Could Snapchat become your new business card?
In February of 2017, I tried to order a sample packet of 10 business cards with my name and contact information from one of my favorite vendors. However, they were no longer offering sample packets and only offered 50 cards for $20 (plus shipping). I didn’t want or need 50 business cards, but I really wanted to have them, especially since I spent 2 hours choosing a design that I thought would be great to have on a business card. I was also attending the Startup Crawl in Austin during South By Southwest and was hoping to make an impression. Well, it is almost the end of June 2017, I handed out 20 cards, but no one reached out to me. Which is not a bad thing, since I was originally marketing myself as an Independent Human Resources Business Partner, and I no longer want to be involved in HR. $20 (plus the cost of shipping) down the drain, two hours of my life have been wasted, and stock paper with my information will now have to be shredded. Business cards in a digital world seem to be a waste of time, productivity, and resources.
So why do we have business cards? For a lot of people, it serves a very important business purpose. This small piece of beautifully designed paper is a way for a potential employer, client, or investor to get in touch with you. People can take the design of their business card very seriously, with almost a Patrick Bateman-esque admiration. Unfortunately, those beautifully crafted, self-inspiring business cards are ending up in recycling bins and being given away like coupons at a grocery store. In short, the value of the business card seems to have faded away like a paper resume.
Digital versions of business cards have tried to break into the business mainstream. NFC, QR Code, and countless apps that don’t seem to have that je ne sais quoi. That is until the folks over at Snapchat came up with their Snapcode. A Snapcode can be personalized and once you are connected with a Snapchat user, it makes it easy to contact them.
How do you use a Snapcode?
You pull out your phone
Open the Snapchat app
Show your Snapcode to that person
He/She takes a picture of your Snapcode
They now have your information via Snapchat
The Snapcode is a great Snapchat feature, but also consider these benefits if you use Snapchat to replace your traditional business card:
Snapchat is always with you
Since it is an app on your mobile device, you will not have to remember to bring your business cards to networking events.
Snapchat has all the basic features of a business card
Business cards have traditionally been used to have a potential employer, client, or investor, contact you. When you share your Snapchat details, a user will be able to message you, call you, and even video chat with you. This is a great benefit, especially since…
Snapchat is more private than your business card
Your business card, with your name, phone number, email address, etc, can get lost. At best, your card ends up in a trash can, at worst it can end up in the hands of a scammer who will try to lure you to a nonexistent job and take your hard-earned money.
Even if your phone number changes, email, or other contact details change. Your Snapchat username and Snapcode stay the same. Which is great because….
Snapchat is free
Even though business cards are more affordable now than they ever were, many people can’t afford business cards or believe that the cost of the business cards are greater than the benefit received (a negative return). Since Snapchat is a free app, and most people (even those with modest means) already have smart phones, it may be worth using Snapchat as a digital business card. Job titles change, phone numbers change, even names change, it takes time to make changes to business cards, well…
Snapchat is customizable
Your contact information, Snapcode, and even your account is customizable. Unlike Facebook, you can have two accounts on Snapchat using the same mobile device. You can create a custom Snapchat account that you can use only for business purposes. Sure, you may be giving a stranger some access into your life, but you know what…
It develops a personal connection
Business cards have had a history of being able to develop a personal connection with a stranger. It used to be carried only by wealthy and important people (because they were so expensive), those who received a business card knew they had made an impression. In today’s digital age, a potential employer or client will look you up on Google and it is likely you already have a LinkedIn page. Our professional lives and personal lives are digitally merging, whether we like it or not it is already happening.
Using Snapchat as a business card may rekindle that entrepreneurial spirit, it can show confidence to others. It may give you an edge with a potential employer, client, or investor, it shows that you are knowledgeable in mobile applications, it shows that you are interested in them, not just in their business.
Snapchat may not be for everyone, but it is here, so we might as well use it.