What’s with all the ghost icons on Twitter?
When I started following travel bloggers on Twitter, I noticed something interesting. A few had this funny icon that had a yellow outline of a ghost with a picture inside. I wasn’t sure what that meant. Maybe they were affiliated with each other, or maybe it was a sign they were a digital nomad. I was almost right, I discovered it was a “snapcode”.
I had been thinking about vlogging when I started my new blog, so I was curious how snapchat worked. Being over a certain age, I had to install the app first. I, of course knew about it, but had never really seen the point of it.
I scanned in a couple of snapcodes and headed to the story part of the app. I watched my first one, and loved it! I had a quick burst of a behind the scenes look at someone’s travel experience. Due to the nature of snapchat it is only a quick video. Each video shot is a maximum of 10 seconds, keeping the story moving fast and all the good bloggers don’t add too many to their stories. For those bloggers that add more, you can tap the screen when you are bored to move to the next shot – or snap. And if they really are going on you can swipe to move to the next person’s story.
Snapchat is to Youtube, as Twitter is to Blogs.
Whenever I see a travel bloggers snapcode I tend to add it, because even if I’m not interested in what they say I can just swipe it away, and as the stories are only available for 24 hours I might find what they are doing tomorrow more interesting.
Many bloggers add stories daily, always keeping the content fresh and new. You know it’s happening right now and there. You can even send replies to their snaps, asking them questions or just telling them how much you love their stories.
From watching bloggers, I’ve seen the beauty of Philippines, discovered that you can find budget options to Maldives, saw an insight into what it’s like to live in Beijing, and generally how much fun it can be to travel full time.
Some tips about doing your own snapchatting stories
Please add your own in the comments section
1. Talk to your audience often, this helps engage the follower.
2. Limit how many snaps you do. Keep your audience wanting more.
3. You don’t have to show everything. Think how interesting you’d find it if you saw it on someone else’s snapchat.
4. Be natural, this is a behind the scenes look, it doesn’t have to look like a polished travel show.
5. You don’t have to snap every day. Your followers are more likely to unfollow you if you post something boring than miss a day or 2.
6. More videos please, less stills. A few stills are nice, sometimes better than a shaky camera, but my followers tell me they prefer videos to stills.
7. A second or two before pressing record, smile brightly at the camera.
8. After a long journey we are all a little grumpy, try and avoid lots of snaps of you moaning. If you are tired, snap that and leave the rest for after a good night’s sleep. People like happy snaps. Put your moans where they belong: on your personal Facebook page.
9. Don’t add unnecessary selfies to your story. They are a little boring. That is unless you want to show something specific such as a new haircut or sunburn. Especially don’t just take a selfie with a geofilter. We have snapchat, we can see them, and they are funnier on ourselves! (Although watching someone’s first ever reaction to seeing a filter put on them, is very funny.) I like using a geofilter if I’ve not put on make-up, and I want to do a quick video, pointing out I’m doing something the next day (as I don’t snap for days at a time).
10. Keep watching snapchatters for what you like about how they create their story and don’t give up!
I couldn’t complete this article without showing you a couple of my favourite snapchatters. There are so many to good snapchatters out there, and my favourites actually change often!
Alice Teacake Travels
You can’t help but immediately like Alice. She’s down to earth, tells you how it is, and finds interesting things where you think there would be none. I recently watched her travelling around Ireland, and saw some amazing coastlines. She’s currently doing the Mongol Rally, which looks super fun.
I’ve been watching Tom travel around Philippines with his travel buddy TravelFred, and his blog has that je ne sais quoi. He manages to keep it real and entertaining. He’s now moved on to India.
Will The Broke Backpacker
I always look forward to seeing Will’s story appear. He doesn’t seem to snap as often as others, but then it’s quality over quantity sometimes. He’s charismatic and good in front of the camera. Watch out for super-lucky-happy-fun-day-Monday’s competition.
Evo Terra – Bangkok is Funny
Evo is entertaining, witty and seems a lovely down to earth kind of guy. His snapchats make me smile and they are always entertaining.
I couldn’t not add myself to the list. I’m still new, so I’d really appreciate any feedback. I’ll be in Africa soon, and you can follow me as I go on Safari through Botswana and Zimbabwe. I’ve been snapping when I can and I loved being able to show my experiences, in some of the best wildlife parks in the country.
What Are You Waiting For?
Install snapchat, get watching and get creating your own! Don’t forget to add your snapchat username or snapcode in the comments, so I can follow you.