10 billion views per day.
That’s how many views Snapchat is getting on a daily basis. What’s more impressive is the fact that back in February 2016, Snapchat reported to its investors that users were racking up a whopping 8 billion views a day. It's relatively unheard of to see this kind of growth in such a short period of time.
Although other video platforms like Facebook and YouTube don’t release metrics about how many views there are in a day, there’s no denying that Snapchat is closely reaching peak, widespread adoption. With a combination of attention from the media and fast growth among older demographics, brands, and marketers have also realized the potential of the social platform and are flocking in droves.
Much like the early days of Facebook and Twitter, massive growth in adoption rates usually spells out one thing -- noise. If you’re a brand, artist, or storyteller who believes in the power of Snapchat and you’re working hard to create quality content, a noisy social space makes it incredibly difficult to reach new users who will enjoy your content.
Unfortunately, you’ve probably also noticed one of the biggest challenges with Snapchat. If there's one thing that every content creator must contend with it's that the platform has an utter lack of built-in discovery within the app.
Once you’ve exhausted promotion across your other social profiles and publishing content outside of Snapchat, growing your audience will be a struggle. It’s at this point you may want to consider jumping on the latest trend – the Snapchat takeover.
Takeovers are still one of the best ways to grow your followers and expose your style of content to an entirely new set of eyes that may have never known about you or your brand. The time will come when this tactic may be overused, and then creators will have to try other ways to grow. But when done correctly, a takeover can be incredibly powerful.
Assuming that you already know what a takeover is, and you’ve already targeted accounts to do a takeover for, this is a handy-dandy guide to a successful Snapchat takeover.
Know Who You Are, Be Self-Aware
The most important place to start when strategizing for your next takeover is understanding who you are and what is your brand. Part of that understanding is having a grasp of what types of content make you unique and why people would value your content.
For this guide, your strategy will vary slightly depending on whether you are a poster or a storyteller. The reason we’ll be segmenting these two is that a “poster” will post imagery of their day-to-day life to their stories while a “storyteller” will seek to tell a particular narrative with a beginning, middle, and end to each of their stories.
While these two types of creator more realistically overlap quite often, your next takeover should aim to tell a specific narrative. Whether it’s an actual story or you're sharing a look into your life, make sure you’re thinking about a concise story with a beginning, middle, and end.
So for example, if you’re a thought leader in your industry and your existing followers crave what you post to Snapchat, try to incorporate that into your takeover. If you’re an artist, stick to what you do best and strut your stuff. You may be tempted to try something over the top or new, but be careful that you have realistic expectations of what you can achieve.
Set Expectations – Be Specific
A takeover can be exciting, so you’ll no doubt have big plans to “WOW” a new audience. Knowing what you can reasonably achieve is important, but make sure that the account you’re swapping with also understands what is expected.
Whether or not you want to draft up a document or contract clearly stating your agreement is entirely up to you. A takeover requires a tremendous amount of trust on both side since this will require people logging into accounts they don’t own. There is definitely some risk involved, so it’s best both parties attempt to minimize any negative impacts.
It’s important that both sides clearly state what they are looking to get out of a takeover story. The primary focus of this guide will be for those who are seeking to grow their followers, but there are plenty of cases out there where a brand will target creators to jump on their account to engage their audiences.
From an execution standpoint, you’ll also most likely want to storyboard your takeover and share it with the folks you’re swapping with. This will make it an easier process from start to finish, and you can work with the other account to revise your story if it works better for their audience.
Execute Your Takeover From Beginning to End
Now that you’ve got the green light from the other party and your story idea is ready to go, it’s time to execute your takeover. Here’s a step-by-step process to make sure everything runs smoothly:
1. Promote Like Crazy
Your takeover is a big deal and you want to get as many eyes on your story as possible. This means hitting up all of your social accounts and reaching out to your followers to let them know you’ll be doing a takeover. You’ll want to hit these accounts hard and fast in the hours leading up to the takeover since their chance to watch it won’t be around forever (but you already knew that).
2. Change Your Snapchat Password
This step will undoubtedly make the most trusting of people slightly apprehensive. To protect yourself as much as possible, both parties should change their account passwords just for this takeover. It’s also recommended to set up 2-step verification so the other party can’t change your password at will. If you’re doing a takeover where the other party will not be on your Snapchat account, this step can help put their mind at ease when granting access.
3. Snapcode at the Ready, Captain!
Your takeover story should include some sort of introduction with both your username and your Snapcode. After you’ve introduced yourself, give the audience the chance to take a screenshot of your Snapcode. But make sure to test and see if your Snapcode can be easily scanned by other users who want to add your account.
4. Get Crackin’ With Your Story
Now it’s time to just dive in and get your story posted. This entire part is up to you, so have fun!
5. Share Your Code, Save Your Story
You’ve wrapped up the main narrative of your story, so now it’s time to make a graceful exit. Share your account information one more time and invite the audience to follow you if they enjoyed your takeover. More importantly, make sure you’re either saving your entire story or saving each snap so you can edit it later. You’ve put a lot of effort into this, so you want to make sure this isn’t the last time anyone will ever see your story again.
6. Log Out and Thank Your Host
Your takeover is finished, so turn the keys back over to the account’s owner. Make sure you let them know when you’ve logged out to avoid any confusion.
But above all… BE GRATEFUL.
Make sure you sincerely thank the other party and that you appreciate the faith they put in you to takeover their account.
These tips will more fall under best practices for Snapchat stories in general, but here are some things you really should consider during your takeover.
Don’t Cause “Shoutout Fatigue”
You may be tempted to give a shoutout to other accounts you have a relationship with, but don’t fall into this trap of “shoutout fatigue.” If you’re going to give a shoutout, use it sparingly so you don’t annoy the audience.
Have Clear & Concise CTAs
Unless your story has multiple CTAs that all relate to the narrative you’re trying to tell, have one specific action you want the audience to take. Be upfront and make it painfully obvious what it is that you want them to do.
Don’t Go Crazy With An Epic Story
Storytellers and artists are always pushing the boundaries in the stories they tell on Snapchat. But remember that the world at large has an increasingly waning attention span so brevity will be better than trying to film a feature-length movie. Aim to keep your story to no longer than 100 seconds.
Repurpose and Promote Again
Hopefully, you’ve saved your story so you can share it with the world. You can share across all of your social accounts and repurpose depending on where it goes. Consider posting to YouTube, Slinger, and Facebook so you can easily share the video URL.
Lastly, make sure you follow up with the other party to ask they share what kind of views your story received. The total number of views won’t matter as much as the number of views you received from beginning to end, so make sure you’re able to get an idea about your viewer retention rate so you know how to improve your Snapchat game.
There’s a lot of work that will go into your takeover and you may certainly have your own approach. But hopefully, this guide will at least get you started and have you thinking about what to keep in mind when you execute.
Above all, enjoy your time and happy snapping!