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Snapchat: 10 top tips for getting started

imageIf you think the only people using Snapchat are teens, tweens and millennials, you’re totally missing out. Millions upon millions of people can’t all be wrong. There are good reasons why we’re hooked on Snapchat: it’s cool, easy and, most of all, fun.

So if you’ve been sitting on the sidelines it’s time to stand up and jump in. I’m here to help you with my 10 top tips to get started and use snapchat like a pro.

1. Sign up for an account. I know, I know, it’s so basic. But the first step is the hardest one. Reserve your Snapchat username and look around.

2. Find a few friends. Navigate to add friends (from the photo screen, swipe down or press the ghost at the top. You can add friends by snapcode, from address book and by username if you know it.

3. The settings are important, but for now take a photo of anything. Maybe a selfie. Play around with adding emoji (press the icon at the top to the left of the T text symbol) or draw on the photo (pencil icon to the right of the T.) When you are happy with your creation, press the arrow. For video, hold down the photo button instead of just tapping it.

4. Add to “my story.” This is where Snapchat becomes fun. A snap you send to a friend is the kind you often hear about, the kind that lasts a few seconds and magically “disappears.” My story lets you put 24 hours of snaps in one place and people can view a photo in your story an unlimited amount of times during those 24 hours. As a friend once explained it to me, think of it as a rotating cycle of your life told in 24-hour bits. So take a photo of your breakfast, your commute, your lunch, etc. Create a story of your day.

5. As much as it hurts, be vertical. There was a time when we said horizontal is better for everything, but that’s definitely not true on Snapchat. Keep your camera vertical wherever possible.

6. You don’t have to draw on everything or add text, but it’s fun. Creativity is appreciated on Snapchat, and once you start doing it you’ll wonder how you didn’t do it until now.

7. Once you are comfortable, play around with the settings. Important here is who can view your story, whether friends or everyone. Like any other privacy settings, they deserve your complete attention and an update whenever it makes sense.

8. Get your Snapcode on. Snapchat has this awesome thing where you can scan someone’s ghost inside the app to quickly follow them. You can share your Snapcode online anywhere it makes sense and invite people to follow you. And you can edit your code with a photo or video — it’s yet another opportunity to be creative.

9. There are filters! Take a photo or video. Then swipe left or right. Depending on your settings and where you are, you might see location-specific filters appear on your photo. These are fun.

10. There are more filters! Switch to the selfie camera and tap on your face (it might take a while to get the hang of it, but you’ll know when you get it right). If you’ve ever see a photo of a person with dog ears or devil horns, this is where it all began. WARNING: This is very addictive — and fun! — so you assume all responsibility for trying it.

Those are 10 tips, but there are more. Reach out to me on Twitter at @scottkleinberg with your questions and I’ll be happy to answer them. And in the meantime, please scan my ghost in this post and follow me. Hopefully I can provide some inspiration for making sure your Snapchat game is on fleek.

Like this tutorial? Imagine what I can bring to your workplace and how I can help you, your employees and your company thrive in the social space. Email me at [email protected] and learn more about me at

About Scott Kleinberg

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