Snapchat Basics – Kelsey Bigelow (FGI Denver)


Snapchat may seem like it’s filled with weird animal transforming filters and people Face Swap’ing with hilarious and terrifying results but it’s also a really unique social media channel. At its core, Snapchat is quick photos and videos (less than 15 seconds) that self destruct after 24 hours. You can add photos & videos to your “Story”, which everyone who follows you can see, or you can privately send them to specific people, where they are viewable only twice before they disappear. There’s lots of ways to personalize your snaps with text, emojis, stickers and filters, some of which are specific to the location you’re in. The story becomes a behind the scenes look at 24 hours in your business before going away forever. The only way to save a snap is to screenshot it and you’ll know exactly who’s saving your snaps.

Snapchat is not as easy to find new people to follow; you have to know someone’s snapchat user name or have their phone number in order to follow them. It doesn’t give you suggestions like Instagram does and there’s no search tool like you find on Facebook or Twitter. You can’t track the analytics of Snapchat either. You can see how many people view a certain snap and who they are but you can’t see where they came from or how many total people you have following you. It’s also not as intuitive to use as other channels. There are a lot of icons on a screen with little instruction on what they do.

There are two main reasons I like Snapchat. First, it is quick, candid messages. Unlike Pinterest or Instagram, it doesn’t feel overly curated. It’s also a channel that encourages a lot of posting on a particular day. Instead of flooding someone’s Facebook newsfeed or Instagram feed, it neatly packages your whole day into a story. It’s easy to skip videos or photos; if you’re bored you can even swipe a whole story and you’re on to the next person. Second, it forces you to get your message across quickly. Much like Twitter’s 140 characters or less, Snapchat gives you just 15 seconds of video to get your point across. You can rehearse and rerecord your videos until you get them right but if you’re presenting an idea, you really have to know what you’re going to say in 15 seconds or less.

Snapchat is still in its infancy compared to other more established social media channels and may change in the next few years.  For now, it’s another channel in our media arsenal.

Author: Kelsey Bigelow (Associate Member – FGI Denver)

 Kelsey Bigelow is the COO & co-owner of Denver Style Magazine.  She manages the magazine’s operations, including social media, local partnerships, and advertisers. Denver Style Magazine is committed to growing the retail industry in Colorado through a bi-monthly print publication as well as events, workshops and one-on-one business consulting. Prior to Denver Style Magazine, Kelsey worked as a fashion blogger and portrait photographer. She is passionate about helping solo entrepreneurs manage their businesses and find success. Follow along online at or on Instagram @kelseybigelow

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