Over the last month or so I’ve gotten several inquiries from people who were wondering about Snapchat – a newer social media tool most often used as an app on a mobile device. The idea behind Snapchat is for you to send an image with or without a message to either all of your followers or a select few. What makes Snapchat different than other social media tools offering similar capabilities is that the image disappears within a given amount of time. So the only way someone can archive it is to take a screenshot of it. While I admit to not using it a lot myself, I’m familiar with it because my kids use it constantly to send photos and texts to their friends, and the younger people at work use it to communicate sometimes instead of texting.
As you can see from the infographic it is a great tool to reach out to the teen crowd. If a public works agency or industry brand wanted to launch an educational campaign targeted at that age group, it might be worth checking it out. My concern with promoting it as a communication tool for government agencies is that the message/image is not archived. So I am not sure the use of Snapchat would allow us to meet laws that require storage and retreival of our communications.
I could see a private firm or company using it to send photos of an inspection or field check if the purpose was to only give those in the office a quick view of the site. But because the image would not last, those receiving it would have to make sure to take a screenshot and save it if those images were needed for later referral.
If someone out there has been successfully using it in engineering or public works, send us the info, and we’ll post it on the blog!
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The Utah Division of Emergency Management has recently started using Snapchat to promote emergency preparedness through its Be Ready Utah program.
Our very few snapchat followers 🙂 are able to get 20-second stories about emergency preparedness and how to do it better. Our issue is trying to reach people in order to get them to follow us. 13-25 year olds don’t really care about emergency preparedness. Come and add BeReadyUtah on Snapchat. You’ll be glad you did.
But it’s fun to experiment with another social network. Thanks for your post.
Thanks for posting about your agency’s Snapchat account. I’m thinking of writing a short article about using Snapchat in our industry and would be very interested in seeing how you are using it. I added it so I could check it out! So far, your agency is the only government use of it I have seen!
I’m not surprised more agencies aren’t using Snapchat. I’m using Mashable’s snapchat account as my mentor. Search Mashable and you’ll find them, no problem. Good luck!
Our preparedness stories are posted only one or two times each week because I have 1 million other things to do and social media accounts to post to. But I do love the ease of posting on Snapchat. Have a great day.