• Tessa May Marr

Snapchat: How To Use It And Why It's Kind Of Awesome (And Addicting)

snapchat social media marketing

You've all heard of Snapchat by now, I'm sure. The new app that's sweeping the nation of millennials with it's temporary photo messages and visual "stories". Most of us over the age of 22 roll our eyes when we see someone taking a "snap". We are way too busy and important for Snapchat. We don't have time for that silliness. But brands are paying close attention to this new network. We've said it before and we'll say it again--brands need to find out where their target market is hanging out, and elbow their way in there to join the conversation and get in front of the right people. You gotta play where your people play. And the younger generation are the future buyers--so brands need to get their attention!

What it is: A fun, new messaging app that allows you to share pictures and videos that disappear after up to 10 seconds.

Who it's best for: Ideal for personal brands. Are you a solo entrepreneur and a one-man show with a story to tell? This is the place for you! Other brands can use it as well, but the key is you have to have a VISUALLY interesting story to share. If you just have Snap after Snap of your desk and office chair, it's not going to be keep anyone's attention.

I've been personally trialing this platform for the last month or so, and I must admit, I'm addicted. It's fun! This is by far THE best tool we have to peak into someone's life and see what it's really all about. Celebrities like Jessica Alba are using it, and we get to see personal moments with her family, before and afters of getting glammed, silly faces that let her personality shine through and even behind the scenes at star-studded events! It's live. It's unedited (aside from a few fun filters). It's real. And that's what makes it so cool.

Another thing about Snapchat is it's hella confusing to figure out. Will Oremus of Slate complains that, at the ripe age of 32, it makes him feel old."...every time I try to use it, I feel like my father must have felt when I was 9 years old and challenged him to a game of Sonic the Hedgehog. I end up flustered and sweating, haplessly punching runic symbols in a doomed bid to accomplish the basic task of viewing my friends’ messages before they expire."

I feel like I've got a pretty good handle on it, although I'm discovering new features everyday (just figured something else out sitting poolside today which inspired me to write this) so I thought I'd share a few things I've learned about Snapchat thus far.

Send a snap

On the camera screen, once you take your photo or video, you click the arrow (bottom right corner) and then select who you want to send this to directly, and/or add to "Your Story" (a collection of all your "story" snaps for the past 24 hours).

Save your snap

I find myself using the Snapchat app more often than my camera app. I can filter, save and send a photo faster than ever before and without all the pressure and pretentious ties to it that Instagram has - no worries about a photo theme here!

Replay a snap

You have to do this quick, but right as soon as you're done watching one sent to you, you can touch and hold again to replay. It will notify the Snapper that their snap was replayed--and apparently this is a pretty big compliment. If you're watching a story and you miss one--no biggie! Once the story is over, go back into "All Stories" and enjoy the whole thing again!

Screenshot a snap

Beware! This will also notify the the Snapper that you've saved their image (which is awkward if you're saving a snap of your crush for leisurely gazing later...). How do you do this? Screenshot the same as you would anything else on your phone. But you have to be quick because remember, snaps only last a maximum of 10 seconds.

Delete your snap

Same as above, expand your story and then click on the snap you wish to delete. It will appear on your screen and you can use