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Snapchat: What You Need to Know! (A Guide for People Over 40)

May 24 2016

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Snapchat is much more than selfies with cool filters that morph your face (more on that later), pictures of day to day activities (isn't that social media in a nutshell?), and celebrities trying to act just like us. Snapchat is a social network that has rapidly grown in popularity over the past year; it has a higher growth rate than Twitter AND more brand recognition than Pinterest and LinkedIn combined! According to StatistaStatista, 26% of Snapchat's user base is 25-34 year olds, i.e. millennials! If these stats don't say "build an account now," I don't know what does.

This spring, we want you to burst out of your social media comfort zone and open your eyes to new worlds of unsaturated, social opportunity. Snapchat is ripe for the picking, so why not see what's in store for you? Don't forget to tune into my YouTube channel for a complete tutorial on this emerging network and you'll be snapping in no time!

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is a mobile social network that allows users to send pictures or videos either in a direct message format or as a "story" for followers to see. If you send a direct "snap" to another user, the message will self-destruct within a few seconds upon receipt. If you add the snap to your story, your content receives an extension and lives for 24 hours. Adding it to your story makes it visible to all of your followers rather than just selected users. The only other caveat with Snapchat is that everything is captured live; no image/video uploads here!  So now you're wondering, how does a real estate professional use this? I have the answers; read on.


If you regularly read this column, you know how much I harp on the importance of adding videos to your content strategy. Videos are key; traffic and viewership migrate to videos like a moth to the flame. Be that flame!

You can take your listings to a brand new level by taking a video tour of the home. Each snap video only lasts 10 seconds, perfect for going room by room and highlighting key features of each. Don't worry, you can add as much content as you wish without overwhelming your audience. Think of it as an offshoot of Twitter: the more content the better. Check out this video for how it works and the screen shots:

Daily Snaps

As with all social media, you have to have fun and be creative when you incorporate your business. Snap videos of you on the way to an open house, drafting up a counter offer, overseeing listing photography, business wins, the list is endless. The day in a life of a real estate professional can be exciting; it's all in how you spin it and present it to your audience!

Selfie Filters

One of the pillars of Snapchat are the incredibly fun filters that rotate daily. These filters can range from exceptionally flattering (beauty filter, I'm looking at you), to fun (the puppy dog face), to just plain ridiculous. As fun as these filters are for showing off your best and worst assets, they can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool. Not only do they help sell your personality (after all, clients choose to work with YOU), but they can be used to convey major business wins!

Some of the filters that come in and out of the rotation express a wide range of emotions from exceptionally happy to extremely sad. Pick and chose as you wish, and turn it into a video if you dare! These filters help break the norm of the daily content and help to sell you as the agent, the one clients can trust, but who also has a terrific sense of humor.

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Geofilters are a terrific off-shoot of the infamous selfie filters, but will only work when your mobile device's location services are enabled. Geofilters pop up around popular locations, the more users in a specific geographic area, the more diverse the filters will be. For example, various neighborhoods in New York City have their own geofilters due to the high population and high number of users. On the other hand, Norfolk, VA has only three geofilters, all of which are various mermaids.

No matter the quality or quantity of geofilters, they can be powerful marketing tools for you, AND be used to bolster the awareness of your listings and local credibility!

For example, you could harness the power of geofilters to create a contest surrounding your newest listings. All you would need to do is snap a pic of the property before it hits the MLS, maybe as the listing photography is happening. Upload it to Snapchat, and use the appropriate local geofilter.

Take it one step further by giving a few details of the property: square footage, school district, luxury amenities, etc., and make a contest of having a fan/follower guess the correct listing price before it goes live with the promise of a prize or gift card. Save the image, repurpose it to your other social media sites, and you have listing recognition gold! Plus, everyone likes to play along for a prize and will remember the measures you took to get a property noticed when it's time for that person to sell, too.

The Best Part of Snapchat

The absolute best part of Snapchat is that you can repurpose this content to ALL of your other social media sites. Going back to the concept of making your time on social media work for you, Snapchat supports this initiative. It's as easy as posting it to Snapchat, saving the content (since it won't automatically save to your camera roll), and reposting on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, anything!

I hope you're ready to explore all Snapchat has to offer–including how it can help elevate your marketing this summer!

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