Taylor Nikolai's Snapchat stories give an inside look at his personal life. An early adopter to social media, he is one of the largest independent social media publishers in the world, with millions of engaged followers across a variety of niche-industry topics. He's now shifting his focus to being one of the largest Snapchat Influencers. His Snapchat accounts have been featured in WIRED, Business Insider, and other publications.
Can you tell us about how you started Snapchatting, and what attracted you to the platform in the first place?
I started Snapchatting on a personal level as a joke. To my surprise, people liked how silly I was being, and everything exploded from there. I've been involved in social media for many years now, and I viewed it as a platform that could transcend all others in its ability to achieve personal connection. I wanted to take what I'd already done and make it more personable, so Snapchat was the best course of action. I created different Snapchat accounts for different niches, and it was crazy to see how things grew.
Could you describe the style of content you create on Snapchat? What’s your process/approach?
The style of content I produce depends on the theme of the account. For the most part, I take a very direct and minimalist approach to my Snapchat stories, where I simply look at the camera and speak to the audience. I've found much more engagement in communicating directly with people rather than showcasing my surroundings.
Which brands or Snapchat channels have you been working with recently? Can you tell us a few things about these projects?
I've yet to do any substantial brand work on my Snapchat accounts. I haven't found the right fit yet for my audience. Instead, I like to collaborate (in order to cross-promote with) influencers like ProducerKCM and CyreneQ, who do fantastic work.
What does a ‘day in the life’ of Taylor Nikolai look like to your followers?
I'm not on Snapchat to show my daily life, I'm on it to tell stories. If I'm doing something interesting that can be developed into a full-fledged story, I'll do that, but for the most part I'm interested in keeping short-and-to-the-point snippets for people to watch. I find overexposure and saturation to be a large issue with loss of followers. People don't want to see everything in your daily life, they want to see stuff they're interested in.
How did you establish your presence on the platform and grow your follower base?
The most major growth I've seen on Snapchat is from cross-promotion and collaboration. The way I grew from zero was to promote from my own, already established, social media entities. The way I've been able to continue to grow is by collaborating with fellow Snapchatters who have engaging audiences.
What makes Snapchat different from other content-sharing platforms?
Snapchat is taking hold in every way imaginable right now: from communication to media distribution. It’s simply where the attention is.
Which brands or influencers do you follow for inspiration?
I get my biggest inspiration from YouTubers who have done fantastic content for many years. I'd say my biggest inspirations are Grace Helbig and Jenna Marbles. They know how to create a brand and hone an audience... and get them to stay.
What advice would you give to brands/people who are just starting out on Snapchat?
Be authentic. Use Snapchat. Tell a story with a beginning, middle, and end.
Finally, would you rather fight 1 horse sized duck or 100 duck sized horses?
This question is ridiculous to me because it would be incredibly easy to fight 100 duck-sized horses if I'm able to bring any sort of weapon. If I'm NOT able to bring a weapon, I can still imagine being able to kick a small horse across the room versus a large duck. Seriously, a big duck would be really hard to defeat in any circumstance.
TAYLOR'S SNAP CHALLENGE:
(AS SET BY MATPASZKIEWICZ)
Using the fast-forward filter, give us the "Snapchat edit" of a classic film - in under 10 seconds.
Taylor has set the challenge for our next influencer. Stay tuned!