Snapchat for personal and corporate branding – an interview with Michał Kalina

Richard Lucas March 2016

Introduction

Michal Kalina — former Social Media specialist at one of Krakow’s most dynamic seed funds Innovation Nest has been Snapchatting for a while during his travels. Now he’s showing backstage of creating his web&mobile development company Kolektiv.

The growth of Snapchat has been likened to that of Facebook in 2007/8. Gary Vaynerchuk has been really pushing Snapchat as being at a breakthrough moment., and high profile figures like podcaster Johnny Lee Dumas are paying attention as in this 26th February Gary V Show. 

For early adopters of emerging social media platforms, and marketing professionals who believe that there are land grab possibilities to get the best seats before the majority arrive, Snapchat is high on the agenda.  However, a developing a professional and coherent presence on Snapchat without spending a fortune is a challenge. I took the time to talk to Michał about his perspectives

Please describe what Snapchat is and is becoming to someone who has not really got the concept yet

Snapchat is a new wave social media platform for sharing videos and photos via smartphone. In previous years becomes popular among youngsters. Now used by celebrities, newspapers, brands & normal people to tell their everyday story –  often known as vlogging. According to Wikipedia, Snapchat has gone through 7 Billion daily video views in February this year  

Content is given in a more convenient way,  and is richer in emotions, than a tweet or post. It is a place where professionals can show the backstage to their work & brands expand their social engagement on a daily basis.

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?

Well, I think it was an important factor but just in a beginning. Most importantly Snapchat is the first platform that fixed the problem of mobile videos. Facebook, YouTube, not even Instagram have solved this problem. If you have seen a funny YouTube film called ‘Vertical Video Syndrome’ where the main character says ‘Say No to Vertical Videos’, now it’s out-of-date mostly because Snapchat existence. Snapchat means I say ‘Yes’ to vertical videos!

Another reason is that Snapchat democratized video editing. You don’t need to learn any special tool. Just record a video, add text or emoji & upload it. If you do it few times in a row, your film is done & already uploaded, it makes you feel brilliant. It’s fast, live & real. That’s how social media works nowadays – it catches the spirit of the times.

The “wake up call” to getting interested for professionals is 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?

It’s for pioneers right now – that’s why it is the best time to get into this platform. Once it will be easy, that’s already too late. There are some agencies but we’re in early days. Check out:

http://vaynermedia.com/  https://naritiv.com/ http://www.grapestory.co/  It’s not 

What kind of benefits do companies and individuals derive from establishing a good Snapchat presence. What are the challenges when analysing competitors’ Snapchat presence. How do you go about it?

Attention –  In today’s world is extremely hard to get attention. We’re bombarded with content. Even if something is interesting for us, we put it aside to ‘watch later’… which of course we don’t get round to. One thing that’s unique for Snapchat is that users really consume content and give attention to what they’re watching because it expires after 24h. They won’t have a chance to watch it later.

There is no set standard in Snapchat strategies yet. Remember that your competitors are experimenting. If you start to copy their behaviour,  you’ll miss better format ideas that fit  your customers and brand. So follow them, be aware of what they do,  try to learn from  their mistakes, apply the best of their formats, but also experiment a lot with your own style.

Making an impressive Snapchat video is a bit of a challenge for a Snapchat “newbie”. If someone is experimenting as a private individuals it doesn’t matter if they make a bit of a fool of themselves.   It doesn’t matter that much, it is temporary. But …. if you are a personal brand, or a company, then it’s a stress, a little like Periscope. What are the options ?

If you don’t take a risk in this medium, you risk even more, because you are losing a chance. Don’t worry about making impressive videos, make real ones. It’s not Vimeo or YouTube. Snapchat is all about short, somewhat messy content. That is its beauty. Show your audience a real you/your brand and people will like you more and forgive you all mistakes.  If you want to outsource to professionals, we (Richard, Michał and our network of super talented Central European specialists) can probably help.  

For example: During my recent 4 months trip to India I showed the backstage of my trip by making short Snapchat videos. I used them to show the people I met, the challenges and adventures I had along the way etc. People who love  traveling got involved in my Snapchat stories because they could feel with me how it was to be a lonely traveller in exotic country. It’s was a compelling alternative to a travel blog.

For example: If you’re running a gym. Make a daily video with short exercises for today. Give your audience some tips how to make a good workout. Bring them value & you’ll attract your target group.

What are the dangers of an unprofessional Snapchat presence. Is it better to have a fewer and higher quality or be doing them daily? Here’s my warning of  what might  happen in your don’t know what you are doing

Snapchat users are much likely to watch amateur videos than a professional campaign but I don’t mean that as a CEO you should start Snapchatting from tomorrow, making yourself look fooling in front of staff, clients and competitors may not match your brand image.  It takes time to learn.  It’s good to get training before you post your first videos if you have a brand that might be damaged by something unprofessional. If you don’t want to do it yourself,  hire someone who understands the medium and has some demonstrated experience. Otherwise you may well fail, making unnatural, over long content.

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?

You don’t necessarily need to do it daily. But at least 3 times a week is recommended. Otherwise your audience won’t get used to the idea that your stories are out there. If viewers like your stories, you’ll want to keep them nurtured, and in the habit of coming back.

There is no good answer for how much time you should spend on making stories. Some of my snaps took me 10 minutes to shoot, others hours of preparation –  2 hours of shooting – like this video I made about murals in Krakow. If your time is valuable it may be cheaper to work with someone so your involvement is minimized.

output_c7DBms

Another example this: 10 minutes of shooting, 9 months of preparations

Dangerous_Sneezing

or here

What are the key features of a good Snapchat story, and what mistakes do you see most often.

Be bold. Be short. Be simple. Play with text & visual effects. Use colors.

Don’t talk a lot. I made this mistake many times. I really wanted to explain everything & I recorded 5 videos with my face. That’s boring 🙁 .

Once someone has committed to Snapchat and the content is live, should they start promoting it right away, or wait until they are are it is achieving their objectives? Once they are ready for promotion, where should they do it?

I was experimenting with Snapchat since June 2015 & didn’t promote my content. I think my opinion is clear. I learnt how to use it & now I’m ready to promote my stories. If you have a professional social media team they will have multiple channles across which to promote your Snapchat. (Instagram, mailing list, Facebook, Twitter etc etc)

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.

Well. You can make a collage with other materials. It is possible to upload your Snapchat content onto Youtube and Facebook if you know what you are doing.  Adidas did this with Karlie Kloss.

Or you can just simply upload your Snaps on YouTube & promote them. Here are some of mine.

Crazy pilgrims in India

https://youtu.be/POr5NiRAiow

The Highest Building on Earth & Me

https://youtu.be/CNw_AdXdCvM

The Best Drummer & Me On Stage

https://youtu.be/StWAZD-GhzM

How do you expect Snapchat marketing to evolve as Snapchat starts to monetize its traffic.

As a brand there will be even more ways to get attention but it will cost you money & effort Evan Spiegel(Snapchat CEO) told Bloomberg  They will put a lot of effort to make their ads as good as regular content if not  better. So don’t expect to put a low quality banner on Snapchat in the near future. It won’t work.

Remember. Be simple & authenic. That’s what matters on Snapchat.

You can reach me on Snapchat @MichalKalina or add here

Take photo with your Snapchat profile & see what happens.

Thanks a lot Michał

snapcode-blog

From my point of view – I’m 100% convinced of the value, and am assembling a team of people who know about Snapchat

12804574_10153371800551828_1711753331_n

I am a Newbie. Do follow me but don’t expect Michał’s level of professionalism.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *