Why Every Comic Creator Should Be on Snapchat

Yes, I'm telling you about another social media account you should consider joining.

But not without good reason. Snapchat does a few things differently from other platforms like Facebook or Twitter, that sets it apart and should make it of interest to you.

Snapchat Is Growing Fast

Snapchat is the latest social network to truly hit critical mass and take off beyond its initial niche.

Snapchat has over 100 Million Daily Active Users. That alone should be enough to convince most people of its importance. Unfortunately, there's a lot of prejudice against the 13-34 age range that makes up most of Snapchat's users - 86% of their total monthly active user base.

But that core audience shouldn't be a strike against it. There's no reason that this age range shouldn't be of interest to creators.

And as its audience ages, so to will the platform. It's exactly the same thing that happened with Instagram. For now, the fact that more than 60% of smartphone users in the U.S. between the ages of 13 and 34 are Snapchatters should be proof enough to show how hooked Snapchat's core market is on their platform.

Having a strong foundation is all they need to continue their growth, like they have been.

And if some of you are thinking that Snapchat's 100 million monthly active users is nothing compared to Facebook's greater than 1.5 billion monthly active users. But that discrepancy is greater evidence of Snapchat's strengths since, despite Facebook's massive user base their users watch about 8 billion videos per day, where Snapchat is already reporting more than 7 billion video views each day.

And that's just the first reason.

Source: Snapchat Statistics seen here.

You Don't Need High Production Value

While you don't need the best gear for YouTube, today there are more general expectations around the quality of what you put up there.

Snapchat, on the other hand, doesn't require a high production value. There's a really low bar to entry since you aren't meant to be able to upload pictures. Instead, you just snap directly from your phone.

There's little you can do to edit the pictures. Snapchat provides you with some effects and filters, but those tend to be tightly restricted so you're never going to have so much choice that you end up stuck, and there's never that much you can do to improve what you're putting out.

The one thing you can really go to extremes with is the artist tools snapchat provides you with (essentially drawing on whatever you snap), but whether you use those is entirely up to you and how you want to snap.

The one drawback a lot of people perceive with the platform is the need to be present. All the snaps you publish to all your followers via your Snapchat Story (your rewatchable public feed) - disappear within 24 hours.

But that drawback is not actually negative. In fact, it's one of the reasons the platform will be so useful to you.

Easily Deepen Your Relationship with Your Audience

Because of the ephemeral nature of the Snapchat platform you'll obviously feel a need to be active on the platform and be as present as possible.

But you will not be alone in feeling that need, your followers will feel it, too. And that sense of fleeting moments will encourage them to engage with you when you do have something to share.

On top of that the brief window provided - only 24 hours - will create a sense of urgency. People will want to see what you posted. They won't wait or come back to your snap story later, because it'll be gone if they wait too long.

If you make good use of those plentiful opportunities to engage, you'll be able to build a deeper connection withy our audience.

This is partially because of the visual way in which people communicate on Snapchat and because of one other element that really brings everything together...

The Attention Guarantee

In the modern social media landscape, impressions are not the most valuable commodity. It doesn't really matter how many people watch or see your updates. What matters is whether people are paying attention to the updates you're sending.

Gary Vaynerchuk, marketer and entrepreneur, explains it very well in this video.

On Snapchat, when users watch your Snapchat story, they have made a choice to pay attention. Users always have that choice. So, when they do watch, not only have they already decided to pay attention, but they even pay closer attention because if they don't your snap will disappear immediately after if it's a private snap, or in 24 hours if it's on your story.

Comparatively, on Facebook and Twitter, the degree to which your followers have consented to hearing from you is very different. Sure they've followed you - assuming you're not retweeted into their stream - but when they see your updates they haven't chosen to see them at that moment.

And people now, more than ever, are dictating what deserves their time - watching tv shows when they like, reading comics when they like - rather than conforming to whatever schedule is dictated to them.

That's probably the biggest reason Snapchat is so powerful. The platform naturally draws a user's attention.

To help you really nail your Snapchat game, I've put together a small guide to walk you through some strategies to engage your audience on the platform.

It includes:

  • 6 Different Ways to Engage Your Snapchat Followers
  • Examples for each of the different strategies
  • Pro-tips to take your Snapchat to the next level.

Snapchat Crash-Course

If you're completely new to Snapchat, here are a couple links to get you started.

Snapchat's Getting Started Guide

Mashable's Snapchat For Beginners

Comic Creators on Snapchat

To help get you started, I wanted to give a special shoutout to one creator you should follow.

Jake Parker is a very talented comic book creator who I've been following on Snapchat for a bit now.

On his snapchat he provides behind the scenes on the sketches he's does and just lets you in to his creative process a little. Recently he's showing a lot of stuff related to his latest book Drawings III, which collects the drawings, sketches, and commissions he did in 2015.

If you want to follow him, you can add him by his username: mrjakeparker

Or you can take a picture of his snapcode from within Snapchat and the app will scan it for you automatically and allow you to add him like that.

My Snapcode.JPG

I'm also over on Snapchat (imaginaryjeremy). This weekend I'll be sharing from London Super Comic Con, just like I did with Angouleme. When I'm not snapchatting from a show, I'm usually sharing about writing and some of my other creative projects.

Once you jump on, tweet me your Snapcode @JeremyMelloul and I'll follow you. Let's build the community of comic creators on Snapchat!

6 Ways Comic Creators Can Engage Their Audience on Snapchat

Hopefully, by this point, you understand why Snapchat is so valuable to you. To take things a little further I put together a guide to teach you how to really excel on the platform.

It includes:

  • 6 Different Ways to Engage Your Snapchat Followers
  • Examples for each of the different strategies
  • Pro-tips to take your Snapchat to the next level.

This will also sign you up for my weekly newsletter. While the newsletter isn't as humorous as the post above, it is meant to provide you with the tools and resources you need to actually build a career in comics - if you still want to after reading this post.