Ok, so I’ll admit it…. when I first downloaded the Snapchat app, I had a quick look and decided it wasn’t for me. I didn’t really get it.
Like most people I’d heard it was popular with teenagers. I’d also heard it was being used to send photos of certain body parts due to the fact that the message could only be read once and then it disappeared forever.
But recently I gave it another try… and now I totally get it!
As Snapchat has expanded and added new features over the year, it has steadily climbed the ranks of social media and is now more popular among teenagers than Twitter, Facebook and even Instagram. The platform is consistently updating to keep itself interesting & fresh for users, while other social networks have mostly remained unchanged.
I remember a decade ago hearing that university students preferred Facebook over MySpace. I didn’t understand what Facebook could offer that MySpace didn’t so I kinda ignored it at first. And…. err… when did you last log into your MySpace account?!?!
So, what I’m saying is, if the tech-savvy teens are championing Snapchat, then there must be a reason. Plus, those teenagers will very shortly be in their twenties and could soon become your target audience if you’re a photographer or some other business looking to use social media to promote your brand.
But what you’re sharing on Snapchat should not be the same as what you share on other social media. The real unique thing about Snapchat is that you can post pictures or video clips (limited to just ten seconds) regularly but without it clogging up someone’s timeline. Imagine posting every ten minutes on Facebook or Instagram. Your friends and followers would quickly start to get tired of seeing too much content. The way Snapchat works that doesn’t happen anywhere near as much, and people actually opt in to see your posts. Snapchat allows people a real insight into your daily life but is also perfect for people who want to share ideas, converse with their audience in a more instantaneous fashion and show the real person behind the brand. You want to build up your story every day because it’s only gonna be there for 24 hours. Snapchat does not display the amount of followers you have so it’s not really how many followers you have that matters, but more how effectively you communicate with them!
The other important element of Snapchat is that your posts will not be there for all time. 24 hours after you post something…. it’s gone! And that’s actually a great thing. For one, it encourages your followers to check in with you daily if they don’t want to miss something. It also takes away the pressure that everything you post needs to stand the test of time. Some things don’t need to last forever. Check out the video below to see what I mean…
The other thing is that it makes you far more relatable to your audience. On Instagram and Facebook we see the edited version of people’s lives but on Snapchat your viewers want to see more of the real you. Be yourself, be honest and people will always be drawn to that. And that also builds trust with your audience. And trust means everything when you’re building your brand.
For me, I sometimes post behind the scenes stuff from my weddings/shoots. I post some of my editing techniques. I post about cool books or music I’ve discovered. I post live footage from concerts. But then I might show you what my kids are up to, what I’m doing on my days off or something completely random.
Of course there are ways to just have fun with Snapchat. Many of you will have seen the filters and animations. These are pretty amusing and can keep your kids distracted for hours. I have no problem posting something silly occasionally. After all, this time tomorrow it’ll be long gone 🙂
And then there’s the instant messaging side to Snapchat. You can make your posts available to all via the “My Story” option or you can send pics or video directly to individual followers. I like the fact that I can send messages as videos rather than just typing something out like I would on Facebook. It’s more interesting to the recipient and is almost faster than having to type it out.
Of course you can also see what some of your favourite celebrities are up to today… Rihanna, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lady Gaga, Calvin Harris, Kate Hudson, Jared Leto…. even The White House is on there now!
If you haven’t used it yet, I understand. I was hesitant at first too but I’ll assure you, if you don’t download the app now, you likely will down the road. There’s a reason why 23-year-old Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel turned down a $3 billion all-cash buyout from Facebook. He knows the value of this new social media platform. It has become the closest social medium to emulate real life. Don’t be late to the party!
Here are a few people that I follow on Snapchat that are using the app to its fullest potential..
And this is me!
***** SINCE POSTING THIS JOURNAL POST INSTAGRAM LAUNCHED ITS “STORIES”. BASICALLY A BLATANT RIP-OFF OF SNAPCHAT. *****
I’m not as fond of Instagram’s Stories at the moment but I do have a lot more followers there and so get much more interaction. At the time of writing I’m still using both but I can imagine a time where Instagram Stories takes over. Watch this space….