Snapchat Marketing Key Takeaways from Teens at DGS4

We asked four High School teens to give us Snapchat tips at the Digital Growth Summit:

Josh Ochs, Moderator, Media Leaders – Alise K., High School Student – Jessica H., High School Student – Lauren E., High School Student – Rebecca M., High School Student


Snapchat key takeaways from teens

  1. A great way to get people’s Snapchat usernames is to look at their Instagram bio.
  2. Brands: be sure to include your Snapchat username in your bios.
  3. Snapchat brings people together from other cities by sharing short snippets of content easily.
  4. Unlike what most parents think, it isn’t selfish to post pictures of yourself at an event. It lets other experience the event with you.
  5. Tip: Take a cool photo with the Snapchat app, download it to the the phone, then wait a while and think about which app it is a better fit for. If it is appropriate for Snapchat (more casual) or Instagram (more notable) you will have the photo ready in both apps.
  6. Captions on Snapchat tend to be more literal, while on Instagram, they are more meaningful.
  7. Screenshotting isn’t a big deal on Snapchat since you typically trust those whom you are friends with on Snapchat.
  8. Students like that companies are creating great filters and they don’t mind that they are advertisements.
  9. You have to trust the person who you are sending Snaps.
  10. We all want to know what is going on and Snapchat helps us stay updated on what our friends are doing.
  11. We all want to feel special so don’t send mass private Snaps to people, because we will talk to each other.

Josh Ochs, Moderator, Media Leaders – Alise K., High School Student – Jessica H., High School Student – Lauren E., High School Student – Rebecca M., High School Student


What is Snapchat and why do teens use it?

Snapchat is similar to text messaging, except the message consists of an image, with a limited amount of text.

Snapchat is similar to text messaging, except the message consists of an image, with a limited amount of text to accompany it. You must have already connected with another user to share Snaps with them. – Lauren E.

Snapchat Stories are collections of images or videos that accumulate for a 24 hour period. Snaps go directly from one user to another, whereas Stories are available for anyone who you are connected with to see within 24 hours. They are similar to the “post” concept on other social media platforms. – Rebecca M.


Snapchat vs Instagram: What goes where?

Compare and contrast Snapchat and Instagram (pretend that you are at a Taylor Swift concert… What goes where?)”

On Snapchat, there is no competition for who can get the most likes or re-tweets.

A quick 10 second video of me singing along, or a picture of “This is where I am sitting” may go on Snapchat. If I were to get a picture of me with Taylor, that would go on Instagram. – Jessica H.

Instagram photos would be edited, perhaps, while a Snap would be really quick. On Snapchat, there is no competition for who can get the most likes or re-tweets, since it does not have that functionality. – Alise K.


You can post as often as you want on Instagram, however, your followers prefer it if you post at most once per day.

How often do teens post on Instagram?

How many times per week should you post on Instagram?

It is your social media and you should post as often as you want to, however, your followers prefer it if you post at most once per day. If I have 4 pretty things to post, I will, but it depends on the person. – Rebecca M.

I post once per week, so that I don’t annoy my followers with too many pictures. – Lauren E.


The Snapchat Score is the number of snaps that you have sent in addition to the number that you have received.

What is a Snapchat score?

The Snapchat Score is the number of snaps that you have sent in addition to the number that you have received. – Jessica H.

What is your Snapchat score?

36,016 – Lauren E.
30,000 plus a “100 day snapchat streak” emoji. – Alise K.
42,812 – Rebecca M.
139,281 – Jessica H.


Snapchat does store all of your photos, even though you can’t access them after they expire on the app.

Does Snapchat media disappear?

Is there anything about Snapchat that makes you uncomfortable?

Snapchat does store all of your photos, even though you can’t access them after they expire on the app. This is noted in the Snapchat privacy policy. – Alise K.


Snapchat negative consequences

Have you heard of any unplanned consequences of using Snapchat?

A wife sent her husband a picture of herself but did not notice her “boyfriend’s” boots were in the background.

My example is one that I saw on another social media channel. A wife sent her husband a picture of herself but did not notice her “boyfriend’s” boots were in the background of the photo. – Lauren E.

In Colorado, a teen took a Snap of the hallway at school and captioned it “planning the school shooting today.” He posted it to his Snap Story and a girl from another state took a screenshot and let her local police know, who then contacted the police in the boy’s town. He was taken out of school and questioned, and although it turned out to be a joke, it didn’t take long for many people to be aware of the situation. (Editorial note: the school was actually in Phoenix, AZ, and the teen who reported it was in Colorado. More here.) – Rebecca M.


Parents can’t monitor Snapchat messages

How are students getting around parental supervision by using Snapchat?

Teens use Snapchat chat, because the messages go away in a matter of seconds and parents can’t find them.

I know of a student whose parents monitor every text and email message as well as keeping passwords to all of her accounts. Although this student is not doing anything that she needs to hide, she and all of her friends use Snapchat chat feature for messaging, because the messages go away in a matter of seconds. – Rebecca M.

An advantage to using the Snapchat chat function is that your messaging is available even if you do not have cell coverage. If you have wifi, you will receive your Snapchat messages. – Jessica H.


Snapchat helps teens experience what the people in your network are doing.

Snapchat advantages at live events

What are some other advantages to using Snapchat?

Snapchat helps you experience what the people in your network are doing. I always say, “Snap me so I feel like I am there.” – Jessica H.

You can live vicariously through others’ Snapchat pictures and stories. – Alise K.


Cool Snapchat examples

What is the coolest Snapchat that you have ever seen or received?

Teen girls like when events are on Snapchat. For example, they like to watch Snaps from Fashion Shows.

I have a friend who has created a weekly Snapchat story with video of herself doing workouts with her pet. – Alise K.

I surf and have a friend who has a waterproof case and occasionally brings her phone out and Snaps some amazing footage. – Rebecca M.

My favorite thing is when events are on Snapchat. Recently New York Fashion Week had a bubble, and I watched the Snaps. Since you get the view that the spectators are seeing, Snapchat coverage is often better than TV coverage. – Jessica H.

I recently saw a compilation of Snapchats from Korea. It was great to see a different place. I personally like to Snapchat pictures of my brother singing, in the shower, in the car… – Lauren E.

Snapchat can be less of a commitment to conversation since there are limited number of words that you can send.

I also enjoy seeing Snapchat from other cultures because you really see how people are. – Rebecca M.

There is a perspective difference between my parents and myself in terms of Snapchat. My parents think that me taking pictures of myself, or my activities and sharing them with my community is a form of bragging. My friends and I don’t see it that way. We see it as a way to share our experiences with our friends, which makes using Snapchat a generous activity. – Jessica H.

Snapchat can be less of a commitment to conversation since there are limited number of words that you can send. – Lauren E.


Snapchat message character limit

What is the word limit you can use to superimpose text over a video/image on Snapchat?

The word limit you can superimpose over an image/video is limited to the width of your phone screen (one line). – Jessica H.


How many stories per day are you sharing?

My daily stories are around 40 seconds long. – Jessica H.

I do “weekly updates.” – Rebecca M.


Instagram vs Snapchat: Teen’s posting strategy

Since Snapchat is more casual, people don’t feel the pressure to find the perfect caption.

How do you decide whether to post a picture on Instagram or Snapchat?

Personally, I use the Snapchat software to take the picture, then I can save it to my camera roll if I want to, and upload to Instagram later. – Lauren E.

I have noticed that on Instagram, a lot of people struggle with captions. Since Snapchat is more casual, they don’t feel the pressure to find the perfect caption. Since there are no “likes” on Snapchat, that pressure is removed as well. – Lauren E.


Snapchat captions

Let’s talk about the captions on Snapchat. Can you give example of when you would or would not use them?

Teens use filters or Geotags on Snapchat, whereas on Instagram, they try to edit pictures so they look more artistic

I try to be more witty with my captions on Instagram and perhaps more literal on Snapchat. – Jessica H.

I like using the filters or Geotags on Snapchat, whereas on Instagram, I try to edit my pictures so they are more artistic. – Lauren E.

Geotags are cartoon-like graphic frames that can be used on your picture to indicate where the picture was taken. Businesses also advertise through filters and we like to use the cool looking ones. – Alise K.


Snapchat brand marketing examples

What has a brand done on Snapchat that you do or do not like?

Teens enjoy the business-created filters. They increase awareness and respect for a brand that is creating them.

I know that Snapchat had a function called “Snapcash” for a while, that is no longer available. I thought that was unwise. Seeing the same ad on a Snap Story several times can be annoying, but as a user, we appreciate that ads pay the bills. – Rebecca M.

The Campaign function is a good source of information about events that are going on around the world. – Lauren E.

I really enjoy the business-created filters. They increase my awareness and respect for a business that is creating them. It is great interactive advertising. – Jessica H.

The filters are a great ways for brands to increase awareness of their products. – Lauren


Snapchat Geofilter examples

What is the coolest filter or Geotag that you have added, or seen?

The great thing about the Snapchat Geotags is that they can be made by anyone.

I saw one over the past summer in Savannah, Georgia that featured the trees with beautiful hanging moss. The great thing about the Geotags is that they can be made by anyone. On my way here, I added 4 different Geotags to my story. – Rebecca M.

Disneyland has a lot of cool filters. Especially right now with the 60th Anniversary, there are some great filters. It makes your friends want to go to Disneyland when they see that. – Jessica H.

And it is free advertising in the sense that if I use a cool filter from a particular place and share my story with 100 friends, it may make many of my friends want to go there. – Alise K.


Snapchat face filters

What other features do you use that can distort your face within the app?

There are a number of features that discover and distort your facial features. – Jessica H.


How to find a brand on Snapchat

What fashion brands do you follow?

I look at Instagram and get celebritys’ or brands’ Snapchat usernames from their profiles. If I can easily find their Snapchat username, I will follow them. – Jessica H.


More girls or guys on Snapchat?

I notice that a lot more girls than guys use the filters on Snapchat. I also discover new people to follow through the username on the Instagram bio. – Lauren E.


Do teens screenshot Snapchats?

Are a lot of your friends “screenshotting” your Snapchats? Or have we gotten past that?

There is a trust factor if you are sending someone a really ugly photo of yourself on Snapchat.

Snapchat does show us when one of our friends screenshots something of ours. You wouldn’t screenshot something unless you know that person. There is a trust factor if you are Snapping someone a really ugly photo of yourself. I don’t perceive screenshotting as a big problem. – Alise K.

Typically you would not connect with someone on Snapchat unless you had that trust factor already. – Lauren E.

I am aware that Snapchat has a glitch that sometimes notifies someone that you have screenshotted their Snap when you haven’t. There is an unspoken rule that you don’t screenshot an ugly picture of someone. – Rebecca M.

In one of my classes last week, the teacher decided to share the homework answers via her SnapStory, rather than emailing or messaging it out. Then, each student went to her story and screenshotted the answers. It was very efficient. – Jessica H.


When do teens start to Snapchat?

How long ago and why did you start Snapchat?

Teens prefer Snapchat to texting or messaging because it is short and to the point.

I have had the app for two years, however I just recently started using the app daily. In the past I have used Instagram and Facebook to market the organizations that I am a part of. But Snapchat helps others get to know me better for who I am. I prefer Snapchat to texting or imessaging because it is short and to the point. It is a very simple and quick way to get to know other people. – Lauren E.

I don’t remember how long that I have had the app, but the advent of Geotags in the last year has made everyone want to go on it for that functionality. I use Snapchat more than Instagram or Twitter because, frankly, it is more casual and less work. – Alise K.

I got the app in 2011 and have been Snapping ever since. It’s a great window into people’s lives. – Rebecca M.

I downloaded the app in 2011. – Jessica H.


Why teens unfollow on Snapchat

What does it take to make you unfollow someone on Snapchat?

It is a sign that there is a serious problem if someone unfollows you. There are people who post too much – more than once per day – who may be un-followed because all of their pictures take up space in your feed. – Jessica H.


Snapchat story tips for brands

What would a brand do to make you want to unfollow them?

If a brand posts something that is more than 70 seconds on Snapchat, teens likely won’t keep clicking.

The unique thing about Snapchat is that even if you see that a friend or brand has posted something, you don’t necessarily have to watch it. If a brand posts something that is more than 70 seconds or so, I likely just won’t keep clicking. Since I have the option, I have never been tempted to un-follow anyone on Snapchat. – Alise K.

The length of the story that brands and individuals share is important. Very long stories should be saved for really cool events. – Jessica H.

Also, be sure not to send both a Snapchat and include the exact same content in a SnapStory. – Lauren E.

On a personal level, be sure to personalize your Snaps. If you realize that someone has sent you as well as several other people the exact same Snap, that can be a bit offensive. This does not apply to businesses. – Alise K.


Snapchat content that engages teens

Would you rather follow a brand that shows product, or one that features someone talking about or interacting with the product?

Teens prefer Snaps that show someone interacting with the products, or behind the scenes exclusive.

Snaps that show someone interacting with the products, or behind the scenes exclusive are the best. The bottom line is that if we want to see the picture of a product, we can google it. We want Snapchat friends to show us a side of things that we may not have access to in any other way. – Rebecca M.

We really appreciate a different perspective than you would get from TV. Perhaps it’s Ryan Seacrest backstage at the VMA’s, or an attendee showing Beyonce walking to the stage from the audience perspective. – Jessica H.


Teens like that Snapchat media disappears

How important is the whole “disappearance” feature of Snapchat to you?

Teens think that the impermanence of Snapchat allows people to feel more free to reveal who they really are.

I think that the impermanence of Snapchat allows people to feel more free to reveal who they really are, as opposed to a more polished view of yourself that you may add to other social media. – Alise K.

Also, if someone share something with you that doesn’t appeal to you, you can just exit out of and it will not remain in your feed or on your phone. – Jessica H.

We value Snapchat because it allows us to see a side of people, both our friends as well as famous people, that we would not have been able to see before. The idea of the Snap disappearing enabled that to happen. “A day in the life of…” is really cool. – Rebecca M.

Although Snapchat certainly isn’t a substitute for the news, it is a way to see a little bit of what is happening in the world, from an individual perspective. – Lauren E.

I love the news bubbles that are on Snapchat now, especially the ESPN bubble. You can get a quick 10 second idea of what is going on in sports each day. It is much more concise than news websites, and you can click through to read more. – Jessica H.

The “disappearing” feature of Snapchat is a huge factor for us. We understand that our messages and photos are probably accessible by Snapchat, we also know that it is unlikely that our content will ever resurface, and that is important to us. – Rebecca M.

Don’t be stupid with it. Recognize that you are publicly posting when you use Snapchat, even if it is temporary. Do not pose with illegal substances. Just be smart. – Jessica H.


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