This post is Day 20 of the 28 Day Blogging Breakthrough Challenge. You can chat about the challenge on social media using the hashtag #BloggingBreakthrough. Click here to view all of the challenge prompts.
I’d put good money on the fact that the majority of you reading this post are on Twitter. I’d bet even more that you’re on Instagram. But I wouldn't be so sure about this app – Snapchat.
100+ million monthly users, 700 million snaps sent daily – it sounds pretty impressive, right? And it is. No other social media platform allows your audience to pay complete attention. When you’re tuning into a snap, that’s all you’re doing until it disappears.
As bloggers, we know that social media is a really beneficial tool for us. It gives us a way to promote ourselves and what we do, form relationships with our readers and lets us show who we really are – Snapchat does that more than anything else.
But I get it – how do you even use Snapchat? I avoided it for ages because I didn't know what to do with it. Now I'm addicted. So let’s dive into Day 20 (!) in the #BloggingBreakthrough challenge and why you need to get on Snapchat right now.
So, what even is Snapchat?
Snapchat is like texting with photos. It’s instant. You can take photos and videos, and instantly message them to your audience as “snaps”. There are loads of special features to use and of course, you can add emojis and captions to your photos too. When you’re ready to send a snap, you can choose to let your audience view it for between 1-10 seconds. I’d say instead of sending snaps straight away, definitely add them to your story – this keeps a really good flow going.
Then, your snaps will stay there for 24 hours. And once they've gone, they’re gone forever. That’s what makes Snapchat unlike anything else.
Why Should I Be on Snapchat?
It’s real time.
You’re instantly sending a snap to someone else’s phone like a text message. A notification will pop up and it’ll appear right away. That’s how quick it is. Plus, there are no ads - #win.
You can upload snaps whenever you want.
At whatever time of day, whatever you’re doing. Whether you’re trying out a new recipe or working on your blog, anytime is a good time.
It’s good fun.
Since I've started using Snapchat, I've really enjoyed it. So much so that I actually check it more than Facebook now. It’s right up there for me alongside my two other favourite platforms, Twitter and Instagram.
People will start to get ready for your snaps.
Oh yeah. There are definitely certain people’s snaps that I look out for now. It’ll be the same for you. If you post to Instagram every day, your audience starts to recognise you. Do the same for Snapchat, and the same thing will happen.
It’s All You.
There’s no fluff and no time to edit. It’s a real insight into the behind-the-scenes of your life and this exactly why you need to get on it. People are always saying they want to know more about the person behind the blog – this is the perfect way to do it and it’s a really valuable experience to offer.
It takes your full attention.
When you’re on Twitter, you could be doing other things, just like Instagram. But viewing snaps requires 100% of your attention. It’s purely about user engagement.
How Can You Use It as a Blogger?
Watch other people.
Like anything else, it’s really useful to see what others are doing when you’re first starting out. You can learn so much that way. Pay attention to what Snapchat users do to engage their audience. Every time I see something I think I could use, I make a note of it for future reference.
Snap about your day.
I recently carried out a reader survey and one thing my audience wants to see is more about me. I bet this is the same for you too. Snapchat lets you do this in real time and with a lot less pressure. Instead of agonising over the perfect Instagram photo, you can just shoot and send on Snapchat. Go through your routine, show us what you’re eating and what you’re working on. It’s all beneficial.
Use sneak previews.
If you’ve got a great blog post coming up or you’re launching a special series, the perfect way to let people in is through Snapchat. Give them a sneak preview. Show them where you work, what you work on and how you do it. It’s a great way to let people learn more about what you do and create curiosity.
Snap about your latest blog post.
Just like any other social platform, Snapchat can be used for promo. I usually do a short video where I scroll through my latest blog post and write in the caption “New post on abranchofholly.com” – you’ll be surprised how well this works!
One Thing to Remember? Add Every Snap to Your Story.
There’s no other way to do it – adding snaps to your story is the best thing to do when you’re using Snapchat. Instead of targeting individual people, this way lets you target a much bigger audience. To make sure, when you’re on Snapchat, click the yellow ghost at the top. Then go to Settings, scroll down to “Who Can…Send me Snaps” and “View My Story”. Choose that “View My Story” is set to everyone and not just friends. Stories are so addictive – just wait until you get going!
Download Snapchat onto your phone and create an account.
Follow lots of people - check out your favourite bloggers for their usernames. Lots of people usually tweet their Snapchat usernames or have them in their Instagram bio.
Then just have fun experimenting! Watch what other people are doing and just have a go - that's the best way to get started.
Remember, if you’ve got any questions, reach out to me on Twitter at @abranchofholly or leave a comment. And if you take any pictures of your progress be sure to use the#BloggingBreakthrough hashtag!
Feel free to find me on Snapchat at abranchofholly!
TO GETTING A BREAKTHROUGH WITH YOUR BLOG
Let's chat in the comments - are you on Snapchat? How are you going to experiment with it over the next few weeks?