How to Use Snapchat to Build a Personal Brand

There are people reading this right now who don't believe that Snapchat can help them develop a strong personal brand, generate an actual real estate transaction, or teach them something about modern marketing. But you don't have to believe something for it to be true.

I'm about to make a very bold statement: Snapchat is NOT a social media platform and it's not just a messaging app. In my opinion, Snapchat is the single most powerful conversation pipeline available today. It's a relationship accelerator and personal branding engine.

Thanks to the internet, conversations have more power today than ever before, primarily because we have more access to people, information, and experiences. Today's consumer has a lot to say about everything, and that includes confirming whether or not your intended brand message matches up with their perception. And as we all know, perception is reality.

Mutual or forced “collaboration" happens every time a consumer “likes" your posts or publishes a 1-star review on Yelp. Whether you like it or not, your brand is being co-created.

Branding for 2018 should be centered around creating a human connection - an authentic experience that's consumer-led. Interruption marketing is a thing of the past now that we have the ability to fast forward through commercials or even pay for ad-free viewing.

Madmen's (in)famous Creative Director , Don Draper, never inquired about consumer opinion because he didn't have to. He had a captive audience that didn't have any other option, like big data or ad blockers. We used to be able to own every part of our brand.

Snapchat can help you build a unique personal brand while teaching you how to authentically engage with an audience in real time thanks to these two marketing trends:

Shared Real-Time Experiences

Snapchat co-founder Evan Spiegel said that we've transitioned from a world of “accumulation" to “instant expression." A few years ago, we could only share experiences on social media that had already occurred. We posted photos and recorded videos on Facebook or Instagram so other people we cared about could (sort of) participate- but the experiences we shared only existed in the past.

Now, with social streaming apps like Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Periscope, and Snapchat, we've moved from a place of accumulation, or past events, to a world of instant expression.

Real-time marketing is becoming the status quo, like having a website was 10 years ago. Even more powerful, marketers are finding that when you leverage “real time" content that disappears, your audience really starts paying attention.

The result? Deeper connections and higher engagement than most other platforms currently offer. NAR's 2016 Generational report states that Millennials will make up the largest pool of home buyers over the next decade. And the number one thing they are looking for in a real estate professional is trustworthiness.

How do you build trust? You build it by showing people who you really are. Shared human experiences accelerate trust.

Video-Saturated Social Media

Social media is becoming TV and it expects you to have your own channel. Over the last year, Snapchat has earned 10 billion video views-a 350 percent increase over 2015-and in five years, Facebook content will mostly consist of video.

The Snapchat app opens to a camera-a silent but powerful psychological call to action. Camera first is here. It's never been easier to create visual content with a recording studio in your pocket and built-in editing software that you can navigate on the fly. Quite frankly, there is no excuse NOT to be creating videos when it's completely free and this accessible.

It may seem unusual imagining yourself as the star of your own live show online, but, six years ago, so was the idea of using your smartphone to request a stranger in their own car to pick you. Just as ride-sharing services have become the norm, we are being trained to accept video as a preferred method of communication.

Now, even you can compete with Fortune 500 companies with healthy marketing budgets. Live streaming is the great equalizer that empowers both the average individual and the largest corporation with the ability to reach relevant audiences on a monumental scale.

Gary Vaynerchuk wrote in The Thank You Economy that “everything has changed except for human nature."

Technology isn't making us obsolete or encouraging Millennials to shun human connectivity. On the contrary, my personal belief is that as technology evolves, we will value human relationships even more. Your marketing campaigns are now going to have to evolve to become live, continuous interactions.

Snapchat is an easy way to create your brand. Branding is about creating a memory in another person's brain. When people see your content, videos, and posts, each one leaves a small impression. This builds a memory so that when the time comes to make a decision, it becomes a mental shortcut and they reach out to you. You build a brand through delivering consistent content in the right context.

Snapchat is a medium that will train you to communicate with consumers in the way that a 2017 world demands. Understanding that Snapchat is a conduit to improve your communication and a channel to help you stay relevant and visible in a really crowded world is the key understanding its true value.

The content you create isn't nearly as important as the context it will give you for the future. See, once you know something, you can't un-know it.

For additional support on how to use Snapchat to build your business and brand, check out this exclusive webinar with the author, Chelsea Peitz!

As a founding member of the National Real Estate Marketing Mastermind and the #Snappack Snapchat for Realtors Facebook group, Chelsea Peitz embraces frequent changes in the technology and digital landscape and leverages social media to catapult brand exposure. Chelsea's personal passions: working out and red wine (not in that order) and family time with her husband of 12 years and 3 year old son, Mason.

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