The past few weeks, Midnight Publishing has been discussing the newest app to really take over social media in a big way: Snapchat. Reports have come in that 60 percent of Snapchat users are under the age of 24, so if you’re a Young Adult author or Middle Grade author especially, this app might be an incredible marketing tool for raising awareness about your books as well as to gain readers and build your author brand. If you missed Midnight Publishing’s first two posts on what Snapchat is and how to make an account, refer back to our blog’s archive page here. Today we’re going to offer some advice and ideas on what to post on your Snapchat, as well as the faux pas to avoid in the Snapchat culture.

What to Post on Your Snapchat Story

A common issue that our staff of writers and editors discusses regarding Snapchat is…what the heck do we post? We are writers—our livelihood is focused on the craft of the written word and Snapchat is an app that works almost solely with videos and pictures. So we looked to some of the most popular and successful Snapchatters since the app gained traction in the past few years for guidance: Chelsea Handler, the Kardashians/Jenners and well-known YouTubers like Manny MUA to name a few.

1. Beautiful Surroundings

Gone on a trip somewhere? See a gorgeous sunset outside your window? Snap it and share with a witty caption. Snapchat and Instagram photo ideas are similar in a lot of ways, but with Snapchat you have the option to add a funny or meaningful caption, emojis, your Bitmoji, etc. And remember: Snapchat is temporary, spontaneous, playful, and personal whereas Instagram is more serious and focuses on the artistic value of the content.

2. Your Pets/Cute Animals

‘Nuff said. But seriously, Chelsea Handler posts videos about her dogs’ Chunk and Tammy all the time, and they help to build her brand and fan base in two ways: everyone wants to look at a cute and cuddly animal, and when she shows her love for her animals, people feel more endeared toward her.

3. Your Books and Processes Surrounding Your Books or Professional Successes/Endeavors

Signings, receiving them in the mail and viewing them for the first time, putting them on a bookshelf in a store as a joke, etc. Use your imagination, and once again, make it playful. Here, follow the Twitter rule about marketing your business: 10 percent advertising your books, 90 percent fun and entertaining content. Your entertaining content can still be about your books, just ensure that it’s not a boring ad. What if you’re an Amazon bestseller on a particular day? Take a funny video with a Snapchat filter and share it with your fans so that you can all celebrate together.

4. Your Favorite Things

At a café about to demolish your favorite kind of croissant? Share it! Trying to decide between two shirts at your favorite store in the mall? Share it! Attempting to perfect a new dance move in the club or workout in the gym? Share it! Snapchat is very personal, essentially a conversation or photo/video you would share with your closest friends, except that anyone who adds you can view it for 24 hours.

Faux Pas to Avoid

With every form of social media comes a unique list of faux pas to avoid if you want to really excel at the platform. Below are some of the ones Midnight Publishing has discovered when it comes to what not to do:

1. Screenshotting Someone’s Snap

We haven’t discussed this yet, but if you receive a personalized Snap from a friend, you have the option to screenshot it and save to your phone’s photos. However, the sender is notified of this. Due to Snapchat’s temporary nature, screenshotting a Snap is considered “bad form” or odd unless you’re really close with the sender.

2. Too Much or Too Little Time for Your Snaps

You have the ability to add a timer to every Snap you send, from one second to 10 seconds, and depending on the content (an awe-inspiring panorama photo in Hawaii versus you making a silly face), you should alter the timer accordingly.

3. Sending a Snap to Someone and Simultaneously Adding it to Your Snap Story

This can be annoying for people, as they might already view your Story and then have to see the same content again. Choose one or the other.

Whether you’re just beginning to build your author platform or have already released several books and are working on another, Midnight Publishing is here to help! We are an award-winning group of editors and writers who have worked with dozens of authors over the years to help them polish their manuscripts, build their brand, and even shape their book ideas from the very beginning! Contact us today to discuss a free editing sample and getting scheduled.