Get on Snapchat!

Logo for the social network Snapchat

The most fun I have had on a phone app in a while has been on Snapchat. You get such a personal view of so many people and events. For the NBA Finals this year, I watched a few games through short Snapchat clips. I did the same thing with a France soccer match in the Euros. I really think Snapchat present unique business opportunities, that’s why if you are not currently:

Get on Snapchat!

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is a social channel that is somewhat similar to texting on your phone. You take pictures or videos and send them to individual people or put them in your story (more on this below). You can also message people in your contacts — just like texting. Once you send a picture or video to someone, it disappears after they see it or it lasts 24 hours on your story. I just read this article which said this is changing very soon to allow you to store things for others to view so we shall see what happens.

How Do You Get It?

Snapchat is only available on your phone, there is not web application (like with Twitter, Facebook or Instagram). It is available on Android ( )and iOS app stores. You download it from the app store and sign up with an account.

How Do You Add People?

Anyone in your contacts list that also has a Snapchat account can be added in the app. You can also add people not in your contacts as long as you have their username or Snapcode. Snapcodes are unique to every profile, scannable codes. Once you have a Snapchat account and you are in the app, your Snapcode is located in the center of your Profile Screen, found by tapping on the ghost icon in the upper center of the camera screen. You can add friends or open Snapchat content by scanning a Snapcode using the Snapchat camera. You can also screenshot someone’s Snapcode and use the “Add by Snapcode” feature on the add friends page to add a new friend.

How Do You Use It?

Start snapping! A good video tutorial is here. I think the best way to familiarize yourself with Snapchat is to just start using it. Start taking photos and videos. I learned by taking a picture or video and then interacting with the little icons that show up on the screen. If you want to take a photo, press the camera icon once (similar to taking a picture on an iPhone). If you want to take a video, you need to press and hold the camera button. You have about 10 seconds to make something memorable when you take a video.

How Do You Share Something?

Once you take a photo or video, you can share it with your Snapchat contacts individually or through your story. After you take a picture or video, press on the blue icon at the bottom right of the screen. On the next screen, at the very top it will say “My Story” before all your contacts. Press on that, a blue banner appears at the bottom, press the banner and it will share to your story. Repeat this same process with sharing with individual contacts as well.

Selfie Filters and Geo-Filters

When you have the camera in selfie mode, you press and hold on your face and different filters will show up (mine below is rainbow tongue). You can take videos or photos. You never know what filters are going to show up because Snapchat mixes it up quite a bit.

Snapchat rainbow tongue geofilter

Snapchat rainbow tongue geofilter

Whether you are in selfie mode or not, after you take a photo or video, you can put a geo-filter on it. This simply means that you can start swiping and different filters will show up depending on your location. I live in Holland, MI, so a tulip filter shows up (because we have a lot of tulips). If I was in New York, different geo-filters would show up.

Snapchat community geofilter for Holland, MI with tulips

Snapchat community geofilter for Holland, MI with tulips

So What Does This Mean For Your Business?

You have a really good opportunity to be different and stand out. Since I found out about Snapchat, I have been looking at a lot of companies to see if they have accounts or promote them. Very few do. There is a hole right now in the market that, from talking to some people, companies are hesitant to take advantage of.

Snapchat can be an intimidating platform because it’s so different than Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc… Snapchat is more abstract and I can understand a company’s hesitation to dive in. But, like I mentioned on Wednesday, Snapchat has 150 million daily active users and this only keeps going up.

There is new research out that more and more adults are using Snapchat (not just teens). This presents a great opportunity if you can differentiate with the platform. I will be exploring this more to try to understand the most effective way to use Snapchat. Just try it for yourself, I swear you will have a blast!


tips from the trenches by ERP 101 small business resource center logo

Find Clayton Here:


I share social media basics and success stories, press the heart button if you will get on Snapchat.

Even though I write this on every post, thanks for reading.