People seem to have strong reactions to Snapchat, love it, or just don’t get it.  Marketers and PR professionals can’t afford to just “not get” something. We need to be able to make informed recommendations to our clients, even when the work we do is B2B. Is there value to going where the post-millennial generation seems to hang out?

Yes, because recent data indicates even the 35+ generation is picking up on the app. Rrcently Instagram launched its “stories” feature to compete with the wildly popular platform. Eventually, this may make sense as a brand play, but for now, Snapchat has a level of cool and exclusivity that is hard for Instagram to duplicate.

I have a tendency to be an early adopter, but with Snapchat, I only picked it up in the last several months. This is in part because I made the leap from my trusty Windows phone to a more app-laden iPhone. But even more so, my kid just turned 13. So I’m not stalking if I show HIM how to set up his account, right?

  1. Phone a friend. Although I was a little embarrassed, like Joanna Stern I asked some of my more social savvy millennial colleagues for help. Having someone walk you through things like, how to get to filters and add additional layers is a big help.
  2. Don’t take the app for granted. It was originally written off by a lot of my friends and colleagues as a “sexting” app, since the messages disappeared. In the last few updates, they have added features to not only save your own snaps or post pictures that you took in other apps, but they also have “Discover” where you can get news from outlets from traditional publications like the WSJ and National Geographic to a social first outlet like NowThisNews.
  3. Do a little homework. No, not a LOT of homework, but reading a couple of guides like this almost shocking long (but thorough) guide from Stockholm-based survey company Responster, and the one I watched first, a video guide from Joanna Stern at the WSJ. The other thing that I found really useful when I first started was to watch the discover stories. Publications like Buzzfeed and Mashable will often talk about new releases & features.
  4. JUST TRY IT! Like a lot of social media, you really won’t get it until you try it. I don’t have as much interaction as someone who has more friends using the app, but that will continue to change. I follow a few bloggers and celebrities, where you see what feels like more unfiltered interactions, but what I honestly do most today is take filtered pics of my dog. Because if making my dog look like a unicorn is wrong, I don’t want to be right.