I admit, I was late to jump on the Snapchat bandwagon. I was one of those people who thought it was just for teenagers, not for entrepreneurs or businesses. When I finally took the plunge, downloaded the app, created an account, and started posting, a friend even asked me, “Isn’t that platform for sending naked pics?” I realized that many people have some misconceptions about Snapchat or just simply don’t understand what it is or how to effectively use it. No, Snapchat isn’t just for entertainment or secretly sending scandalous photos. There are a number of ways Snapchat can be used as a valuable storytelling tool for brands.
Snapchat content is all about immediacy – think idea over aesthetic. It’s perfect for event coverage. On Snapchat there are very few filters and no image-editing options. While it’s possible to upload an existing photo to Snapchat, most photos and videos are taken directly in the app. There’s no use of elaborate photo editing software or belaboring over the perfect hashtags – it’s a snap-caption-and-go mentality (pun intended). With Snapchat, you can quickly take a photo, add a line of text, post, and repeat. It allows you to easily capture all aspects of an event from start to finish without missing a beat and allows your audience to experience an event right along with you, in real time.
Behind the Scenes
Most other platforms and social channels show your audience the finished product – a composed blog post, a fully edited photoshoot, or even a carefully staged Instagram photo. Snapchat has a different focus – the process. The more immediate and less curated nature of Snapchat goes hand in hand with showing the steps leading up to that final, polished product. By giving your audience a behind the scenes look at the inner workings of your business, from day-to-day operations to travel, you build a more intimate relationship with the followers of your brand. It allows your supporters, clients, and leads to have a glimpse into your company culture, your creative process, and how your brand works.
At first glance, you might think that cross-promotion is less effective on Snapchat as opposed to other social channels because you can’t actively tag or link to other users. What differentiates the experience of cross-promotion on Snapchat from other platforms is, again, the way in which the promotion is presented – candid and in real time. With Snapchat you can illustrate the use of another brand’s product or service or show participation in another brand’s initiative or event. Like giving a behind the scenes look into your business, cross-promotion is another way to use Snapchat to help your audience gain insight into your brand’s attitude and values.
With platforms like Facebook and now Instagram moving away from a chronological experience, we’re slowly but surely losing the element of storytelling on social media. As algorithms give preference to the most popular posts, there becomes an increased pressure to have highly stylized images with killer captions and targeted hashtags. By losing the real time experience, we not only lose part of the story but also part of the authenticity. While platforms like Snapchat, Periscope, and even Twitter may be less popular, they’re at least continuing to offer the more raw and personal experience that social media was originally intended to create.
I started following Jennifer Sterling on social media after discovering her profile through a mutual friend. After a few exchanges on Periscope, we began to form a virtual friendship. It was clear that Jennifer and I had an instant connection. We finally met in person at her intimate event, Nourish & Nosh.
Have you ever stopped and asked yourself, what am I really hungry for? In the kitchen? In the bedroom? In life? Jennifer’s approach to holistic health shows you how to nourish your body at the table and away from it.
The Nourish & Nosh event consisted of three primary components, each of which are integral to Jennifer’s signature system: feeding your body through movement, food, and sexuality.
The evening kicked off with a Nourish Movement Class, a sensual, restorative, and mindful mix of guided choreography and improvisation to an amazing playlist composed by Jennifer. I left the class feeling both energized and rejuvenated in my body.
After working up an appetite, we came together to enjoy a carefully curated plant-based meal, free of eight of the more common allergens (wheat, gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish). I’m not personally affected by any food allergies, but I was blown away by how delicious an entire three-course meal could be without these ingredients, particularly this Moroccan Spiced Delicata Squash Stoup (yes, stoup! soup + stew = stoup!).
For the final component of the evening, we circled up for a discussion about understanding our authentic sexual tastes with holistic sex and relationship coach, Anain Bjorkquist. The biggest takeaway was the one thing we can learn from the kink community: to explicitly communicate what we want from our partner. Ultimately, this candid conversation allowed us to tie together all aspects of the evening and explore the idea of nourishing our bodies by finding pleasure in all that we do: in movement or exercise, in food, and in our sex lives.
To learn more about Jennifer and her approach to health and movement, visit her site, connect with her on Facebook and all other social media @JennMSterling, and join live her on Periscope. If you’re in the NYC area, attend the next Nourish & Nosh in November – you don’t want to miss this amazing event, available at the early-bird rate until October 25th! Not in NYC? Check out Jennifer’s brand new e- course, BodyLove, a 30-Day program that will leave you feeling confident and irresistible from the inside out.
Social media was intended to connect and build community, but as these platforms have evolved, we’ve started to use them to disengage. Social media has become an escape not a meeting place. All too often, we hide behind 140 carefully composed characters or the perfectly staged Instagram image. We feign enthusiasm or conviction, and we show the portion or version of ourselves we want to portray. What happened to true authenticity in social media? I found it on Periscope.
With the live-stream platform, it’s much more challenging to customize your persona. You can’t sit down for an hour and compose your scopes for the month, and you can’t schedule a Periscope broadcast on Hootsuite. Instead, you have to be present and engaged, and best of all, you have a live audience and interaction with real people.
I believe that Periscope represents the direction social media is heading. It’s getting back to the original purpose: to connect and build communities among likeminded people. This platform is forward-thinking, and I sense that people are intimidated by it. Yes, it’s much more comfortable and safe to hide within the confines of other social media platforms, and it’s a little bit terrifying to actually consider being vulnerable and truly authentic in the digital landscape. I urge you to face your fears! Download this application. Give it a try. Start out as an observer. You can join and never broadcast a livestream. You can simply watch others and join the conversation.
If you want to learn more about Periscope before creating an account, I highly recommend visiting the Facebook group Inspired Scope, created by Cathy Olson, the founder of Love Inspired. This group is a great place to start to understand Periscope better and receive support from others who are exploring the platform and helping it grow.
If you’re ready to take the plunge and join, I’ve made a list of ten interesting people you should check out and follow. Finally, join me on Periscope @AOCBlogGirl every Friday at 5:30P ET for #FridayUnfiltered, a community building scope for artists, bloggers, entrepreneurs, freelancers, and anyone who is self-employed! I hope to see you on Periscope TODAY!
10 People to Follow on Periscope:
@LoveInspired: daily business scopes
@CyndieSpiegel: business strategy scopes for creative entrepreneurs and badass women
@JessGrippo: dance breaks and creative inspiration
@JelloydJMJ: behind the scenes scopes of a recording artist
@DanelleMercurio: daily guided meditations and weekly horoscopes
@CourtRJ: daily copywriting and business scopes
@JennMSterling: health and wellness tips
@LindaUgelow: guided mediations and creative inspiration
@LizDiAlto: guided meditations and inspiration for women to connect with their bodies
@MelissaEEarle: photography and design tips for amateurs and professionals