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  • Writer's pictureChris Strub

Eleven Pro Tips to Crush It On #Snapchat At #SMMW18

Social Media Marketing World 2018 is the world’s largest social media marketing conference, and thousands of marketers, creators and aspiring influencers will be looking to make their mark in San Diego.

Of course, the best way to absorb the Social Media Marketing World experience is to be there in person. (BTW, if you can’t make it, there’s a popular “virtual ticket” option available, too.)

Attendees will also use a broad variety of their own channels to share their own learnings from Social Media Marketing World. There’s sure to be plenty of Facebook Live’s, Periscopes, quickly arranged YouTube vlogs, live-Tweeting, recap blogging and, surely, much more. (I can barely keep up with the kids these days!)

One option you may consider to either chronicle your own experience and/or follow the travels of others is Snapchat.

I have a hot-and-cold relationship with Snapchat, one of the most polarizing platforms out there. As the first person to Snapchat in all 50 U.S. states, I’ve had a chance to speak about Snapchat all around the nation . I did a Snapchat takeover for livestreaming platform last June at VidCon , and another one in September for my alma mater, Binghamton University , for their Homecoming weekend. I used Snapchat Spectacles during my 25-state roadtrip with The Salvation Army USA last Christmas season, capturing video memories from a successful solo fundraising adventure.

Snapchat is a great mechanism to grab selfies at different events, as I did in Atlanta, St. Louis, Anaheim, Las Vegas, Houston, New York, Dayton, San Diego and Dallas last year. (BTW, if you can name everyone in this picture, I’ll send you a copy of my book 😉)

Snapchat can be a great on-the-go storytelling tool, especially when there’s value at every turn — which makes it perfect for an event like Social Media Marketing World. The platform is most effective when your 24-hour-shelf-life story is saved and shared across other social media channels, where it can be found by people who aren’t native users of the platform.

In March and May, I’ll be the official Snapchatter of these two conferences that I attended last year. 

I’ll be the official Snapchatter of the Midwest Digital Marketing Conference in St. Louis in March, and the Social Shake-Up Show in Atlanta in May, and Social Media Marketing World will be a great opportunity to share immense value as well. Here are the actionable tactics that I use to make the most out of Snapchat at a social media conference. 

—> Don’t be shy to turn the camera on yourself.

Yes, it’s great to see shots of the hallway, or your view from the sixth row to see Lewis Howes, but for the most part, your audience is tuning in to see you. Snapchat’s camera defaults to front-facing for a reason: we want to hear your perspective, your voice and how the lessons learned are impacting you.

—> Don’t try to over-do it with filters, etc.

Sure, Snapchat filters can be a lot of fun. But in a fast-paced environment like #SMMW18, with WiFi, data and, especially, time, at a premium, if you’re going to grab a Snap with a passing friend or a speaker, don’t worry about making sure you’re both puking rainbows. Not only might your phone slow up quite a bit, but give thought to the overall story you’re trying to tell for the day. Think about using filters to break up monotony — i.e., if you’re doing a lengthy day recap on your own, back in your hotel room. But if you’re speaking to 10 different people in your story, there’s plenty of variety in the unfamiliar faces your audience will be seeing. As the great Joel Comm once told me, if it’s not adding something to the story, it’s taking away from it — don’t overdo it.

I spoke last August on the big stage about Snapchat at PR News’s “Big Four” conference in San Francisco.

—> Bring your Snapchat Spectacles ... (but ...)

It might be too late now for you to grab Spectacles, but if you can get your hands on a pair, do it. Specs are not only a great way to capture unique content on the move, without taking up one of your hands — they’re also still quite a novelty, and just having a pair on your forehead will be a great conversation starter. In a space where conversation sparks can be at a premium, take advantage of every one you can get. 

—> (... but) ... don’t get too hung up on Syncing your Specs.

The one procedural drawback to Snapchat’s Spectacles is that they can take a few minutes to sync. Try and plan those minutes carefully — maybe sync as soon as you sit down in a session room, as everyone’s quieting down. Don’t miss out on your opportunities to actively network with as many people as possible without getting tripped up by your technology. Remember, those Specs Snaps will still be there later.

My Snapchat Spectacles were a huge hit last year during the 2017 Salvation Army #FightForGoodTour, including this stop in Charlotte.

—> Know who you want to track down for your story.

There’s no shame in having a list, either in an Evernote, on a Hotel notepad, or even on the back of your hand, of your social media friends and influencers you want to find. This is my first Social Media Marketing World, but if it’s like every other conference I’ve been to, you’ll be surprised to find that almost every bigtime speaker is a lot more approachable than you think. And if you’re shy, find a few of these fine folks below and feel free to tell them Chris Strub sent you — I guarantee they’ll be happy to snag a selfie with you, whether you’re a multi-year seasoned SMMW pro or an introverted rookie:

— Miri Rodriguez

— Dan Gingiss

— Brian Fanzo

— Joel Comm

— Madalyn Sklar

— Nick Cicero

— Jen Cole & Julie Riley

— Shaun Ayala

— Owen Hemsath

— Sean Cannell 

Sean Cannell, a speaker at #SMMW18, is one of the world’s leading YouTube experts — but he’s also incredibly down to earth. Ask him about his first half marathon!

—> Save your Snaps, and your full story!

If one of your goals is to bring more attention to your brand through your Snaps, multipurposing your Snapchat content is going to be critical. If you find, let’s say, Brian Fanzo, and grab a selfie or maybe a few seconds of video with him, make sure to immediately hit save before you post to your story (or you’ll likely forget later). You can also play with your settings so your Snaps save automatically. You can then post that Snap to Instagram, Facebook, or better yet, Twitter, using the hashtag #SMMW18, and your Snap content will suddenly be right in the midst of all the other conversation taking place about the conference.

—> Deliver value with every clip

This is more a general Snapchat tip than a SMMW-specific one, but it holds true: think about why someone would want to see/hear what you’re posting before you share it out. This is a broad question with no right or wrong answer, and I encourage you not to be shy about sharing, but do think about what value that clip you’re sharing will add to the discussion. The more value you can pack into your story, the more authoritative you’ll become.

*** If you’re enjoying this article, please be sure to share it out on social media when you’re done reading! Tweet using #SMMW18 and mention me @ChrisStrub 👻 *** 

—> Use the Snap Map!

Even if you don’t love using the Snap Map while working back at home, the Snap Map will be a great resource during Social Media Marketing World 2018. There’s bound to be an enormous amount of content shared live from the scene, and there will be plenty of marketers from around the world stifling their FOMO by tuning in to that area of Southern California. Make sure you have your bitmoji in proper SoCal attire, and be certain that your settings allow for discoverability. As time allows, you can also watch other stories from SMMW18, but yes, time will be at a premium. Try and meet up with other Snapchatters at the conference — there’s an excellent chance they may become life-long friends! 

My Snapcode backpack, pictured here during the #FightForGoodTour in Independence, Mo., helps me stand out, and helps people new to my Snapchat connect with me quickly and efficiently 

—> Have your Snapcode somewhere on your person.

I’ve got my Snapcode in all sorts of places — stickers, my business cards, my Snapchat backpack, and heck, Madalyn Sklar might even talk me into getting it tattooed on my bicep (ok, maybe that’s pushing it, but you get the idea ...). Be prepared to show your Snapcode right away. One great tip I picked up at Summit Live 2016 was to make your Snapcode your phone’s lock screen image. (🤯!!) Your Snapcode can and will be scanned repeatedly at Social Media Marketing World — be prepared!

A Snapchat geofilter can be a really memorable aspect of any social media conference.

—> Consider getting a Geofilter.

Snapchat geofilters are themselves a polarizing subject. I’m not certain if SMExaminer has closed off the territory for individual Snapchat geofilters, or if the inventory may already be sold out, but if you do grab a filter for either your personal brand and/or your business, you’re sure to grab the attention from all the Snapchatters in San Diego and prospectively their networks in an efficient, cost-effective fashion. I’ve used Snapchat geofilters at smaller conferences before and they’ve generally worked terrifically well. Feel free to message me on Twitter, @ChrisStrub, if you have more questions about geofilters. 

—> Repurpose, repurpose, repurpose.

I mentioned this earlier but it’s crucial, and the single biggest strategy I use at each conference:  save and share bits and pieces of your Snapchat story onto other social media networks, especially Twitter, as you go. And don’t forget to use the hashtag #SMMW18. The biggest reason Snapchat gets a bad name sometimes (since I think we’re finally beyond the teens-sexting era) is the inability to find its content outside of Snapchat. Use that weakness to your advantage — by sharing great Snapchat content onto your Twitter feed, you’ll be at the forefront of the attention of a lot of decision-makers, both there in San Diego and around the world.


There you have it, my 11 tips to crush it on Snapchat at Social Media Marketing World. I guarantee if you embrace all of these tips, you’ll have plenty of success with Snapchat at #SMMW18.

If you’ve gotten value from this article, please do me a favor and go ahead and share it on Twitter using the hashtag #SMMW18. You can tag me, @ChrisStrub, and I’ll be sure to Tweet you right back. Of course, you can also find me in real life at Social Media Marketing World 2018 — I’d love to take a Snap with you! 


Click to add me on Snapchat: ... and follow me on Instagram: @ChrisStrub

Chris Strub is the first person to Snapchat and live-stream in all 50 U.S. states, and the author of ‘50 States, 100 Days: The Book,’ about his journey to work with youth-related nonprofits in all 50 states. Chris, the CEO of I Am Here, LLC, was a 2017 Red Kettle Ambassador for The Salvation Army USA, visiting Army locations in 25 states over the course of 38 days. Chris’s online course, ‘Live-Streaming for Nonprofits,’ is available now at . 

Chris Strub is available to speak at your event in 2018, on Snapchat or on other social media- or nonprofit-related topics. Contact Chris at ChrisStrub (at) gmail (dot) com. 

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