With over 100 million users worldwide – if you’re not paying attention to Snapchat yet, it’s about time you did.
Yes, it may have started as a mobile photo sharing/messaging app, but what a lot of people don’t realise is that now its primary function is to document daily video diaries – a behind-the-scenes look at our lives called ‘My Story’.
Travel brands such as W Hotels and Air Canada have jumped on board, The Wall Street Journal recently became the first US newspaper (as well as the first business publication) to invest and have a spot on the discover platform. In the UK, The Daily Mail also has a spot on Discover.
What does all this mean for Snapchat? It means the demographics are changing and it’s time to be part of it.
As with all platforms, there are rookie mistakes to be made, and Snapchat is no exception. Here’s a guide to 10 mistakes you (might) be making on Snapchat.
1) You’re only sending selfies
Get rid of the duck face, pal. It’s ok once in a while but if every snap is a ‘pout-in-bed’ shot, it gets rather dull (and quickly).
2) Your finger is over the mic
Watch your finger placement. Yes really. There’s nothing more distracting than terribly muffled audio when you’ve accidentally had your finger over the mic (or pressed mute on the screen). If you notice it re-shoot (if possible).
3) Your content is B-O-R-I-N-G
Is that statue really that interesting? Why are you showing us your fried egg for a 10 second photo? Try and think “would I find this snap entertaining?” The beauty of Snapchat is the element of SURPRISE – so stop being so predictable.
4) Your shots are out of focus
Why is everything so blurry? You’ve only got 10 seconds, hold that shot and STAY-IN-FOCUS.
5) You’re sending public snaps privately
If a snap was intended for your ‘story’, then don’t spam everyone’s inbox and send it privately, or it just gets annoying. Private messaging was meant for PERSONAL snaps, not “Hey guys, check out my steering wheel and bad singing.” If you do want to send a public snap to more people, make sure it’s something SPECIAL – like an announcement or a competition, not just a regular ‘eating a cheese toastie’ shot.
6) You’re moving the camera too much
“Zoom in, zoom out…..I’m so excited and I’m being dramaticccc.” I’ve even been guilty of this one. It’s fun to change the angle, but if you’re constantly moving, people are going to move away too (from your story)! Take motion sickness off the shopping list.
7) You’re emoji-obsessed
Winky face, smiley face, cheeky face, STOP IT-face. Seriously, a couple of emojis are fine but if every snap looks like you’ve been in a Japanese photo booth – it’s time to control yourself.
8) The case of Bananaman
Guys, you know what I’m talking about. Two things. One – it’s not attractive. Two – you’re going to get blocked. Is it really worth it?
9) You’re switching between landscape and portrait
Choose one orientation and stick to it. There’s nothing worse than a flipper who keeps making you turn you phone back and forth like it’s a funky dance routine.
10) You keep saying Snapchat is for teenagers
Uh oh, the cardinal sin. This is the biggest mistake any snapchat novice could make. Get clued up and use it to your advantage.
So that’s it folks – 10 mistakes you’re making on snapchat – how many were you guilty of?
Add me on Snapchat – AliciaExplores (and say hey on Twitter @aliciaexplores) and post a comment if you enjoyed this article and let me know if you’d like more SnapTip videos in the future.
- Alicia xox
Like what you're reading? Sign up for my free monthly newsletter...
February 19, 2016 @ 9:04 pm Cailin
Great post Alicia! Love the way you added video into it, smart idea!
I totally agree with 5 & 6! And a big lol to #8!!
Love following your snaps, I am constantly amazed at the things crazy people will do for you on them lol
February 19, 2016 @ 9:15 pm Alicia
Thanks so much Cailin! Aw appreciate the feedback and glad you enjoy the snaps! I love meeting wild characters with unusual talents…the crazier the better!
February 19, 2016 @ 9:12 pm Michael Hodson
A few things I think people need to pay attention to:
(1) Don’t post too many things every 24 hours. If your “My Story” is longer than about 90 seconds… you are putting too much stuff up. Snapchat is supposed to be consumed in a snap. Keep it brief people, your life isn’t THAT interesting.
(2) Photos without captions are pretty close to worthless. This isn’t Instagram. This isn’t the platform to take a lot of pics of pretty churches and mountains. If you are putting a pic up, there needs to be some sort of interesting, funny, or whatever story behind it. Put in some text, some emojis, draw on it, whatever. Tell us why it is funny or interesting.
(3) If you aren’t putting yourself in snaps talking directly to the camera, go to another platform. Again, this ain’t Instagram. Tell us something funny or interesting occasionally.
(4) If a majority of your snaps are of food and/or coffee… please just go away.
Snapchat is fun because it is quick, easy, and basically unedited. It isn’t the place for perfect videos or perfect photos. Have fun with it. BE FUN in it. If not, go back to Instagram and perfectly edited photos and play over there — nothing wrong with that.
February 19, 2016 @ 9:19 pm Alicia
Brilliant comments Michael – thanks.
1) I can be guilty of telling longer stories…eg the dancing bellman – but if the story is interesting enough, people stay engaged. I judge it by view count. If people start dropping off – it’s time to kill it.
2) Exactly. I especially hate the ‘generic pretty building’ shot. No description. 10 seconds of boredom.
4) HA…yeah it’s good to mix it up, for sure!
Summary – agreed. It’s about fun and spontaneity – always on the lookout for FUNNY snapchatters. For those reading this – be sure to follow Michaelshodson – one of my favourite snapchatters.
February 22, 2016 @ 1:45 pm Juliana Broste
You are so cute! This is awesome. Remember when we were just first time snappers? Miss you!
March 23, 2016 @ 1:14 pm Lisa @ Klipdrifters
Enjoyed reading this Alica, thank you! We still fairly new to snapchat but loving it!
It’s been a great way to interact with our readers/ audience do far.
Couldn’t agree more with 1, 4 and 9!… especially 9