Welcome to my life, where more than six thousand people from around the world are tuning in to my daily travels on Snapchat (@drewbinsky).
I’m essentially hosting my own travel show, and Snapchat has proven to be the most exciting way to connect with my global audience.
If you still haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, Snapchat is a mobile application where users can upload short videos & photos (called snaps) to “My Story,” and have them viewed by a global audience.
About 2 years ago, when I moved to Korea to teach English, I started a travel blog and fully committed myself to grow a big following from day one. But at the time, Snapchat was still evolving, and the concept of having external followers did not exist.
It wasn’t until I was on a backpacking trip around India earlier this year when the light bulb went off. I realized that I could grow my Snapchat by having random people follow me, as opposed to just sending snaps to my close friends.
Immediately after I noticed this opportunity, I worked hard to build my account and it’s be growing rapidly.
Right now, as I write this, I am in Tbiliisi, georgia – my 69th country since 2012. I am not only working as a full-time travel blogger to fund my travels, but I am also using Snapchat to share my adventures with the world.
And it’s already paid off.
Each snap that I upload to “My Story” is getting viewed by more than 6,000 people. Yes, each and every snap, six thousand people from more than 100 countries are watching, engaging, and interacting with my spontaneous travels.
How do I use Snapchat?
It’s very simple – when I see something cool, interesting or entertaining on my travels, I post capture it and upload it to “My Story.” It’s pure entertainment in my hands.
Snapchat allows me to give my viewers a look behind the scenes as a full-time traveler, as I dive into foreign places and have unique cultural exchanges.
I aim to post 15-20 snaps (short videos & photos) per day, which add up to 1-2 minutes when played together like a short narrative.
I focus on being creative by drawing pictures with the in-app marker, using emojis, and taking advantage of Snapchat’s amazing geo-filters — which exist big cities and in global events (festivals, sporting events, concerts, etc).
The goal is to keep it fun and make people want to come back for more.
How is Snapchat different than FB, TW, IG, and PIN?
Snapchat is different than any other social media because of three things – privacy, high engagement, and it’s actually fun.
It’s private because there are no aspects of liking, commenting, sharing or re-posting. Therefore, whatever the viewers sees is only seen by him/her, and then it remains in their thoughts.
It has high engagement due to the viewer having their finger on the screen to open the snap. So, as opposed to content getting lost in a messy vertical stream, I can be certain that the viewer’s eyeballs are on the screen.
It’s fun because each snap is like opening up a surprise. It enables me to have a voice through live videos and photos of my daily adventures, where people can instantly connect with my humor and personality. It’s addicting, and it’s a platform that I actually enjoy using.
How is Snapchat my most engaged social media?
Over the last few months, I have been averaging 60-70 new followers per day – more than any other social media.
Although Snapchat doesn’t (yet) provide substantial analytics, you are allowed to see how many eyeballs are viewing each snap, and who is taking screenshots.
Because of Snapchat, I wake up with a smile on my face every morning when I see about 30 new snaps from people telling me how I’ve inspired them, asking for travel advice, or just saying hello. The connection is real.
I also play fun games with my audience, encouraging them to send me snaps and sometimes I give out free postcards. This puts the people in charge and gives them more of an incentive to follow me.
Last week, I played a game called “Where in the world are you?” Basically, I asked people to send me a snap of where they are in the world, so I could screenshot my favorites and publicly share them to My Story.
The results were overwhelming.
Within 2 hours, I received some 300-350 snaps from people in more than 100 countries — from Eritrea to Uruguay to Suriname to Fiji.
To put this engagement into perspective — I played the same game on Twitter (to 36K followers) and I only got 23 responses.
On Facebook, I asked people where they are from and I got 32 comments.
Why has Snapchat been so effective for me?
Snap is effective because people can tune in ANYTIME directly on their mobile device. And in today’s world, everyone has their phone on them 24/7.
It’s almost like people are carrying me around with them in their pocket, whether they are sitting on the toilet, waiting in line at the supermarket, or just laying in bed, they can tune in to see what I’m doing.
I see enormous potential for Snapchat’s growth in the coming years. It was already the fastest growing application in 2014, and today, there are over 300 million active users sending 1.5 billion snaps every day.
So, I’m going to keep snapping away as I plan to visit 50 more new countries in the next 3 years. The world is coming with me.
Please Join Me!
Thanks for reading my story, and join the fun @drewbinsky! I promise to keep you entertained ;)
Snap me something fun and I will respond to you!