Snapchat Discover

Snapchat Discover is one of the best things around these days that actually challenges other social networks, particularly Facebook. ‘Content’ is at the heart of this new initiative by Snapchat, giving storytelling a new meaning and way for people to consume content on-the-move.

The best part about ‘Snapchat Discover’ is it forces brands to keep the content and stories fresh, content being refreshed every 24 hours. The feature is extremely simple to use and discover and stories are restricted to a fairly small number, therefore, not stressing the viewers and acknowledging the nature of the user behavior, respect for their time and giving them even more a reason to revisit the app.

While it is all fun for the user, the real challenge lies for the companies who need to package content in a way never done before – as top social networks like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter require a totally different approach that we’ve accustomed to over the last years.

To stay relevant and get the user to revisit, one has to ensure the stories are relevant, short, crisp and limited to 5 for best engagement. Companies posting up to 10-15 stories can do so as long as there is enough content to share that very day and I have seen a few like that and admit that after 6-7 stories I couldn’t be really bothered. It became more like a chore than ‘discovering’

Also, the fact that there are no call-to-actions, click here, there, share etc. gives the companies a solid opportunity to ‘build the brand’ rather than make it another channel to generate traffic to xyz paltform.

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Currently, there are top publishers which cater to a variety of audience on Snapchat. Such a diverse collection definitely helps attract users as most of these are common interests.

With launching Discover, Snapchat has definitely challenged many social networks out there and the more I engage with Snapchat, the more I find the other networks like Facebook and Twitter slowly becoming outdated. It seems to be the same drill on many channels and Facebook really needs to step up and reinvent content distribution as players like Snapchat are gaining a solid ground and giving brands an opportunity to ‘build’ the brand and ignite social conversations, WOM etc.

Meanwhile….Happy Discovering!!

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Cool kids on Snapchat…including me ;)

Personal Branding – Let’s begin with this for a change

You can see personal branding right there in the title. No, I am not a celebrity. I am just using this post to begin with an apology to my followers/readers. I have been just too busy to write as my social life + my social apps & jobs have swallowed me way more than necessary lately. Now I have added another social network to my list, SNAPCHAT and I really want to tell you about this.

More Personal Branding – backed by some numbers. People love numbers…here you go! 

Currently I am touching 1800 pictures on Instagram, 7000+ check-ins on Foursquare/Swarm, 9500+ tweets, 2000+ on Facebook, 2000 Spotify songs & 10,000 photos taken on my iPhone since Sep’13. I have been a hyper cool kid, hyper connected, distracted, excited and even hyper ignorant to my blog lately. This will change. I will find time & get back on the scene. Now serious stuff starts below…ha!

Cool Kids (and Cool Brands) are on Snapchat

Here’s the thing. ‘Facebook is dead. Long live Facebook.’

Too strong a start for you? Well let me break it down for you – Facebook was my first social network crush, affair, love and an upcoming divorce. Facebook have come a long way and we have a lot to thank them for rather than point fingers at them but lately they have been on a spree of buying smaller networks to have control. Which is fine but then just because the number of audience on a new network is less, compared to Facebook, then it doesn’t mean that it is fail or has not taken off etc. Facebook has been around for way too long & is a giant roping in many services.

Those looking for something that is not owned by Facebook – please welcome Snapchat!

Snapchat is a bit of a breather. It does not leave you anything to look back to. It destroys the message as soon it is viewed and sent and another option is to have the message live up to 24 hours and then it is destroyed. It is a kind of social network that celebrates our short attention spans and impatient selves, thanks to technology.

Some of you now must be wondering…What is Snapchat and why am I still reading this? I am too lazy to download and check it out…but let’s see if this article saves some effort. It will. So before you close this window read on. And yes there are ‘filters’…I know you are suddenly interested now.

How does Snapchat work? (Tip: Download the app while you read below – if you want to learn on the go)

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Once you download and register – open the camera.

Top Navigation

Top left is to control the flash on/off and top right is to select front/back facing camera.

Center button

With one click you can take a picture and if you keep it pressed, you start taking a video. For images you can select for how many seconds should the image appear for your friends to see, max 10 seconds. (Short attention spans – an insight – you see!). The arrow down button is to ‘Save’ the image to your camera gallery. The boxy+ button is to add it as a story.

Text

To add text, simply click on the image once you have captured it and start typing. You can also select the doodling tool & doodle. Scroll through the color palette to select your choice of color.

 Filters

Once you have captured your Snap, slide to the right and it’ll give you basic filters and there’s even a black & white.

You probably get the gist of it. It is pretty basic & can be fast. You need to get used to it & be reactive and spontaneous to go to the level of ‘Storytelling’

 Snapchat Stories

Grubhub shared a story on Snapchat a few hours ago today. Those who see this post today, probably have a chance to experience it first hand today if you are able to still find it online. I took screenshots, because it is a very good example to show Snapchat users how they can get involved.

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It’s National Hot Dog day – so Grubhub decided to have some fun on Snapchat & engage the audience who will otherwise Snapchat Hot Dogs anyways today.

If you see these screenshots, which I have placed in the order as it appears, you’ll notice how within just 60 seconds, Grubhub has rolled out a call-to-action for their followers and even shown ‘HOW’ it has to be done on Snapchat.

If you click on a friend to chat to them, you can send the photo/screenshot to them that you saved in the camera gallery. (See Step 2 in the image)

This is a pretty neat example showing how brands can use Snapchat and involve people who are still trying to figure out how Snapchat works. There is a comfort level for the users and they address that some users still struggle to use Snapchat because a majority of us are so used to clear labels across the Internet. It is a good idea to walk the followers through and grow with them. Earn that comfort level side by side on a tool that many people I know just shun it because they don’t get how it works.

This is certainly not a flaw; it is the future of tech. Minimal design is the future and with wearables tech coming up in other news, icons & advanced technology, with even lesser and automated steps, will become more widespread. We have to adapt.

I hope these screenshots and an example of story help further to understand the user and marketer way of using Snapchat.

I know you must be thinking now…where did the Cool Kids part go. It is here.

Cool Kids on Instagram – ‘Casey Neistat’ and ‘Audi’

Ladies & Gentlemen, our famous New York based YouTube filmmaker – Casey Neistat, is the ‘coolest’ kid on Snapchat. And I am really trying to be cool like him on Snapchat…I am really cool otherwise too 😉

Why is Casey Neistat a cool kid on Snapchat?

Because he gets it & he is not afraid to try. No he did not pay me to write this and does not even know me. But may be he will know me now. I still don’t want to get paid for this advertising. I am a TRUE FAN!

Casey is one of the coolest filmmakers around and has embraced YouTube when it was taking off in all sorts of short-film making world online. He is well aware that Snapchat stories means videos too & bam, he picked it up just like we all should.

Casey uploads about 4-5 Snapchats daily, I guess. And has even incorporated it into his top social network business card. Here’s the screenshot I took that I really really love & would like to develop something similar for myself personally attached to my CV 😉

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Casey is making an effort to take out time & share interesting experiences on Snapchat. It’s like you can see what he is doing when he is not filming, how he prepares for films, some personal experiences that can be shared with public, cool restaurant reviews and for this non-stop entertainment he has even backed up the batteries. Disclaimer: Snapchat addiction can drain batteries. And if your personal stats are like mine on social networks, then get ready to charge your phone for an extra round during the day.

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We need cool kids like Casey to ‘assure’ the talent in our industry like celebrity endorsements, marketers, brand managers, interns, creative directors, account managers, clients, clients who don’t get social media, clients who want to be cool, clients who want to be clients, …’assure’ that it is OKAY to NOT BE PERFECT at all times & real-time is so much more fun and authentic than locking up copywriters in booths and making them go through 5 rounds of changes, just because people want to contribute more in terms of competition of giving feedback, rather than adding value & understanding what ‘social media’ actually means and make it so perfect that it is so numb and dumb and superficial, that it doesn’t really do its job.

Opinion. A very strong opinion.

I still believe that 70% of our digital industry still does not understand that social media can be so simple & the beauty of it is that it does not need to be superficially perfect. It is one of the rare areas where we are allowed to talk freely and let go sometimes, to keep it real and original.

I think you need to watch some of Casey’s videos to see just how cool it is to capture some moments in a natural way & this is the real storytelling, than micro managing every single dialogue that is shared by a brand and make it look like the most dry-cleaned and social proof message in the history of social media.

Another Cool Kid – Audi – also a well known brand 😉

So Audi is young and plays it safe when it comes to their brand. But on Snapchat, they are wayyyy off brand and have a refreshing unexpected side of sharing social content. Their recent partnership with ‘Pretty Little Liars’ is surprising & Audi is posting funny Snapchats with hints on the next season, in creative executions, that are not Audi like. ‘Emojis’ are the new copy here as clues to what will happen in the next episode.

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Emotional Conclusion

Emotional because I am disappointed that brands are so slow on taking up Snapchat & I am in meetings discussing Facebook fan growth and reach at least 4 hours every week.

Can you creative directors please wake up the industry, learn and embrace such networks and follow a new way to express ‘brand’ content. Make it more fun, more reachable, more connected & more comfortable to consume. Desktop is so irritating!

General Disclaimer: I am a cool kid on Snapchat but only with my close friends for now. When I become a celeb, you can follow me 😉

Reality Disclaimer for the Brand Manager

I am not saying throw your brand guidelines out of the window. Use this platform to add an element of surprise & an opportunity to get noticed. Don’t be afraid to break through the clutter.

Already on Snapchat and ‘been there done that’…then download TUNEPICS. (Stay tuned for the next blog post on TUNEPICS)

Download Links to

Snapchat https://itunes.apple.com/en/app/snapchat/id447188370?mt=8

Tunepics https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tunepics/id796420945?mt=8

Snapchat Doodle Tip

Buy one of these for a very ‘fine’ DOODLING experience on Snapchat. Enjoy!

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