If you own an iPhone, open up iMessages to view your keyboard. Click on the emoji button and take a look at which emojis you frequently use. If one these emojis is not the “key “ emoji, you may be missing out on the most successful takeover of Snapchat to date.
If you’re still wondering what I’m talking about, do yourself a favor and go follow DJ Khaled on Snapchat as soon as possible. Grab a pen and paper, watch as many of his stories as you can, and take notes.
For the past few weeks DJ Khaled has completely taken over Snapchat with his motivating messages and images of what luxury looks like when you reach success. He tells us what the numerous “keys to success” are, and it’s beginning to seem that everything under the sun is a key. His wisdom becomes redundant, but nonetheless it’s brilliant.
I was talking with a friend the other day about his domination on Snapchat, and he was saying how unbelievable it is that someone like this can reach such a life of luxury. He could not believe how silly it all seemed and told me, “I hope he is just kidding us all.”
And then it hit me what he’s actually doing. He actually may be kidding with us.
First of all, who is DJ Khaled? What’s his claim to fame? Truthfully, as someone who personally saw him in concert years ago, I couldn’t even tell you. I know he’s a figure in the hip-hop community, but I couldn’t tell you what he does or how he got there. He’s associated with some of the biggest names in the industry, and has put out a few albums featuring some of the most prominent rappers in history such as Drake, Lil’ Wayne, and T.I., all without rapping a single verse.
I later realized that he is a producer and truly is a DJ, one that puts on a pretty decent show. On top of this, he’s behind a restaurant and a clothing line called “WE THE BEST.” But his name was forgotten to me for the past few years. It seems his hype diminished, until now.
If you’ve been on any other social media platform aside from Snapchat recently, its likely you’ve seen references to DJ Khaled’s inspirational stories. Countless memes have been made with his quotes, but almost in a trolling way. People are laughing at this guy like, “Look at this idiot,” while he’s probably saying the same thing about them while he relaxes in his new $3.8 million mansion.
I’ve heard a few times now how “lucky” DJ Khaled is and how much of a “joke” his recent rise to fame is. But I respect it so much. DJ Khaled is a self-proclaimed hustler, and that’s exactly what he’s doing now. If you think for one second that every Snapchat and social media post isn’t carefully planned and measured meticulously, you’re dead wrong.
I’m not sure if he has a marketing team behind him that he hired to get his name circulating again or not, but whatever he planned is working exceptionally well. He has the “key” emoji attached to his username, and even his own Snapchat filter you can use to decorate your own messages as the Snapchat headquarters have begun admire with bewilderment.
He’s taking advantage of the best thing that’s happened for entrepreneurs and hustlers everywhere. He’s building an audience on a social platform, better than anyone has done so far, and is beginning to monetize it. It is exactly what Joe Pulizzi talks about in his new book, Content Inc. Anyone these days can build a following around a particular niche and build a business off of it. Having a monetization strategy form the beginning is even unnecessary. I’m not even sure DJ Khaled had this in mind at first. The key to DJ Khaled’s success, however, is that he is establishing a relationship with his followers everyday, rather than just pushing them to buy what he’s selling.
My theory is that he wanted to just get his name back out there, perhaps before releasing an album or heading on tour. Now that he has this cult following behind him, people that admire and trust him, he’s giving them something else of value. He’s now selling t-shirts printed with his aphorisms, even selling “Bless Up” flip-flops.
Perhaps he even has a deal with Ciroc, as you see he recommends drinking Ciroc Green Apple to “celebrate success” at lunch everyday. Green Apple Ciroc is the newest flavor of the liquor, and it’s receiving all of the advertising attention currently (including a huge painting on a brick wall overlooking Penn Station in NYC; yes I bought a bottle after seeing this). Also another hip-hop superstar, P. Diddy, is a large part of the liquor company, so it is very likely hip-hop starts struck a deal together.
Thinking about the uses for each social media platform in terms of monetization, I always wondered how Snapchat could be utilized. It proves to be one of the toughest to leverage because there’s nowhere to post direct links, and each message and story expires at some point. I was patiently waiting to see who could crack the code, and it seems that it has finally been done.
Snapchat users either love or hate DJ Khaled’s takeover, but even the people that hate it find themselves watching his Snapchat stories daily. I even find his quotes to get a little tiring, but I watch in admiration and respect with a curious mind. How can I apply his strategy to my projects?
Hate him or love him, or both at the same time. I know I will be watching him everyday in an attempt to dissect his plans and to see if he ever breaks character. I truly wonder how he’s going to ride out this takeover and what his plans are for after. Whatever his intentions are, he’s gained at least one new fan here.
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