Alison is an Account Executive at J.B. Communications, a marketing and strategy agency based in Los Angeles that specializes in innovative startups and a guest author on NoCMO, online marketing strategies for founders and companies without a CMO. Connect with her @AliDaniel89 or on Snapchat at AliPDaniel.
It took me a while to finally “get” Snapchat. In fact, it wasn’t until earlier this year when my agency’s founder kept sending me random snaps from Comedy Central’s Discover Channel that I finally Googled, “how to use Snapchat” like an old person so that I could figure out how to appropriately respond to her. Yes, I was part of the 1% of Millennials that wasn’t actively using Shapchat, but thanks to my boss’ love for Key and Peele, her refusal to get cable TV, plus my cousin’s random cat videos, I decided it was finally time to become better acquainted.
What I discovered is that Snapchat is a treasure trove of creepy face swaps and barfing rainbow creatures, but it’s also a place where you can learn a lot from people you wouldn’t typically get to have such a close, intimate connection to.
The Snapchatters I found myself drawn to the most were using the medium to share their life experiences and lessons learned in surprisingly digestible and engaging clips. Once I got the hang of Snapchat’s purposefully-hard-to-get UI, I finally “got” it and understood why there are over 100 Million dailyactive users, a number that is consistently growing, and why it’s so attractive to advertisers, marketers and investors.
The brilliance of Snapchat from a marketing perspective is that it’s designed in such a way that it forces users to pay attention. The videos are so short and ephemeral, people are paying close attention to those valuable seconds and that is pure gold. It also adds a level of intimacy and transparency between you and your followers that other platforms like Facebook and Twitter can’t replicate – though Facebook Live could change this.
As someone who works with startups day in and day out, I knew that I could no long ignore the little white ghost on my phone, leaving it as a strategy for our Snapchatting founder to handle. Snapchat is still in its infancy, believe it or not, so startups, get on top of it now while there’s still so much potential to stand out and amass a following! If you’re new to the platform, I suggest checking out Mark Suster’s Snapchat 101 which provided me with everything I needed to know to get snappin’.
Ok, so all this is great, but now comes the hard part. Who are the best people to follow on Snapchat for marketing and startup advice if you actually want to learn something? Snapchat doesn’t make them easy to find. It’s not like Instagram, Facebook or Twitter where you get suggested users to follow or any sort of search functionality. No, it’s pretty barren once you start. So to help you out, I’m sharing my list of the top users to follow for the best startup and marketing advice. From founders to growth hackers to investors, these are the best people I’ve found so far who dish out their experience straight to you. Am I missing any good ones? Probably! So let me know in the comments.
Mark Suster: Msuster
Suster is a 2x entrepreneur, angel investor and investment partner at Upfront Ventures. He’s also a prominent blogger and is one of the names that came up most in my search for Snapchat startup stars. His snaps are mostly delivered via “Snap Storms” and center around practical startup and business advice that he’s learned as both an entrepreneur and investor. Be prepared to take notes and screen shots because he goes over a lot of useful information.
Justin Kan: Justinkan
Kan is a serial entrepreneur, Partner at Y Combinator and has been one of my favorite Snapchatters to watch and learn from. He shares insightful advice for entrepreneurs and anyone aspiring to get into the startup scene. You’ll hear anything from his advice on getting a job at a startup, to marketing, recruiting and employee motivation and retention tips for startups. His snaps are often shot while exercising or interspersed between shots of his alligator friend Klaus and John Hamm the raccoon. Oh, and he loves his hoverboard.
Justin Wu: Hackapreneur
One of my other favorites on Snapchat for his practical advice but down-to-earth attitude. Wu is also a serial entrepreneur, founder of Vytmn.com and growth marketing genius who has been around the startup block enough times to share some valuable experiences and learnings. His snaps revolve around growth & lean user acquisition, information architecture, books he recommends and even guest snaps from other growth hackers and marketing guys.
Morgan Brown: MorganB180
Brown is the Growth Oriented COO at Inman with years of experience in early stage marketing and growth expertise. He’s got a very welcoming vibe going on his channel, which I like, and his snaps are full of growth marketing tips, hacks, lessons and also some guest snappers who take over his account from time to time to provide fresh marketing perspectives. If you want to understand how growth works online, he’s a good place to start.
Gary Vaynerchuck: Garyvee
Vaynerchuck is a seasoned entrepreneur, digital strategist, author and social media guru. His talent? Harnessing the power of social media and the internet to build his personal brand. He eschews traditional media buying for social channels and live streaming platforms like Snapchat, Facebook Live and Musical.ly. His snaps are often a bit self-promotional but they’re littered with tips for anyone looking for a leg up in social media marketing and internet stardom.
Nik Sharma: Niksharma69
I actually just started following Sharma the other day after catching his takeover on Justin Wu’s (a.k.a. Hackapreneur) Snapchat. He cut his teeth in social by managing and successfully growing the followings for music celebs like Pitbull. On this takeover, he offered some simple yet effective tips to grow your social following – like taking advantage of live streaming platforms before they get popular, using SnapChat Geo filters, and finding and leveraging other user’s audiences to grow your own – like what he did with Hackapreneur’s Snapchat, which obviously worked on me. Looking forward to his how-to snaps about using Geofilters to grow your audience coming up.
Sujan Patel: Sujanpatel16
Patel is the co-founder of Content Marketer & Narrow.io, tools that help scale and automate social media and content marketing. He’s led the digital marketing strategy for companies like Salesforce, Mint, Intuit and now he’s on Snapchat to share his expertise with the rest of the world. His snaps consist of solid marketing advice mixed in with his adventures around the world.
Hillel Fuld: Hilzfuld
Fuld is a startup advisor, a tech blogger and contributor to outlets like The Next Web, VentureBeat and Business Insider and he’s the CMO of a startup called Zula. Each week he does a feature called “Snapchatorah” where he relates a message from the Torah to startup life and they’re actually quite interesting, no matter what religion (or lack thereof) that you adhere to.
Here are a few more I just started following and might be worth checking out as well. I haven’t watched enough to give my stamp of approval yet, but they come from good recommendations:
- Talia Wolf: Taliagw
- Amy Buechler: jujubeeks
- Hunter Walk: Hunterwalk
- Alexis Ohanian: Alexisohanian
- Cammy Murray: Cammysutra6
- Filip Novak: Filip.Novak
- John Dumas: Johnleedumas
- Sarah Snow: Sarahsnows
- Chris Kubbernus: ChrisKubby
Do you have a Snapchat account you’d like to share? Comment below!
This post was originally published on NoCMO.com