You’re not too late or too old to use Snapchat.
Wait. Before you click away to another site – any other site – that isn’t talking about Snapchat, ponder for a moment how you can use Snapchat. For real. Because you can use Snapchat effectively.
Use Snapchat for visual messages.
First of all, let’s look where we’ve come as far as sending messages to others. Long ago are the days of the Pony Express when handwritten letters would take weeks to reach a loved one or friend. Phone communications have advanced from rotary dial phones to today’s one-touch or voice dialing to a favorite contact. And, finally, sending a video message or talking to someone on a live video has become the norm.
Vastly better than written or typed words which barely carry tone, and greatly improved over voice calls which leave out body language, video messages are really the best way today to effectively and truly communicate. That’s really how you can use Snapchat: create a video message for a friend to really get what you’re trying to say.
Snapchat is a communication app. It is a social media app in that it allows you to create media and share it socially.
However, Snapchat is different from other social media tools (Twitter, Facebook) because it focuses on real connection – quite possibly, the most real connection we’ve seen for a while from social media.
Use Snapchat for making new friends and connecting with older ones.
Here’s where so many of you might be missing the forest for the yellow, ghost-shaped trees – and that’s OK. It’s not like you aren’t always being told “you have to get on the XYZ app! Right now!”
Snapchat isn’t solely about adding the friend who sits behind you in Trigonometry (though that certainly is what it’s about for students). You’ve got a ton of friends just waiting at your snappy fingertips:
- That couple you met at the cruise dinner table;
- A fellow musician from Europe who likes the same albums as you;
- Your daughter who is raising your very first grandchild;
- An insightful business coach who always has a great nugget of daily wisdom;
- Your elderly aunt who is homebound due to physical restrictions;
- That company or brand where you’ve always wanted to work;
- A former flame with whom you lost touch years ago;
- A new romantic interest who shares your humor and life experiences…
You get the idea. I should emphasize that Snapchat is not just for teens and millennials – not any more. See the next point if you still don’t buy it…
Use Snapchat to let people know they’re important to you.
One problem with today’s technology and all of these apps is loss of attention. You can’t go out to eat anymore without seeing friends, lovers, and even waitstaff glued to their devices instead of looking directly into eyeballs around them.
This is where Snapchat shines as a communication tool. You have to pay attention, and you can’t wait too long to do it. The reason is this: each Snap (image or video) has the lifespan of 24 hours. That’s it. Whether you have a private Snap (message) from a friend or you want to watch a full day’s Story by another friend, if you don’t get to it within 24 hours of its creation, you miss out.
Let’s wrap this up in a nice yellow, Snapchatty bow: for all the reasons other platforms and apps may have brought the onset of “social media fatigue,” Snapchat is one of the most truly social apps we can use for real, relational communication. In fact, it just might bring us full circle to when reaching out really meant something.