I tracked down Mateusz as a result of my search for Snapchat experts. He made clear that Snapchat is not his “only thing” but this interview is focussed on Snapchat. My questions in bold
Please describe what Snapchat is and is becoming to someone who has not really got the concept yet
Snapchat is a 100% mobile application which is very specific. Content which we publish disappears after it was watched, read or published on MyStory (in 24 h) It’s a place where people communicate mostly by photos and videos, in a very creative ways (filters, special effects, drawings).
You can communicate directly with people (personal message, chat, video/audio call), show your stuff to everybody by publishing content on stories, watching Live Stories from events or different places or consuming high quality content made by Publishers on Discovery (Mashable, BBC, MTV, National Geographic and more).
Snapchat is very innovative, constantly growing and reaching more adults. Bigger players like Facebook are copying some of it features (QR Codes, Slingshot, poke, self-destructing messages in Messenger)
Why do you think it is experiencing such growth, to start with people said it’s for teenagers who want to be somewhere their parents are not. but is this still true?
Most of new platforms have started from youngsters (Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, MySpace). Somewhat it’s a natural cycle, young people have time and want to experiment, check new places build their own world far away from parents, teachers and other relatives.
I think that youngsters feel very comfortable with “disappearing content”.
Snapchat also provides very creative tools: you can draw, put emojis and stickers, put some filters, make face change with your buddy or with a person from the photo – isn’t that cool?
If you look on youngsters world it is very dominated by smartphones and this is 100% mobile app, which take whole screen of your mobile device.
And why Snapchat is experiencing such a growth? It’s a hard question because I believe that there are no simple answers. For me Snapchat has put some innovation on the market in terms of mobile (photo/video) app world, go 100% in vertical, experiment with new stuff, 100% mobile. I think it fits well to new generation.
On the other hand demography of Snapchat user is growing so it’s only a matter of time when more and more adults wills start using this app.
The “wake up call” is often discovering that a major rival or competitor is establishing a following on Snapchat. How easy is it to find your competitors and business partners on Snapchat ? What are the simplest rules and tools?
You have to see it outside Snapchat on other social channels because if you don’t know account name of the brand, you won’t find it. Some people use their instragam which they’ve grown thanks to free instagram followers.
Now is a very good time to bring your brand to Snapchat.. Figure out your communication on that channel, think if your target audience is there. Do you know what kind of stories you want to tell people via Snapchat and would they be valuable for your audience.
If your answer is “yes” then get stuck in: there is a lot to win. Many brands are waiting for “perfect moment” where they will have advanced analytics and some gurus will tell you – okay it’s safe now, you should go there, it’s working! But then you will miss a lot of opportunity to steal a march on your competitors, user engagement and interaction.
Actually people really care about stuff that you are posting, they are looking at stories, adding new accounts, checking it out. But nothing lasts forever, especially user attention. I remember some years ago how many people in Poland liked everything on Facebook, you wrote “I need 300 people to reach 10 000 likes on my page, please help” or how many new people we add to our friends – people use to do that.
If you try do it now, it’s very different. The platform changed, we changed, our level of excitement went down, and we are much more selective. That’s why watching the market for attention, and knowing when to go with something new is important.
What kind of benefits do companies and individuals derive from establishing a good Snapchat presence. What are the challenges when analyzing competitors’ Snapchat presence. How do you go about it?
Snapchat is a platform where you can bond much more deeply with your community than on other channels.
Second, people are spending a lot of their time there. It’s fresh, new, there is still a big field to do something as a first or create your own way/style. The two biggest assets of Snapchat are user engagement and attention – things that marketers are struggling for every day.
I don’t think that Snapchat will dominate other communication channels, but it will be a great one to provide a different way of communication, Closer & more creative and authentic (even if you use mask filters, you can’t prepare your content before).
I think that biggest challenge is to know how many people saw the stories of your competitors. Some big brands making the mistake of chasing numbers by hiring influencers to make stories for them. This makes a spike in interest, but after that nothing happens on their Snapchat channel or it is simply weak, because the marketing team behind it doesn’t have any idea for consistent communication. It’s a huge waste of money unless part of an integrated plan.
Making an impressive Snapchat video is a bit of a challenge for a Snapchat “newbie”. If he or she is not there in a professional capacity, it doesn’t matter so much as it temporary. but if you are a personal brand, or a company, then it’s a stress, a little like Periscope. What are the options ?
Yes, you are right. A lot of marketers or people who are celebrities are afraid of new things, don’t have too much time or are just romantic about their old channels and don’t see need to be at the front.
For a serious brand or personal brand it is good to contact person who is a specialist (like me ) Should they be on Snapchat at all (is their target audience there, or will they be soon), if yes, They should learn the mechanism the DNA of the platform or find someone to teach them.
A lot of people are stressed with live content (Periscope, Facebook Live) and I respect that, it’s not for everybody. With Snapchat you always decide if you want to publish photo, video or drawing after you made it. A disaster does not have to on line.
There are few tips for personal brands:
– contact with somebody who has practical knowledge about Snapchat
– check the most famous Snapchat users, see how they are using this channel
– experiment, see what works for you the most, how you feel with it, do you want to do it
– set your goals and discuss with experienced professionals
– contact with somebody who have practical knowledge about Snapchat
– is your target audience on Snapchat ?
– what value you want to provide – fun, education, ‘behind the scenes’ stories. Other…?
– think and decide how Snapchat can be part of your communication strategy
– set your goals and discuss with experienced professionals
– review what resources do you have. Can you sustain regular content?
What are the dangers of an unprofessional Snapchat presence., it is better to have a fewer and higher quality or doing them daily even if not so well ?
That depends if you are a brand or a person. I mean from user perspective Snapchat is a platform which gave you a lot of flexibility, it’s not about perfection (that’s why probably a lot of people like it). It’s about moment in time, people use it to communicate with their friends.
From marketing perspective (brand). It’s not about perfection too, but about value. What interesting content you have for your existing and possibly new audiences. Why somebody should give you 30 seconds of their time to watch your stuff. For example if you are and operator for Formula1 Snapchat be where the action is: on the F1 Championship, make takeovers by top drivers, go to Pit Stop – just create your little show around it. Have a concept, but left a lot of space for flow and creativity.
The biggest mistake for brands is just – being boring, don’t have any concept or leaving your whole communication for few big and expensive shots with influencers. You put them on, make an impact– get many new followers – but then what? Consistent planned communication matters.
You just have to know how to use the energy of an influencer for your brand, not only for stats and numbers of followers. Think about building community around your consistent activity – not just around one show.
How often does someone need to post a Story if they are going to be effective, and how much time does someone needs to devote to making a good Snapchat story?
It depends on what kind of brand are you, what is your target, how much resource you have. Ideally it is every day. For some brands it’s much easier to create content, others need to think more about the concept.
A good Snapchat story is not the most complicated or the one which takes most time.
Is the one that is most interesting for your community. It’s different for each branch, because it’s easier to create a good story from event, backstage, makeover then create a concept for specific day with specific content.
What are the key features of a good Snapchat story, and what mistakes do you see most often.
– be authentic
– creative – use different tools
– provide value – think about your community and their time
– be consistent
– publishing everything around you without thinking “ I’m going to work…. “ I’m making a coffee . here is my office..” might be interesting once if the theme is … my working day
– making snaps horizontal (if there is no need or idea around it)
– no idea/concept for your activity
Once someone has committed to Snapchat and the content is live, should they start promoting it right away, or wait until they it is achieving their objectives? Once they are ready for promotion, where should they do it?
That depends on the story. If the story will have sense from first or second snap I prefer to start it promoting right away. If you are creating stuff which need a one third, half of full story to make a sense I will create it ASAP and then start promoting it on different channels. It’s all about context for people who will join you and have the first impression.
If someone objects to making Snapchat content at considerable expense and seeing it disappear, what can they do to keep it alive on other channels.
Download it to your mobile as soon it will be ready or make print screens to put it on different channels. It all depends how you want to use it. After that you can upload it on Youtube, Facebook, Instagram or in other places.
How do you expect Snapchat marketing to evolve as Snapchat starts to monetize its traffic.
That depends what kind of features they will make live. But I think that next big steps will be opening advertisement panel for more countries (ads, Discover, more local Live Stories) sponsored filters, graphic effects and creating some cool features for brands to tell stories.
I think that Discover and Live Stories have much more power when they are put in context of specific country (geolocation). More people will care about Discover if they could check information close to where they are or are from. The same with Live Stories. So I see some interesting points in that.
One thing I’m sure of and I think the Snapchat team agree about is that you have to implement advertisement in the smart and not too commercial way. People don’t like attacked with advertising. It’s business of course, so that you have to balance it somehow and be smart.
Check out Mateusz’s web page here