-party companies that cost money and often offered limited data. Snap Inc. realized in late 2017 that its stars and influencers were leaving the app to go to more analytic-friendly platforms, like Instagram.

Things have shifted a bit. Snapchat finally has analytics to help you see how your Snaps are performing. However, you need to be an Official Creator or a company/brand with a cultivated large audience in order to have access to Snapchat’s Insights.

When you have access to the Insights tab, you’ll see the following helpful metrics:

Unique Views

This will tell you how many total unique viewers saw your Snapchat story year to date. To count the view, the user will have had to look at it for a least one entire second. The view only counts once, regardless of how many times one user actually viewed the story.

View Time

This shows you how many minutes a viewer watched your story, year to date. It’s most helpful to let you know how your content draws and steadily holds a user’s attention. It’ll also help you figure out what days your stories are most viewed, and how long they should be for maximum exposure.

Completion Rate

How many viewers watched an entire story from start to finish. This helps you figure out what type of story resonates with your audience.

Screenshots Taken

Other platforms track engagement with likes or comments; Snapchat tracks it with how many screenshots were taken of your stories and Snaps.

Demographics

Insights hone in on the age and gender of your young demographics. There are even more details, such as their general locations and interests.

Followers

You’ll see the number of Snapchat followers you have who are engaging with content, however, it’s not the exact number of total followers. The number of followers is based on a scoring system, not a count.

In addition to Snap Inc.’s internal analytics, there are a couple of companies that offer Snapchat analytics. These companies are not affiliated with Snap Inc. or Snapchat. One company, Snaplytics, debuted its proprietary Snapchat analytics in 2016 as a way to help brands monitor the platform and their campaigns.

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Brand Partnerships on Snapchat

Snapchat is one of the more creative marketing outlets for a brand, simply because of the platform’s demographics and its creation tools. (Note: There is a Snapchat Premium account where you can make money. The premium side of Snapchat tends to cater to more adult images and explicit material that disappears after viewing. This guide, however, focuses on Snapchat’s free account.)

Creative Snapchat Campaigns

To give you an idea of how Snapchat influencers and brands can work together, we’ve gathered summaries of some of the most successful marketing campaigns. As an influencer, you can adapt these ideas to brands you may partner with in the future:

Taco Bell

Cinco de Mayo Snapchat Lens: Taco Bell created one of the most memorable campaigns in Snapchat’s history in 2016 when the company sponsored a taco face lens that resulted in 224M views in one day, which is an incredibly high number, according to Adweek.com. It’s widely reported that the lens cost about $750K.

taco bell influencer campaign snapchat

Above: Popular Taco Bell taco shell lens as part of a wildly successful Snapchat campaign.

Valentine’s Day Snapchat Share: Taco Bell struck again when it invited its audience to screenshot a Valentine’s Day card from its story to share with friends. It was a brilliant way to increase audience engagement and screen shots. In addition, the brand had the chance to learn which images resonated with the audience.

taco bell saucy valentine

Above: Taco Bell loved Snapchat so much, they came up with another brilliant campaign that increased screen shots of branded Valentine’s Day cards.

Cisco Systems

A Day in the Life of a Cisco Account Manager: If you’re looking for inspiration, look to Cisco’s WeAreCisco campaign. This network hardware company hardly seems like a good Snapchat campaign match, but with ingenuity, it became just that. Cisco found a way to make its “boring” business fun to Gen Z and Millennials with a behind-the-scenes campaign. Cisco created a daily Snapchat diary in 2016 of one of its account managers as a way to connect with a tech-savvy audience that may want to work for the company. WeAreCisco employees created a takeover of the NASDAQ account for National Techie’s Day to show why working for a tech company like Cisco was so amazing. 

cisco snapchat

Above: Cisco Systems grabbed attention to its employees through a Snapchat campaign. Here’s a group photo of a few fun-loving engineers inside the Cisco Snapcode.

Gatorade

The Big Game 50 Gatorade Lens: Gatorade created a custom lens that allowed football fans to simulate being dunked in their drink. The campaign received over 1M views over Super Bowl weekend, but resulted in a total of 170M views.

Above: Gatorade’s Super Bowl campaign created a lens that made it look like someone was getting Gatorade splashed all over them.

World Wildlife Fund

World Wildlife Fund “Don’t Let This Be My Last Selfie”: Not the cheeriest of campaigns, but it was highly effective. The World Wildlife Fund used Snapchat to raise awareness about endangered species by creating a #LastSelfie hashtag that was also used on other social media platforms. Snapchat was effective because its images disappear in minutes, just like endangered animals.

wwf snapchat campaign

Above: World Wildlife Fund lens campaign brought much needed attention to many endangered species.

MTV Music Video Awards

MTV Behind the Scenes: Though this is one of the oldest Snapchat campaigns, from 2015, it’s relevant, and it was repeated in 2017. MTV did a Snapchat Live Story, asking anyone in the vicinity to post Snaps for everyone to view. Not only did celebrities participate, so did audience members. A collection of funny behind-the-scenes Snaps created the Live Story and about 12M users viewed the Snapchat Story. MTV did it again in 2017.

mtv

Above: MTV ‘s Snapchat campaign focused on behind-the-scenes Snaps.

MLS - Major League Soccer

MLS Snapchat Takeovers:  In 2015, MLS dedicated one week to takeovers by Snapchat stars. The soccer stars also promoted the takeover on their own accounts. The takeovers increased not only MLS’s audience, but enlarged the number of followers on each soccer star’s account. Star players took a 24-hour period to show users a sneak peek about what their daily life is all about. MLS also cross-promoted the Snapchat takeover on YouTube.

snapchat mls

Above: MLS handed over the reins of its Snapchat channel to various stars as part of its campaign.

Victoria's Secret

Victoria’s Secret on Discovery: Lingerie retailer, Victoria’s Secret and People magazine partnered on Snapchat to create an ad placed on the Discovery section of the platform. The campaign featured three promos for a Victoria’s Secret TV special. The promos were a few seconds long but played as a continuous loop until the user was done viewing.

Victoria’s Secret Angels Takeover: The Snapchat promos were so successful for Victoria’s Secret, it decided to do a Takeover campaign in 2017. “Angels” took control of the retailer’s Snapchat channel to give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at their lives. As a result, viewers were given an exclusive view at new products.

vi

Above: Victoria’s Secret did a Snapchat campaign featuring a takeover where models gave viewers sneak peeks to new products.

Nike

Air Jordan’s and Snapcode: One of the most unique ways to use a Snapcode came from Nike when it promoted the Air Jordan III Tinker sneakers during NBA All-Star Weekend. An image of Michael Jordan used a customized lens that included a special QR code on the image in the app. All users had to do was scan the Snapcode in the image to open up the e-commerce site for the sneakers. The sneakers sold out in 23 minutes.

nike jordan snapchat

Above: An easy-to-understand Snapcode campaign made from a custom lens, which led to the shoes to sell out in the blink of an eye.

Sephora

Sephora’s Takeovers: The beauty retailer giant is known for its Snapchat takeovers and use of Snapchat lenses and filters to create mini-makeovers. To hone in on a specific location, Sephora used geofilters to up the foot traffic. In other words, if a Snapchatter was within 100 feet of a retail space, up popped a geofilter inviting them to the store.

sephora snapchat

Above: An announcement from Sephora about a takeover by beauty influencer, Hannah Bronfman in 2015.

There are undoubtedly many more branded Snapchat campaigns. We curated the campaigns that were simple to follow. Many others were complicated to execute, which may have hurt the campaign. Since Snapchat is an on-the-go kind of platform, campaigns should be easy to understand and follow.

How to Disclose Sponsorships on Snapchat

About 56 percent of consumers under the age of 25, that of Snapchat demographics, have purchased a product because it was promoted by a social media influencer, according to the Harvard Business Review. Whether it’s Snapchat, Facebook, Instagram or another social media platform, the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) is watching and scrutinizing to make sure consumers are not scammed by sponsored content or ads.

The FTC monitors paid influencer social media campaigns. If a brand pays an influencer to expose a product on a Snap or Story, it must be obvious to the viewer that it’s a sponsored piece of content. In other words, anyone working with a brand needs to fully disclose to a viewer that what they’re watching or seeing is sponsored content.

There are a few best practices to disclose sponsored content on Snapchat:

  • Disclose on a caption.
  • Disclose by audio on a video..
  • Disclose on a tag overlaying a video.
  • Disclose on a tag overlaying an image.

For Snapchat, the FTC suggests hashtags as overlays. You can use, for example, #ad, #sponsored, #paid followed by the brand in the caption. The disclosure should be made in the first 30 seconds of the video and of sufficient duration to allow viewers to understand what was read or heard. Multiple disclosures throughout a video or story is highly recommended.

It’s important to study some of the best marketing campaigns, even if it’s not Snapchat. Companies, including Coca-Cola and Red Bull, have accessed Snapchat influencers with successful results. Red Bull, for example, worked with Canadian snowboarder, Mark McMorris, on a takeover campaign. A takeover campaign is when a brand allows a Snapchat influencer to run its channel for 24 hours or more.

McMorris took over Red Bull’s channel for a day as followers of the drink watched him spontaneously go about his day visiting surf shops and hitting the mountains for a snowboard run. Red Bull is all about extreme sports, which was a perfect match with McMorris.  Today, McMorris continues to be featured on Red Bull’s website as one of its partners.

redbull snapchat

Snapchat was born in 2011. It was founded by two college kids who wanted to create a short-form app that would make their photos vanish into thin air once they were viewed by friends.

Evan Spiegel, the CEO and founder, and Bobby Murphy, co-founder, met at Stanford University. There they created Picaboo, the first iteration of Snapchat that launched in the iOS App Store in 2011. After many snafus, the duo improved and rebranded the app in September of 2011 to Snapchat.

The founders rebranded the app to be a little more sophisticated than Picaboo. In addition to disappearing images, the founders positioned Snapchat as an app more about capturing real life — in opposition to Instagram’s roundup of perfectly curated content. An Android version of Snapchat was launched in 2012, which rapidly grew the app’s user base to 100K users. Reports say that in 2013, Facebook offered to buy Snapchat, but the company declined.

By 2017, the app introduced a number of enhancements, filters, a camera and a discovery section, and then renamed the parent company to Snap Inc. The company completed a successful IPO in 2017, but it hasn’t grown in value as expected. Though the company may not be in growth mode, Snapchat is not going away anytime soon.

Less Competition on Snapchat

Young users love Snapchat, but companies tend to have a tough time understanding how to best approach this ultra-short-form platform with its disappearing posts as part of their brand marketing line up. Brands, and influencers, tend to rely more on Instagram or Facebook, and perhaps Twitter if it’s the right match. Those platforms are used by just about all ages, and their appeal is easier for companies to understand.

But the mystery and confusion about Snapchat’s allure provides a golden opportunity for both hard-working influencers and brands. It can be a major benefit that more influencers and brands rely on other platforms already crowded with both influencers and marketing campaigns. You, and a brand, can stand out on Snapchat because there’s less competition here for marketing than on other platforms. If you’re not convinced yet, here are even more appealing stats about Snapchat.

  • Snapchat has over 203M daily active users at the time of this writing.
  • Daily users spend about 30 minutes a day on Snapchat.
  • Snapchat has more users than Twitter.
  • There are over 10 billion daily video views on the app.
  • About 2.1M Snaps are created on the app every minute from all over the world.
  • Countries that use Snapchat the most: the U.S., France and the U.K.
  • About 95 percent of Snapchat users say using the app makes them feel happy; that in itself is one reason to become an influencer on Snapchat. In fact, it’s one of the reasons Instagram is serious about eliminating its “likes.”

Although there’s opportunity, there are also challenges. Snapchat is a different animal with different rules. But sometimes, the content can be shared between Snapchat and Instagram. The aesthetics are somewhat similar even if Snapchat feels more “in the moment” and authentic than other platforms. But, interestingly enough, Instagram’s Stories were inspired (some say stolen) by the success of Snapchat’s Stories, which are both fleeting, requiring followers to log in daily — if not more — so they don’t miss a thing.

The Future of Snapchat

As an influencer, you want to know what’s happening behind the scenes at Snapchat’s parent company, Snap Inc. If there’s one thing that Snap Inc. knows it’s good at, it’s innovation. Snap is so good at innovation, it considers itself a tech company, according to founder Evan Spiegel, in a 2018 interview with CNBC.

In fact, one of the biggest innovations Snap is working on is building other types of AR features that aren’t just for faces. Lenses will be able to be designed for a user’s full body, hands, pets and buildings.

developers snapchat body-tracking

Above: Developers at Snap Inc. are busy working on body-tracking lenses…

hand tracking snapchat

Above: …and hand-tracking lenses…

pet tracking snapchat

Above: …and pet-tracking lenses.

The buildings lens product is called Landmarker. It’s a face filter, but for iconic landmarks around the world. The company wanted to give a fresh perspective to architecture just as it does for Snapchatter’s faces. As of this writing, Landmarker has a template in the Lens Studio to create a 3D experience with five locations around the world, including the Eiffel Tower to the Flatiron Building in New York City It’s in its infancy stage, but worth noting if you are a content creator on Snapchat.

eiffel tower lens snapchatAbove: The Eiffel Tower with a Landmarker lens, in progress and in the hands of Snapchat’s best creators.

In the end, Snap Inc.’s CEO Spiegel has spent the past two years investing heavily in AR technology in tandem with giving its talented creators and influencers the recognition they deserve. If you want to push the envelope when it comes to creating some of the most innovative content on social media, then Snapchat is the place to be.