We often think of Snapchat as the social media platform for teen girls who want to send pictures through the app because they know they’ll disappear within a day. While that demographic certainly does exist, Snapchat has also made serious inroads into the 25-34 and 34+ crowds in the past few years.
Everyone is enjoying goofy filters and distorted faces. We frequently talk about how Snapchat can be used from a marketing perspective, but how can the platform work as an internal communications tool?
Declare Snapchat Day
For many companies, the initial hurdle to overcome was adoption. Their initial discussion sounded like the kind of dorky team building activities that everyone hates when they’re on a company retreat.
To get team members on board with the service, they had to say that this was the only way they would communicate on a given day.
From there, it’s important to know what Snapchat is good at doing—and what it may not do as well.
Improves Interpersonal Understanding In Remote Teams
For more and more companies, one or more team members may work remotely. An entire company could be made up of remote located freelancers who will never be in the same physical location. They may communicate beautifully about work through productivity tool like Slack, but they may struggle to find a personal connection with the team.
By using the silly, fun tools included in Snapchat, like Snapchat filters, drawing on Snaps, and items that delete themselves within 24 hours, companies can add some fun and personal connection into their teams.
Snapchat is instant communication, and many Snaps convey information in a picture much more quickly than a person could do in words. Want to say you’re frustrated and need motivation? Snap it.
Want to get a quick laugh and share it with your coworkers? Snap it. Team members can ask for what they need and get it in moments.
Documenting Business Trips
If a business has employees who travel on a regular basis while the rest of the team stays at a home base, team members can start to feel disconnected from the travelers.
Those traveling employees can use get Snapchat filters to document their travels, show the team at home the customers they meet and the meetings they have, and generally make it feel like the team is being represented on the road. This helps prevent the feeling of two disparate teams working in parallel.
In fact, shared motivation is one of the big benefits of Snapchat. If you have a team member who is struggling in the afternoon, they might get up, wander to the coffee pot, take some time chatting with friends on the way back, and wander around.
All of this is actually good, productive behavior that can recharge and re-energize a team member, but it can be distracting to other employees. It can also make it harder for the single team member to get back to work.
Contrast that with picking up their phone, taking a quick Snap of themselves, sending it to their team, and in a moment getting the connection and commiseration that helps them get back to work. It’s both more efficient, and probably, more helpful.
Quick Visual Reminders
How many managers and team leaders have had the experience of sending a long, wordy email that is trying to explain a visual item that needs to be changed, either in a design, a report, or a webpage?
How much easier is it to take a quick Snap, draw circles and notes around the problem, and then send it over to the team member? They can Snap back when it’s done, showing the changes.
It takes moments, and it solves the problem without all the back and forth.
Snapchat definitely won’t replace all of your business communications. For HR purposes, many different types of communication must be documented. Snaps are conducive to in depth or complicated conversations.
The system doesn’t facilitate joint work on documents or long video calls. For those services, however, most teams already have a strong system in place. Where they tend to run into trouble is the space between work and home. Snapchat can help to bridge that gap.
Snapchat’s great strength is its ability to make the mundane silly and fun. When used in this way, it can improve the sense of community on a team. Considering that some businesses spend huge amounts of money on gyms, masseuses, and game rooms, it seems logical to try a free app to see if it can bring a team closer together.