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How To Use SnapChat for Old Farts

HOW TO USE SNAPCHAT

Many of us can look back to time in our youth that we were possibly influenced by our close friends to try something that we may not have considered on our own.  Now, this doesn’t always pertain to leading one down a dark, treacherous path. No, it also can have a bright and promising future as well. I am here to tell you that I too recently felt a subtle (maybe not so subtle) push from some friends, and I stepped into a new space within social media. I am now on SnapChat. Before you get all worked up about its supposed purpose lets talk about the platform, how it works and honestly why this Old Fart kind of likes SnapChat and what it can do for you.
SnapChat started out as a video and image messaging app where the messages self-destructed within a few seconds. Now, this may have lead to the rapid popularity among the younger, less inhibited segment of the population. But, SnapChat as a platform has grown considerably and does offer some unique characteristics as a type of instant messaging app. From a business perspective, there is little in the way of analytics regarding who is viewing our “Snaps” as they call them or how that content is being used. What is does, however, is  increased the level of intimacy within the communication. You are recording quick little video snippets to share back and forth. The way I choose to use SnapChat currently is in the way of a “Snap Story”. You take a series of public snaps and piece them together. Your “Story” gives people a backstage look into your life or story. It is intimate, real and unfiltered.  The personal touch is what appeals and fascinates both young and old and why it is worth looking into SnapChat and how it works.

How To Create a Snap

First, decide if you want to take a photo or video. If you choose a photo, simply take the pic then you can customize the photo. You can add graphics, emoticons, text and so on. If you have a bit more of a flair for art (which I do not) you can draw on the photo as well. All of these features are displayed right on the main screen and are visible with your photo. Once complete you can share this to your “Story” by clicking on the icon that looks like a square with a + button. If the photo were meant for a particular individual before snapping the photo, you would identify the recipient of the picture; proceed with the Snap and then click the forward button which is the arrows on the right side of the screen.
If a video is a more suitable form of media, then you follow the same steps as the picture just simply record your 10-second video and share. Important to mention within the creation process are the filter options. Sure there are the traditional color options like black/white, sepia and so on when you swipe to the left. However when you swipe to the right, you get other quick information filters at your disposal. Filters like geo-filters, which can be customized and purchased for specific events. Imagine you attend a concert and the band creates and purchases a geo-filter which you can tag the event within the Snap. Also, there is a time filter, which is a time stamp that allows you piece your story’s timeline as you go. It’s best to play around in the app and see which works best for you and your message. To access the management features of SnapChat swipe down on the screen. This will show your snapcode which is a QR code that is unique to your profile. So a potential follower can snap a photo of your snapcode, and it will subscribe them to your account. Your unique snapcode can be integrated into other platforms like Facebook, Instagram and so on. You can also add friends from your address book as well. Astonishingly the bulk of the growth comes from this relatively manual process of finding and following those you are seeking. By allowing multiple layers of quick detailed content it forces your audience to pay close attention. Your Snap will only be viewable for 24 hours. The power of the platform is it requires your community to stay engaged in what it is you are trying to communicate. We live in a time of data or information overload. SnapChat in its unique way forces us to pause and focus on the content being shared, and that is why SnapChat has its purpose within the world of social media. There are plenty of experts that are firm in their belief that SnapChat is powerful to leverage in your business. My advice? Download the app, give it a try and do as I am doing and learn as you go. Tell your snap story! Unitl next time, have fun stormin’ the castle!

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