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How to Grow Your Audience on Snapchat, According to Data From 217,000 Snaps

Most of us have learned by now that we should be using
Snapchat. We know it’s popular among teens and millennials. We
know visual, ephemeral content performs well.

What we may not be as clear on is how to grow our audience
on Snapchat — and how to keep them engaged.

It’s a challenge to grow a new social media audience from
scratch — and to do it well. And unlike Facebook, Instagram,
and Twitter, discoverability is a challenge on Snapchat.
There’s no news feed where Snapchat users can share cool
content with their friends. There’s no trending tab to see what
other users are Snapping about. So how do you grow your

Snaplytics provides account management and analytics for brands
using Snapchat, and it recently produced a
[1] on how
different organizations are using Snapchat. The report
reveals insights about how brands are growing Snapchat
followings and how exactly marketers are posting content
on the platform. Let’s dive into how to ramp up your business Snapchat
[2] with help
from data from Snaplytics.

How to Achieve Snapchat Audience Growth

In this
[3], Snaplytics
analyzed over 500 brands, more than 24,000 Snapchat Stories,
and 217,000 total snaps to determine how brands use Snapchat
and what levels of engagement were achieved.

Building Followers

The bad news? There’s no quick and easy solution to gaining
more followers on Snapchat. The good news? It is possible.

Among the brands it analyzed, Snaplytics
learned that 64% of Snapchat
followers found the brand on Snapchat by searching for its
username. This large percentage is the result of brands
cross-promoting Snapchat accounts across other social media
channels. Awareness and discovery of brand Snapchat channels
happen primarily on other social channels and content assets,
such as blog posts and videos.

Snaplytics cites this cross-promotion as integral to growing a
following on the platform and states discoverability will
decline if this doesn’t happen consistently. The
report also advocates publishing external content bearing
brands’ Snapcodes — unique QR codes that allow Snapchat users
to follow accounts by simply opening the app and scanning the
code. Here’s what ours looks like:

Snaplytics found Snapcodes made up 25% of new
Snapchat follower acquisition, so marketers should share and
promote their brands’ Snapcodes to cross-promote Snapchat
accounts on other web assets.

Source: Snaplytics[4]

Once brands earn new followers on Snapchat, marketers can
expect 54.8% of them to watch Snapchat Stories
every time the brand posts. That’s a lot of engagement.
Marketers should maintain a cross-promotion strategy to
encourage existing social media followers to follow newer
channels like Snapchat. The next task is creating Snapchat
content those followers will love.

Optimizing Snapchat Stories

According to the data, there are several elements to a
successful Snapchat Story marketers and creators should


Snapchat Stories — strings of photos and images shared on
Snapchat viewable for 24 hours — should do what the name
implies and tell a story. Among the 500 brands surveyed,
Snaplytics found brands shared an average of 13 Stories
per month
, or roughly two or three Stories per week.

Additionally, Snaplytics noted most Stories were shared between
Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Source: Snaplytics[5]


The report shows the average Snapchat Story of the brands
surveyed contained 11 snaps (images and
videos) in total. It also notes the degree of variance across
industries. For example, non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
had the longest number of snaps in Stories, and marketing and
advertising brands sometimes only posted six snaps at a time.

From this result, marketers can surmise that the duration of a
Snapchat Story should match the subject matter. If a Snapchat
Story is focused on a single product or item that can be easily
told with fewer videos and images, then keep it short and
sweet. If you’re interviewing people, giving a
behind-the-scenes tour, or breaking down complicated
topics, expand the Snapchat Story so viewers can follow

Source: Snaplytics[6]

Content Type

Snaplytics saw a gradual increase in brands sharing video
content more than photos, and at the end of 2016,
61% of brands’ Snapchat content was comprised
of videos.

Just like with Snapchat Story duration, Snaplytics saw
variation in the content split across industries. Industries
showcasing more static products (Luxury Goods, Food &
Beverage, and Fashion & Lifestyle) favored photos over
videos on Snapchat. Other industries, such as NGOs,
Broadcasting & Entertainment, and Beauty produced more
video content on Snapchat — likely featuring interviews,
demonstrations, and events better told in video format.

Marketers should consider how stories should be best told for
engagement and interaction on the platform. For example, here
at HubSpot, we sometimes ask Snapchat followers to take a
screenshot of a snap, so photos are a better choice. Other
times, we demonstrate how different products work, in which
cases video is the best pick.

Source: Snaplytics[7]

Testing Is Key

Ultimately, Snaplytics recommends brands conduct significant
testing to determine a Snapchat strategy. Snapchat Story
completion rate varied widely over the course of the study, so
testing different Story elements, such as content type and
frequency, will help marketers fine-tune how followers want to
interact with a brand.

Source: Snaplytics[8]

In general, Snaplytics found shorter Stories led to
higher completion rates
(the percentage of viewers who
watched a brand’s Snapchat Story from start to finish). But
even still, only about 55% of Snapchat
followers watched brands’ Stories in the first place, so
testing and re-testing strategies to attract and engage new
followers is key.

Learn more about what Snaplytics learned from the yearlong
study by downloading
this report
[9], and when
you’re ready for more ideas for a successful brand Snapchat
strategy, check out our free

What strategies have brought you success on Snapchat? Share
with us in the comments below.