Social Media

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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Top 7 Do’s and Don’ts when posting to Linkedin

Top 7 Do’s and Don’ts: 7 Good (and Bad) Ways to Use The LinkedIn Status Update Box

Social Media Marketer | Entrepreneur

1. Share links (using a URL shortener) to interesting articles, websites or video you have found that some individuals in your network might appreciate. Don’t worry about whether all of your connections will find the information equally valuable. Also, try to use words that grab the readers and encourage them to click the link.

2. Pose a question that could lead to solving a problem you have, like: “Anyone know any good controller candidates?” One of my connections saved $20,000 in recruiting fees by posting an update like this a couple days before calling a recruiter. (I apologize to all recruiters for having to mention this situation.)

3. Conduct an informal poll of your network (which consists of many smart businesspeople) relating to a topic that is of interest to you, such as: “What interest rates are you seeing for lines of credit in the current environment?”

4. Mention a person or a situation that might be helpful to some of your connections, like: “I just met with John Jones from ABC Insurance Company and found out they are saving companies lots of $$ on workmen’s compensation insurance.”

5. Talk about an event you are attending or have attended to encourage involvement and/or questions about what you learned there.

6. If you are a job seeker, don’t use this to say, “Hey, I’m still looking for a job.” Rather, mention job fairs you are attending, people you are interviewing with, networking events you are going to, etc.

7. Use the “Like” feature when you see a helpful update from one of your connections. Doing this shares that update with your entire network.

1. Mentioning personal things–like what you had for breakfast and the fact your dog is sick today–is just wrong. This suggests to the business professionals in your network that you don’t really respect their time.

2. Continually talking about specific products and services takes people back to the days of big newspaper ads and screaming radio messages. This is not the purpose of social media, especially LinkedIn.

3. Avoid talking about topics that might be sensitive to some of your audience. I am too embarrassed to even think about, let alone share, some of the items I see posted as status updates. You know what I mean. If your mother wouldn’t want you talking about it, don’t put it in your LinkedIn Status Box.

4. Think twice before posting your physical whereabouts. I have heard several real-life examples of people’s homes being broken into after putting out an “I-am-out-of-town” update on Twitter. Sorry, all you Foursquare users, but I had to share that.

5. The LinkedIn/Twitter interface is causing people to have too many LinkedIn updates as well as inappropriate updates. So, if you are using that interface, be selective about the updates you share between the two platforms. LinkedIn and Twitter are designed with different purposes and strategies.

6. The netiquette on LinkedIn is no more than a couple updates per day, whereas on Twitter you are almost expected to tweet twenty times per day. (I apologize to my Twitter followers for not getting out twenty per day!) So, watch the frequency of your LinkedIn status updates.

7. Don’t waste your time reading updates from people who violate all of the above. By using the “Hide” function, you can stop an individual’s status updates from showing up on your home page.

Follow these simple suggestions, and you will be on your way to being a model LinkedIn citizen!

LINKED-IN-SUCCESS at: is a perfect training course for Business Owners, Marketers, Job seeker and Recruiters to master LinkedIn as Professional. I strongly recommend this course to Business Owners, Marketers, Job seeker and Recruiters to build a profitable audience. It would be your lifetime asset.

10 Free Apps for Productivity, Social Media & SEO

10 Free Apps for Productivity, Social Media & SEO

Social Media is the buzz word driving brands across the world. With countless number of tools available to monitor, manage and analyze the social media activity of your fans, you might feel like wandering in a forest. In this article, we present you the hand-picked apps that are tailor-made for social media analysts and content marketers.

Also, we have been endlessly reading articles and research columns on either “SEO is dead” or “Is SEO dead?” from reputed writers. On the other hand, the myriad number of apps to optimize and efficiently use SEO is being launched day in and day out. SEO is not dead, at least for now.


When Gmail is opened, the most boring part on your screen is the right hand side panel. How about changing it into an interactive social media profile of the person to whom you want to send mail? That’s exactly how Rapportive works. As you type the e-mail ID of the person in the “To” field, you can see the recipient’s social media profiles in the right hand side panel of your screen.



Rapportive works with your Gmail inbox to give you near-instant rich contact information for almost everyone you want to reach. It is head and shoulders above any other Gmail add-in and a must-have for marketers. If you want more reasons to substantiate the efficiency of Rapportive, here is one – Paul Buchheit, the creator of GMAIL has been funding this start-up.


Do you believe in Benjamin Franklin’s famous quote “Time is money”? If yes, Boomerang is all yours. It is the best time management app available for Gmail.




You can schedule your emails for a future date, create a reminder for a mail to pop up on top of the inbox just before you leave for a movie (to take print-out of the ticket) or a meeting (to recollect the agenda) and the best feature about Boomerang is that it alerts you when someone doesn’t respond to your email after a specific timeframe (you can set that). No better app offers response tracking as good as Boomerang.

Yoast WordPress SEO Plugin

As I write this, Yoast has been downloaded over 6.4 million times and the rating out of 5 stands at 4.7, which is extraordinary by any yardstick. If you could choose only one WordPress plug-in for your website, the first would be from Yoast and so would the second. This one sets the standard.

Open Graph tags and managing Google Authorship are the two best features of Yoast. The former helps the posts from your website look appealing when someone shares it across Facebook or Twitter and the latter reduces your effort significantly to complete Google authorship. Get it right away.


It’s an easy A/B testing and analytics tool to help you move toward success in your CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) efforts. See if you have mulled over these questions.

While working on new designs for your website’s landing page, have you ever had hunches about how the visitors will welcome the effort? Will the new-look show way to an uptick in site traffic? What would be the conversion rate?

Optimizely answers all the above questions in a simple manner one could comprehend.

Gravity Forms

Gravity Forms site says “Over half a million wordpress sites use Gravity Forms.” That’s a testament to its productivity. With Gravity Forms, you can create complex and powerful contact forms for your website without any fuss.


Gravity Forms

Gravity Forms

It provides a simple drag and drop feature to create and customize forms with conditional logic fields. As the name suggests, Gravity Forms doesn’t stop with just support, order and contact forms creation. It also allows launching quick surveys and creating polls instantaneously. Site-building is no more a drudging task when you have Gravity Forms.


It is one of the best task management web apps available. Its best features include nested lists, tagging keywords (for better compilation) and implementation of brainstorming. Even when writing this article, it’s become inevitable for me to switch tabs to reach out to WorkFlowy to recall my thought-process. The UI is neat, quick and responsive enough for one to engage.




Be it note-making, jotting a list of ideas for your blog or planning an event, WorkFlowy makes your job easier than never before. It works offline too for iOS users. If you master a few keyboard shortcuts, task management is a cakewalk forever.


Trello is basically a more optimized version of WorkFlowy, taking list-making to the next level. It is the best and easy-to-use project management app available. If you want to collaborate with your team members for a particular project and assign specific tasks to everyone, Trello is the answer.




Trello is all about boards, lists and cards. You can organize your projects in boards, assign and organize topics in lists and arrange individual tasks in the lists as cards. You can add check lists, assign due dates and also attach PDF files up to 10MB in the attachment tab. Make it your default project management app for better collaboration with the team.


It is probably the best online image editing tool available for content creators and designers. If you’re ignorant about Adobe Photoshop, it is the go-to tool to design images in an effortless manner. It is chocked up with various image editing options and manipulation tools to create images on the go.




It comes with three versions – Pixlr Omatic, Pixlr Express and Pixlr Editor – in which Pixlr Editor is nothing but photoshop made easy. Pixlr Express offers amazing image adjustments, filters, overlay and borders all in an easy-to-navigate interface which makes it the best among the three.

Social Mention

It is a real-time social media search and analysis web tool. It brings together the content generated across the web in an orderly fashion. It divides your keyword search into four categories namely strength, passion, sentiment and reach.


Social Mention

Social Mention

Strength is measured using the phrase mentions and sentiment is assessed using the ratio between positive to negative mentions. Reach is the most crucial feature since it measures the ratio between the number of unique users to the total number of mentions. It is the best tool to analyze your brands’ social media activity.

Customised Google Maps

Google’s acquisition of ‘Where 2 Technologies’ will go down in history as one of the remarkable leaps in data visualization. What started as a simple C++ program almost a decade back has turned everyone of us into cartographers in our own right, thanks to Google’s extraordinary vision.


With Google Maps Engine, one can create customized maps with their own references and collate your areas of interest before planning a vacation. You can also upload data source in excel formats to visualize the same on maps, share organized maps with your friends and compare the maps that you have already created. To conclude, Google Maps Engine has made cartography easier and lively for everyday users.