5 Tips on Using SnapChat for Your Employer Brand

Teenage girl taking picture of herself
Teenage girl taking picture of herself

It's 2015 so I think we've all heard the phrase, "Keep calm and keep Snapchatting," right? If not, then you must not work in recruiting or in the employer branding space. I spoke at a conference last week on Being authentic on Social Media with your Company's Employer Brand and explained how Horizon Media uses Snapchat -- the crowd perked up and the flutter of tweets increased because people were truly curious how that social platform could help them amplify their brand and there I was...holding the secret sauce (and if you looked closely at the photos from the conference, I was wearing a little of it on my shirt, but I digress). The truth is, there's no big secret when it comes to using Snapchat to build out your employer brand but I do have a 5 tips to share that anyone with an account can quickly start implementing to rev things up.

1. You must love social! Or at least like it a lot, and it can't be a forced "like" like the "like" you give your crazy aunt's pic of her cat dressed in this week's Kim Kardashian fashion she posts on Facebook. The person running your Snapchat account has to understand how it works and genuinely like it because consistency is a key factor in building your audience. To me, if you're passionate about something, you're going to want to do it over and over again -- like Donald Trump insulting my Mexican heritage.

2. Have a cool things to tell or show. I admit that when I first started my own account I was posting random snaps: a photo of my puppy, a video of my mailman walking down the street, a picture of my mailman holding my puppy. Yeah. Boring. I know. Judge me. Let me spare you all these first-timer mistakes, especially if you're snapping from your company's account. Instead, you want to piece together a story that's fun, energetic and even wacky. That's the great thing about Snapchat, it's more forgiving that any other platform because it vanishes in 24 hours after you post so it's not clogging up anyone's timeline and if it wasn't a success, you can start fresh the next day. You can even direct people to another platform in your story just like I created a story that ended up telling people to go to our Instagram account to view the final piece.

3. Work in snapblasts. Remember the boring snaps I posted? Well, not only was I posting snorechats, I was posting them at various times of the day. The first photo at 9 .a.m., then a video at 2pm and I'd end things at 5pm. The damage was no one viewed all of my snaps at the same completion rate. My first post had 45 views while my second had 20 and my last one only had three. What was going on? The fact is, people rarely comeback to see your snaps -- especially if you're boring! So it's no wonder my drop off rate was high and my completion views were low.

Now I post in what's called "snapblasts" where you tell and post your story within a small amount of time (that's a combo of photos & videos) and all your snaps are posted at once (as opposed to being spread out throughout the day) in order for your audience to view all your snaps through completion. Suggestion: Snapblast 11 snaps of your employees getting cotton candy and taffy at the unavailing of the new 15th floor office space or the interns being photographed for a billboard in Times Square -- both these situations make for a fun and interesting story that give an insider viewpoint that you just can't give on Instagram or Facebook because lower production value but it's instant and organic.

There will be times when you can't snapblast, like during at all day events because you will want to continually post throughout the day and capture the fun. We had our New York summer party on July 14th but because I only posted fun, interesting and engaging snaps (certain senior leaders dancing, the interns playing flip cup and our lobster table) - I had the highest completion rate ever with over 86 views per post and an over all 3K views, several screen shots were taken of the photos I posted. (Note: We have grown our audience since then and the LA Summer Party was July 23rd and we the highest views then with 100 views per snap)

4. Tell, tell and then tell some more! Now that you know what and when to snap - who's going to see it? How do you build your audience? Well I have an answer for that too. You advertise your Snapchat account everywhere else you have your other social media accounts posted. But if you were smart, I'd start small and then grow your audience little by little because you want to make sure you're giving yourself the opportunity to tell your stories in a fun way that engages and represents your brand. Be prepared for someone to snap you back which will send you in total freak out mode for about a week--at least it did me. I took a screen shot and I printed it out -- what? I wasn't given enough hugs as a child. I advertise our Snapchat account on our LinkedIn Career's page and I've noticed that our audience keeps growing. We also send it out to employees before company events so they can enjoy all the snapping fun. We have a few campaigns we are about to launch that will only be Snapchat-focused. Stay tuned!

5. Measure & Pivot. I haven't found any real way to keep analytics on Snapchat and maybe it's because I'm lazy and gave up after one search so I keep a Google spreadsheet with my daily numbers. If I'm posting content that's not working, my views will decrease or we will start to see our friends leave. I've been lucky this summer and had a design intern who also loves Snapchat and we brainstormed various pieces of content that she create so I could post using the app SnapUp. I track my data because I want to see what's resonating with my audience. Maybe I should have mentioned this in the beginning but not every brand should be on Snapchat. You, as a brand, must figure out if your target audience is on this platform and wants to engage with you. For us, they are and it's working. The day after the New York summer party, a recruiter got an email from a candidate who said they saw all the snaps from the party and now more than ever, they truly wanted to work for Horizon Media and they couldn't wait for their interview. That, to me, is a snapping success.