Chris Mikulin stopped by #bufferchat on November 11th to share his insights about using Snapchat as a strategic tool. We had an awesome chat all about when, where, why and how to use it to engage with your audience/community and beyond! Check out the recap below for (almost) all you need to know about Snapchat!

Catch our weekly Twitter chat, #bufferchat, every week on Wednesdays, 9 am PT/Noon ET/4 pm GMT, for valuable industry insights and networking with nearly 400 other smart marketers and community managers.

bufferchat promo 11.11.15

*As a note, Chris updated his Twitter handle from @caribou_chris to @cmikulin!

Why should we (individuals or companies) use Snapchat?

From Chris:

  • The data doesn’t lie: has 100+ million daily active users, plus 5 billion videos are viewed everyday!
  • Over 60% of smartphone users between 13-34 in the US are on . 77% of them are over 18, so it’s not just teens.
  • Snapchat is a great platform for building brand loyalty, storytelling and having one-on-one interactions with your audience.
  • It’s a fun way for brands to show their authentic selves and not worry about creating high production value content.
  • Many worry about disappearing content, but it’s a positive – it gives your audience a reason to check back, tune in & engage.

From the community:

  • “For academia, Snapchat is a great way to engage, directly, with the pre-college and college age students!” @bookofcara
  • “Snapchat gives insight into behind the scenes/things happening “right now”/what a company is up to…fun & fast!” @cateelise
  • adds variety to the mix of content we share across all channels. It’s fun, spontaneous, and very humanizing.” @NatalieBergen
  • “Snapchat captures memories & can be a great way to share who you are & what your company is about.” @HouseofKTS
  • “Snapchat allows brands to reach into the very heart of the millennial generation PROVIDED they do so with tact.” @raffeg

See all the great answers to question 1 here!


What makes a good snap?

From Chris:

  • I always recommend being your true authentic self.
  • The more real, authentic & gritty your content feels, the more likely your audience is to see it as genuine & approachable.
  • It also really depends on the person/brand. For us behind the scenes or just random funny things I think of do well.
  • A good snap is one that can tell a story & capture an emotion. Connect with your audience, predict what they want to see.

From the community:

  • “The best kind of ? Make me wish I was there with you.” @lafitara
  • “Setting, Subject, and Story are the ingredients of a good snap. delivers this almost daily.” @tigga7d6
  • “Capturing a moment that was unplanned + timed just right because the unexpected is what attracts the eye and emotion.” @foodsheblogged
  • Quick wit! You have to be fast, and people won’t mind a 10sec interruption to their day if it makes them smile.” @formerlyvodak
  • “Take advantage of Snapchat filters/features in funny ways. A friend live-snapped the GOP debate with the new Lenses!” @cateelise

See all the great answers to question 2 here!


What are some great ways to engage with others on Snapchat?

From Chris:

  • A great way to engage with your audience is by just asking them a question. It’s as simple as that.
  • We do ‘focus group’ questions where we ask people to screenshot their favourite colors …
  • And since Snapchat records screenshots we’re able to see what colors are popular so that we know what to order next.
  • Other great ways are hosting Q&A’s and fielding questions from your audience, art contests, scavenger hunts. Just have fun!

From the community:

  • “Trivias! Snap the questions w/ ABC answers and ask people to screenshot the correct answer.” @sabcruzb
  • “I like it when people have questions I can respond to, it often starts a great dialogue!” @LizaTaitBailey
  • “one way is by responding to snaps via story- does this often. Snapstories are short vlogs.” @psomebody
  • “Snaps can be a fun and interactive way to cross-promote other platforms” @AlexFromMT
  • “I like snaps that invite the user to screenshot the image. It brings them into your snapchat.” @Josewats

See all the great answers to question 3 here!


Should we measure engagement on Snapchat? How can we do that?

From Chris:

  • Snapchat doesn’t make analytics easy, but there are a few easy ways that you can track your performance.
  • If I was smart I would have created a Google Doc spreadsheet the day I created my account. Here’s what you can measure …
  • Number of followers (track names/date), avg views, retention rate (% of views of your first snap vs last snap), screenshots.
  • Since you can also see who views your snaps try to keep an eye on who engages the most and engage back.
  • This ebook by covers everything you need to know about Snapchat analytics:

From the community:

  • “Not in the way others do it. I say conversations and comments should be more important than views. That is true engagement.” @tigga7d6
  • “Tough one; views count doesn’t actually mean they saw everything. Some people just want to kill the notification.” @sabcruzb
  • “One good measurement is Story Fallout Ration, or, the difference in views between the first snap in the story and the rest” @northcuttHQ
  • “I’m going to stick my neck out here. We SHOULDN’T be measuring snapchat, it’s spontaneous nature means data can be hindering.” @Berngaming
  • “Yes! It’s still a process of finding the right way. Tracking views, screenshots, and replays is a good place to start.” @StoreCoach

See all the great answers to question 4 here!


What are some great resources for learning more about Snapchat?

From Chris:

From the community:

See all the great answers to question 5 here!


What companies or individuals are nailing and crushing it on Snapchat?

From Chris:

  • My favourite Snapchat accounts to follow are brandenharvey, salliasnap, Shonduras, figoamericano, wtfrankie, diplo, emgarber
  • They’re consistent, interesting, fun, and understand how to get the most of the platform. Huge influences for me!
  • Brands that are really crushing it on Snapchat IMO are natgeo, redbull, cocacola, mashable, shortyawards, webad (ripndip)
  • I really enjoy what these brands are doing. They take risks + they’re true to the platform & always bring me back for more.
  • Definitely keep an eye on , all of the creators/brands that they work with are doing AMAZING things! Love them!

From the community:

See all the great answers to question 6 here!


Here’s a fun one! Save a photo/video from Snapchat and share it with us!

From Chris:

  • You can find me on Snapchat here, just snap or screenshot to add me.

From the community:

See all the great answers to question 7 here!


Thank you so much to everyone who joined in on this great chat!

Catch #bufferchat each Wednesday at 9 am Pacific/12 pm Eastern.

Do you have any comments or answers to these questions? Leave your thoughts in the comments! We’d love to hear from you!

Image sources: UnSplash

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Written by Arielle Tannenbaum

Arielle is the community strategist at Buffer. In addition to spending her time building community and designing meaningful experiences, she also enjoys healthy cooking, practicing yoga, modern dancing, traveling with her husband, and living mindfully.