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10 Steps to Creating Engaging Snapchat Stories

Updated on July 22, 2016
9 minute read

Everyone wants to make a good Snapchat story, but how do you make sure that people are engaged and keep watching your story until the end? Whether you’re snapping for yourself or your business, here are 10 steps to follow to create an awesome and engaging Snapchat story that people want to watch every day. To help

Published July 22, 2016

Everyone wants to make a good Snapchat story, but how do you make sure that people are engaged and keep watching your story until the end? Whether you’re snapping for yourself or your business, here are 10 steps to follow to create an awesome and engaging Snapchat story that people want to watch every day.

To help you get the best Snapchat strategy for creating a story that people will want to watch, we caught up with Jeff Mindell, a photographer, Instagrammer, and Snapchat pro who uses Snapchat every day to connect with his audience around the world. When he’s taking photos for Studio DIY, Jeff can be found walking around Los Angeles sharing his hilarious commentary on his Snapchat. What better way to share Snapchat tips than on Snapchat, right? Scroll down to read more about the 10 steps to creating an engaging Snapchat story:

1. Always Start Your Day with a Check in or Greeting to Your Followers

Did you know that sarting your day with an early morning Snapchat bumps your Snapchat story to the top of everybody else’s feed? It’s true! This is such a simple, but important, step in creating an engaging Snapchat story.  When your audience opens Snapchat in the morning, they’ll see your story first! This also helps you get more views on Snapchat stories because the morning snap actually works to promote the story from the day before that is still live. If you don’t want to be on camera right when you wake up, you can just put a photo with some emojis saying “Good morning!”, it’s as simple as that!

2. Plan Your Snapchat Story Ahead of Time

As you’re starting your day, think about what’s happening today that might be of interest to your Snapchat audience. “For me, I might be thinking about getting my coffee in the morning, two photoshoots in the afternoon, and an event in the evening. These are all things that I can share with my audience,” says Jeff. “They feel like they’re there with me, they can engage with me and be a part of the greater conversation, and it’s just fun!”

If you’re using Snapchat for business, you’ll want to plan Snapchat content just like you would plan your Instagram feed. Brainstorm ideas for Snapchat stories to align with your marketing or product releases, and add it to your content calendar. That way, you’ll feel less pressure to come up with new content every single day. And if you take the time to schedule Instagram posts with Later ahead of time, you’ll have less to do each day for your social media accounts and can take the time to create awesome Snapchat stories.

3. Find the Right Time to Talk to Your Audience

Jeff tends to walk and talk a lot in his Snapchat stories, because it’s when he has time to chat with his audience. “When I’m in the studio or on location working, that’s when I’m working, and it’s not a great time to really be on Snapchat,” says Jeff. “So when I’m taking breaks or getting coffee, that’s really my down time that I use to check in with my audience.”

Ask yourself when you really have time to Snapchat during your day, and then devote 10 seconds here or there throughout the day to add to your Snapchat story and engage with your Snapchat audience.

4. Share Behind-the-Scenes of Whatever You Do

While Instagram is all about that perfect, curated feed, Snapchat is more raw and fun, which means that not everything you share has to be picture-perfect! In fact, a lot of the best Snapchat content is great because it’s real, and sharing the behind-the-scenes of your life or business on Snapchat can help your audience connect with you on a more human level.

“Whether you are an individual, small business, or big brand, as a consumer of social media, I appreciate when companies pull back the curtain,” says Jeff. “If you use Instagram as a place to showcase the perfect finished product, use your Snapchat account to showcase everything that you’re not sharing elsewhere! People love behind-the-scenes, and you can make it really fun and really engaging, while also having content that is exclusive to Snapchat and nowhere else.”

5. Make Your Snapchats “Choppy”

Think about how you (and your viewers) view Snapchat: often it’s broken up in little chunks of time throughout the day, as opposed to sitting down with your undivided attention to watch a TV show. Choppy moments on Snapchat can often translate as funny or memorable things on the fly. “Think about how today’s Youtubers are editing their videos, they’re often really quick and jumpy, because it translates really well,” explains Jeff. “The same concept applies to Snapchat, so I try to do that whenever I can because it changes up the rhythm of your story and makes it really interesting to watch.”

Experiment with how you film your Snapchat story, and try to film multiple shorter clips from different angles. When they all come together in your awesome Snapchat story, it could make for a “choppy” effect that helps you keep more eyes on your story for longer.

6. Host a Snapchat Q&A

Whether you’re trying to brainstorm ideas for your Snapchat story, or just want to connect more with you audience, hosting a Snapchat Q&A is a great way to switch up your Snapchat content.  “I like to host Q&A’s once a month, it’s a wonderful way to engage with your audience and people really feel more connected to you,” says Jeff. “I might put out a call to Snapchat or Instagram asking people to submit questions, and then I will pick my top 10 and answer them on Snapchat at a specific time.” Hosting a Q&A on Snapchat is also a good way to turn Instagram followers into Snapchat friends, because you’re able to connect with them through personal video in a way that you can’t on Instagram


Everlane is one of the most successful brands on Snapchat, and they have an ongoing “Transparency Tuesday” Q&A where their audience gets to ask them any questions they want! You can learn more about their secrets to using Snapchat for Business here. “I love when I see companies or individuals do stuff like this on Snapchat, because they’re opening themselves up to their audience. People follow you for a reason, they want a piece of you, so give it to them!” says Jeff.

7. Create a Recurring Snapchat Series

When you think about some of your favorite talk shows, they all have one in thing in common: recurring segments! Whether they’re playing fun games with celebrity guests or going on undercover interviews, they all have a recurring series that people come to recognize and expect from them. The same goes for Snapchat: creating an ongoing Snapchat series will help you create fun and familiar content for your Snapchat story, and it can also help you gain followers through word-of-mouth.

“Every time I get mail, I open the mail on my Snapchat and people love that,” says Jeff. “When I work from home, my dog starts attacking me everyday at 5pm for food, so I’ve turned that into an ongoing Snapchat series. People look forward to it and snap me back about their dog, and it’s just a fun thing now.” Figure out a theme or series that works for you and your business or interests, and give your viewers something to look forward to in your stories.

8. Brainstorm Creative Ways to Engage With Your Followers

“I’m constantly trying to think of other ways to separate myself from the millions of other Snapchatters,” says Jeff. “You can’t really tell much about your Snapchat following, like the demographics, so it’s important to engage with them!” Pinpoint different ways that you can engage with your audience on Snapchat that are different from the norm, and try to stand out.

Snapchat is all about being creative, so put those thinking caps on! Here’s one example from Jeff: “the other day I asked my followers to tell me where they were watching my Snapchat from, and I said that I would give a shout-out to the person that was furthest away. And it was crazy! I got snaps back from so many different countries, I had no idea people were following me from all around the world.”

Lesson of the snap-story? Don’t be afraid to ask questions and get to know your followers!

9. Reply to Your Snapchats!

When using Snapchat, first you’ll want to determine what kind of Snapchat account you want to have. Do you want to be public and open to everyone, or private to your family and friends? If you’re reading this post, you most likely want to be public and build a following for your brand or business. So if you’re encouraging people to follow you on Snapchat, it’s important to engage with them!

“If somebody is taking the time out of their day to comment on something I’m doing or send me a message, I’m always going to reply back,” explains Jeff. “And about half the time, people are shocked that I even reply back, which leads me to believe that not that many people are doing it.” Taking the time to reply back to all your snaps can help you stand out on Snapchat, and make your followers more loyal to you or your business. “Yes, it takes up time,” says Jeff, “but if you time block for social media engagement, it will make a world of difference. And it makes people happy!”

10. End Your Day By Posting Something (Anything, Really!)

Similar to starting your day with a Snapchat, posting something to your story one last time at the end of the day will push your Snapchat story up to the top of everyone’s feed. By doing this, you are taking advantage of everyone who scrolls through their Snapchat stories at the end of the day. Being strategic about your posting times can increase the visibility of your story and make your view count go up!

Those are 10 tips on how to create an awesome and engaging Snapchat story from Snapchat pro Jeff Mindell. Be sure to follow him on Snapchat at “JeffMindell,” and you can stay up-to-date on Instagram and Snapchat news by following Later on Snapchat at “latermedia.”

Check out How to Use Snapchat for Business: 5 Tips from Everlane for even more snap-knowledge!

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