This is an archived blog from when I ran Conscious Public Relations Inc. from 2008-2018. Excuse the potential outdated-ness!

Watch and observe a social network before you jump in.

I’m officially addicted to Snapchat. I’m not necessarily using it a lot, but I’m watching others I’m following. Which brings me to one of the best and most simple tips for social media I know: Lounge poolside before you dive in.

Snapchat is actually one of the best networks for watching how a social network works, because you do just that as a user — you watch. Yes, you can do the same thing on Periscope, Instagram or YouTube, but those all require the content creator a certain amount of time to post properly before you see it. With the exception of Periscope, they can edit to make the content look nice, which can take awhile. And with Periscope you have to be watching live, or else you have to catch the broadcast later. And we want our content now, don’t we?

Snapchat’s pretty instant, and simple. In fact, you can only see the user’s posts from the past 24 hours, so it’s almost as real-time as you can get. I decided to look for my favourite comedians, and Kevin Hart (kevinhart4real) was the only one who was actively on and using Snapchat. Daily! He’s the perfect example of a brand NOT PAYING to appear on Snapchat automatically and using it in the best way it was intended: for live, real-time, short-lived posts. I don’t even watch the sponsored content that’s available on Snapchat from companies like Mashable or Buzzfeed. Do you?

In the examples above, you’ll see two kinds of videos you’ll see from Hart almost daily. His morning workout, and then what he’s doing during the day. The second screenshot is almost right before you see Hart’s Ride Along 2 co-star, Ice Cube, giving us the finger. You’ll almost always see snaps with a filter of the city name where Kevin Hart is travelling in, a Snap of the audience he’s just performed in front of, and also of the runners participating in his free 5k runs to promote physical activity. I’ve only been following him for about a month, but I know what kind of content to expect from him because of the consistency and frequency.

Hart isn’t a normal person by any means, but he creates all of his content himself, and we can all watch – for free – to see how one of the best does it. If you can hold a camera, you can be on Snapchat. If you can take a selfie, you can be on Snapchat. If you’re running a company and you think you don’t have time to try out Snapchat or at least see how it works, you are a lazy-ass mofo. I think Hart would back me up on that.

This principle applies to ANY social network, not just Snapchat. Before you dive in and look like an idiot because you don’t know how to use it (and yes, I admit I posted stuff like this on Twitter — but I had zero followers when I did!), watch and learn first. It’s not that hard!

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