Why a Psychologist joined Snapchat, and how he uses it
When I first heard of Snapchat I was very skeptic: why should I waste my time in sharing fading content to hormonized teenagers?
Furthermore, I have a reputation as Psychologist, and I didn’t mean to ruin it by posting funny pictures of myself.
Then I started to study Storytelling and its techniques, in the meanwhile Snapchat added the Story feature, and suddenly everything made sense. And I’ve always thought Marketing is not about selling: it’s about helping, and you want to help the most people as possible.
You want to be where your audience is.
So I created my account ivan_psy and started snapping.
But let’s not hurry and let’s start from the beginning…
Marketing for Psychologists done right: the right perspective
Let’s be honest: you do Marketing every single moment of your Life, both Private and Professional.
So the very question is not whether you should market yourself or not: the very question is about how you market yourself.
We are Psychologists, we don’t sell: we help, and people reward us because of our help, and we set a price because we know this help has a huge value in their Life.
We don’t sponsor ourselves: we let people know us and choose us.
So if your audience is on Snapchat, you should join it!
In my case, working with issues such as Cyberbullying, Internet Addiction, and other issues related to the use of the Web, the fact that Snapchat is one of the most used Apps by Teenagers has been a plus for my goal of bringing psychological information through social channels.
Also, the other group of users are young people who are entering the production cycle of our Society, a very good thing for a long-term project.
In my case, as a psychologist who is branded as an expert in Teenagers and New Technologies, Snapchat has an added great value: it allows me to show my clients that my knowledge isn’t only theoretical, but also practical.
It shows I have expertise, and I really think you too would have great benefit from showing your expertise as well.
The World doesn’t need information: it needs Stories
Don’t misunderstand: we still need fresh information, and we still need to search for and find the old ones.
But who’s able to produce such information?
Unless you are a Research Laboratory, chances are you don’t have the funds nor the team to research and discover new pieces of knowledge.
Anyway, don’t despair for you still have a great role in this World: you not only share the researches (giving them proper credit, of course), you give them new frames by curating the content and donate them to people.
Storytelling is the ancient yet modern mean to spread ideas and make them easy to digest.
Snapchat is pure Storytelling
On platforms like Instagram and Vine your Story is fragmented, inserted in a big stream made of hundreds of clusters of other Stories.
The only way for your followers to listen to your Story is to go to your profile…but who will?
On Snapchat whoever taps on your Story watches it full (at least from the past 24 hours on).
Don’t just tell your services: show them by telling
You are a story. Your service is a story. Your brand is a story. Your Company is a story.
So you have no excuses: you always have a story to tell.
Your Professional Life: you go to the office, you attend meetings, you meet Colleagues and other Professionals, you come back home late. How are you helping people to face their struggles?
Maybe you don’t know: your Professional Life is a real adventure, and there are people ready to listen.
Your Company/Team: what’s happening inside? How is your office? Have you just painted a wall? How is working in your Company? What challenges is your Company facing and how is it solving them?
Your Services: as Psychologist chances are you have a main topic, a main field of study (if not, you should specialise).
What are you discovering about your topic? How are you researching? Has the topic got any challenges? How do you face them?
Creativity is the Key
Snapchat is not for grey and boring doctors.
It’s not only about its main target (people from 15 to 30 years old), it’s more about expectations: as the App gives pictures, videos, lenses, doodles, bold text, people expect them from your snaps.
And you give them, and mix them: whether you are more about entertainment, clinician, or informational, you make your production more human and give it a soul.
Your account needs creativity in order to stand out from the crowd, and this pushes you to learn and find new ways to provide the same information.
If you are boring and monotonous nobody follows you, and this pushes you to invent and to convert a simple afternoon spent in the studio between a customer and another into an interesting Journey
Be creative, very creative, the more the better, and people are already there to reward you.
How I use Snapchat (and how you can use it)
As per every new social channel, you have two choices.
You use it as your main channel.
After you have found a Story to tell, you tell it on Snapchat: the Story starts there, unfolds there and ends there.
If you want to see how I do it, then add me to your Snapchat by clicking this link on your smartphone with the App installed:
You can also add me by searching for my username inside the App: ivan_psy
Or snap the code you find at the end of this article with your App.
You use it as part of a wider strategy.
I really like this one.
Here Snapchat is just part of a wider Story.
Here I snap about my professional Life, how much traffic I have to face every morning to go to my office, the music (Rock’n’Roll, of course!) I listen to while driving my car.
If I start a new article, I tell it to my Snapchat followers. I share the resources I find, if I have any doubts about the subtopics, and when I have it published I share the link to reward my contacts for having followed me along the Journey.
If I’m producing a video, I snap about the setting and the tools I’m going to use to record it, maybe I face some technical issues, I keep my followers up to date when I edit the video on my PC, and I show the progress bar when finally I upload the file on YouTube.
Notice the real article or video are elsewhere, and Snapchat becomes my backstage, from a layer storytelling point of view.
My workflow on Snapchat
Snapchat is about temporary content: when you post a snap on your Story it lasts only 24 hours, then it disappears unless you save it as Memory. Anyway the saved snap is only visible by you until you republish it.
It may take even from half to an hour for a snap, from finding the resources to create a narrative structure to make a good snap (the last step may require many attempts and some edit).
So I don’t want my fatigue fade away after just 24 hours.
Furthermore, you are going to produce content that may be of great value somewhere else.
Here I show you my workflow:
- I figure out the next to be Stories and create a Trello list for each of them
- While I surf the Web for self-learning, whenever I find a useful content I add it to the proper Trello list
- In the meanwhile, I figure out the narrative Story
- When I have enough content for a Story, I snap the content, mixing text, doodles, snap of an article and its URL, video, myself speaking, etc.
- I want to be international, so I do it along the day, in order to cover various timezone
- When I have enough content (5–6 snaps) I download them to my smartphone, I create a 15 seconds video with Flipagram and share it to my Instagram account for a sneak peek. Alternatively, I merge many snaps into one picture. I add my snap code and my Snapchat username
- When I have finished the Story I download each single snap on my smartphone and create a video I share on my YouTube channel (I created a playlist for this) and then to my other social channels such as Google Plus, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook
How to profile your followers on Snapchat
Profiling the followers on Snapchat may be a real pain for it doesn’t provide any metrics.
So here I explain the tricks I use to profile my followers:
- I analyse their shared stories
- In some cases, I can track the username back to the related Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google Plus profile of someone I already met there.
- I take a great care of timing, for example who added me in the hours immediately following the publication of a post on my website or on some social channel
How to measure the engagement on Snapchat
I measure the performance according on the different types of snaps and stories (link, call to action to reply via chat or make screenshots, etc …).
Obviously I do not evaluate the individual snap, but how the metrics unfold along the History. For example asking for a comment on a practical tip has a greater rate of engagement a chat request on the same snap, anyway you follow the same fundamentals of the calls to action you publish on other channels.
That said, the engagement rate is very good, and can be quantified through the limited metrics offered by the service, as well as other tricks such as using short URLs to measure how many of your contacts accessed the links provided in your snaps.
(I really thank Aleksandra Semitaio for the insightful questions that inspired many of these lines. If you speak Italian you should have a look at her blog, full of inspiring posts about web marketing, digital education and related topics)
In the end: Snapchat and the right perspective
Maybe Snpachat was born for teenagers and their sexting drive, anyway it was many time ago.
Now those teens have grown up, most of them have from 20 to 30 years old, and they still use the App.
In the meanwhile, brands are moving there.
So here is where your future clients are.
It’s a mid to long-term plan, it’s your future, and I’m not suggesting you to leave out your existing channels, for they are your present.
I’m suggesting you to give it a try, don’t put all your eggs in this basket, but start to explore the territory, make some snap, do it 2–3 times a day showing your professional backstage, and watch how things move.
Start to listen to other professionals and how they brand themselves on Snapchat.
You can add me as well by clicking this link on your smartphone with the App installed:
You can also add me by searching for my username inside the App: ivan_psy
Or snap this code with your App:
If you have questions you can ask here, of course, though I suggest you to enter the play, download the App, add me and send me your message.
Experimenting is the best way.
I see you there!