I’m on Snapchat. Now What?

You have probably been hearing a lot about Snapchat around work. Your kids are most likely on it and celebrities and companies around the world are snapping away.  If you haven’t jumped on board with this social media platform…it’s time. I know what some of you are thinking: “Isn’t it for sending naked pictures?” I’m sure that people still do, but businesses and social media influencers do not do that. Now that your concern is cleared up, grab your phone and download the free app.

Getting Started?
Once you have downloaded Snapchat, you create a profile name and begin following your friends. Go to your home page and click on “Add Friends.” If you know the username you can type it in. You can also find any of your friends who are on Snapchat through your address book. The third feature works if you are near someone who has Snapchat and you want to become friends with them, click “Add Nearby.” They will have to do it too and voilla.

You can also add a picture to your profile. Click on the ghost and take a photo. It will take a series of photos so feel free to make a couple of poses.

Start Snapping
You will have to play around with it for a bit by swiping up, down, left and right to get used to the app. Now you are ready to start snapping away. There are two ways that you can use Snapchat.

1) You can send a picture or ten-second video to one of your friends on Snapchat. They are the only ones who can see it and will have one opportunity to replay it. If they take a screen shot of your snap, you will get a notification. Think of this like sending a text to your friend.

2) You take a picture or ten-second video and post it to “My Story.” Unlike the snap that you sent to your friends, your story can be viewed for 24 hours. At the bottom of the picture and video, you can decide how long the snap appears from one second to ten seconds.

Each time you add a picture or video, your followers will see that you have added a snap to your story. You want to do multiple pictures and videos…afterall it’s your story for the day. Just like your phone, the camera can be turned away or towards you. You have limited space for text, but there are ton of emoji’s. You also have multiple filters to use. Just swipe to the left to see your options.

Show Value
You have an opportunity to take your customers, prospects, influencers and friends through a day in your life. For example, if you are a restaurant owner, take your followers behind the scenes. What do you have going on in the kitchen? Show your bartender making a drink. What’s today’s special? Show a quick staff meeting, Take them to the farmer’s market with you, offer a daily cooking or entertaining tip, hold a promotion (the first five people to screen shot this snap wins a $25 gift card to your restaurant.) Make sense?

Mix it up
When you are snapping, change up the filters and text. Take a mix of photos and videos. And don’t sell! I can not stand it when I connect with people on social media and all they want to do is sell me their product or service. Make sure to involve your team and your clients. This is your opportunity for people to get to know the real you.

Should I Just Focus on Snapchat?
Snapchat is a spectacular way to showcase a day in the life, capture a different audience and offer creative promotions. But, do not just use Snapchat. Do not abandon the rest of your social media. Each platform has a purpose. You should be using each social media channel in a different way. Think of Snapchat as an additional tool, not a replacement for the rest of your social media.

Make Time
Please do not tell me that you don’t have time. I know. I know. Believe me, I know. The answer is simple – you have to make time. Social media is not going away and if you don’t embrace it. If you don’t your business will fail. So, jump on board and get on Snapchat. Don’t forget to follow me @AlisonMayPr and Kyle Reyes, CEO and President of The Silent Partner Marketing @DaSilentPartner. Kyle’s are a bit more outrageous than mine! Happy snapping!

Alison Podworski is the owner of Alison May Public Relations. The former journalist is also a moderator and keynote speaker on public relations, reputation management, social media and crisis communications.  You can find Alison on TwitterFacebookInstagram,Pinterest, BlabGoogle Plus and on Snapchat @AlisonMayPR.

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Alison Podworski is the President and CEO of Alison May Public Relations. She is a former news reporter, who has worked throughout the Northeast at television stations in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Alison uses her expertise in journalism to educate her clients in media training and crisis communications. She has garnered coverage for her clients in media outlets such as NBC News, MNSBC, Huffington Post, Aol.Com and The Washington Post. The entrepreneur is also a moderator and keynote speaker on topics including public relations, reputation management and social media.