Expert Music Career Advice For DIY Musicians

4 Ways Artists Can Use the Newly Updated Snapchat to Their Advantage

snapchatPhoto by AdamPrzezdziek via Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Social media announcements have been running rampant over the past month, and all of them contain major implications for people who use the platforms for marketing purposes. Snapchat, still a baby-faced giant in the world of social media, recently launched its Chat 2.0 upgrade, which contains a wide variety of new features such as the auto-advance of stories, audio/video notes, audio/video calls, and over 200 stickers.

Basically, Snapchat’s goal is to become a one-stop shop for all forms of human communication, and its track record thus far is impressive. In case you're still a newbie to Snapchat, here are the major updates you need to know about as an artist.

1. Auto-advance means more views on your stories

For those who aren’t hip to Snapchat yet, "stories" are a gathering of all the pictures and videos you send out to all your followers in a 24-hour period, rather than choosing a select few. Before the Chat 2.0 update, it was relatively easy to pick individual stories for viewing and ignore others if you were running low on time or simply had no interest in watching. However, the new auto-advance feature means that one story after the next in your list will automatically play unless you manually swipe down.

This new experience will surely increase view counts and, consequently, encourage posting because of the increased chance for exposure. So whether you want to showcase some exclusive studio footage or have one of your team members post live footage from your show, be sure to use Snapchat stories when appropriate, because more eyes will be watching.

2. Capture spur-of-the-moment ideas with audio/video notes

Do song ideas pop into your head while you’re in the car or walking down the street? It's a common occurrence among artists, and smartphones are a blessing thanks to their ability to capture spontaneous, creative ideas. However, the introduction of audio/video notes on Snapchat makes it easier to share freshly conjured ideas with your management team, potential collaborators, or fans who would love to receive a special individual message! The elementary-school lesson of sharing is caring carries a lot of weight, and Snapchat is making it easy to create, save, and send new content at a moment’s notice.

Meet your music career goals.

3. Connect with people who would be unreachable otherwise via audio/video call

The older a social media platform is, the harder it usually becomes to directly reach influencers because of how crowded the space is. Endless Facebook comments and tweets can be hard to sift through, but Snapchat’s Chat 2.0 has the potential to bridge the gap from a communication perspective.

If a person receives a regular phone call from an unknown number, it will most likely be ignored. But audio calls on Snapchat are still a fresh enough concept to engage excitement, and the person you're calling will know your name. We're not advocating for you to contact complete strangers via Snapchat (in essence, spamming), but get a sense of how active a person is on the platform, and once you realize he or she uses it daily, don’t hesitate to reach out when you have something important to say.

4. Enjoy less pressure with new levels of flexibility

The immediacy of Snapchat is not breaking news, but Chat 2.0 brings about a level of flexibility that's not present in any other social media platform. Switching between the features of the updated Snapchat is a seamless process, and this will be an ultimate time saver. Engaging with people through quick messages and visual stickers is enough to develop a strong relationship with your fans, and pictures and videos you take don’t need to be perfect and edited with just the right filter to ensure the professionalism of your content.

Snapchat is a direct window into your life, and fans want to know about your unique adventures as a musician. There is a huge demographic of users who immediately check out their Snapchat stories when they get home from work, so be sure to share your Snapchat name via other social media channels and provide people with an interesting glimpse into your day-to-day life as an artist. You don’t need to be DJ Khaled to make an impact on Snapchat, so take advantage of the new features and watch your overall social media footprint expand.

 

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Eric Bernsen is a marketing/public relations professional and music journalist who specializes in the genre of hip-hop. You can find more of his work at HITPmusic.com (where he is an editor/writer) as well as HipHop-N-More.com, where he contributes album reviews. Follow Eric on Twitter @ebernsen.