What is SnapChat?! And what can it do for MY business?

What is Snapchat?! And what can it do for MY business?


With the recent announcement of Snapchat’s release of version 2.0, I figured it was time to step out of my comfort zone (the one that puts me squarely in the ‘what is Snapchat and how can it possibly be useful to me?) and jump onto the Snapchat wagon. First though, of course, I needed to understand how Snapchat can help promote and build social following from a BUSINESS standpoint.

Here is what I have discovered (and what has turned me into an instant Snapchat fan).

Snapchat Beginnings….

Snapchat began as an app targeted mostly to teenagers, looking for a new way to communicate with their ‘own kind’, especially with Facebook suddenly seeing their parents, aunts, uncles and even grandparents joining, they needed a way to keep their individuality alive!

Here’s a quick Snapshot (pun intended) of the history of Snapchat.

snap chat graph

Want more info on the timeline or a guide to using Snapchat (step by step with images!) Check out Gary Vaynerchuk’s website and blog.

Let’s talk about that release of version 2.0.

Snapchat added tons more features to their existing app that includes:

Snapchat Stories now auto-advance, so when you get to the end of watching a friend’s Story or swipe left, the next Story in your list starts playing for easy lean-back watching

Over 200 Stickers are now available in private chat, and ones related to text you’ve typed like “love you” or “hungry” are instantly surfaced when you press the Stickers button.

Video Notes in Chat let you record and send a quick 10-second max thumbnail-sized GIF-like loop so you can react with your face

Audio Notes work similarly, allowing you to send short voice snippets

Video or Audio Call someone even if you aren’t already text chatting, which makes Snapchat into more of a phone

Send multiple photos at a time in chat, an dmark them up with Snapchat’s text, drawing, and filter tools first

Send camera roll photos during a Video or Audio Call and they’ll be translucently overlaid on the screen

Toggle on the fly between Video and Audio Calls, Video and Audio notes, stickers, and text as your environment or intentions change*

*Above Updated features Source: Josh Constine,

“Photos that self destruct in 10 seconds aren’t even the point of Snapchat anymore. With today’s launch of Snapchat 2.0, Snapchat wants to BE your phone.” ~ Josh Constine,

So what does that mean? Basically, all the features, tasks, contacting abilities and reactions that you would normally use multiple apps on your phone for, can ALL be done with one app, namely: Snapchat.

With over 100 million daily active users and 400 million snaps per day, with 71% of Snapchat’s U.S. users fall into the 18 to 34 age range, Snapchat is quickly becoming one of the largest and fastest growing social media outlets and with that growth, it is a social media channel you CANNOT afford to ignore. SocialMediaExaminer recently wrote a piece on how a business can use Snapchat to promote their brand.

Here’s their Top 5 Ways to use Snapchat for Business

#1: Provide Access to Live Events

Snapchat is perfect for real-time social media marketing because it can give the audience direct access to live events. You can use it for product launches, trade shows or one-of-a-kind events like the 1,000th customer to shop in your store.

#2: Deliver Private Content

You can also use Snapchat to provide special content to your audience that they might not receive on other digital platforms. Think of something unique to surprise your community of followers.

#3: Offer Contests, Perks or Promotions

Everyone loves social media giveaways and promotions, so think of ways you can keep your followers coming back for more. For example, you could offer promo codes or discounts to the fans who watch your entire Snapchat story, or ask them to take a snap while holding your product.

#4: Take People Behind the Curtain

With Snapchat, you can provide behind-the-scenes content to your community, which helps create and engage a strong following. Show off your company and make sure to have fun with it. Capture birthday parties, Friday afternoons or company outings. The sky’s the limit on showing how your brand differentiates itself with company culture.

#5: Partner With Influencers

Just like with Instagram and other social channels, social media influencers on Snapchat can help spread brand awareness and reach. By partnering with influencers, you can spread awareness to a demographic that’s hard to reach through traditional media.

Read the full article with some great examples of real businesses using Snapchat here.

So, are you ready to take the plunge into the world of Snapchat? If you are looking for new and innovative ways to promote your business and grow your followers, you can no longer ignore the phenomena that is Snapchat.

Ready to plan your Digital Marketing Strategy?  Contact Us NOW. Stay ahead of the game and in the know with ALL the digital trends with SparkHype’s expertise and digital know-how.

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What Matters

I was recently at a local networking event listening to a well respected speaker. He has accomplished many great things in his career and was telling us a number of things that were inspiring and worth contemplating. As a leader who helped the audience reflect and think about his/her career path, the one thing I heard was to constantly be asking “Why Not?” I will dive into that some more in future posts, but all I could think about was my daughter’s new line of questioning.

What Matters?

As a seven year old, she doesn’t know how profound she is being by innocently mixing up the words of ‘why does that matter?’ or ‘who cares?’ but it got me thinking….”What Matters?” could actually be a leading question we should all be asking ourselves when faced with decisions. They could be trivial and insurmountable or life-changing decisions that we are empowered to make all from asking ourselves a simple question….

I will continue to explore this topic in future posts, as I think she may just be on to something more wise than beyond her years.

10 Simple Google Calendar Tips and Tricks to Boost Your Productivity


By Amy-Mae Elliott Shared from
Google‘s free Calendar tool is a handy way to organize your life online, but how much time have you invested getting to know the service?We have 10 tips and tricks that will help you to get more out of Google Calendar. Discover quick ways to add events, schedule your agenda to be emailed to you on a daily basis, and many more valuable Calendar tricks.

Take a look through our gallery of GCal tips. Let us know in the comments about any other handy shortcuts you’ve come across.



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    1. Use Keyboard Shortcuts

    An entire list of Google Calendar keyboard shortcuts will help you get around the service more quickly.

    For example, “S” goes to the “Settings” menu, “D,” “W” and “M” produce day, week and month displays, “/” pulls up the search box, and “Q” brings up the “Quick add” field.

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    2. Add a Different Time Zone

    Did you know you can get Google Calendar to display multiple timezones?

    To activate this functionality, hit “S” to head to “Settings” menu. Now, under the “General” tab you can see “Your current time zone.” Click on “Show an additional time zone,” and then tick the box “Display all time zones.”

    Add in a new time zone by scrolling down, selecting the one you want and hitting save.

    Now you will see both timezones in your “day” and “week” Calendar views.

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    3. Add National Holidays

    Google Calendar can show various national holidays.

    To activate this, hit “S” for Settings, click on the “Calendars” tab, then “Browse interesting calendars.”

    You can now preview and subscribe to various calendars.

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    4. Change Your Custom Date Range View

    Found at the top-right of your Calendar page, the day, week, month and agenda views are default options, but you can customize another tab.

    The default is set to “4 days,” but there are other options here. To see them, hit “S” for settings and scroll down until you see “Custom view” drop-down menu. Now you have options to view 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 or 7 days, or 2, 3 or 4 weeks.

    Incidentally, if you only use GCal for work, you can prevent it from displaying weekends. This option can be found a little higher up in the general settings menu, where it reads “Show weekend” and a “yes or no” choice.

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    5. Add Tasks Into Your Calendar

    While Gmail Tasks don’t show up in your calendar by default, the service is simple to enable. On the left-hand side of your main calendar click on the “My calendars” menu and select “Tasks”. These will now display in your calendar.

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    6. Share Your Calendar

    You can share your Google Calendar with anyone via email.

    To start sharing, hit “S” to take you to Settings, click on the “Calendars” tab, then look for “Share this calendar” on the right-hand side of the page. Click on this, add in an email address and then select your preferred access option.

    You can also give someone the ability to “make changes and manage sharing,” “make changes to events,” “see all event details,” or “see only free/busy” with details of events withheld — a super handy privacy tool.

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    7. Get Your Agenda In Your Inbox Every Day

    You can set Google Calendar to email you your agenda on a daily basis.

    To take advantage of this useful tool, hit “S,” got to the “Calendars” tab and click the “Notifications” link that should appear around the middle of the page.

    This will let you manage all your notifications, but click the “Daily agenda” option to receive an email with your agenda every day at 5 a.m. in your current time zone.

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    8. Use Quick Add

    The “Quick add” option is a great way to speedily create events.

    This sophisticated tool works best if you use the principle of “what, with who, where and when.” So, “Meeting with Tom at “Venue Name” on Tuesday 2.15 p.m.” is the correct way to enter info.

    If you want to enter an all-day event, then don’t enter a time — just use the date. So “1/25 training day” would work in that instance.

    Our favorite trick with this tool is using someone’s email address to create an invite at the same time you “Quick add” the event.

    This means “Meeting with on 1/25 at 10 a.m.” will generate a GCal invite for your invitee.

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    9. Use Calendar Search

    You can hit the “/” key for a quick search, but if you want to see a list of events by venue, participants or event type, there is a more advanced way to search.

    Simply select “Show search options” next to the search toolbar and you can narrow down your search by the “what,” “who” and “where” fields.

    This also lets you search a specific timeframe in a particular Calendar, so it’s a handy option to note.

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    10. View Your Calendar Offline

    The Google-made Chrome app will give you access to a read-only version of your Calendar, even when you don’t have Internet access.