If you’re anything like me, you probably read “snapchat” and groaned inwardly, right?!
It’s okay, today we’re a judgment-free zone.
I’ll totally admit to being super resistant to Snapchat. I mean, I heard a million times that companies like Snapchat and want bloggers to get on board, but how do you even use it?!
When I was in Nashville, everyone there had Snapchat and used it, so I was able to learn a bit more on how to even utilize the app and why it might be fun to use.
So, let’s get down to it…..
What IS Snapchat?
Snapchat started as a messaging app where you could send pictures or chat messages to friends. The big difference? These images/messages were only viewable once, and then they were gone. poof Well, unless someone took a screenshot, that is.
Snapchat has also introduceD stories, which are viewable for 24 hours and can be viewed an unlimited number of times.
And there are now live events on Snapchat. At CMA Fest there was a CMA feed where interesting snaps from the event were compiled together to be viewed. It’s like being there, even if you aren’t there.
How do I use it?
First, download the app and set up your account.
Next you’ll want to find people to follow, but unlike Twitter or Instagram where you can look at your friend’s feeds, this doesn’t happen in Snapchat. If you’ve verified your phone number, Snapchat can recommend people based upon your address book.
What if you want to follow someone and you don’t know their phone number? That’s where the ghost icon comes in.
Anyone wanting to follow me can just take a snap (ie. take a picture of the icon in Snapchat) of my icon and then you’ll be following me. You can also search by username, but you have you know the exact username for this to work.
My username is “cowgirlruns” if you were to search “cowgirl” or “cowgirl runs” nothing would come up for you.
To share your ghost, click on the ghost icon at the top of your screen and then take a screen shot of your ghost.
Now you start posting snaps.
If you want to send something goofy to just a few people, you’ll want to take your photo or 10 second video and then click on the arrow in the bottom right of the screen. From here you can select who you want to send the image to.
If you have an image saved in your camera roll, you can also send it to people, but you can’t send something in your camera roll to “My Story”. (This is probably the main reason why I’m not always awesome at sharing…..yet. I like to take pictures and do things with them later, but you can’t do that on Snapchat).
If you want to share something with everyone, then you click the box with the plus sign at the bottom of your screen (you can also use the arrow and send it to “My Story”). This will publish your snap for 24 hours and will be viewable by all of your friends for that 24 hour period.
Who should I follow?
Finding people to follow on Snapchat is tricky. I did a bit of searching because I wanted to know what accounts were interesting and to give me an idea on how to utilize Snapchat.
Here are a few of the accounts I found – just type the username into the search field and follow for yourself.
- The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon –> fallontonight
- Shonduras –> he posted a few stories with extreme luggage last week that were hilarious!
- ChrissyTiegen –> she’s awesome, so of course!
- LA Country Museum of Art –> lacma_museum
- Ellen –> ellen
- Mashable –> mashable
- POPSUGAR Must Have –> popsugarmh
Now, here’s the thing with Snapchat, unlike Twitter or Instagram where you can scroll through a feed to find what users have posted in the past, you can’t do that here. So you’ll follow someone and see nothing until they actually post to Snapchat.
When should I use it?
Snapchat can be used how you see fit.
You can create stories about what you’re doing in your life. I fully intended to use it this weekend for Color Me Rad, but a lot of times when I’m doing things, I’m doing them and am not focused on my phone.
A lot of people were using Snapchat at CMA Fest to take videos of the acts, or singing along, and probably us singing in the cab line…
I also like to post picture of Merlin on Snapchat…..I reason I can’t really post too many cat pictures to Instagram, but it’s perfectly okay to post goofy cat things on Snapchat; it really is like a no judgement zone.
Tomorrow I’m running a Canada Day race, if you follow me, you’ll likely get a sneak peek at the race before the recap goes up here. (If I remember, that is).
If you want to save your stories, you can also download them to your phone, so when they disappear into the unknown, you’ll still have a copy.
How would a blogger get Snapchat opportunities?
I owe Jen for asking me this question – because it’s a great question. Basically, why the heck should I care?!
Here was my response to Jen…
I feel like the use of Snapchat will depend on how the live feed and “Discover” feed works. Similar to adding snaps to the live feed of an event, I could see brands eventually adding snaps to a brand live feed, or using our snaps in the discover field as well.
(Discover is the purple circle in the top right when you’re viewing people’s stories. If you click that, you can see curated stories from select brand partners. It’s currently limited to 12, but I could see that expanding and somehow using bloggers/social sharing) There are also some snaps you can share from the Discover feed as well, which can be fun.
[Tweet “Wondering how best to use #snapchat? C’mon by for a tutorial!”]
If you’re on Snapchat, follow me and I’ll follow you back!
Follow me and should out any questions in the comments – or send me a snap!
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