While Snapchat is unarguably a valuable marketing resource, the nature of the platform is such that it can be hard to measure your success with much accuracy. That said, there are still steps bands and artists can take to ensure their Snapchat is getting the kind of fan attention it deserves.
LEVERAGE YOUR EXISTING PLATFORMS: email, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, website -- post your Snapcode, username, and URL, users will know what to do. It is hard to find and be found, so make your Snapchat presence known on other platforms.
USE INFLUENCERS: one of the easiest ways to boost awareness is to hire an influencer to promote and / or take over your Snapchat account for the day. But guess, what? You're in the music biz, so influential users walk through your doors on a daily basis, so collaborate with others with larger followings to promote each other.
Say, if you're going out on the road with another act, team up and promote the hell out of each other on your accounts:
Post pictures of each others' Snapcodes for users to easily add each other Snap pics & videos from the shows
Pre-sell upcoming dates by adding bit.ly link text to images (and in the prior Snap, tell fans to grab the next Snap so they don't forget)
If you're a club, radio station, or record store, encourage the act to post Snaps from your location, and get them to post your Snapcode so their followers can follow you as well.
Also, encourage influencers and followers to use your music in the background of their Snaps, since most users like to play music from their phone while they are shooting 10-second video Snaps.
INTERACTION: make sure your settings allow for Friends to reply to your Snaps, and when you do, encourage them to reply to certain Snaps, and repost their Snaps!
Ask them questions -- "Hey Cleveland, what song should we open with? What's your favorite song off the new album? How does our new single make you feel?"
You will get a wide variety of responses, and you will be shocked by the creativity your followers put in their replies.
Even better, get involved in each tour city by hosting a scavenger hunt for tickets day of show!
GEOFILTERS are easily the best way to encourage fans to celebrate an event or a show. And believe it or not, running a geofilter for a few hours can cost you as little as $5 a day -- f'real!
Snapchat has self-design templates on their site, but it is best to hire a designer to build and submit a template, especially if you want to use multiple / dated geofilters for all your shows on a tour (San Diego October 15! Los Angeles October 17! San Francisco October 18! PortlandOctober 19!).
There are a lot of do's & don'ts associated with geofilters, and not all of it is explicitly spelled out in Snapchat's rules -- for instance, you can't use links, phone numbers, hashtags, personally identifying information, or calls to action, but you can use your own logo, your own art, caricatures, etc.
And if you are a club, a record store, or a radio station, you should damn sure be running geofilters if your base is of the age that uses Snapchat! Limit billing by only using during business hours, and while you're at it, set up a physical backdrop or some identifying hook (take your pic with the Barry White standee!) in your brick & mortar location for fans to post pics from your event on any platform!
Geofilters only report the number of times it was used and how often it was seen -- it's limited data, but the cost is low, and if your geofilter gets used by a power user, you could be pleasantly surprised by the number of views your filter gets!
And because the cost is so low right now, experiment with different geofilters and times of day to see which work best for you.
There are a lot more opportunities to organically promote yourself on Snapchat, but for now, hop on, follow a few locals, see how they use it, and warm up to it over the next month before jumping in -- it's a sound investment that does not cost a lot of money to do so at this early stage.
There is a lot more to be explored in a more complex manner, but these tips above are more than enough to start.
If you need help developing a strategy, reach out to myself (firstname.lastname@example.org) or any of the folks listed above for contract work.
And if you need help just getting started, we have a book for that http://bit.ly/snapbookff -- even Snapchat co-founder / CEO Evan Spiegel calls SNAPCHAT 101 "very easy to understand and approachable."