For the last couple of weeks, I have changed my approach to how I am using Snapchat and I wrote about it in the post Welcome to My Snapchat Channel.
I have been observing how individuals and companies are using this social medium to educate and inform their viewers and these have been quite interesting.
My only feedback on my progress is monitoring not my follower numbers (frankly, that’s irrelevant to me) but how many people are INTERACTING with my snaps either by personally responding to each snap (via the Chat function) or through personal messages to me (audio, video or text).
When I was sharing my thoughts and processes of projects I was working on (working out loud), the interactions seemed to be with a certain number of individuals so trust built quite quickly with them. Interactions usually start by text or emojis and quickly moved onto video or audio – so I was having face-to-face conversations with them (with the beauty that you listened to the message entirely and had an opportunity to mull and reflect on what they talked about without us talking over the top of each other – it’s back and forth communication which I quite like because you’re not compelled to respond immediately).
However, by observing many different people in Snapchat who were mainly small business owners or solopreneurs or freelancers, one thing was obvious to me – they were all working out loud themselves and either sharing or educating others about what they were doing.
That’s when my mind started to tick and think how can I use this platform to educate an entirely new audience outside of my usual Learning and Development focus. After all, a new audience will give me feedback is the stuff that I’m espousing here is actually RELEVANT to people.
- Are people open to continually learning?
- What do they prefer to learn?
- What are their key concerns when it comes to learning something new?
- Is what I’m saying making sense to people outside my field (that is, less “L&D lingo, more real world lingo ie language and applications)
So I decided to start using Snapchat in a totally different way to how I use Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.
Using Snapchat Differently to Other Media
Snapchat has its own delivery strategy for me – it’s now going to be my personal “television channel” where I happen to be both the broadcaster and the viewer. I’m also the writer, storyboarder, filmer, creator, editor and producer. This is my channel and like a ‘television channel’ my aim is to not only find viewers – but find viewers who will interact and engage with what I share and that my content helps them in their own personal and professional development.
I decided to theme my snap shows every day to keep bringing back the viewers. Every day I also include a question or some kind of interaction such as a survey to get more engagement so I have:
- Monday Meanderings where I share upcoming events related to learning that will be coming up this week
- Tuesday Book Club where I review a business or learning book
- WhatchaWorkingOn Wednesday where I show and share the process of my work and thinking of a project I’m currently working on
- Training or Learning Tip Thursday where I share a learning strategy
- Follow Friday and Frozen Snap Friday – where I share people I follow on Snapchat and meld some fun frozen snaps in there
- CD Saturday – we have thousands of CDs and Vinyl so every Saturday I pick a CD or three to listen to
- Anything Goes Sunday – a mish mash of everything and anything
So what are the results of the new format?
Engagement has increased dramatically.
I see this from the list of audio, text and video messages in my feed and I respond to each one to continue the conversations. The result of these conversations have highlighted to me that there are professional people out there – academics, educators and others who are watching and sharing my snaps. As they share my snapcode, this then translates to more followers and more engagement.
Also there has been an increase in screenshots taken.
Screenshots signify to me that what I’m sharing is relevant and important to people out there. It’s my visual feedback that people are listening and watching my story. From these screenshots, people have further engaged with me asking for specific references and resources.
Admittedly, engagement has also increased after I submitted a short introductory video to Snapchat Influencer and fellow Australian, Suzanne Nguyen (@StringStory) who promoted this video as part of her “Shout Out Sunday” where she promotes and shares snapcodes of snappers who share interesting content. (Suzanne has been my role model in how she uses Snapchat and I’ve learned so much from her. I highly recommend that you check out her website as well as an article of her Treating Snapchat Like a TV Channel which started me on this whole journey).
My next task is to undertake a Takeover with another snapper (the act of taking over each other’s account) and I’m checking out which snapper is aligned to what I’m showing and sharing. Takeover are a mutually beneficial way of supporting and promoting your work to each other’s followers – in the spirit of generosity. Individuals are constantly doing takeovers on Snapchat and recently two companies, We Are Cisco and Nasdaq took over each other COMPANY accounts which was basically unheard of previously (but got my mind on overload as I thought of how this can be used between companies learning teams – but that’s another story for another time).
An Example of My Snapchat Channel
So you may be thinking, what’s my Snapchat programs look like? Here are some examples.
Monday Meanderings on 24 October 2016
I share my business plans for the next year; as well as list the upcoming Learning Events and Workshops around the world. (Note that the audio is out of sync in YouTube videos and my husband has some cameo roles….)
Tuesday 25 October 2016
I share a book review on How To Shoot Video That Doesn’t Suck and talk about all things video editing. (This was a VERY popular snap story which tells me people are interesting in this topic).
Wednesday 26 October 2016
Here I work out loud through a problem I had with my iPhone and explain how to fix it
Thursday 27 October 2016
Learning Tip Thursday was all about the Impact vs Effort graph. This was another popular snap story with many screenshots and conversations that resulted from this.
So What’s It All Mean?
So the question that I have people in learning and development asking me, “so what’s it all mean?” and this is a good question but you need to understand how my mind works.
For me, it’s all about playing with the social tool and medium and “connecting the dots”. When I come across new tools and platforms, my mind rarely if ever, will stop and think about the rigour of the research or evidence behind it; nor do I start to compare it to current tools or things I know (despite this being VERY difficult and yes, I do tend to be negative at times when it’s so easy to start from a critical perspective than an open and inquiring one).
Instead it asks questions like this:
- Why are people using it?
- How are they using it?
- Why are they using it this ABC way and not XYZ way?
- How can I use it to drive my own learning? Is it relevant?
- What kind of people, connections, references, networks, information is accessible to me that are not possible on other media?
- How long will it take me to learn this?
- Why must I learn this tool? What’s the payoff? What’s the risk?
- Does this tool allow me to EXPRESS myself in my own way and CREATE content or resources quickly and efficiently?
- Does this tool enable me to CONNECT and ENGAGE with others who will help me?
Then by sitting back watching, observing, asking and engaging with people from all walks of life, I get exposed to different ways they are using it and why they are using it in that manner. I then “connect the dots” by seeing how one person or group is using the tool VS another person and introduce them to each other.
What do I get back in the process?
Well, I have an understanding and a comfort of how different people are using these tools and networks. I can immediately connect one person to another person so that they can help each other. I am comfortable with technology – I can ask questions freely to thought leaders and experts without fear.
Already some people are asking me, what’s next? I have some ideas I’d like to explore in 2017 but it depends on many things. This year, I’ve been lucky to have the time to experiment in such detail and it’s been a blast because I’ve connected and tapped into completely new networks and fields that I wouldn’t have otherwise thought possible. So for now, I’ll continue with Snapchat and keep a close eye on Twitter as well.
As a sideline though, I have started following individual thought leaders (who seem to flock to this platform) in Facebook which to me, will be bigger and better (despite my personal hang ups about it) with time.