the paradox of snapchat is it worth my time


I have a huge confession to make. I have resisted getting on Snapchat for a looooooonnnnggg time. My resistance wasn’t because I was asking “is Snapchat worth my time.” (I know the ROI of social media.) 


The reason I resisted was sheer laziness. I didn’t really want to take the time to learn a new platform. I didn’t want to split my attention more, and build my audience on another social media.


However, there has been a stir in the air. Like right before a massive thunderstorm, it is visceral, it is raw, it is powerful, it is…SNAPCHAT (thunder strike!).


I have heard the rumblings in the social media world. The social media king himself Gary Vaynerchuk has called it the year of Snapchat. He has told everyone to invest their time, and energy growing their audience.


My peers are jumping on the platform. My friends are on, heck even my younger cousins are on. Peer pressure starting taking over and I finally committed.


Like the first swim after the winter thaw, Snapchat hit my nervous system.

That is the only way I can describe my first impression.


As I come up screaming from the proverbial cold water, I wonder why the everyone is doing this. Confusion is running rampant in my mind.


But after the initial shock of this strange new world, I feel deeply in love. Let’s break down everything good and bad about starting out with Snapchat.


Why you don’t like Snapchat.

Snapchat is unlike any social media platform before it. It is 100% mobile only, even Instagram isn’t 100% mobile. Instagram allows you to view, like, and comment from a desktop.


CON #1: Snapchat isn’t permanent.

Sure, there are the nudie Snapchat scandals and things along those lines. But let me be perfectly honest with you… If you are on social media DON’T GET NAKED.


After 24 hours your snap’s are gone! Not ”gone” in the sense of being shoved down the facebook feed, or your twitter feed. I mean gone as 100% can’t be seen again type gone (unless someone hacks the Snapchat database).


If you are a perfectionist, this is going to drive you nuts!


Speaking of which, my good friend @Chrisstrub has started a movement called #onetakesnaps because too many people are afraid to post. Follow Chris, start snapping, and don’t worry if you mess up. We all do!


CON #2: The interface of Snapchat is confusing as all heck.

For instance, want to add contacts—swipe down. Want to watch stories?—Swipe left. Want to see what people sent you?—Swipe right.


If that isn’t confusing enough, there are secret functions all over the place (enough to drive anyone over the age of 13 mad). Psst. want a quick tutorial on how to use Snapchat? Ask your 113-year-oldniece to give you lessons… for serious. She will school your ass.


Snapchat is as hard to learn as Contra was back in the day. Except there is no Konomi Code.


CON #3: You don’t know how to use Snapchat for business.

I understand this completely, I was right there too for the longest time.


I was also lost and confused, like a lost puppy, until I actually got in and started playing. Worry not though: I will share with you how to use Snapchat for your business.


What I LOVE about Snapchat, and why you will too…


Why You’ll Love Snapchat.

The only strategy you need in social media, no matter what platform you are on is “Depth over Width.”


Depth over WidthIt is a simple philosophy that states, the number of followers you have doesn’t matter. What matters is how engaged they are with you, how DEEP of relationships you can create with those people.


This is the same principle as Kevin Kelly’s 1000 true fans. 1000 true fans will buy everything you create and will drive for miles just to see you. 1000 true fans who spend $100/year on you will create a lifestyle of $100,000 a year.


How does Snapchat create “Deep” relationships?

Let me explain, first by talking about Twitter. I fell deeply in love with Twitter when they launched their native video feature. It allowed me to stand out above all the noise of competition and do something different that nobody else was doing.


I started sending personalized video messages to people, thanking them for their attention. This in turn got them excited to be apart of my community and engage with me even more. This translated to sharing my content, following me on social, and sending me business.


Let’s jump back to Snapchat.

Snapchat not only allows me to send personalized videos to people like Twitter—Snapchat gives me direct access to exactly what is MOST important to them.


It shows me what is “valuable” to them. It shows me what they do on their free time, what their hopes, dreams and aspirations are.

It is an amazing tool to listen to your audience and engage with them on a deep level.


Here is your social strategy for Snapchat:

The very first thing to do is to start watching everyone’s stories.

The more you listen, engage, the more you understand your audience. Become a “power-watcher!”


Next, start creating your own stories.

If you don’t know what to snap about, just start! Snap about what you are doing in the day, what’s important to you, and more. Give insight into your life.


I snap about my day, and tips for running a business. I’ll showcase longboarding down the Venice Beach Boardwalk (my new favorite activity) and then talk about awesome tips for running a blog.


Engage with each follower individually.

Have a conversation with them through Snapchat. Thank them for following you, and be an all around nice person. For instance, I challenged Vincenzo Landino to a lip sync battle. I threw down the gauntlet and he accepted…on Snapchat.


Get Creative.

Start exploring how to make really interesting stories that are entertaining to watch. It takes time to learn how to be creative in a platform that is “limiting.” Ironically, those limitations actually will make you more creative!


Follow other awesome snapchatters to see how they do it. If I can make some recommendations check out these cool cats:

(If you’re wondering what to do… scan these codes in Snapchat—take a photo of them individually and it will add to your friends.)

Snapchat top snapcodes

I think Snapchat is going to be the place to be this year and next. The time you invest in the platform now, will set you up for success in the future. In my mind, it’s worth my time. 

Are you on Snapchat? How do you like it!? Let us know in the comments!