Ghostcodes makes Snapchat more marketer-friendly

Screenshot 2016-04-25 20.58.50

By Kiki Schirr, {grow} Contributing Columnist

Recently, Mark Schaefer wrote “A balanced view of using Snapchat for marketing,” in which he urged marketers to take a grain of salt with the undeniably overhyped network. I could not agree more. And when I tweeted that post, many people echoed Mark’s sentiment.

…and then this month, Ghostcodes hit Product Hunt. Perhaps the outlook for marketers got a little brighter.

Ghostcodes is an iOS app (Android might be out in as little as two weeks) devoted to finding Snapchatters with similar interests, or in particular categories. The categories include: Artist, Celebrity, Inspirational, and yes, even Marketing, and interests are an open field.

One of the main reasons I agree with Mark’s post is that discovery on Snapchat is broken. Mark cites a statistic that less than 1 percent of people follow a brand on Snapchat. However, that might be because that the only way to encounter a brand on Snapchat is through an ad, whether a Snapcode (a branded QR code leading to your profile) found on Instagram, a Facebook post with the username, or sponsored content on Snapchat.

If a customer wanted to find your brand’s Snapchat username, they would likely have to do a Google search for it. That search might or might not be successful.

And while Ghostcodes, and its sister site Snapcodes, are still only featuring personal accounts, it seems like that would be bound to change with their innovation.

Best practices

In the meantime, those curious about Snapchat should start experimenting with their personal brand. If you own a pizzeria, list yourself as “Your Name | Pizzamaker” so that people know who and what sort of content they’ll be following.

Be careful when choosing a category on Ghostcodes, though. Look through the different categories and find the least-crowded one to which you might belong. The names in each category are ranked by “kudos,” and scrolling to the bottom on some categories is impossible.

There’s also no penalty for inputting many interests, so think carefully about the topics of your Snaps. You might be a pizzamaker, yes, but don’t you also love taking pictures of the sun setting through the windows of your shop? Consider adding “sunsets” or “sunrises” to your interests. As in categories, the interest lists are also ranked by kudos. If you’re just starting out, think of some pretty unique interests so that you can appear closer to the top.

Another quick trick: give out as many kudos as possible, and explore the lists, downloading the Snapcodes of anyone you find interesting. There is no limit to how many kudos you can give out, and people are notified when they receive them–many will reciprocate the favor.

After you mutually follow someone, it’s becoming increasingly common to greet the person with a short introduction about yourself and what you Snap, and to say that you look forward to watching their stories.

For great examples of marketers using Snapchat, follow Vincenzo Landino (vincenzolandino), Morgan B (morganb180), and though he isn’t a marketer, you should also follow the King of Snapchat, DJ Khaled (djkhaled305). Following Khaled is almost a requirement as most of the inside jokes of Snapchat are Khaled-isms.

Please let me know if you have other best practices you employ on Snapchat!

KikiSchirrKiki Schirr is a cofounder of the fitness app Fittr, and also does the company’s marketing. Her latest project is a lifestyle magazine for women in technology called Valley Girl — she would love for you to check it out! Kiki is also the author of Tech Doodles, and can be reached easily through Twitter.



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