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7 Tips on How to Snapchat Like a BOSS

Career

If you’re a blogger, an influencer, a marketer, an entrepreneur, (or operate any kind of business that needs customers for that matter), there is no better channel to build your brand than Snapchat. In relation to other social platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, you’ve got to think about Snap differently. Snap isn’t about promoting, posturing, styling or selling. It’s about story telling. It’s an entirely new context to add more dimension and humanness to your personal brand, which is why I am particularly excited about it.


You might be thinking: “How do I do that? I don’t know or have any good stories to tell.”

The truth is: your life is your story.

Again, you’re probably saying to yourself: “No one cares about my morning routine, or wants to watch my toddler whine, or stand in line with me at the grocery store.”

Actually. You're wrong.

So long as you become intentional about it and maximize all that Snapchat has to offer, you can turn even the most mundane parts of your day into some of your most entertaining, inspiring, moving and/or educational content. You can also utilize it to amplify your personal brand, grow your business, create deeper relationships, add more revenue to your bottomline and absolutely elevate the meaningfulness of your “social” life. It just boils down to intention.

1

Tell. A. Story.

I know, I know, I sound like a broken record, but I really want to cement this point. There’s nothing wrong with being a “poster” — which a lot of people indeed are. Posters are Snappers who post random pictures and videos in this hypothetical order: a photo of the new orchid flower on your desk in the morning…then a few hours later… a photo of your burger at lunch…then a quick video of the beautiful sunset off your balcony in the evening. That’s all interesting enough content, but I, as your follower, want to see the narrative behind all of that.

Who gave you that orchid? Was it a gift? How did it make you feel? And that burger? Was it the best burger you’ve had in a while? Should I, your follower, go to that restaurant to try it myself and if so — how should I ask for it to be prepared? How did it make you feel? And perhaps that moment watching that sunset off your balcony is the first moment of quiet you’ve had all day. Maybe all week. How does THAT make you feel? The nuances of your day are the crown jewel of your content on Snap…because, remember, content is king.

Extra tip: try to create a true beginning, middle and end to your stories. To do this the most seamlessly, I like to turn my phone on airplane mode and take all the snaps of my story at once. (FYI- you can still send Snaps to your story in this mode, they will just stay pending.) Then once you’ve completed your story, you can upload your snaps in one swoop and essentially “publish” your masterpiece.

2

Say HI!

The Chat feature in Snapchat is hands down my personal favorite feature in the app. It’s an entirely new way to approach “social community management.” Why? Because you’re not managing a community at all… you’re creating relationships. This requires a bit of effort on your part, but the rewards of this are worth every bit of it. The results are not only better engagement on your Snaps, but creating connection and context with other people, which can lead to anything from a higher Snap score, more followers, a new prospective client, a new collaborator or simply a rad new friend. Just like with your storytelling, be intentional — and proactive — with your conversations. Respond to the content you’re seeing in people’s Snaps by sending them a personal message about it, Snap back to the people who are doing the same to you, and get to know what your fellow Snappers are into so you can share direct Snaps you feel they’d find valuable.

3

Create value & ask questions.

I’m a total proponent of randomness. Seriously: the weirder, the better. That kind of content can be where we get a glimpse of the most genuine and authentic versions of the people we follow. But don’t turn your Snapchat feed into one long self-indulgent, self-entertaining channel. Remember, just like your followers on Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter who are most likely following you for inspiration, insights and answers, view Snapchat similarly. Make your channel a generous one. Give away insider tips, share links to what’s motivating you, and bounce questions off your followers, which inherently showcases that you value the feedback of the people who clearly value you. Create a Q&A call-out. Screenshot some of the answers you receive in return and share those right back via your Stories, amplifying your followers. At its core, Snapchat is a 1 to 1 messaging platform, but you can create community (and loyalty) by the virtue of strong, relevant and “crowd-sourced” content.

4

Promote other people.

I refer to Snapchat as “the walled garden.” Since you can’t search by hashtags and common interests, or share posts or the accounts of others to your feed, you have to proactively seek out the accounts you want to follow. However, one of the best ways to find people to follow are from referrals to accounts from the people you’re following. So, instead of waiting for someone to promote you, promote someone else. (Again — focus on generosity.) Share someone’s Snapcode or user name, or a screenshot from your 1:1 message interaction with them. Or, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, swap accounts with a follow Snapchatter to promote each other’s accounts and interact with their followers. This not only results in creating more value for your fans (which should always be your #1 priority), but it’s also a great way to gain more exposure and increase your following. Paying it forward always pays you back.

5

Keep coming back.

Just like with any other social platform, consistency is key. But unlike any other social platform, you don’t have worry about bombarding your following by posting too often.

You would never post 10 Instagram posts in a row (or at least, I hope you wouldn’t!) and you wouldn’t fire off tweets 24 hours a day (unless you were CNN), and you probably don’t update your Facebook friends morning, noon and night…right? These platforms all have their optimal cadences, but Snapchat is intended to be fluid. The more often you post to your Stories, the more you’re going to show up in your followers’ feed. But unlike Twitter or Instagram, with its mandatory scroll, Snap users can scroll their Story feed and skip around to what they want to watch. The purpose is simply to stay in the game. (I like to post a Snap to my Story first thing in the morning and the last thing in the evening, to ensure I’m capturing my audience no matter where they are in the 24-hour cycle.) Consistency keeps you visible which increases your viewers, which enhances your engagement, which results in stronger connections, which is the secret sauce of Snapchat.

6

Play!

I recently took a meeting with a couple executives at Snapchat and they shared with me that founder Evan Spiegel’s number one priority is hyper focused around creativity. If it’s not creative, it doesn’t belong in Snap. This anecdote got me so jazzed. If you take a look at every feature, function and tool — from the ability to draw, the custom stickers, moving Emojis, face-filters, geo-filters — everything is intended to be fun and engaging to play with and create. Take advantage of it all to enhance your storytelling.

7

Get Real.

Vulnerability is the new authenticity. (Can someone please quote me on that?)

There’s nothing more compelling, attractive, alluring and downright irresistible than your raw truth. For the record, I’m far more interested in hearing about your successes and failures, getting a peek inside a moment of panic or pure delight, or witnessing you goof around and geek out, over seeing your perfectly color coordinated desk accessories. (#SorryNotSorry, Instagram.)

Snapchat provides context to showcase your humanity, your sense of humor, your self-deprecation and — best of all — your vulnerability, unlike any other medium.

Snapchat allows you to… wait for it… Simply Be. (Is it becoming even clearer why I am so obsessed with it?) So get real and get going. And make sure you follow me on the Snap. I can’t wait to see YOUR boss skills soon.

Culture

A Modern Day Witch Hunt: How Caster Semenya's Gender Became A Hot Topic In The Media

Gender divisions in sports have primarily served to keep women out of what has always been believed to be a male domain. The idea of women participating alongside men has been regarded with contempt under the belief that women were made physically inferior.


Within their own division, women have reached new heights, received accolades for outstanding physical performance and endurance, and have proven themselves to be as capable of athletic excellence as men. In spite of women's collective fight to be recognized as equals to their male counterparts, female athletes must now prove their womanhood in order to compete alongside their own gender.

That has been the reality for Caster Semenya, a South African Olympic champion, who has been at the center of the latest gender discrimination debate across the world. After crushing her competition in the women's 800-meter dash in 2016, Semenya was subjected to scrutiny from her peers based upon her physical appearance, calling her gender into question. Despite setting a new national record for South Africa and attaining the title of fifth fastest woman in Olympic history, Semenya's success was quickly brushed aside as she became a spectacle for all the wrong reasons.

Semenya's gender became a hot topic among reporters as the Olympic champion was subjected to sex testing by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). According to Ruth Padawer from the New York Times, Semenya was forced to undergo relentless examination by gender experts to determine whether or not she was woman enough to compete as one. While the IAAF has never released the results of their testing, that did not stop the media from making irreverent speculations about the athlete's gender.

Moments after winning the Berlin World Athletics Championship in 2009, Semenya was faced with immediate backlash from fellow runners. Elisa Cusma who suffered a whopping defeat after finishing in sixth place, felt as though Semenya was too masculine to compete in a women's race. Cusma stated, "These kind of people should not run with us. For me, she is not a woman. She's a man." While her statement proved insensitive enough, her perspective was acknowledged and appeared to be a mutually belief among the other white female competitors.

Fast forward to 2018, the IAAF issued new Eligibility Regulations for Female Classification (Athlete with Differences of Sexual Development) that apply to events from 400m to the mile, including 400m hurdles races, 800m, and 1500m. The regulations created by the IAAF state that an athlete must be recognized at law as either female or intersex, she must reduce her testosterone level to below 5 nmol/L continuously for the duration of six months, and she must maintain her testosterone levels to remain below 5 nmol/L during and after competing so long as she wishes to be eligible to compete in any future events. It is believed that these new rules have been put into effect to specifically target Semenya given her history of being the most recent athlete to face this sort of discrimination.

With these regulations put into effect, in combination with the lack of information about whether or not Semenya is biologically a female of male, society has seemed to come to the conclusion that Semenya is intersex, meaning she was born with any variation of characteristics, chromosomes, gonads, sex hormones, or genitals. After her initial testing, there had been alleged leaks to media outlets such as Australia's Daily Telegraph newspaper which stated that Semenya's results proved that her testosterone levels were too high. This information, while not credible, has been widely accepted as fact. Whether or not Semenya is intersex, society appears to be missing the point that no one is entitled to this information. Running off their newfound acceptance that the Olympic champion is intersex, it calls into question whether her elevated levels of testosterone makes her a man.

The IAAF published a study concluding that higher levels of testosterone do, in fact, contribute to the level of performance in track and field. However, higher testosterone levels have never been the sole determining factor for sex or gender. There are conditions that affect women, such as PCOS, in which the ovaries produce extra amounts of testosterone. However, those women never have their womanhood called into question, nor should they—and neither should Semenya.

Every aspect of the issue surrounding Semenya's body has been deplorable, to say the least. However, there has not been enough recognition as to how invasive and degrading sex testing actually is. For any woman, at any age, to have her body forcibly examined and studied like a science project by "experts" is humiliating and unethical. Under no circumstances have Semenya's health or well-being been considered upon discovering that her body allegedly produces an excessive amount of testosterone. For the sake of an organization, for the comfort of white female athletes who felt as though Semenya's gender was an unfair advantage against them, Semenya and other women like her, must undergo hormone treatment to reduce their performance to that of which women are expected to perform at. Yet some women within the athletic community are unphased by this direct attempt to further prove women as inferior athletes.

As difficult as this global invasion of privacy has been for the athlete, the humiliation and sense of violation is felt by her people in South Africa. Writer and activist, Kari, reported that Semenya has had the country's undying support since her first global appearance in 2009. Even after the IAAF released their new regulations, South Africans have refuted their accusations. Kari stated, "The Minister of Sports and Recreation and the Africa National Congress, South Africa's ruling party labeled the decision as anti-sport, racist, and homophobic." It is no secret that the build and appearance of Black women have always been met with racist and sexist commentary. Because Black women have never managed to fit into the European standard of beauty catered to and in favor of white women, the accusations of Semenya appearing too masculine were unsurprising.

Despite the countless injustices Semenya has faced over the years, she remains as determined as ever to return to track and field and compete amongst women as the woman she is. Her fight against the IAAF's regulations continues as the Olympic champion has been receiving and outpour of support in wake of the Association's decision. Semenya is determined to run again, win again, and set new and inclusive standards for women's sports.