Snapchat For Writers: Your Work In Every Reader’s Pocket

snapchat for writers

Photo Credit: Ryan Nagelmann – Flickr Creative Commons

For months I criticized my friends for using Snapchat. I never understood the point of not saving your photos. I enjoyed the idea of showing funny pictures to friends at a later occasion. I joked that Snapchat was just a glorified way to send sexual pictures so no one could see them again.

Well, just a few weeks ago I caved. I downloaded the Snapchat app and started receiving some of the snaps that people sent out. I’ve got to admit, it was quite addicting.

For those of you who don’t know, Snapchat is a simple app that recently declined a buyout offer from Facebook for $3 billion. The amount of Chipotle burritos I could eat with that money…I digress. The app lets you take a photo and send it to a group of friends. Your friends can view the message for a certain amount of seconds and then it disappears, forever.

It’s great for sending candid shots or pictures of funny faces or instances that might not be the most flattering. I laugh 100 times harder at the pictures sent to me on Snapchat than the ones I see on Facebook.

That said, is there a way for writers to use this revolutionary new app to market a blog, a book or even your freelance writing career? I’ve read dozens of social media books including my favorite, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, and none of them really touch on Snapchat–especially Snapchat for writers.

Heck, the app has over 50 million users, so there has to be someway to reach these people? Let’s take a look at some companies that currently use Snapchat and see how these tactics can be used to market your writing.

Land on NARS: Exclusive Writing Previews

A cosmetics company called NARS used some masterful cross-promotion with Twitter and Snapchat to market their upcoming collection. The cool thing about Snapchat is that it’s exclusive, so it creates a sense of urgency. NARS told all of their Twitter followers to friend them on Snapchat to receive exclusive photos of their upcoming Guy Bourdin collection. At a specified date these people received photos of the new line.

How can you use this for your writing? Tell people on Twitter or Facebook to friend you on Snapchat so they get get a sneak peak of your new book cover. If you’re selling something on your blog then give them a sneak peak with a video or photo on your blog. Maybe you plan on holding a book signing or seminar? Send them photos of the location to get them excited.

Promotional Karma With Karmaloop

Karmaloop sells street wear to younger demographics. The company uses Snapchat to send out funny or witty pictures with promotional codes for merchandise. They usually grab a person, dress them up and have them hold up the promotional code.

How can writers use this technique? If you have a paid webinar, class or training session on your blog then you can send people an exclusive code for a discount. Authors and poets can send out promo codes for their works on Amazon as well. Show your face and create a funny photo to develop an emotional connection with readers.

Take A Pointer From Pro Sports

Pro sports teams get tons of publicity on social media, and frankly it makes me jealous because they don’t have to put in much work. Their fan bases are so large that it just comes with the territory. That said, various professional sports teams are sending out Snapchat photos to feature behind the scenes action. The New Orleans Saints are known for sending out photos of practices and other team events.

As a writer you can send out photos of where you write, who you meet while on the job and what interesting research you’re doing.

Oh Romeo: The Arts and Snapchat

A great example of how one company promotes creative work is Swarovski Entertainment. The movie company promoted its Romeo and Juliet movie by teasing people with quick videos and photos of the movie and the characters. If you managed to capture a screenshot and share it on Twitter to possibly receive some prizes. The primary reason they used Snapchat was to generate buzz, and it worked because people weren’t looking for freebies–they just wanted to interact with other fans and see who else saw the photos.

This technique works particularly well for writers because you can send out a picture of the first page of your next novel and encourage people to share it on Twitter or elsewhere. You can sprinkle in other things like covers and additional writings too. This might just get people talking if they enjoy your writing.

Have you ever used Snapchat to market your writing? Write in the comments section if you have any other Snapchat for writers techniques. 

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About Joe Warnimont

I am a writer, marketing expert and adventure seeker. I help people write, market their writing, live truthfully and embrace their lives through creativity. You can find me riding my bike around the streets of Chicago. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus.


  1. Thank you for this article !