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With 200 million active users, Snapchat is fast-becoming the social media platform of choice for a young generation that embraces the fleeting nature of the content and the authenticity of the platform’s top Snapchat influencers. Though several young digital stars have used Snapchat’s Stories – the name for each day’s collection of short videos or photos that disappear from the channel after 24 hours – to acquire large, engaged audiences, perhaps no one has figured out how to attract Snapchat users better than DJ Khaled (Snapchat handle: @djkhaled305). From Khaled’s memorable, oft-repeated bits of wisdom to the consistency with which he posts, we examine the reasons why this unlikely Snapchat celebrity is now one of the world’s most magnetic social media influencers.
DJ Khaled’s seemingly endless string of idioms keeps followers coming back for more.
Called “an internet philosopher” by LA Times’ Dexter Thomas and “The Tony Robbins of Hip Hop” by Slant News, Khaled’s Snapchat fame stems in part from his effusive demeanor and positive quips that serve as a running narration to his daily posts (called “Snaps”). The platform’s young users (the majority of whom fall within the 18- to 24-year-old demographic according to research by Mark Hoelzel of Business Insider) have embraced Khaled’s message of perseverance and success-mindedness, and his constantly repeated idioms, which include “they don’t want you to…” “bless up!” and “a major key,” are now well on their way to becoming part of the cultural lexicon.
While Khaled’s uplifting message and comical words of wisdom contribute to his popularity, it is the consistency with which Khaled posts to Snapchat – often up to 3 or 4 times per hour – that attracts millions of users to his channel each day. The majority of Khaled’s snaps, in fact, aren’t even noteworthy – on any given day followers can watch him eat breakfast, water his plants, work out at the gym, and sweep his pathway – but the near-constant stream of fresh content that Khaled creates is ideal for capturing and holding the short attention spans of Snapchat users.
Authenticity, too, is a major component of DJ Khaled’s Snapchat magnetism. Unlike other celebrities who choose to share only the most glamorous aspects of their lives on social media, DJ Khaled is unafraid to reveal his more intimate moments (like when he Snaps his morning shower) or show his emotional side (see the video below) to the audience.
“Snapchat is straight up raw,” Khaled recently told Tech Insider. “I’m breaking it down in straight up blunt language. And when I say blunt, I mean direct. I’m giving it to you raw, straight up.”
Millions watched as DJ Khaled got lost at sea; USA Today even picked up the story.
As Forbes points out, establishing a genuine connection with audiences is what great Snapchat marketing is all about, and DJ Khaled is exceedingly good at connecting with his followers. Snapchat users love DJ Khaled because he’s authentic and positive, but more importantly, they follow him because he’s always there, every day, sharing his life and creating fresh content for the platform’s hungry audiences. By posting frequently and deftly blending predictable mundanity with brief episodes of novel excitement, Khaled has found a way to be both accessible and engaging, at once nakedly genuine (literally, in some cases) and glamorously captivating.
DJ Khaled has captured the essence of what has made Snapchat’s growth soar: a sense of immediacy, relevance, and authenticity. Snapchat users crave these aspects, and brands can learn from DJ Khaled’s popularity and model their own Snapchat marketing efforts on his example. Snapchat users are incredibly active on the platform, constantly scanning and looking to connect; by leveraging authentic, real-time, and continually updated content, brands can create their own voice and footprint with Snapchat users.
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