Many of you know how much I love Snapchat as I have written much about it on this blog.
Out of all the social networks I have used, it’s the one that has provided me with most personal development (storytelling, video creation and public speaking), as well as connected me to a global audience of people who I can now call friends whom I would never have otherwise met in person or online as they are in different fields and industries. (It has also been a source of some work for me presenting at conferences as well as showing teachers how to use it for educational purposes).
Similarly, Snapchat was the main channel for actively exploring and publishing my creative efforts with a group of people to create a fake news channel called CNT Newschannel.
For a social network that has received a lot of flack (and one in which I was ready to dispel because I didn’t understand how to use it), it’s a platform that has been copied by all others such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube and the one I check every day because it’s akin to “dropping in” to your friend’s place for a bit of a chat.
I had been following Aaron Adel (@bizaaron) on Snapchat for over two years and always enjoyed his snap stories.
Aaron is a video storyteller based in Toronto and what’s unique about his stories is that he can make a story out of nothing at all. He has the knack of presenting something differently – in ways, you hadn’t thought about because it comes out of left field.
That’s a real skill.
Aaron watched one of my LinkedIn videos late last year because I was experimenting with presenting a different style of videos there. I was tired of looking up people’s noses, shaky videos and enthusiastic people sharing their “formula for success”. I wanted to create videos that were amusing as well as informative. However, I also wanted my videos to stand out from the crowd and somehow, exemplify…me. Quirks and all.
He contacted me via Snapchat to tell me that he liked my videos because they were different (YAY!) and that he was thinking of using the same platform to share his stories. He told me he wanted to make videos that stood out – but also were unique to him and his style of storytelling.
I remember him telling me something that made a real impact on me too.
He mentioned that although he engages with people openly on social media through open comments at times, he much prefers one-to-one. The value he gets from one-to-one connections means that there’s a deeper relationship with the other person.
This got me thinking.
As someone who has actively espoused sharing, contributing, engaging publicly, responding to peoples comments on your post and being “seen” on the network, I had to think about this. I remember asking myself, “should I have been doing this all along? Would this have saved me some energy?”
Engaging publicly and openly all the time frankly, can be exhausting at times because you’re at the mercy of the crowd. Constant public social interaction can deplete you of energy and focus because you’re only responding, arguing, appeasing.
Reflecting on my own use of social media, when I look through the time I found most valuable and more open to exploring ideas and thoughts, it has indeed been in “safe” environments such as closed communities; personal meetings; Skype conversations and direct or private messages. That’s where I could really delve, explore, converse with people and indeed, collaborate with them which has been the basis of my entire personal learning experience.
Sure, we can actively contribute in forums, tweets and posts but really, the real measure of making a connection with someone new and also personal learning, is what you create from it together.
It’s not enough to consume content, tweet, retweet or respond to comments people leave on your post – it’s what comes out of that new connection and relationship.
What you make and create together – that’s the real learning experience.
Using Snap Streaks as a Coaching Tool
Aaron proposed that we become Snap Streak buddies and admittedly, I had to scratch my head. I didn’t know what snap streaks were except taking photos back and forth with someone so that you can reach some score and have the fire emoji against your name.
However, he explained that he wanted to learn more about how to create an interesting video on LinkedIn (and later, Twitter) and he proposed that every day, we would send a snap to each other about what we were working on and give each other advice and support to achieve our goals.
Over a period of time every day, he showed me how he was setting up his desk studio at home to capture video and audio and we batted some ideas back and forth about what could make an impact on LinkedIn. He mentioned that he is also using the “snap streak coaching” approach with others in his network and this gives him people to share and test ideas with before he publishes.
Frankly, I thought the idea was genius – and one in which you can do with any private social media video.
The Benefits of Using Video as a Coaching Tool
I’m sure that there are academic references regarding the use of video as a coaching and performance improvement tool (unsure if this research specifies ephemeral video like Snapchat) as it’s early days for me to explore this.
Based on my own experience to date, what I see as the advantages of using daily ephemeral short video coaching and mentoring are:
- It keeps you both accountable to do the things you say you will do
- It’s safe, private and you can step through and show the process to someone else without fear that your idea will be copied, stolen or published without attribution
- The learning experience is enhanced because you can afford to fail, test, trial and experiment without fear – and have a laugh about it
- It builds feedback and practice into the learning experience (which people usually don’t do or share when it comes to online learning)
- It builds stronger and closer relationships with your personal network that usually result in new collaborative projects
- It builds stronger co-operation because you’re more likely to help them – and their network – because of higher trust
As I continue with the snap streaking with Aaron, in truth, it’s me who is falling far behind here as I grapple with a temporary loss of energy and focus to my work still feeling like I’m on “holiday mode” and hoping that this feeling shakes off soon. Since beginning the snap streaks, Aaron has created both Twitter and LinkedIn videos and has shared his ideas with me as to how he will use these to get new business – in ways I hadn’t even considered.
Thank you @JadeNicholeS for this great sketch of my face. You did an amazing job! (I promised @JadeNicholeS a video if she did the drawing since she was overwhelmed with so many requests, so here it is!) pic.twitter.com/v9MZpqLkxX
— Business Aaron (@bizaaron) January 14, 2019