Snapchat | And Maybe Why You Should Consider Joining

March 13, 2016

I think I first downloaded Snapchat a couple years ago when I was on vacation with some friends. From what I remember, at the time it was only used for direct chatting to a specific person or group of friends you chose to send it too, and just one “snap” at a time. I tried to be cool and use it for about….well…two weeks maybe. It was fun, but it just didn’t win me over.

As I mentioned back in this post here, podcasts are one of my favorite tools to grow in business and keep up on the latest trends and teachings. I love listening to podcasts that have to do with photography, but I also subscribe to other entrepreneurs, authors, and small business owners as well! A couple new ones recently added to my list that aren’t on my previous blog post are The Fizzle Show, and The #AskGaryVee Show, so be sure to check those out too! Over the past few months, quite a few podcasts started mentioning Snapchat as a platform to utilize as a business owner. I tucked the idea in the back of my mind, and then suddenly after WPPI, I noticed a lot of photographers that I follow on Instagram begin to post about their decision to join. I mean, when Jose Villa announces to his 308k Instagram followers that he is now on Snapchat and that others should follow along, it’s something I definitely take notice of! Could there be more to Snapchat than what I remembered?

So I set some time aside this weekend to do a little more research….because that’s how OLD I am, I had to RESEARCH Snapchat- how to use it, find out what the updates were that supposedly made it cool to use again, etc. (with lots of ohhh so THAT’S how my friends keep switching their faces in pictures! And other revelations from business articles written in 2014 because apparently I am that far behind in the cool- social- tech- world. Face palm.) So, case in point, I may not be cool enough to gain a ton of followers on Snapchat, but the things I learned inspired me to re-download my app and get familiar with how it works.

Here’s the highlights of what I found:

  • Snapchat is no longer just sending one picture or video that is less than 10 seconds, with funny drawings on it, and then it’s over. (Because really, how could that be enough to use it?) What I am loving though is the new “Story” feature. Stories let you string together multiple 10 second video clips and images that you can keep adding to, that stay live for 24 hours. Think of it like a “A Day In The Life” kind of thing. What I love about the Stories, is that you get this unedited, behind the scenes, AUTHENTIC, conversation happening. I thought of how many times the coast of Maine here just takes my breath away, or behind the scenes at a portrait session or workshop, walking around the beautiful Old Port here in Downtown Portland, traveling to new places, or exciting projects happening in the office. I think it really creates a little breathing room for sharing real life- and I am finding more and more that’s what we are all craving to connect with.
  • Snapchat is a bit harder to add friends, as you can’t just search for people like other social media platforms. To add friends to follow: Open Snapchat, Select the ghost icon in the top center of your camera screen, then select “Add Friends” under your Snapcode. There are four different ways to add someone as a friend.
    • Type in their user name directly. (mine is tiffanyfarley)
    • Add them from your address book (connects to your phone contacts)
    • Add them by Snapcode
      • “Snapcodes” are unique scannable codes located in the center of your profile screen.
      • You find the profile screen by opening Snapchat, and selecting the little ghost icon on the top center of your camera screen.
      • To add by Snapcode, you simply need the image in your phone’s camera roll to connect to. Some people have made this easy by sharing a screenshot of their Snapcode on their Instagram feed, so you can then just screenshot it with your phone. (Mine is shared at the bottom of this post!)Then in Snapchat, select Add friend by Snapcode, it will connect to your image library, and you just select the screenshot and it scans it for you! If you are viewing this blog post on your phone, just screenshot the image of my Snapcode below to follow me and see how it works! It is way easier than it sounds with all of these steps- you will get the hang of it in no time!
  • Add Nearby
    • If you are sitting in a room with friends who have Snapchat, if you each select “Add Nearby” at the same time, you will be able to locate their account and select who you would like add as a friend.
  • Once you get your account set up and begin adding friends, you will want to gain more followers. After all, why put forth the work in creating behind the scenes videos if no one is watching? Since Snapchat has a unique way of adding friends, I have read that they best way to gain followers is to cross promote on other platforms. This means sharing images of your Snapcode where you see fit, sharing your username on your blog or Instagram profile, etc.
  • Another thing I found really interesting is that although the majority of Snapchat users are in a much younger demographic than myself, it’s statistically becoming a more popular platform for Moms. The more I thought about it, the more it made sense. Moms need connection and conversation with other Moms, and Snapchat is a fun way to do it throughout the day. As a motherhood photographer, I am always interested in what Moms are interested in.


Ok, so this is all great information, but I can see your face right now. ANOTHER SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM?! Is this worth it? Will I book clients from it? Will my business grow? Is it worth my time as a business owner to commit to learning this thing? Am I too old for this? 

Here are my thoughts. Because 48 hours ago, those were all of mine. The leaders I look up to in business are beginning to buzz about it’s usefulness, and that really is what made me begin to look into it. I remember the first time a friend showed me Instagram, and I was all “take it or leave it” and “ok here’s a picture of my pancakes with a Valencia filter because I guess this is how you use this thing.” And now? Instagram is a TOP THREE source of booking inquiries for me. TOP THREE!!! I never in a million years would have thought that.

Snapchat may not ever be that vital for my business. But I am seeing it as a way of sharing more authenticity with those who want more connection. I am seeing it as a great tool for behind the scenes videos that are quick and easy. I am seeing it as another way to share my love for what I do, where I live, and what I value. So I’m giving it a try and we’ll see! If you’re reading this blog post on your phone, you can just screenshot my Snapcode below and Add me as I explained above.

I know, I would totally like to overhaul the Snapcode colors too. I mean, a Snapcode that matched my branding would be awesome.. but alas, black and yellow it is for now. Come join me!

Snapchat for Photographers, Maine Maternity and Newborn Photographer Tiffany Farley

If the world wasn’t changing, staying still is a brilliant strategy.” – Seth Godin

  1. Reese

    March 13th, 2016 at 5:41 pm

    Thanks for spotlighting Snapchat and how to use it. Like you, I wasn’t aware of the updates though being intrigued as to why Jose Villa’s on there. I’m going to give it a try based on the stories idea.

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