Metrics That Don’t Disappear: How to Effectively Measure Your Snapchat Efforts

We are currently entering the wild west of Snapchat, uncharted territory that marketers love to compare to the early days of Facebook and Twitter. When we throw those big network names into the mix, we can start to get pretty excited about what Snapchat can do to further bolster our ongoing social campaigns.

Snapchat may still be the new kid on the block, but we understand how important becoming an early adopter of a new trend can be and some of us are primed to claim our space right now. We’ve even seen a few creative success stories from larger brands like Taco Bell and Victoria’s Secret, but some marketers have been experiencing trouble finding similar value with their Snapchat efforts.

This highly personalized network appears to be the perfect channel for delivering our message directly to the consumer and it seems relatively straight forward. You send the snap, they view the snap and voila, your brand grows. Well… not so fast. If you’ve experimented with a Snapchat campaign or even used it on a personal level, you may have noticed that Snapchat is designed for the user and provides little insights for a marketer to analyze.

In addition, Snapchat is lacking a significant third party analytics tool that can help display our content performance on a universal dashboard, meaning that you’ll need to analyze your data manually. By taking a closer look at the information that Snapchat does provide, you can begin to find tangible metrics and learn how to effectively measure your Snapchat efforts.

Snapchat Analytics: Collecting Data From Your Content

Whether you are a seasoned “snapper” or you are managing your first Snapchat campaign, you should learn the various functions within Snapchat and how they can help you achieve your marketing goals. At this time, Snapchat allows two unique content features that marketers can leverage; a private snap feature and a Stories feature.

With private snaps, you can send temporary text messages, photos or videos directly to your audience, but only in small groupings between one and fifty individuals at a time. After your message is delivered, you can gather data on the number of people that opened it, took a screenshot or whether or not your audience responded to your content with a direct message back to you.

When measuring your Snapchat efforts using the private snaps feature, you’ll need to manually tally the responses and actions that your users have taken. This method is very hands on and can help your brand appear more human while providing a granular level of data, but even the most ambitious content managers can find the sheer volume of responses to be overwhelming when managing a large community.

For brands with larger audiences, I recommend using the private snaps features to test new content with a sampling of users and focus on the Snapchat Stories for mass communicating with your audience. With Snapchat Stories, you can extract similar data from your content, e.g, views on snap, screenshots, responses, but you can access your tallied data for a period of 24 hours.

A missing aspect of Snapchat Stories is that you won’t be able to see how many people received your content overall, you’ll only get data on the number of people that viewed your content. I wouldn’t necessarily think of this as a lost opportunity, it just means that you are only able to measure your engaged audience.

Understanding these differences can help you create an effective strategy for measuring your Snapchat efforts. Let’s start breaking down this data and learn how to create more detailed Snapchat metrics.

Learning How to Create Your Snapchat Metrics

There are features that analytics tools provide automatically that we can often take for granted, this includes charts and graphs that help display our data within an easier to digest dashboard. With the current lack of this platform, you’re going to need to measure your Snapchat content efforts the old fashioned way and develop a base of metrics that aligns with your organizational goals.

When measuring the audience engagement of your private snaps, you can determine your open rate by documenting the number of snaps sent, received, and opened. For example, if you send a snap to 50 accounts and receive 12 opens, you’ll have a 24% open rate for that content. (That is 12 opens divided by 50 snaps sent.)

Measuring your open rate over time can be a signal that your content is resonating with your audience, but you should also measure how often your audience takes a screenshot of your content or responds with a message as these metrics are an indication of engagement.

Understanding your open, screenshot and response rate is only one piece of the puzzle. To effectively measure your Snapchat efforts, you’ll need to know what type of content moves these needles and if you can uncover any trends. Document any variables such as the length and type of content sent. Experiment with photos and videos of varying lengths, but also include different text, emoticons or drawings with your content.

A while back, Time Magazine showcased a few of the first viral Snapchat marketers and shared some pretty impressive data. By analyzing this example we can find consumption metrics that are unique to the Snapchat Story feature, such as story completion rate and screenshot percentage.

snapchat screenshot

To Find Completion Rate: Divide total views in the last snap from the total views in first snap.

957,000 / 1,100,000 = 87% completion rate

To Find Screenshot Rate: Divide total screenshots from total views in any given snap.

957,000 / 29,600 = 32.33% screenshot completion (on last snap)

Use these metrics with your data to better evaluate how each type of content resonates best with your audience. Again, you’ll want to document any variables that you can control, such as the total number of snaps posted within a single story, time of day posted, content type and length as these can greatly influence the performance of your snaps.

Moving Forward: Actionable Practices to Stay On Track

Create an organized plan to properly document your Snapchat metrics. You should keep all of your performance metrics within a spreadsheet or similar document, including any feedback that your receive from your audience.

There’s a reason that spreadsheets have remained a staple within the business world, and without a Snapchat analytics tool, this is a great opportunity to brush off those excel skills and create an outline for measuring your Snapchat efforts.

Plan your Snapchat content to coincide with your other content strategies to help maintain a consistent theme across all of your social channels. You should keep track of all of these campaigns within your content calendar to better stay organized and to help scale your efforts.

As you begin to find a cadence with your Snapchat campaigns and metric reporting structure, look to leverage your best performing content through other social channels. Sure, your snaps may appear to have a shelf life, but by exporting your best stories and saving your snaps, you’ll have the opportunity to repurpose this content on other networks and further bolster your Snapchat efforts.

While on the surface it may appear difficult to effectively measure your Snapchat marketing efforts, with thorough a understanding of the platform and with careful attention to your organization, you can start creating a number of content marketing wins with this rising new network.

What areas have you been measuring within Snapchat? Have you seen more success with the private messaging or Stories feature? What content have you seen resonate best with your audience? Leave your answers and feedback in the comments section.