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A digital influencer has traditionally been easy to find. Followers, number of engagement, and verification all point brands in the right direction. With the introduction of Snapchat, however, all previously used metrics have been thrown out the window, and finding a Snapchat influencer has become increasingly difficult.
The ephemeral nature of Snapchat makes the platform unique, attractive, and difficult all at the same time. The only measurable tools available for brands to measure success is the amount of times a snap has been opened and how many screen shots were taken. Not only that, but there isn’t an auto-populate field when you search for a name, nor is there a visible follower count on profiles.
Nevertheless, the undeniable reach of the platform can’t be ignored and brands are starting to dive in and include Snapchat influencer campaigns as part of their overarching integrated marketing campaign. With huge brands like Disney and Relativity Media investing heavily into influencer marketing, it’s become clear that Snapchat celebrities are the new social influencers.
A “Snapchat celebrity” is a very new concept. The platform itself is also new. Most of the Snapchat celebrities, however, are not: they migrated to Snapchat from an already successful social channel such as Vine or Youtube. They took an already flourishing fan base to a new medium, and continued to garner new followers.
Jerome Jarre (JeromeJarre) is a prime example of this. Jerome became Vine famous from his comical 6 second videos, and has successfully made the transition (almost exclusively) to Snapchat. Relativity Media hired him to create a series of 28 snaps to help promote their film, “The Best of Me.” In one day, the story (a collection of snaps) received a total of twenty-six million views and then, they were gone.
Snapchat celebrity Shaun McBride (Shonduras) is a rarity. He is known for being one of the first homegrown Snapchat influencers. It all began when his younger sisters begged him to join the new medium. He started drawing goofy yet elaborate drawings around his simple pictures. It turned out his sisters weren’t the only ones to respond well to his snaps. Each of his sponsored snaps are now costing brands a couple thousands dollars. He has recently completed campaigns for Disney’s “Frozen” and Major League Soccer.
Snapchat influencer Geeohsnap (the pseudonym of a Norwegian Snapchat artist) went viral in 2014. Geeohsnap’s “Random People Project” involves taking pictures of unsuspecting strangers and drawing an entire environment around them. The result is amazing and often hilarious. This Snapchat celebrity is one to watch.
Brittany Furlan (Brittanyjfurlan) was named Vine’s top female influencer. She has since moved over to Snapchat where she posts hilarious selfies and speaks about, well, whatever comes to mind. She is a bold personality that recently partnered with Universal to promote their new film, Unfriended.
Casey Neistat (caseyneistat) is a popular YouTuber who joined Snapchat for a new creative outlet. The fact that his content would disappear within seconds was artistically freeing for this well-known adventurer. He no longer took hours to think of the perfect content angle, and instead, took more risks. His contagious spirit for adventure has landed him plenty of sponsored gigs (including one for Nike’s #MakeItCount campaign that got over 14 million views). He snapped behind the scenes for the Oscars and went on to star in his own Mercedes Benz commercial.
Although emerging Snapchat celebrities can be difficult to find, it’s not impossible and they do exist, and like all viral matter online, people will find them and proceed to share. Big brands can no longer deny the power of the medium, and as a result, more influencers will emerge.