What You Need to Know About Snapchat

If you own an online business or rock a personal Brand, you need to read this.

I have had a Snapchat account for over a year now, but I never really used it because I couldn't figure out why it mattered. The only person actively using it in my life was my 14-year-old niece and all we would do was send eachother ugly face pics and have a great day posts every now and again.

I also worked in sports for over 10 years and had to pay attention to all of the new up and coming social media platforms, whether I thought they would become anything important or not. Paying attention to trends has always been vital.

Snapchat was in the "I don't know what to do with this" category for quite some time for me. I couldn't figure out how it's capacity to sell and engage an audience was going to make an impact.

Until now.

Let me add a little disclaimer here: I am more than aware that the tweens of the world don't always dictate the eventual way of the mighty dollar, but I DO believe that staying aware of trends and opportunities and where these kids are spending their dollars is an incredibly intelligent business decision. 

So here's the deal and why you need to care about this. Snapchat recently added a featured called Stories. With Stories you can TELL your followers a story, share your daily life and insights in a 24-hour period. Once the share hits the 24 hour mark, it expires and dissipates in to the social media ether.

Why does this matter? 

Because STORYTELLING is at the root of all fantastic brands. 

Storytelling sells and it is the only real way to truly relate with your ideal customer. Snapchat provides you with this opportunity every minute of the day. The sheer nature of the Story feature is a commentary on what today's consumer is asking for...authentic, real-life footage and images of brands and celebrities.

Still not convinced? Check this video out. My husband and I are big fans of Casey Neistat and he recently posted a video called Snapchat Murders Facebook on YouTube. He breaks it down for you and provides a real-life example of Snapchat in action.

Neistat is joined by Jerome Jarre, a French entrepreneur and Snapchat celebrity (I know, that's what Wikipedia actually says). Jarre shares a snap in real time and has hundreds of fans show up in real life (in-person, not just online) within one hour after his post telling them to meet him at Union Square in NYC. He had over 142,000 views of his story within 16 minutes of posting it!

So what does this tell us?

Snapchat, while still not the most sophisticated platform out there, provides something different from everything else. It provides its users with the opportunity to interact in real-time. There is no opportunity for comments or likes or re-shares, it is what it is. A platform for you to be you and share it with the world.

"Snapchat is about now. It's about sharing stories from your life with people who are interested."- Casey Neistat

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Snapchat provides a sense of urgency. It's a virtual reality world with an incredibly thin line between what's actually happening and what's being viewed digitally. It's a marketers dream.

It takes a little getting used to and while the platform is nowhere near as sophisticated as Facebook and has far less gloss than Instagram, it provides you with a glimpse of life as it's happening. With less filters, less opportunity for editing, it's all about showing you and your brand as you are. 

I would love to follow you and your brand over on Snapchat. Add me at Amber Lilyestrom.

Give Snapchat a whirl and let me know what you think over on my Facebook post for this blog!

Facebook and I are BFFs and Instagram is my artsy and lovable cousin, but Snapchat has taken a seat at the family table as of late. It has challenged me to think about how being my Brand looks in real-time, without any real editing and or gloss.

Just me. Being awesome and sometimes super awkward but giving my people the real deal. 

Don't forget to head over here and get in on the conversation. How's Snapchat going for you?

Amber Lilyestrom

Amber Lilyestrom is a soul-based branding & business coach, writer and motivational speaker. Amber currently coaches new and established entrepreneurs in creating strategies to transform their brands and businesses. She also works with individuals who want to leave their current careers and launch their big idea. From idea conception to the construction of the business and all of its digital assets, Amber assists new entrepreneurs in making “the big leap.”