Above: DJ Diplo on stage at the @ExitFestival (Image by Momcilo Grujic, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
Watching DJ Diplo’s story on Snapchat is like the next best thing to flying around the world in your own private jet. Even if you never have the chance to experience one of the Grammy-nominated DJ’s raucous live shows, you can get (almost) the full experience by following him on Snapchat. Diplo has taken to using the mobile photo and video messaging platform to document everything from his daily life to his performances. The result? An uncensored, unadulterated glimpse into the life of a regular guy who turned his DJ skills into a $13-million-dollar-a-year career.
Snapchat’s Stunning Success
Snapchat made waves late last year when it raised nearly $500 million from investors. It’s a jaw-dropping amount, but it’s also pennies compared to the $19 billion estimate that some say Snapchat is worth. The app is popular among 13 – 23 year olds, an age group that also happens to be a very lucrative demographic for marketers as well. Not only that, since the platform’s release in 2011, its popularity has exploded. In May 2014, the app’s users were sending 700 million photos and videos per day, and content in Stories was being viewed 500 million times per day.
Two Tips for Snapchatting the Diplo Way
There’s no way to tell how many followers Diplo has on Snapchat, but he does have more than 1.3 million followers on Twitter and another 1.6 million Facebook fans. With numbers like that, it’s probably safe to say that he has a fairly healthy following on Snapchat as well, especially because he’s also good at cross-promoting himself on outlets where he is already popular. As Snapchat grows, the race is on for brands and companies to use the app to their advantage. That’s where Diplo comes in. Here are two key takeaways straight from the man himself.
1. Use Snapchat to go behind the scenes
Diplo does this well through the Stories feature, which allows users to build a narrative feed of photo and video clips that each disappear after 24 hours. His story frequently includes clips of his toddler son, selfies with emojis superimposed over his face and photos of the crowd during his DJ sets. In this way, viewers get a “behind the scenes” look at Diplo’s life.
He may be a resident DJ at the Wynn Las Vegas and supposedly dating Top 40 pop powerhouse Katy Perry, but Diplo is also just a regular guy who plays with his son, sits in traffic and shops for groceries. Snapchat lends itself to authenticity and capturing life as it happens, and Diplo uses this to his advantage. Viewers feel more connected to the DJ because he is just like them, and that sense of connection has proven to be a valuable tool in helping him cultivate his ever growing fanbase. Best of all, watching Diplo’s story feels almost like you’re right there hanging out with him throughout the day. One minute you’re watching him play with his son at a playground, and the next minute you’re watching him pose with models right before he plays a sold-out show at a Las Vegas nightclub.
2. Use Snapchat to deliver exclusive content
Snapchat also offers a great way to tease content or preview new material. Diplo used the platform to tease a new Jack Ü track, which is his side project with fellow DJ Skrillex. The song, featuring Missy Elliott, was posted on February 17 this year and has since racked up more than 2 million plays on SoundCloud. Be careful, though. Just because the medium itself is temporary doesn’t mean people’s reactions to the content will be. The 9-second preview clip on Snapchat sparked controversy because as the song played, Diplo showed a GIF made by artist Rebecca Mock without attributing any credit to her. A social media firestorm ensued, and Diplo ultimately released an apology to Mock. Despite the controversy, the clip was just one more valuable avenue to promote the new track and release exclusive content to Diplo’s followers, which was arguably worth the drama. After all, if Madonna did it first, it can’t be all bad, right?
As with much of social media, the goal is to level the playing field between the producer and the consumer. People now expect to communicate with brands and celebrity figures on a personal level via social media channels, and Snapchat has proven to be a unique and intimate way for marketers to connect to their audiences. If you decide to try Snapchat for your brand, remember to be authentic, be sincere and have fun. Attending a Diplo performance probably wouldn’t hurt either.