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Snaplytics is the Analytics Platform For Snapchat. The team consists of a bunch of seasoned entrepreneurs covering development, design, marketing and business development. 

We hatched the idea for Snaplytics back in December 2014, on the assumption Snapchat as a platform could become big. Two years down the road, Snapchat is dominating 'trending features' from an end-user perspective, and a lot of brands are creating business profiles on the platform adding a story to their products. We have been fortunate enough to be part of that crazy ride, looking at the metrics, content and discussing the possibilities of the platform with a lot of brands and agencies. 

A lot of the insights and 'best practice' you hear and read around the web are based on a case story of 1... the narrator. We have detailed data from 200+ brands and frequency metrics from even more - it is about time we elaborate and share.

We can't talk much about our technical setup and how we are able to grab the data (hope you understand, it is our secret sauce...), but will elaborate on anything else but that. 

On behalf of the team: We are looking very much forward to the AMA.

You can follow the Snaplytics team on Twitter: @Snaplytics

They will be live on Jan 17 starting a 930 AM PT for one and a half hours during which time they will answer as many questions as possible.

  • DH

    Dani Hart

    almost 2 years ago #

    Hi Thomas,

    Can't wait to learn more about your experience and Snaplytics. My questions are...

    1. What are the biggest challenges facing the growth of your company?
    2. How did you determine your pricing for Snaplytics? Are there any learnings you have to share from experimentation?
    3. What recommendations do you have for someone new to advertising on Snapchat?

    Looking forward to your answers!

    Cheers,
    Dani

    • TC

      Thomas Cilius

      almost 2 years ago #

      Hi Dani,

      1)
      Awareness on both ends - awareness about Snaplytics and us being aware of which brands are already active on Snapchat. Starting the conversion funnel with convincing a marketer to be on Snapchat, would make the lead time beyond long.

      That is also why we early on focused on SEO. At some point when the need gets high enough, you will search for a solution - that is where we come into play. But scaling the amount of search queries done by marketers is somewhat difficult. That is why we are always looking for ways to increase the awareness about us and create lists of brands on Snapchat.

      4 Share
    • TC

      Thomas Cilius

      almost 2 years ago #

      2)
      It is really simple actually.

      We deliver value through automation and metrics for Snapchat. We are roughly not doing anything you would not be able to do yourself had you infinite amount of time and patience - but you don’t (and we still do it better).

      So we priced our service as 2 hours of Social Media consultancy for the Standard package and 4 hours for the PRO. Our Competitor Analysis product is priced separately but to some extent based on our own cost structure.

    • TC

      Thomas Cilius

      almost 2 years ago #

      Consistency and patience. Probably the two most important traits for doing marketing on Snapchat. It is not Facebook, where you can make a homerun with one viral video.

      You need to work with the channel over a longer period - the results, however, are much more consistent than what you see on Facebook (40% open rate on average for your stories in percent of your total followers, and 95% finishes the story they start).

      We would focus on openrate and completion rate over time. First one is going to give you a benchmark on how interesting content you are producing. The second one if the length of the content is spot on - ask your audience what they think :)

      4 Share
      • DH

        Dani Hart

        almost 2 years ago #

        Thanks so much for the insight! I'll have to test some of these practices on my personal Snapchat. :)

  • JA

    Jessica Allen

    almost 2 years ago #

    Hey Thomas - thanks for doing this AMA! I've got a couple of questions for you:
    1. What's the coolest thing you've seen a company do to boost engagement from followers on their Snapchat channel?
    2. Also, is there something you often see companies/brands do wrong on Snapchat?
    Thanks!

    • TC

      Thomas Cilius

      almost 2 years ago #

      2)
      Not using the platform on the platforms conditions and not having the patience needed to build the channel. Snapchat is in essence a chance to do story telling around your brand and products - a real story, not just a one-off picture your audience may see if the algorithms are in your favor. It takes a bit of adaption for most marketers :)

      Not realizing who your audience is may also be another problem. Often we see brands or accounts that post content that seems out of place for Snapchat’s mainly millennial audience, it’s important for them to understand who is adding them and who they are talking to since then they can tailor content exclusively.

      3 Share
    • TC

      Thomas Cilius

      almost 2 years ago #

      1)
      The old trick of sharing exclusive content still works - especially with those running webshops (coupon codes - live for 24 hours while the story runs). It boosts the number of followers (pretty good reason to start following the channel).

      It is important to remember Snapchat works very differently than most other social platforms. As a user, you are not automatically exposed to content like you are on Facebook/Instagram. You actually need to click, load and view. So just having your followers to view your stories, is the first step of engagement right there.

      We see quite a few brands starting to get more followers from ‘added by share’ - which basically means some of your followers send part of your story to one or more friends. Who then started to follow your account. We are still trying to figure out the mechanism - it is just starting to become prevalent over the last couple of weeks (4-5% of total new followers over the period for the ones with the most ‘added by share’).

      Hyundai USA for example did a really cool story, where the user had to tap through to go for a ride in an Elantra. It’s was just so nicely executed that you felt like going back to the story and tapping your way through it over and over again.

      2 Share
  • MV

    Michael Viveiros

    almost 2 years ago #

    Do you see any correlations between story length and story open rate?

    • TC

      Thomas Cilius

      almost 2 years ago #

      This is a really good question. Short answer is no… there are simply no visible correlations as to increase the open rate on Snapchat (actually just did the analysis a couple of days ago).

      It likely a function of the quality of your previous stories, segment following you and your own consistency (i.e. are people expecting you to post today?). For the quality of stories we probably need much more qualitative data, for the segmentation we need more data from Snapchat and consistency we know pretty well. Just not how much it contributes to the total function ;-)

      2 Share
  • AL

    Arsene Lavaux

    almost 2 years ago #

    Bonjour Thomas,

    Thrilled to learn from you. Looking forward to your AMA.
    Thanks for doing it!

    1) What's your favorite Snap growth hack?
    2) Which media form creates the most scalable engagement on snap?
    3) Who is your favorite snapper? Why?
    4) Is Denmark getting any better at soccer?

    Merci beaucoup!

    :)

    • TC

      Thomas Cilius

      almost 2 years ago #

      Bonjour Arsene

      1)
      Utilize every (EVERY!) single channel you can to grow your number of followers.

      a) If people visit your website from a mobile device, have a popup with the deeplink to your Snapchat account (settings > add friends > ‘share username’ link)

      b) Post deeplinks regularly on social channels where it is permitted
      Change profile pictures (noticed Facebook definitely don’t like that anymore) to QR codes - just make people aware you are on Snapchat

      c) Post your Snapchat QR code on every piece of offline material you can think of. They are actually being used from a follower endpoint

      3 Share
    • TC

      Thomas Cilius

      almost 2 years ago #

      2)
      Depends on the demographic that follows you. Similar to: what is the best content on Facebook or Instagram - it very much depends on who your followers are. Stay consistent though. They started following you for a reason - honor that.

      And if you have nothing to say, but just going to spam their feed with ‘nothing’, then wait. It is not worth it to have something for the sake of content, everything you post must be of the same high quality.

    • TC

      Thomas Cilius

      almost 2 years ago #

      3)
      I personally like ‘ginicanbreathe’ due to the pure message and then I really like the drawings ‘geeohsnap’ does.

    • TC

      Thomas Cilius

      almost 2 years ago #

      4)
      Ha ha, it will likely take a little while before we win the European Championship again like we did in 1992 ;-)

      How is your handball going btw? :D

  • KA

    karim Abd El Kader

    almost 2 years ago #

    Thanks Thomas Cilius for conducting this AMA.

    Please share what are the best growth hacks you have seen for transaction-based products like e-commerce and marketplaces on Snapchat.

    • TC

      Thomas Cilius

      almost 2 years ago #

      Hi Karim

      Something really really simple - coupon codes. But don’t forget the actual storytelling on your Snapchat account. The ones following you probably want something different than what you provide on the other platforms.

      If you are doing a deal site for example, it could make sense to post pictures of the deals of the day, since there is no prioritization mechanism. Haven’t seen anyone do it yet - but could make sense.

      It is not really in the spirit of Snapchat, but since there is no prioritization algorithm and people know it is ‘near live’ it could just work :)

      2 Share
  • AA

    Anuj Adhiya

    almost 2 years ago #

    Hey Thomas and team - so excited for this!

    a. Are there any trends you can see of people trying continually that just DO NOT work (well)? What would you say the top 3 of these are?

    b. In terms of what does work (however you want to define it), from a geographic perspective do you see any trends in what people try more (or differently) than others? If yes, which geographies stand out and for what actions/behaviors?

    • TC

      Thomas Cilius

      almost 2 years ago #

      Hi Anuj

      And thanks so much for setting it up! Really appreciate it :)

      a)
      Treating Snapchat as a Facebook where messages disappear (probably #1 and only). It leads to overselling (don’t sell on Snapchat, there are other platforms much better at that) instead of creating a tribe of passionate brand lovers among your followers. When they become passionate about your company and products - they will buy.

      Oh yeah, and do drawings when you obviously suck at freehand drawing :D But it actually does make sense when posting pictures to increase view time by adding snap-art or highlight areas or to focus on key points in videos. (in short: keep on with the drawings)

      2 Share
    • TC

      Thomas Cilius

      almost 2 years ago #

      b)
      One country does stand out with regard to doing something differently. In the United Arab Emirates (and the region in general) local tv is not necessarily the most interesting stuff due to censorship.

      With Snapchat there was a boom in local influencers starting to do real reporting using Snapchat - anything from local car shows to raising political concerns.

  • MV

    Michael Viveiros

    almost 2 years ago #

    How can we normalize the insights feature, so that we can see how we stack up against similar profiles (i.e. follower size), as well as to know when a much smaller/larger profile enters our benchmarking category?

    • TC

      Thomas Cilius

      almost 2 years ago #

      We are working on a setup, where you can compare against other accounts with the same amount of followers (approximately). It will bring a lot more meaning into the actual aggregated numbers.

  • AP

    Ann Pallifrone

    almost 2 years ago #

    As someone who already uses Snaplytics, I have a few questions of my own to ask!

    1. What are your plans for the future of Snaplytics services? Both near future and long term?
    2. What kind of growth have you seen yourself as a company from your launching point?
    3. What are you most excited about in regards to the future of you brand/service?

    Thank you!

    • TC

      Thomas Cilius

      almost 2 years ago #

      Hi Ann

      Thanks for the questions - exciting times ahead!

      1)
      There is still a lot to do regarding Snapchat - we still know very little about your followers. It is still complicated to use influencers. Nobody knows what people are talking about on the platform. Basically is still very undiscovered, so we have a lot more to do…

    • TC

      Thomas Cilius

      almost 2 years ago #

      2)
      We have been at a good pace with two digits on a monthly to month basis :-)

    • TC

      Thomas Cilius

      almost 2 years ago #

      3)
      Social media is changing a lot these days going from a ‘traditional social media algorithm’ kind of network to more messenger based services. Things happen faster as well - so instead of you being notified a day or two after, you want to see things live or near-live.

      With the technology we have developed, we are able to grab data from any social platform without the use of API’s. It means we can be there faster than anyone else providing a scalable solution to our users.

      We want to enable brands to utilize new social platforms better and faster by providing necessary tools, insights, and knowledge. There is still a long way to go, but we are on the right path :)

  • JM

    Jason Meresman

    almost 2 years ago #

    Hi Thomas - Thanks for doing today's AMA!

    I noticed Snaplytics has a free competitor analysis product. Do you find there are users who start on your free product and then move to your paid product? Did you plan to make the competitor analysis product free or did you decide to offer it for free after doing some experimentation?

    Thanks!

    • TC

      Thomas Cilius

      almost 2 years ago #

      Hi Jason

      Thanks for asking - we could definitely elaborate more about it on our pricing page.

      Actually, it is two very different products. We need only the Snapchat username for the Competitor Analysis, where we also need the password to grab the detailed statistics for Brand Analytics.

      And just to clarify a bit more on the insights provided:

      The Competitor Analysis gives you insight around frequency, update lengths, and the actual content.

      Brand Analytics gives you insights into all including the Competitor Analysis plus views, screenshots, number of followers, completion rates, open rates and source of new followers.

  • MV

    Michael Viveiros

    almost 2 years ago #

    What metric do you think is the most important for brands, open rate or completion rate?

    • TC

      Thomas Cilius

      almost 2 years ago #

      Hi Michael

      Thanks for the good questions - just starting with this one :)

      Tough call. Can I say both in conjunction?

      Open rate over time (not as a stand alone metric) will give you a metric on how much the content resonates with your audience. As you get more followers, it will likely drop a bit.

      Completion rate is just a damn good metric for calibrating the length and storyline. If people are dropping off fast you are doing something wrong (expect completion rate to be in the 90’).

      If I had to choose one… and only one: Open rate.

      2 Share
  • SK

    S Kodial

    almost 2 years ago #

    Hi,

    a. Have you seen any trends in what snap ad format (ie of the kinds listed here: https://storage.googleapis.com/snapchat-web/success-stories/pdf/overview/pdf_snap_ads_overview_en.pdf) converts best? If its easier to pick a specific vertical/context to answer this question please do that.

    b. If you had to pick between paying for geofilters or ads, which one would you pick and why?

    • TC

      Thomas Cilius

      almost 2 years ago #

      Hi Kodial,

      a)
      Unfortunately, we have no data on Snap ad formats and how successful they are. It would be insanely interesting to see what data they have to offer.

    • TC

      Thomas Cilius

      almost 2 years ago #

      b)
      Having no experience with the ads on Snapchat (never had the chance to look into the data) it is a hard call. I can see the benefit of both depending on the marketing objective - if it is awareness and co-creation = geo filter. If you are looking to boost downloads or purchases I can definitely see the benefit of the ads.

      The next question should probably what is the CPA and can that be done cheaper/easier on other platforms. I haven’t found any data supporting either standpoint. Hopefully, we will see some soon - Snapchat do aim for $1bn in revenue… so the conversion needs to be ok in comparison with other platforms.

  • ES

    Edward Stephens

    almost 2 years ago #

    Hi Thomas,

    Awesome to have you on here. First of all i'd like to say massive thumbs up for doubling down on Snapchat and seeing the pending explosion as a medium.

    A couple of questions from me:

    1) What notable trends are you noting about how people are engaging on snapchat? Is it very millennial dominated and there is a demand for just pop content or are you seeing more mature audiences emerge looking for educational or insightful content?

    2) What advice would you have for an influencer looking to build up a Snapchat presence?

    3) What other content creation platforms does it couple well with e.g. Instagram vs YouTube?

    I can't wait to hear your answers.

    • TC

      Thomas Cilius

      almost 2 years ago #

      Hi Edward

      1)
      There’s definitely a lot of what you would call “pop content” on the platform, but some of the most engaging stories come from well thought out publications.

      Snapchat is a rapidly evolving medium, and as such the audience is expecting more and more from it which means content producers have to step up their game to remain relevant. Posting a few snaps here and there is easy, but it is quite evident to us when a brand/account takes the time to think out a storyline prior to posting, and it is becoming more and more common.

    • TC

      Thomas Cilius

      almost 2 years ago #

      2)
      I would say that a big must do is relatability. Your followers need to be able to see you as someone they could meet walking down the street, even if you do have a different lifestyle.

      To succeed early on make sure you have a clear audience you appeal to, this way you’re not just shooting off content everywhere. By targeting a clear audience you can build up a loyal following.

      Lastly, is to support other influences throughout different platforms. A shout out here and there to follow someone else on Snapchat will be retributed. You are all seeking a similar goal and your audiences will overlap, so why not help each other out :)

    • TC

      Thomas Cilius

      almost 2 years ago #

      3)
      Naturally, Instagram is a good fit. Especially since they started copying Snapchat features like Stories. Now they’ve diverged and added several features within stories that Snapchat does not have, but it is basically the same thing.

      Content on Instagram can be repurposed for Snapchat and vice versa. Remember that content on these platforms is also natively vertical while YouTube does not really favor that since a lot of the viewing is still done on desktop.

  • JD

    James Dunn

    almost 2 years ago #

    Hi there
    Do you think there may be a day where Snapchat decides to offer the same type of analytics you do and/or shut down all 3rd party analytics providers? If not, why not?
    If yes, how does your service survive?

  • HS

    Hussein Shtia

    almost 2 years ago #

    Are you able to share the market size for your platform?

  • VV

    Vincent Vidaurri

    almost 2 years ago #

    Hey Thomas,

    Thanks for taking the time to answers these questions, I have a few that are hopefully quick.

    1) How seamless is the process of integration current influencers? Say there were several influencers our brand was already working with, would there be any trouble getting them an influencer profile to measure the scope of their promotion.

    2) How does/can Snaplytics take into account the reach of Geofilters? Is there a base estimate you can provide if 100 people use a Geofilter?

    3) What is the best way to gauge Competitor Analysis if your brand does not fall perfectly into one industry? For example, a lifestyle brand that is being compared to fashion/lifestyle industry.

    4) Is there any plan to break down Analysis into further niche markets?

    5) What feature do you feel is most underutilized by brands currently using Snaplytics?

    • TC

      Thomas Cilius

      almost 2 years ago #

      Hi Vincent

      1) The process is seamless!
      2) We are currently looking into geofilters, but at the moment we do not provide any insights into the use of them.
      3) You are probably thinking of ‘Insights’. Just ping us in the chat if you want the metrics for some of the other industries - I am certain we can help with that :)
      4) Can you elaborate?
      5) Definitely using the metrics over time :)

  • MV

    Michael Viveiros

    almost 2 years ago #

    What is the coolest thing you've seen a brand do to boost open rate?

    • TC

      Thomas Cilius

      almost 2 years ago #

      The old trick of sharing exclusive content still works - especially with those running webshops (coupon codes - live for 24 hours while the story runs). It boosts the number of followers (pretty good reason to start following the channel).

      It is important to remember Snapchat works very differently than most other social platforms. As a user, you are not automatically exposed to content like you are on Facebook/Instagram. You actually need to click, load and view. So just having your followers to view your stories, is the first step of engagement right there.

      We see quite a few brands starting to get more followers from ‘added by share’ - which basically means some of your followers send part of your story to one or more friends. Who then started to follow your account. We are still trying to figure out the mechanism - it is just starting to become prevalent over the last couple of weeks (4-5% of total new followers over the period for the ones with the most ‘added by share’).

      Hyundai USA, for example, did a really cool story, where the user had to tap through to go for a ride in an Elantra. It’s was just so nicely executed that you felt like going back to the story and tapping your way through it over and over again.

  • CT

    Courtland Thomas

    almost 2 years ago #

    What is the most effective way you've seen a retailer promote a product through Snap Stories?

    • TC

      Thomas Cilius

      almost 2 years ago #

      Actually unsure about that one - it is normally much more focused on the storytelling part and less product marketing.

      Just above this one there is the Hyundai case example - that was damn brilliant.

  • BD

    Blaine Doherty

    almost 2 years ago #

    Hey Thomas,

    Snapchat has some great influencers, have you noticed any of these guys, or the companies that engage with them, using Snaplytics to see who has been interacting with sponsored content?

  • CM

    Craig Mingus

    almost 2 years ago #

    Just learned about this 30 minutes ago from a co-worker and still researching what Snaplytics is.
    How would you answer someone who asks why they should have to pay Snaplytics for data information when they are a third party and can be cutoff from SnapChat at any time?
    I've seen many companies like yours try this with Twitter and Instagram over the years and when those companies (Twitter and Instagram) take notice, they shutdown the third-party connections.
    How would you convince someone that their $300 a month is not going to go to waste?. Thanks.

    • TC

      Thomas Cilius

      almost 2 years ago #

      Hey Craig,

      Thanks for chiming in.

      If you want to be a customer or not is totally up to you. As with any service out there, if the price outweighs the benefits - don’t do it :-) We offer a toolset that saves our customer enormous amounts of time - and therefore money. Much of the benefit is in the automation part.

      We started Snaplytics almost 2 years ago and we haven’t been shut down yet, nor had an account blocked, also our platform does not in any way interfere with what Snapchat is trying to monetize on, so we’re quite positive that we will live on.

      And we are a known known to Snapchat. We have approached volume in both press coverage and size where it is a bit hard to hide ;-)

  • NM

    Nancy Martínez

    almost 2 years ago #

    Hi Thomas!
    Thanks for sharing such a valuable information!

    1) How can I program a memories story without the white frame?
    2) Which is the most important metric to define if my Snap is a success?

    Thanks in advance!

    • TC

      Thomas Cilius

      almost 2 years ago #

      Hi Nancy

      Thanks for asking :-)

      1)
      Unfortunately you can’t post from memories natively without the white border. The only way is if you post a story that has been in your memories for less than 24 hours. Of course, if you decide to take your Snapchat account to the next level you can upgrade to Snaplytics’ Publishing Tool where there is no white border when you post.

    • TC

      Thomas Cilius

      almost 2 years ago #

      2)
      So you’ve got a couple of answers that could go for this question. Unfortunately, there isn’t just one metric that is important. You may have a high open rate (meaning a lot of people started seeing your story) with a low completion rate (which means they didn’t stay until the end).

      So I would say it is a combination of both. You want to make sure that users are opening your stories, but this is worthless if they only watch the first 4-5 Snaps in a 50 Snap Story. Engage them early on so they stay through and give them a reason to come back.

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