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A lot of my community that has tried to get big on Snapchat has found it difficult to grow their audience. Unless you’re a celebrity or somebody already well established, it’s hard to get noticed, and the fact that Snapchat has no in-app discovery is messing with a lot of people (not to be confused with Snapchat Discover, their brand marketing service).

Snapchat doesn’t have a suggested user list (like Instagram does) or a method to easily search for people, although some websites and apps are trying to make the process easier. There also aren’t any hashtags or retweets that you can piggyback off of like we see on other platforms. With all of this in mind, I understand how you can be frustrated when trying to grow your account.

So, how do you grow? The old fashioned way–without any sort of app-to-internet infrastructure. You have to use other methods to grow your account. For example, when I was growing Wine Library, I didn’t expect to grow fast on sheer discovery in the hopes that someone would stumble into the store. I used print advertising, radio, direct email, email marketing, and Google AdWords, to let people know where my business was. The best way is to use other platforms to help create awareness and direct people to your Snapchat.

Here are some tips that you can use to grow your Snapchat account:

  • Put your Snapchat handle on your profile page or “about” section of other social accounts (i.e., Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.); *
    • Side note: Instagram does not allow you to link out using your Snapchat url, but you can still put your username in the info section
  • Download your Snapcode and make it your profile pictures
  • Sign off blog posts with your Snapchat handle
  • Collaborate with other relevant Snapchat accounts to shout-out your Snapchat username
  • Use Facebook ads to drive traffic to your Snapchat profile url (
  • Advertise and offer exclusive content or deals on Snapchat
  • Do a Story takeover to help siphon other communities
  • Use a custom geofilter in high-traffic areas where people will be snapchatting
  • Join relevant communities on Facebook groups or Reddit threads (and remember jab jab jab before you right hook to follow on Snapchat)
  • Print out your snapcode on your business cards (if you’re old school)
  • Put your username at the bottom of your email signature

These are just a few tactical examples. Some are a bit more involved and some may be more of a right hook, but they all have potential to grow your audience. The reason so many people are asking this question is because it is not easy to do. What you have to do is hack to build awareness, especially on Snapchat where it’s not going to happen organically. You have to go old-school. Think billboards and print where there’s no click or permalinks. Use other platforms to drive awareness and get followers.

But remember, while I have provided some tactics here, there is no replacement for actual brand building. If you are going to drive people to your Snapchat, you better provide valuable content and understand what it is you’re trying to achieve. 😉


If you liked this tip, get the real details on the entrepreneur life on my Snapchat (@garyvee). (See what I did there?) 😉