A Guide To Snapchat For Travel Bloggers

Girl Tweets World Guide To Snapchat For Travel Bloggers

Confession time: I’m a Snapchat convert. I hated on it for a while there, thinking it was going to be ANOTHER site I needed to be present on and wondering what was in it for me from a blogger/brand perspective and then I had a dabble and got hooked.

Firstly, I’ve converted to Snapchat because it’s fun. You can natter away, completely unfiltered in videos, scribble on photos and enjoy random banter without the worry of invoking comments from trolls. (At least for now.)

Secondly, I think it does have value for me as a blogger. I’m able to show the audience different sides to my work/life and they can connect with me on a personal level. I follow a lot of travel bloggers on Snapchat and the ones who are nailing it make feel even more connected to their content now. I’m eager to see the blog post that I saw in the making in their snaps.

Watch out for this nutjob

Watch out for this nutjob

But, I’m going to be brutal here, it’s not like that with everyone. I’m already seeing a difference between those who snap like a boss and those who snap just for banter. It’s totally cool if you fall into that second camp (to be honest, I think I’m somewhere in the middle) but if you are in group two this post is not for you.

This post is purely for travel bloggers who are dabbling with Snapchat and want to know how they can use it to work in conjunction with their blogging in a way that’s natural but on message.

The Basics

Before we start I’ll quickly go over some of the basics. For those that are uninitiated you can share photos and videos of are up to 10 seconds (so keep it snappy – groan) in a single snap. You swipe right on your snap to add geo-filters and effects and can add text and stickers via the icons in the top right hand corner. You can send your snaps to selected friends or add it your story for anyone who is following you to view. All snaps die after 24 hours though so if someone hasn’t checked in with you for a while they will only see your latest stories.

Snap Tip: You can hold the volume down button to take snaps on your iPhone instead of using the circle on the screen

Something handy to know is that you can save your snaps – either individually or as a whole story – so this is particularly handy for bloggers who might want to use the content on other channels.

Smart idea for when the phone's zoom isn't good enough

Smart idea for when the phone’s zoom isn’t good enough

You can also screenshot other people’s content. This is great if a follower wants to remember the restaurant or hotel you’re reviewing but also means that technically your snaps don’t disappear forever if someone else has saved it.

Snap Tip: You can see who has screenshot your snap as a green icon appears on the snap and will list the names of those who saved it

Best Practise For Bloggers

What To Snap

Much like any other social media channel it’s important not to go too heavy on the snapping. I personally only check in once, sometimes twice, a day for Snapchat so I don’t have time to watch hours of stories. Be selective about what you share.

Snap Tip: Wait a second before speaking on a video – the first word tends to get cut off

As a blogger this is a great opportunity to share something different about yourself that people won’t see on other channels. I tend to show the behind-the-scenes of travel blogging – from the less glamorous aspects of flying (you know, sitting on the floor in airport lounges) to running to client meetings – so readers can get a glimpse of what goes into blogging aside from what they see on the web. I’ve discovered through Adventurous Kate’s snaps (@adventurouskate) that she’s pretty good at cooking. She does a lot of food segments in-between snapping New York City and this is something different to what you see on her travel blog.

As you’ll pick up new followers along the way (more on that later) it’s good to introduce yourself to them periodically. Let them know what you do and where they’ll find you on the interwebs but keep the self-promotion to a minimum – no one wants to feel sold to.

One of my fave bloggers to follow on Snapchat is the brilliant but slightly bonkers Vicky Flip Flop

One of my fave bloggers to follow on Snapchat is the brilliant but slightly bonkers Vicky Flip Flop

How To Snap

Speed up the photo display – You can select how long your image appears on the screen – from 1 to 10 seconds. If you’re going to snap several photos in a row I recommend changing this to 5 seconds or below so they images flash up faster. This is also handy if you plan to download your story at the end of the day as it makes a good slideshow/video reel.

Snap Tip: Try not to start each snap with ‘so’ or ‘erm’ – it’s harder than you think!

Portrait or landscape – I get that some scenes just don’t fit into a portrait layout but personally it bugs me if I have to turn my screen to the side half way through a story. It also doesn’t look so good if you download the story to share elsewhere and it changes orientation half way through – worth considering whether you want to keep things consistent or not.

Show your face – Personally the snappers I enjoy watching are those who put themselves on the screen a few times a day. It’s also good to add a voice commentary over your location videos and add your hands or fingers into the picture pointing things out – it gives a nice personal touch.

Bubbly Kiersten is a great Snapchat host

Bubbly Kiersten is a great Snapchat host

Add text – A lot of people might scroll through your snaps without the sound on so have some text on your video or image particularly when you arrive someone new. Think of them like subtitles for the people who might be watching your snaps silently on a bus. (Not just me?)

Snap Tip: You can add music to your snaps by playing a song on your phone when recording

Show other faces/voices – Get local guides or experts to make a guest appearance in your snaps and show the audience a destination from their perspective.

Snapping in Galicia

On Building A Following

Give shout outs to fellow snappers – My following saw its biggest jump when another snapper gave me a shout out on their profile (thanks @EatLikeAGirl!). Pay it forward by giving a shout out to those you like following.

Snapchat Takeovers – Team up with another travel blogger and take over each other’s accounts to give your followers a taste of another destination whilst introducing yourself to a new audience. Let your followers know in advance what is happening and share a screenshot of the account they’ll find you.

Discovering The Broke Backpacker via a shout out from Getting Stamped

Discovering The Broke Backpacker via a shout out from Getting Stamped

Share your social channels – let new followers know where else they can find you and periodically do a little about me intro so that new followers know what you’re about. Ask them to send you feedback on other social channels for a little cross-pollination.

Get interactive – Consider hosting Q&A segments either at a fixed time of at random so followers can snap you questions and get immediate interaction.

Travel bloggers Who Are Ace At Snapchat

@VickyFlipFlop – manages to be both a bit bonkers and informative at the same time. So much fun to follow.

@EatLikeAGirl – warning: Niamh will make you very hungry with her cooking and jealous of all the excellent eateries she sniffs out around the world.

@TheBlondeAbroad – bubbly Kiersten is a fantastic host, you’ll often find her taking over travel brand accounts too.

@HandLuggageOnly – expect lots of stunning imagery from dynamic duo Yaya and Lloyd.

@GettingStamped – these guys are ace at the Snapchat takeover. Really enjoyed their recent collab with Will from The Broke Backpacker (@WTHatton).

@MisterWeekender – ‘Nature Froth’ in action.

@Kirsten.Alana – my travel photography inspiration, expect lots of creative imagery from this Instagram pro

@jayneytravels – shares stylish travel with a mix of social media and blogging tips. Likes cake, dislikes her British teeth. Won’t bite though so come say hi 🙂

Further reading: How to avoid getting injured whilst taking selfies – my latest tongue-in-cheek piece for Skyscanner totally applies to Snapchat too!

Are you a travel blogger on Snapchat? Let me know your username in the comments below so we can connect.

20 Comments

  • Hey Jane, I really enjoyed this post, thank you! As a fellow Snapchat convert I agree with lots that you said – I’ve gained loads of new followers since using Snapchat properly and love its personal nature. Come and say hey – I’m at followyoursun 🙂 xx

  • Roma says:

    Great post Jayne. You’re right it’s so often a behind the scenes look at someone’s life. So with that in need mind, I’m attempting to embrace Snapchat. Travels abroad and London life seem to be topics of discussion.

    @RoamingRequired on Snapchat and all other SM platforms.

  • Michelle says:

    Great post – I am really getting into Snapchat and agree it is ridiculously annoying when people keep swapping from landscape to portrait – I try just to do everything in portrait now. And thanks for the tip about the subtitles – I hadn’t thought about people watching without sound – so I’ll make sure I add those from now on.
    Thanks for the suggestions of people to follow as well, you can check me out at @vhungryexplorer

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      It’s funny what you notice when you watch a lot of Snaps – I only thought about the importance of text once I got hooked to watching other people 🙂

  • Kassie says:

    Oh I love this! Always eager to find new people to follow on Snapchat! I love snapchat because its a way to get goofy with your followers and really give them a look into your life while traveling! I’ve gotten such good advice from other travelers through it as well.

    Can’t wait to follow all the people you’ve mentioned. If you’re intersted you can check me out at theflyawaylife!

  • It took us ages to jump aboard Snapchat but now realise that, as travel bloggers travelling full time, our lives are pretty damn interesting (and boring at times!). We now love sharing our adventures in this fun and quirky way, without having to worry about ‘perfect’ content like our blog our Instagram!

    Follow us: @commonwanderer

    • Jayne Gorman says:

      Ha I agree. The travel blogger’s lifestyle is either extremely interesting or extremely mundane – I think Snapchat is a great way to show all sides!

  • Sher says:

    Great post! I am SO addicted to snapchat. I already follow kiersten because like you said she is a great bubbly host and i love that she actually takes the time to tell you about the destination rather than just endless pictures.

    i’m a fellow travel blogger as well, but based in NYC so snaps are a mix of both and a little bit of fashion. you can find me @shershegoes 🙂

    Sher
    http://www.shershegoes.com

  • LisaLDN says:

    Loved this post! 🙂 I’m a Travel Blogger on SnapChat! Find me on LisaLDN – let’s connect 🙂 I’m currently in Norway, waiting and hoping for Yaya and Lloyd to head this way too!

  • Edna says:

    I love the community on Snapchat too, since you get such a personal look into people’s lives and personalities — I’ve met some really wonderful people through it! Just added you, I snap about food & drink and travel over at @expatedna 🙂

  • I love SnapChat… at the beginning I was, like you, very dubious. However, it’s really cool for putting ‘behind the scenes’ things and photos I’d never post on Facebook or Instagram!!

  • Joy Sheehan says:

    Great post, and so many helpful tips! I also wasn’t a fan of Snspchat at first – mostly because it was awkward for me to be ‘on camera’. But I quickly got used to it and now it’s the first app I go to when exploring a new place! Still trying to figure out how to get more engaged blog readers by using it, and what to snap when I’m not adventuring…but my username is @ajauntwithjoy

  • Giulia says:

    Great tips, thanks for sharing! I’m also on Snapchat as Mondomulia! 🙂

  • Jane Batt says:

    What s great post. I’m an old hand at video but very new to snapchat and loving it too! Think I’m following most of you already. Here’s mine. https://www.snapchat.com/add/janebatt

  • Cailin says:

    Hey Jane! Some great tips here!! I’m obsessed with Snapchat ( I think you saw that in Scotland lol) you can find me there username cailinoneil
    Happy snapping!

  • Flightshaus says:

    Great tips, thanks for sharing! I’m an old user on Snapchat and love to chat with travel buddies. love to share my latest trip videos. Good to see that lots of people get engaged here on single discussion and hope they like my profile too.

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