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An Expert’s Guide On How To Ace Snapchat

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Illustrated by Austin Watts
In an Instagram world of overly curated feeds and an eternal quest for perfection, Snapchat has emerged as a seriously welcome, if not at first slightly confusing, move into realness.

Once considered the domain of young people sending saucy pictures and unflattering selfies to their friends, safe in the knowledge the image would disappear instantly, the app now boasts over 100 million daily active users and over eight billion daily views.

It’s easy to see why: it’s quick to use, has fun filters, is a lot more real than Instagram, less argumentative than Twitter and less annoying than Facebook. With one little swipe you're immediately exposed to the behind the scenes lives of anyone you choose to follow.

And with the likes of Kim Kardashian, Anna Wintour and even the White House recently joining Snapchat’s ranks, it seems like, love it or hate it, it isn’t going anywhere.

Yvan Rodic, best known as photographer Facehunter, has made his name by leveraging his social media prowess. So it's only natural that his latest venture is a full service agency built solely around Snapchat.

‘A Little Nation’, as the agency is so aptly called, is an attempt to help brands embrace the Snapchat revolution with strategy, creative concepts, production and analytics for any Snapchat-centric project. Indeed, because no pre-produced content can be uploaded on the app, everything has to be created live, which requires a custom-made strategy.

Having already helped launch Emilio Pucci’s Snapchat at Milan Fashion Week with the help of Susie Bubble, we asked Yvan for some tips on how best to Snap (is it a verb, yet?) If you're gonna do it, you might as well do it right... right?

Be A Caricature Of Yourself

DJ Khaled is probably the best example of this. “I think what’s interesting about him is he’s created this character who is quite genuine, but who is almost a caricature of himself,” explains Rodic. “It’s like personal marketing; if you have your own special identity and your own jargon and words, that’s something that will appear naturally… People get addicted to a bit of repetition; it’s like a song that you sometimes need to listen to 10 times before you like it. Once you get someone’s vibe if you don’t hate them, you’ll probably love them.”

Don’t Try Too Hard

That said – don’t be a dick about it. “It’s good to show your life but some people make it seem easy and natural and cool while some people are trying too hard to show you that they’re privileged and it just feels so obnoxious,” says Rodic. “The key point is to be yourself. There’s enough social media where you can create and curate an image, but on Snapchat I think it’s good to let yourself go.”

Tell A Story

Narrative is good, as are things that make viewers feel they’re going through your day with you. Adding times and things like music. “I like to tell a story that has an atmosphere,” he says. “If you were to watch a movie without a soundtrack, I don’t think it would be quite the same movie.”

Give People Access To A New World

OK so maybe you’re not chilling backstage at the shows or travelling the world every other day, but if you give people access to a lifestyle or places that they may not otherwise have access to, they’ll want to watch.

Don’t Show Everything

Yes the awesome thing about Snapchat is that it’s real and in the moment and unedited but that doesn’t mean you have to capture every single moment of your day. “Curate but don’t over curate,” explains Yvan. “It’s okay if you don’t speak for six hours. People won’t miss you.”

Keep It Interesting

“I try to balance it out and be aware of the diversity of the looks of the snaps,” he adds. This can be achieved by making sure you’re not snapping the same frame 20 times in a row, and by using things like filters, adding text, doodles etc.

And if all else fails…

Be Famous

“There are lots of people who generate so much fascination that even if the narrative is poor, people will still watch. If you’re Kim Kardashian, even if you post bad pictures, people will still be obsessed with you.”

@moorizZLA
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