Finally, the conversation I really want to have about Snapchat
The natural way to talk about social media is to talk about all the channels it offers us. Are you on Facebook? Do you use Instagram? Millennials hate Facebook/can’t leave Facebook/only want to use Instagram. We’ve all had those conversations and seen those headlines.
So when the conversations turns to, or even starts with, chat about channels I’ve been hearing different versions of the same thing since I signed up on Snapchat and started to enjoy it for the great channel it is. ‘Snapchat? I don’t use it but I hear that’s the one kids use to post naked pictures/videos to each other.’ An email from someone who I wanted to chat to about doing Snapchat for our local parkrun read ‘I don’t know much about Snapchat. Let’s chat after parkrun this weekend.’ Over coffee came the addition ‘I don’t know much about Snapchat except…’
And then it happened. This week I was chatting through social media strategy for a launch with a client. We’d covered off goals and content and talk turned to channels. ‘Snapchat…’ begins my client. I smile, thinking ‘here it comes…’ She continues — ‘I don’t use it and I don’t really know about it but let’s sign up for an account.’
Had I heard right? I paused to take it in. Had that just happened? I put myself back together and started with ‘I have an account, it’s a great channel and would be really suited to a lot of your content.’ And from there the conversation really began.
From my obsession (I don’t do hyperbole, I mean obsession, I’ll check the channel first every time I use the app) with the White House account to my insights into the lives of those people I’ve grown to know through the buffer slack community there is so much I love about Snapchat. Gary Vee’s daily grind and rants, Mike Vacanti’s insistence on taking the stairs, Jay Baer’s snap series ‘A Baer in the Woods’ which highlights wonderful customer service stories on and offline, the list just goes on and on.
Snapchat captures almost an enforced intimacy with your audience through it’s use of photo and video that you have to capture there and then in the app. It then shares this widely for a short 24 hour window. It gives you a direct path to the attention of your audience; they want to see what it is like in your world and share moments with you. It feels like pure engagement. I’ve watched highlights of the Oscars, Kobe Bryant’s last professional basketball game and reporting from Belgium after the recent terror attacks all through Snapchat that I would not have caught up with through traditional media.
I’m not sure what changed to make this week’s conversation possible but I’m very glad it did. I’m excited that Snapchat might now be on the table as a channel that can stand on it’s own merits and not just the gossip of its early days. With custom geofilters and snap swaps as new features there is so much to explore and I’m sure so much more to come. For clients that I work with this means new ways of engaging with and being where their audience is and ever more creative ways to use and create content.
If you’d like to follow any of the Snapchat accounts I mentioned then their usernames on Snapchat are as follows:
Gary Vaynerchuk — garyvee
Mike Vacanti — mikevacanti
Jay Baer — jaybaer
The White House — whitehouse
Me! Laura Winton — thatlaurawinton