Gain your audience’s full attention.

Although it has has been known to be popular with the younger generation (teens-early twenties), Snapchat is quickly becoming known as one of the best converters of attention of all social media platforms. And despite the fact that the user interface takes home the award for being user unfriendly, once you get beyond the learning curve, it will become second nature to you as well.
With successful marketing gurus like Gary Vaynerchuck pushing it hard, you can’t take the trend lightly.
Needless to say, Snapchat is here and it’s quickly growing users both for personal and professional reason, but why?
Why is this platform gaining traction? Let me tell you from a logo designers perspective.

It’s raw

Honestly, this is one of the best guilt-free platforms where you don’t feel the need to polish what you’re sharing. It’s quite refreshing knowing there isn’t the expectation for you to Photoshop an image, or build some sort of scene for your viewers. The idea behind posting a picture or a video that only lasts 10 (tk) seconds  and it only being available for 24 hours means it needs to be quick and dirty.
Lighting is probably not the greatest, the audio isn’t always the best, but your viewers are expecting that and they aren’t going to think any less of you for it.

Great for Behind the Scenes

Because this format is meant to be raw, it provides the best platform to share your behind the scenes.

Show how you set up a photoshoot, share a quick tutorial with something you’re working on. Maybe something didn’t go as planned, but you can share a lesson about how you’re overcoming an obstacle.
Sharing is just a matter of grabbing your phone, taking a photo or hitting record and publishing it.
The best part? People eat up this real version of you like crazy. They love seeing what you’re working on and how you make something look so good.

Snapchat is great showing the steps you take to get to that polished Instagram post they usually see from you

Snapchat Example 1

It’s an attention hog

One of the greatest features Snapchat has is it fills the whole screen and demands your full attention.

Compare this to Facebook – as a person is scrolling through their feed, your post is just mixed in with a bunch of other people’s posts and a ll of them are fighting for the viewer’s attention. Add in the ads on the page and your audience’s attention is easily hooked on something other than your meaningful post.
Now with Snapchat, when they go to view something you have shared, it takes up their entire screen. That means it is the only thing they see and hear from their phone – no other distractions.

The demand for urgency

When you post to your story, it will only be available for 24 hours. Once that time is up, the post is gone. Forever.
As long as you have a good output, your audience will be there to consume from you on a regular basis. It’s as easy as that.

Curate what you share

As I have mentioned before about social media, it’s important to curate what you share. If you aren’t sharing meaningful content, you aren’t going to build a meaningful audience.

To help them remember you, your audience is going to put you in a box. You need to help them define that box so they remember you for what you want to be known for.
Sure, you can share videos of your cats, but do you want to be known as the cat person, or do you want to be known for showing great, quick tutorials on how to vectorize sketches?

Your brand is how people perceives you and curating what you share will help your audience remember you the way you want them to.

Gaining followers

One of the biggest complaints – at least at the time of writing this – is that there isn’t a native way to browse for users in Snapchat. That means, you need to find other ways for people to find and add you.
The best way to do this is use other platforms to inform your audience that you are using Snapchat.
Share your snap code on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Let people know in the footer of your emails and mention it on your website.
Get creative in letting people know you are on Snapchat and don’t stop and they’ll start following you.
As you gain new followers on other platforms, they might not know that you are on Snapchat, so continue to remind your audience that you are there and you will see your audience on Snapchat grow.

Overcome the Learning Curve

I will admit, the learning curve for Snapchat is initially pretty steep. It was one of the reasons why it took me a little while to start using it, but once I found out how to use it, it became second nature. To really get a hang of it, you just need to experiment with it and tap every button to see what it does.
One of the best posts I have read on why Snapchat is great and how to use it is on Gary Vaynerchuck’s blog (check it out here).
It is now slightly out of date, so here is a -fairly- quick rundown to get you going:

“Home Screen” (Example 1)

After initial setup, every time you start up the app, the first screen that comes up is for capturing (making it super easy to point and shoot on the fly).

You’ll notice the normal circular capture button at the bottom of the screen (1). If you touch it, it will take a picture. If you hold it down, it will record video up to 10 seconds. Some of the other buttons are fairly self-explanatory flash (5) and switching between selfie and regular camera (6).

While recording:

  • Double-tap on the screen to switch from front-facing camera to the back and vice versa.
  • Swipe one finger from the bottom of the screen up toward the top to zoom in (and back down to zoom out
Snapchat Example 1

Example 1 – Home

Preview Screen (Example 2)

Once you have recorded or taken a picture, you’ll see a preview of what you’re about to send. There are a ton of options on this screen. Some are easy to understand, others require some experimentation. I recommend just playing around with them to see how much they work.

I will say the two most important buttons are the Add to Story (1) and Send (2) which will take you to a screen to choose who you want to send your snap to.

Protip: while on the preview screen, you can apply filters by swiping either left or right.

Snapchat Example 1

Example 2 – Preview

Profile Screen (Example 3)

From the initial screen, swiping down or tapping the ghost in the top center (2 in Ex. 1) will take you to your profile screen. Here, you’ll see:

  • Your snap code and profile animation (3)
  • Your user name
  • Added me (shows who has recently added you)
  • Add Friends (these are the people you want to follow)
  • My Friends – a list of the people you follow
  • The trophy at the top center (1) takes you to your trophy case which you unlock as you use Snapchat and its various features.
  • The gear in the top right (2) takes you to your settings where you can edit your account and get more information on the app.
Snapchat Example 1

Example 3 – Profile

Stories (Example 4)

From the initial screen, tapping the square in the bottom right (6) or swiping right will take you to the stories screen. You’ll find:

  • My Story – your uploads from the 24 hours. This is what your followers can see at that given time.
  • Discover – companies who have a Snapchat team sharing content. This area will probably grow in the near future as more people and businesses use Snapchat to share content.
  • Live – Current events across the world that are happening
  • Recent Updates – This is the content being shared by the people you follow. The person who has uploaded the most recent published content is at the top. As you scroll, you’ll notice a small purple box on the right show you how long ago that person has published something (also says it below their name).
Snapchat Example 1

Example 4 – Stories

Chat (Example 5)

From the initial screen, tapping the square in the bottom left or swiping left will take you to the chat section of the app. Here, you’ll find a list of all the people that follow you and you follow. You can interact with them directly by swiping their name to the right.

If that person is following you, you can send them either a normal snap (picture or video), live chat with them via video or text, and even send them goofy emojis.

Remember, anything you send them will only be available for 24 hours.

Snapchat Example 1

Example 5 – Chat

Jump in!

So now you know why you should use it, and now you know how to use it. What are you waiting for?

Join the revolution and have fun!

Be sure to add me and send me a snap so I know you have joined. I’d love to hear from you and send you a Snap too!

Are you still unsure about Snapchat, or just can’t get the hang of it? Let me know in the form below and let’s get you started!

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