It’s a well-known fact that social media is one of the best ways to reach readers nowadays, but with technology and apps constantly updating and being created, it can be dizzying for any author to keep track of where to build their online presence! Don’t worry, Midnight Publishing’s staff of editors and writers is right there with you, and we take our job of helping authors grow their brand very seriously. That’s why we’re going to explore the latest app to enter the social media scene: Snapchat. In this first post we’re going to provide an overview of Snapchat and an easy glossary to familiarize yourself with the lingo, and over the next few weeks we’ll delve into how to create an account, find friends, post to your Snap Story, avoid Snapchat faux pas and provide tips on what to post when you’re an author trying to entertain the reading masses (hint: Snaps of your pets will always be a good choice). Here we go:

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat was created by Stanford students Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown in 2011 and rose to prominence in 2012. It’s a photo-sharing app that focuses on “impermanence” – photos, videos and chats sent specifically to another Snapchat friend can only be viewed once before they disappear forever, and when you post public Snaps to your Snap Story, they’re only available for 24 hours.

Glossary:

*Snap: A photo or video you take. You can either send it to a friend(s) of your choice, or add to your Snapchat Story.

*Snapchat Story: These is your “public” viewable Snapchats. You can post any Snap you take to your Story, and any of your friends/fans/readers (those who’ve subscribed to your Snapchat account) can view them in successive order for 24 hours.

*Filter: These are funny alterations you can add to your Snapchat selfies; popular ones include the dog ears, the bunny ears, and voice-altering filters.

*GeoFilter: These are unique filters that can be added based on your location. They include the temperature, landmarks, and more.

*Doodles: This is an option you can use on your Snaps, where you select a color from the dropdown menu at the top and “doodle” with your finger on the photo to write or draw something.

*Stickers: These are additional icons you can add to your Snap photos, including emoji’s or the newly popular and personalized Bitmoji, which is an expressive cartoon avatar you can add to your Snaps.

*Caption: This is an overlay option you can use to write something over your Snap photo in differing fonts.

Why Authors Should Use It

The main reason why Midnight Publishing recommends you begin using Snapchat is because it’s the “app of the future.” Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Google+ all have their merits, but millennials (especially those in their early twenties and younger) don’t use them. Snapchat offers three things that make it far different from other social media platforms:

1. Snapchat is Much More Personal and Brings You Closer to Your Readers

Snapchat is used via photos and videos, thus, you have to post something that is viewable and visual. Studies have shown that when we view someone’s face and hear their voice, inflection, and mannerisms we feel much closer and endeared to that person. Your readers and fans will feel as if they know you a lot better through Snapchat videos than tweets or Facebook posts.

2. Snapchat Encourages Spontaneity Due to its Impermanence and Caters to the Masses of Young People with Shorter Attention Spans

Because Snapchat Stories only last for 24 hours, Snaps are the perfect way to showcase yourself and your author brand in small, digestible chunks that won’t overwhelm your readers and fans.

**If you’re a Young Adult author, Snapchat is incredibly useful for building your author brand as a huge majority of its users are your target market!**

3. Snapchat Offers Chances to be Silly and Creative Through its Filters, Stickers, Doodles, and GeoFilters

These filters allow you to distort your face and voice in funny ways, and offer authors the chance to display the silly side of their personality to readers, fans, and subscribers. It’s just another way to endear yourself toward readers, and encourage comradery and support in your books and brand.

Come back next week to read Midnight Publishing’s easy how-to guide on setting up your Snapchat, and what we recommend you post to build a huge reader following! Don’t hesitate to contact us at any time to discuss your writing project ideas, book revision needs, and to request a free editing sample from our award-winning editors! We’ve been trusted with over five million words since inception; find out why today.