Snapchat – A 2017 Guide

A quick guide to Snapchat

(from someone that uses it and likes it)

Snapchat – a 2017 Guide (PDF version you can download and print instead of reading off this Oompa loompa website)

What is Snapchat?
Nope. This is not the post to explain to you what it is or convince that you should be using it. This is for those that may use it, maybe not a lot but the basics are done.

One thing though:

For those that complain the User Interface is confusing, driving a car is complicated, walking down a street is complicated, swiping your finger on a fucking screen is not complicated.

The stats from the SEC filing from Snap yesterday  (Feb 2nd 2017, in case you are reading this is a history book) show how much daily usage Snapchat is getting.

Current Snapchat stats
158 Million people use Snapchat daily
60% of them Snap pics/vids
60% chat to friends.
2.5 Billion Snaps are created every day.
The average Snapchat user spends 25-30 minutes on it per day.

Snapchat in Ireland

Snapchat doesn’t give a country breakdown for Ireland but IPSOS MRBI release stats now and then. The stats up to October 2016 were:

28% of all adults have an account, 67% of them use it daily.

If you have customers below 25 you really need to get on it now. And remember, they’re not going to be 18 year olds for long, now are they? Facebook has grown old with what used to be “the kids” and Snapchat will do the same.

I’m too old for this shit

All the same mistakes that brands made with Facebook and Twitter (and their agencies) are happening with Snapchat. Some people old and young are being pathologically conservative and negative about Snapchat. Probably hoping it goes away. Stats from Snapchat come out and they’re all “but Instagram has Stories”, “growth is slowing”. Fuck the fuck off, manchild. I’m too old to be in anyway patient with people like this. I’ll see you in 12 months time where I’ll charge you triple the price for the advice I’m giving today.

Snapchat says they’re a camera company, they are

I managed to get myself a pair of Snapchat Spectacles thanks to the gentlemen that is Pat Phelan. They’re brilliant, the design, the packaging, it’s like something Apple would have designed. So much consideration has gone in to make their usage so simple.

Camera how? Think about how Snapchat opens with the camera ready to go. Your smartphones already guide you to faces in photos, Snap is going to up this a few levels. Snapchat are going after machine learning and 3D people. Their Lenses and facemapping software built into the phone are amazing. You can now copy elements of your videos and images and overlay them on your Snaps. You can stick these on to objects in videos and images and they stay attached to the objects as you move around with the video. This is not simple camera stuff.

What comes next? Identifying people, clothes, brands in the camera? Easy. Adding layers of context using machine learning and augmented reality? Hard enough but they’ll probably do that too.

Snapchat tools

No tools to use Snapchat yet, no proper analytics, no being able to schedule officially, no real dashboards, just like with Facebook when they started. Remember how they did? Some will use this as an excuse to not do anything. See you in 12 months too.

New ad options

This week Snapchat expanded their ad system so more companies can target people based on email, mobile number and device ID. It’s still laborious and expensive, wait a while.


One ad option for Snapchat is you can run geofilters around a location. So when people swipe after taking a video or picture you can have your details pop up for a certain set of time. They don’t work for Ireland but they’re very cheap. The idea is that you can have a geofilter type ad seen when swiping for a block around your business. “Come in and show this for 20% off” or simply your logo when someone takes a selfie at your location.

You can also have Community Geofilters which are free for non-commercial entities. So for universities, historical locations, “latin quarters”.


This week also saw Snapchat bring out Snapcodes – basically QR codes that when you scan with Snapchat, it will open a browser window inside Snapchat and bring you to a site. So now Snapchat users can click into sites and product pages while still in Snapchat. Remember the daily numbers for Snapchat. This is a big deal. Oddly, for now, a brand sharing the Snapcode in a Snapchat update gets nothing.

Right right, practical stuff

  • Start a Snapchat account
  • Build your following by putting your Snapcode for your account everywhere. Posters, flyers, on your site.
  • Use Snapcodes to send people to parts of your website. Measure the traffic to see the impact.
  • Snapchat is a place where people choose what to see. Snapchat is a TV studio and a remote control at the same time. They produce and they’ll click away too.
  • Hard sells won’t work.
  • Stop trying to be like those influencers who sell themselves for shit makeup. That’s not genuine, you’re just that weird dude on QVC.
  • Like all other digital channels, have content themes, this is a long game not a quick hit. The more natural you are, the better.
  • Your stuff lasts for 24 hours and you don’t exist if you’re not in timelines daily.
  • Updates throughout the day are better than in one big drop of updates because Snapchat shows updates that are the most recent.
  • People who do stuff for TV or do radio production have an advantage because they are used to planning their content.
  • Don’t try and be cool Dad, it’s not going to work.