By: Hillel Fuld (@Hilzfuld)
It’s time. Time to write the inevitable post about Snapchat. I wrote it about Twitter here. I wrote a whole lot about Twitter here. I wrote it about Facebook here. It’s time for Snapchat. In case you have not noticed, Snapchat has become one of the most significant platforms on the social web and definitely the fastest growing.
I was so wrong about Snapchat. I wrote about my experiences here. Anyway, it seems that as a platform grows, so does the abuse and misuse of the platform. I guess that makes sense. People trying to cut corners and use shortcuts.
Snapchat is no different. So much abuse! Over the past year since I started heavily snapping, I have developed somewhat of a system for when I follow, unfollow, and block someone on Snapchat. I know I am not alone here, and sharing my “system” might help others understand how to better use Snapchat and maybe more importantly, how to never use Snapchat. Here goes.
When I Follow
Snapchat is not perfect, far from it. While it is a super powerful storytelling platform, it has many problems, one of which is that you cannot see someone’s snaps until you follow them.
The problem? If that person’s snaps stink, well, too late, you already followed. Yes, you can now unfollow but they already got a notification that you are a new follower so now removing them is a lot more obnoxious than not following in the first place.
For this reason, I am personally very strict about following on Snapchat. I cannot tell you how many people have been offended by me unfollowing them on Snapchat. The thing is, Snapchat is not Facebook and unfollowing your snaps is not like unfriending on Facebook. My Snapchat is predominantly tech. If your snaps are not tech oriented, as great as they may be, I will likely stop following.
So… If I read about an interesting new Snapchat account (Here are 50 and here are another 50) that has good tech content, then I will follow. Hint: If you generate good content, on Snapchat or other platforms, then people will talk about you and you will grow your audience. If you don’t, well, they won’t!
Ok, besides reading about someone’s Snapchat, when else do I follow someone? Sitting down? When I know for a fact that they are human and interesting.
So, if someone follows me, I do NOT follow back. Why not? Why yes? Do I know that person or the type of content they generate? However, if someone follows me and does one more simple thing, then I do follow back. They send me a snap.
If that person snaps me a message, a normal message, something like “Hi Hillel. Found you on x, looking forward to your snaps” or “Hey Hillel, I am x and it’s great to connect” or anything else, I will almost always follow back. Of course, the only way I will stick around is if that person’s content is interesting but the only way I will even see that content is if the person is first and foremost, human.
Once again, this is not a rule that applies only to Snapchat but being as on Snapchat, I can’t see your content before I follow, this rule is amplified. But across the board, this social media thing is first social and only then media. Don’t forget that. Be human. Be social.
When I Unfollow
I unfollow someone on Snapchat when I am bored. If a person’s snaps consist ONLY of selfies (if you follow me anywhere, you know I have no issues with the occasional selfie.), stupid filters/lenses, or anything else that doesn’t add value to me, then, well, I do the logical thing and remove it.
The last thing anyone needs on Snapchat is clutter. We have enough of that on Facebook, Twitter, and everywhere else. I try to watch all the stories in my Snapchat every day. So if your story is, sorry to be so harsh, boring and repetitive, then I will unfollow.
Again, sorry to sound harsh, but we are all busy people and in today’s day and age with all the noise being thrown at us throughout the day, we have become more stingy with our time. If you are in my list of stories and I cannot for the life of me remember who you are or how you got there, well, then yea. So either create memorable content or again, snap me and ya know, be human. Build a relationship.
By the way, I have my Snapchat configured such that anyone can message me at any time even if I do not follow. What that means is that even if I unfollow someone, that can always be reversed if that person comes to his or her senses and actually reaches out and introduces themselves.
I hate horizontal content on Snapchat. Snapchat is optimized for vertical. Period.
One last thing. Kindly limit your snaps to something reasonable. If you snap 200 times a day, interesting or not, it’s too much and yea, thanks but no thanks.
When I Block
When I block someone on Snapchat, that is the end of the road for me and that person, at least on this platform. I am way easier on the block trigger on Snapchat then I am on other platforms like Twitter or Facebook.
For me to block someone on Twitter or Facebook, that person has to be a raging antisemite, a downright spammer, or just seriously super nasty. Not so on Snapchat.
If we have never spoken and you send me a snap of a table or a black screen, buh bye. If you and I have never communicated and our first interaction is you selling something to me, you are gone (true for all platforms.). If your snap to me includes a body part, well, yea, ya know.
There are some grey areas for me but if done enough times, then that block button becomes super tempting to me. Self promotion. Again, true about all platforms. Nothing wrong with sharing a new blog post on Twitter or Snapchat but if all your snaps are telling me to check out your Instagram where you have a picture of your new blog post telling me to go to your Facebook where I can find the link, you are so blocked.
Another grey area is mass snaps. Send out a snap to all your followers of a tree once and I unfollow. Do it again and I might respond with “WTF”. A third time and yea, let’s be Twitter friends, not Snap buddies.
Listen, if I were to list all the Snap offenses I have experienced this past year, we would be here for a long time, so I will sum it up with this. What you would do offline, do online. What you would never do offline, don’t do online, not on Twitter, not on Facebook, and not on Snapchat.
I am Hilzfuld on Snapchat where I share content about tech, Israel, marketing, food, and cars! https://www.snapchat.com/add/hilzfuld
Come follow along and snap me to say hey! Extra points if you mention that you came from this blog post, because, well, you made it this far!