Snapchat’s come a long way from being the app for teenage selfies and sexting. Six years into its launch and 160 million users later, the instant picture-messaging platform is being used increasingly by businesses to build and promote their online brand value by reaching out directly to the former’s eclectic mix of global users of all backgrounds and ages.
Today, people have begun to use the platform to try and land interviews with leading organisations, replacing the good old A-4 sized sheet resumes. If you’re shaking your head with disbelief at how improbable this sounds, here’s a real-life example to prove it.
Image credits: www.creativecommons.com
Graham Allgood, a final year college student, was facing the brunt of the ‘So what plans after college?’ question. A typical millennial adept in all aspects of social media, Graham decided to take his expertise into the professional realm and began to scout for a possible internship at the social media branch of Horizon Media, New York. However, he faced stiff competition from other seniors. So, Graham realised that he would have to pull a stint which would not only make him stand out from his contemporaries, but also make the company laud him for his innovative and unique thinking.
He thus decided to forgo the whole ‘email containing cover-letter + resume = waiting to hear back’ process. Instead, he decided to use Snapchat as a visual aid to the work he was doing and the skills he was exhibiting. He purchased an on-demand geo-filter, a design that features a custom location or a special event that users can upload to tag their photos. He scheduled a campaign to launch during the agency's working hours, and to make sure that they don’t miss it he followed up with an Instagram post that spelled out his goal to be the agency’s summer intern.
“My solution was to market myself to the media agency by targeting them with my own ad campaign…Running a creative campaign in a new media space would show the agency my skills in design, negotiating media space, and publishing attractive content. I needed a platform where I could easily target the agency's employees,” he said in a self-authored LinkedIn post.
Sure enough, later that day he got a call from the office inviting him for an interview. Within the week, he was offered the position he was seeking.
According to Maikel O’Hanlon, Vice President of Social Media Strategy at Horizon Media, besides the time between the bid to the offer swift, Allgood’s ingenuity catapulted him over any potential competing candidates. “We are always looking for standout thinking and standout thinkers,” he told Fast Company.
Taking a leaf out of Graham’s ‘smart-book’, here’s how you could use a platform as open and diversified as Snapchat to help you in your career:
Learn how to use it professionally
You may be used to taking selfies with the dog-filter to send to your best friend at odd hours of the night, but if you wish to start using the platform professionally, then you need to begin viewing it as such. While Snapchat does sport an overall informal tone, you need to do your research on how the company you are wishing to target, or your business role model, is using the platform to exclusively promote or advise on the basis of their brand. If you garner a following for your professional expertise or agenda, they really wouldn’t be wishing to see you in a floral-crown filter.
Make your resume your ‘Story’
With the app’s introduction of the ‘Story’, where users can upload snaps which exist for a time-period of 24 hours, the process to ensure that your targeted audience doesn’t miss your snaps has become all the more convenient. Taking from Graham’s remarkable story, the idea of turning your Snapchat Story into your resume can help you score the job you’ve been working hard towards, without succumbing to the chance that your paper-application won’t be picked up among the hundreds of others lying on the same desk. Disclaimer: This concept may not work for all industries. It is recommended more for the digital-media induced professions.
Follow the right people
Make sure you’re following the people, organisations, and popular channels which will help you learn more about how to use a ‘fun’ platform like Snapchat strategically, from the business point of view. Today, an increasing number of business professionals, celebrities, and channels are using Snapchat to offer free tips and advice on how to build, scale, promote, and recover a business from the ground-up.
Finally, tap into Snapchat’s endless networking possibilities. Just like you are using the platform to promote and build your professional life, others like you are trying their luck at incorporating the same process, looking to further their own networks. Who knows, your next Snapchat friend could be your potential partner!
Now that would be a great story!