Most people think of a personal brand as nothing more than a fancy online resume. They tend to treat it like an afterthought instead of the lead. A personal brand is technically a multi-channel method of communication but when a lot of people update their personal brands, all they simply do is add content from their social media sites, but most of this content is old by the time it is posted.
That is how it used to go, but now social media has grown and things are more up to the minute then they ever were. The NOW mentality!
There was a time when Twitter was the only network to provide the latest news, but now there is live streaming, Periscope, Facebook live and others, but even those have their issues. For instance on Facebook live it’s nearly impossible to be sure people catch your live stream, you either have to announce it early enough and even still it has to get out to your audience and then they decide whether they have the time at the moment to watch it.
So how can we make personal branding more accessible, but still keep up with the current trends? Well that is where Snapchat comes in.
Snapchat is the perfect place for a personal brand and here are my reasons why:
Reason number 1 – The content on Snapchat is what I refer to as semi-live. What that means is the content is current and the most up to date, however it sits in place and waits for someone to consume it. The term I use for this type of media is snack able.
Reason number 2 – content on Snapchat is on demand, pretty much. When people watch Snapchat content (which are often referred to as snaps), they have the choice to watch it all the way through or stop and come back to it later. Unlike a live stream or YouTube video, people can consume all of your points and content when they feel like they should. That means they don’t feel tied down and they are less likely to abandon something and loose interest just because they couldn’t finish it.
Reason Number 3 – there is a built in sense of urgency since snaps disappear within 24 hours. Now why is this such a good thing? Well it is very similar to how network television used function. There were certain shows that ended in cliff hangers. You would definitely return the next week just so you can watch the next episode. Well Snapchat is something like that. Let’s say you post 5 snaps and your 5th one is an unfinished story, well 9 times out of 10, from my own experience, people return to that story whenever they can to watch the remainder. So this sense of urgency is also made a little bit more urgent by the fact that snaps disappear after a certain amount of time. So if there is a story with 5 snaps and it ended on the cliff hanger, you know that you have to watch it before the next day is over so you can make sure you catch up. This is good for your personal brand. Why?
Let’s say you have an art exhibit, something you put up on Snapchat and you want the world to see it and people will want to see it, well they can watch the content right there from their mobile phone. Maybe you have a special announcement to make, well that special announcement will be extra special because within 24 hours it will disappear forever, thus making people feel the urgency to go see the special announcement.
Reason number 4 – the Snapchat community does not suffer from vanity metrics. Now here is my take on how vanity metrics ruin social media. Posts that have a ton of likes or a ton of shares, look like the most popular content. Human nature makes it so we are attracted to things that everyone else already likes, but the problem is most people falsely believe a party is more important based on the visible interaction alone. This happens on twitter, Facebook, Instagram and anywhere where they count likes and sets the false idea that counts are more important from certain people than others.
Snapchat doesn’t have, so far, any mechanism that says how many people have viewed anything. Yes you can see it on the back end with certain campaigns run by private owners via geofilters of course, but people who use this app, the consumers themselves, don’t see the stats. They don’t see the likes, they don’t see the shares and so that way it takes away the downside of vanity metrics.
Finally number 5 – in order to share and get more followers on Snapchat, you have to be referred by word of mouth. You can, of course, post your Snapchat code on a web site, you can put your snap URL anywhere you like, but most of the community you build is referred by other community members. This directly mirrors how networking operates. Snapchat is networking. Imagine walking into a room and seeing all these important people who do different things. Imagine being able to talk to every single person in that room about what they do. Imagine they are telling you their story and interacting.
Out of all the social platforms, Snapchat is the one that does that the best. It is in your face, it is live, it is happening. When your friends post snaps you can talk back to the story as it unfolds. You are part of a conversation. Yes you could talk to people on Twitter, but sometimes tweets get lost, tweets get convoluted and now you have no clue where the story is, but Snapchat is one to one direct and you can take the conversation back to the chat functions which make it even easier to turn a simple face to face conversation into something else.
So how does personal branding relate to all of the features that I mentioned in Snapchat? Well simple. A personal brand is more than a resume. It should be live, up to the minute, and include things that represent who you are. When you post how you operate or create, people get a better idea of who you are. Employers or prospective employers, if they are using your personal brand as a consideration point, are looking for those that match company culture, that is a new thing by the way and company culture is mostly dictated by what you do. Yes they do at times ask you what you do in your personal life and how you operate and how you interact and if you share the correct things on Snapchat, parts of your life, your processes, then they have a great picture of what your personal brand is like.
The point is that you're building real relationships by sharing your personality or your talent with the world without any barriers, speed bumps, or obstacles. Again I believe Snapchat is the trust form of networking via social media available to date.
Snapchat is the perfect platform for personal branding because you can BE who you are, SHOW who you are and CONNECT to others like you to build, grow, and maintain a community of supporters who all understand and value what you represent and what you do.
So the question is, are you on Snapchat? You should be.