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Snapchat Tips for Newbies

  • March 3, 2016
  •   Posted By Katie Lance
Snapchat Tips for Newbies
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Are you on Snapchat yet?

I’ll be honest, I was very hesitant to jump on Snapchat because I didn’t understand how it could be used for business. But in the last few weeks I’ve started to really get interested in Snapchat to see where the opportunities are for brands and their social media strategies. Once I jumped on Snapchat myself, I got it!

Snapchat is a very real platform, meaning it’s in the moment and authentic. As a social media strategist, I believe this is where the future of social media is headed. I think people are tired of only seeing the best version of ourselves – the filtered Instagram photos or the highlights of our life on Facebook. Not that Facebook and Instagram doesn’t have an important place in your social media strategy – I just see a different type of authenticity with Snapchat. With apps like Periscope and Snapchat, we are getting more raw interactions, something I think people are craving.

Another reason I was hesitant about Snapchat is because the content disappears after 24 hours. I didn’t understand the point of spending time to create content that was just going to disappear. But now that I’m on the platform, I realize that Snapchat is not about creating these beautiful pieces of content that are going to last forever and ever. Rather, it’s about capturing small snippets throughout your day that help to tell the story of who you are. I’m a big believer in the power of using social media to craft your story and showing people what it’s like to work with you – which is why I now believe that Snapchat is an amazing platform and I would encourage you to integrate it into your social strategy.

Okay, so let’s go over some of the basics:

Your profile. First, let’s take a look at your Snapchat profile. Unique to Snapchat, your profile photo is a series of 4 photos which creates a moving GIF. You’ll also find on your profile your snapcode. This is one of the easiest ways for people to find and connect with each other on the platform. This is why you may be seeing screenshots of snapcodes being shared on other social networks.

Your Snapchat profile features a unique profile photo made up of 4 photos.

Your Snapchat profile features a unique profile photo made up of 4 photos.

Connecting with other Snapchatters. You can search by username or by Snapcode. If you see someone’s snapcode online like on Twitter or Facebook, you will want to save that Snapcode to your Camera Roll in your phone. Then, when you go to Snapchat, click ‘Add Friends’, ‘Add by Snapcode.’ You will then see your Camera Roll and you can then easily add someone as a friend by clicking on their Snapcode.

Your followers. Another unique thing about Snapchat is that it’s not really about how many friends or followers you have. In fact, if you click through to your friends list you’ll notice they don’t give you a number. They do offer a feature called Best Friends, which are people you interact with frequently.

Your Best Friends in Snapchat are the people you interact with most often.

Your Best Friends in Snapchat are the people you interact with most often.

Snap basics. Alright, now it’s time to snap! Snaps can be photos or videos up to 15 seconds. When you go to snap, you are basically doing one of two things: sending a snap to one person or sending a snap to your story. Your story is something you can contribute to and it will share your snaps for the past 24 hours. Most of the time, this is how I am using Snapchat.

Your Snapchat story. Your story is a great way to showcase a behind-the-scenes look at your life and business. Check out my story on Snapchat to see how I’ve been using it. One very powerful feature of your story is the ability to see who has viewed your content. To do this, click on your story and then click the eye icon to view the list.

Snapchat is unique in that you can see who has viewed your snaps.

Snapchat is unique in that you can see who has viewed your snaps.

Here are a few features to know about creating your snaps:

Add text, drawings or an emoji to your snap. Click the ‘T’ icon in the top right corner to add text to your snap. You can move and resize the text by simply dragging and dropping. To draw on your snap select the pencil icon in the top right corner. The third icon will allow you to add an emoji.

Simply add text, emojis or drawings to your snap.

Simply add text, emojis or drawings to your snap.

Add additional features by swiping left to right. This will pull up features such as the clock and temperature as well as cityscapes.

Fun filters can be applied by tapping the screen and holding for a moment. These are silly filters that change out regularly. It adds a very fun element to Snapchat!

Now that you’ve created your profile, connect with some friends, and started snapping – now what?

What to Snap? Now, you want to think about what type of content you want to share on Snapchat. You may want to share a ‘behind-the-scenes’ sneak peek into your day, quick tips and lessons learned, promote your other channels (i.e. a new blog post or Periscope,) funny or silly moments, and more.

Looking for inspiration? Here are 15 of my favorite people I follow on Snapchat – search some of these usernames!

  1. billrisser – snaps about real estate, Phoenix (and golf too) 🙂
  2. blakec432 – snaps about life, writing, social media, #sadsingingsunday and more (he’s one of the most engaging guys on Snapchat!)
  3. brandymariejay – snaps about Napa, social media, cooking and her family
  4. chocjohnny – snaps about his brick and mortar chocolate shop in Australia
  5. danandmoore – snaps about his Australian adventures
  6. deanoullette – snaps about Chandler, AZ real estate, dad-life, real estate and business tips
  7. garyvee – snaps about digital media, social media, and his day-to-day HUSTLE!
  8. isocialfanz – snaps about social media, digital marketing, travel, and his family
  9. jaredjamestoday – snaps about his coaching business, speaking gigs, real estate and business tips
  10. jennyq411 – snaps about her awesome daily show on, her love of coffee, and her adventures
  11. joelcomm – one of the most creative Snapchatter I know, a digital marketing superstar – he know how to engage so well on this platform
  12. morganb180 – COO of Inman News, he snaps about growth hacking, content marketing, sales and more
  13. mrsocialsavvy – snaps about real estate adventures in Winnipeg and has more energy than the Energizer Bunny!
  14. seanmmitchell – snaps about sales and business tips
  15. summitlive – snaps from a variety of Snapchat influencers, this is a great account to see how an event can maximize Snapchat after an event is over

An important reminder: For anyone thinking about how to use Snapchat for business, I recommend to not just have your content on Snapchat be 100% about business. It’s just like any other social media platform – no one wants to tune into you if the only thing you are talking about is your blog, your product, your service, your website, etc.

Have fun with the platform, get a little silly and creative, and don’t be afraid to show a more personal side of you!

Check out my Periscope on this topic:

Are you on Snapchat? How are you using it in your social media strategy? I’d love to connect with you on Snapchat – my username is ‘katielance1’ – connect with me! Leave a comment below or jump on over to our GetSocialSmart Facebook group and join in the conversation!

Snapchat Tips for Newbies #snapchat

Snapchat Tips for Newbies #snapchat

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