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Snapchat, like all forms of social media, comes with it’s own phrasing and rhetoric. Clear communication starts with knowing the language, or in this case, the jargon of the social media app.

Err, what’s the verb?

“To Snapchat” is not truly how we define the action of sending a snapchat. But “snapping” is. Much like sending a Tweet is tweeting, or to tweet @, the verb for Snapchat is simply “snap!” 

To friend or to follow, that is the question. 

The answer is actually neither. On Snapchat, you “add” users, whether you know them or not. You are “following” someone’s story the second you “add” them, but not everyone whose Snapchat story you follow will necessarily be an actual “friend.”

Take @michelleobama for example. You can “add” her on Snapchat, but you will only “follow” her story. A story is a series of snaps for all followers to view. 

Why are there emojis next to some users and not next to others?

Curious about your Snapchat ins and outs? While you may have already noticed that you have a “Best Friends” category when you go to send a Snapchat, and that it is populated by those with smiley faces next to their names, and sometimes even a flame and a number. Here’s a quick guide to decipher user emojis. 

Smiley face: 

A smiley face means that you are both on the other person’s top list. Congratulations! Mutual admiration is a beautiful thing. 


The flame emoji indicates that you are “on fire” in terms of your Snapchat game with this user. The flame is accompanied with a number, which tells you how long your “streak” has been. You must send each other at least one a day to keep up your flame.


Luckily, Snapchat will warn you when you’re getting close to losing your fire with a user. If you are coming up close to not snapping for a full 24 hours, your hourglass will go up next to the flame, so send them a snap fast! 

Yellow heart: 

A yellow heart indicates that you are recently each other’s best friends. Over time, the colors will change to indicate how long you have been each other’s best friends (red after two weeks, pink after two months, etc.)

Smirking face: 

A smirking face indicted that you are one of their best friends, but they are not one of yours… which essentially means that they send you a good deal of snapchats, while you don’t reciprocate as often. 

Snapchat Score

Your “Snapchat Score” can be found by pressing the ghost icon at the top of your camera screen when the app is open. It is the number located underneath the larger ghost icon that pops up (the screen you would show to someone else if you were to ask them to “add” you). This number reflects how many Snaps you have sent and received. You get 12 points per snap, and three snaps in a row to the same person is worth 20 points. 


Learning how to communicate effectively and clearly is a key point for any aspiring senior executive. Today, it is crucial for leaders to speak concisely and confidently and to communicate their messages clearly. Senior executives need to be able to inspire groups on all ends and, oftentimes that can start and end with a presentation.

As you prepare to present as a leader, here are ten questions that might come up, and some quick-tips to help you get ready. 

1. Why is my audience staring at their cell phones?

Be sure to grab your audience’s attention quickly and get right to the point. An important part of your presentation will be keeping your audience engaged and focused on what you have to say. 


2. Imagining my audience naked doesn’t seem to help with my speech anxiety.

You are not the only one with speech anxiety. Envision yourself presenting well and receiving positive feedback from the audience. 


3. How can I inspire my audience?

Inspire internal and external groups with stories and factual narratives: this can help you keep your audience engaged and eager for your next point.


4. How can I express “executive presence?”

Body language is key to being an efficient communicator. Stand up straight, use natural gestures and don’t forget to smile. 


5. What should I wear?

Reflect your personal brand and your organization’s culture before you get up in front of a room.


6. How can I be a memorable panelist?

Be quick, sharp, and have relevant statistics at the ready to keep your audience interested. A successful panel performance will garner more invitations. 


7. What if I get off track?

Know your pivot phrases to keep the presentation on topic. If you lose your train of thought, don't be afraid to pause and collect your thoughts. 


8. How do I answer questions I don’t want to answer?

Questions can come from left field. Be ready to reframe negative questions with positive examples to reinforce your main message.


9. How do you prepare for Q & A?

You know your subject matter - what follow-up questions would you ask? Make a list of those questions and rehearse your responses aloud - to a colleague - or even the bathroom mirror.


10. How can ensure quality conent for my panel?

Cast panelists who can contribute to the conversation at hand and who you have heard present before. Always have a conference call or meeting prior to the actual panel to build rapport. 


Want more expert advice on Presenting as a Leader? Register here.

These questions and tips are just the beginning of the road to Presenting As a Leader. The award-winning journalists of The Communication Center an The University of Virginia Darden Executive Education have partnered again to help aspiring senior executives foster the skills to communicate clearly and influentially. To flesh out these points, and to gain a deeper ability to present as a leader, sign up for TCC & Darden’s joint course: Excellence in Communication: Presenting As a Leader.

A picture says a thousand words, but does a picture that you can look at for 10 seconds or less really do the same thing? According to 100 million daily Snapchat users everywhere, yes. 

Snapchat launched in 2011 and was an instant hit for its disappearing photos. In an age of visual culture, and an age of “what goes on the internet stays on the internet,” Snapchat is the perfect fix. While the ghost logo is still socially relevant for youngsters, different businesses and organizations have begun using Snapchat as a platform for marketing, transparency, and information. 

The White House uses Snapchat to cover important events taking place within its walls, giving its followers a new take on the work of the administration, as well as including facts and information on important issues. 

Thinking of communicating with a Snapchat audience for business? Here are some tips to get you started: 

1. Identify your business's typical events and moments that are Snap-worthy.

Strategize your marketing end goal, and tailor your images and ideas to it. Brainstorm likely scenarios that your audiences will find interesting.  Snapchat often showcases videos or photos that are “behind the scenes.” This may include impromptu interviews and quick “tours.” This planning will help you recognize a “snap” moment when you see one.   

2. What is the deal with the Snapchat Ghost icon?

A handy feature on Snapchat is scanning the ghost logo anywhere it shows up, and automatically adding a friend. For example, if you wanted to add The White House using the ghost icon, open the app on your phone, go to the camera, and scan the @whitehouse ghost logo. You will have added them on Snapchat. Another way to add friends is to tap the ghost icon at the top of your screen, tap “Add Friends” and type in the handle manually.

Develop followers, advertise your newest marketing platform to your usual audience and then some. Often times, all it takes is knowing a company of interest has a Snapchat, and then being aware of the handle. 

3. Geofilters, stickers, tags - and puppy ears. Welcome to Snapchat.

Content can range from a funny picture of coworkers using your product, events in the office, or even Snapchat tutorials for using your product. You’ve got a 10 second limit per snap, so if you want to break your coverage into portions, you’ll have to be clear and concise. Simply take a picture or a video, tap your screen to add text, and then send.

An easy way to spice up your content is to use the tools in the upper right hand corner. You can illustrate with your fingers, add stickers, or change the size of your text. Furthermore, you can take advantage of swiping in either direction on your screen, adding a geofilter, which is typically an illustrated location tag, the time, or the temperature. 


Does your business use or plan to use Snapchat? Let us know!

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