1) To Connect
At #SHRM16 you will be one of thousands of HR professionals trekking through the convention center each day. In that sea of people, how do you connect with people you’ve never met? You can start chatting them up in the line at Starbucks. You can introduce yourself to the person sitting next to you in a session. Or you can be like me and unabashedly walk up to people and start a conversation. If none of these options appeal to you, there is one other option for you: Social Media.
Social Media is a powerful and efficient way to connect with people in the crowd. It even allows you the opportunity to check them out, to learn what they’re about before you actually engage them in real life.
You can use any social media platform you choose. However, this year, I dare you to try Snapchat. Aside from the fact that it is currently the hottest social media tool on the planet and increasing in popularity every day, Snapchat is an easy way to combine the best of all the other apps into one tool.
- You can snap a quick photo of what you’re doing, add a filter and a caption before posting it a la Instagram.
- You can compose a short and clever text message to text out to your followers (without the messy hashtags!) a la Twitter.
- You can take a video of something you’re seeing to broadcast a la Facebook Live or Periscope.
However you use it, Snapchat will help you cross paths with people you wouldn’t otherwise meet in a fun and creative context.
2) To Share
You know how two people can be looking at the exact same thing and yet see something entirely different? At #SHRM16, there will be people from all walks of life in attendance. Each one has a unique perspective. You may attend a session and meet someone new there, for example. In conversation afterwards, you might discover that the person you just met learned things in the session that didn’t occur to you. And vice versa. And yet, both perspectives are worth sharing.
Use Snapchat to share your unique perspective on the conference: something you learned that you geeked out about, an opinion you formed from a keynote you listened to or a question raised by a conversation you had that you want an answer to.
Whether you take a photo, record a video or send a text message out, the content you generate is your point of view. When you use Snapchat, you share your perspective with people you know and more importantly, with people you don’t know. They may be at the conference like you or they may be somewhere else in the world. You’ll never know until you share!
However you use it, Snapchat will share your experiences, thoughts and perspective with an audience close by and far away. In turn, they will share with you. Your horizons will be broadened up close without you having to even go very far.
3) To Explore
You don’t get to where you’re at in life without learning and accumulating knowledge. Curiosity keeps us young and engaged. Why are only 2% of people over 40 years old creative compared to 98% of 5-year-olds? I’d venture to guess the answer has to do with their ability to be curious about the world around them.
Snapchat is a fantastic tool for exploring the world around you. It enables you to flex your creative muscles as you express your curiosity with your environment, the people you encounter and the things you see through your snaps.
Do you want to explore new ideas and worlds, but prefer to stay home? When someone you follow on Snapchat generates content and shares it, they deliver the world to you; and all you have to be is curious. Who knows, maybe as you explore other people’s content on Snapchat, you will learn new things, meet interesting people, or close the gap often caused by lack of curiosity? Try it – go exploring on Snapchat and see what you discover.
4) To Engage
Have you ever been in a one-way conversation with someone? The person talks and talks. You listen a lot and try to engage in the conversation, to virtually no avail. Eventually, you drift off and lose interest.
Social media apps function at their best when they are used to engage with the world at large. It’s certainly possible to post on Instagram, or any of the various apps for that matter, without engaging in a two-way dialogue with people. But that’s not the intention of social media. Social media is inherently about connection, building a community and engaging in meaningful exchanges of ideas, thoughts and feelings.
If you’re on social media, I hope that you are genuinely there because you want to engage with people for more than a one-way conversation. If you aren’t, I encourage you to get off social media altogether. Without engagement, there is no purpose in being on social media.
All that said, Snapchat is probably the most engaging and playful of all the major social media apps. In fact, it has been designed in such a way that even the most reluctant of users will eventually be drawn in by its fun nature.
Get on Snapchat and connect with people. Unleash your sense of play. You won’t break it. Go ahead. You can draw, write, or record whatever you want. You can utilize a variety of filters on your photos. You can edit and augment your videos in multiple ways. You can do the Snapchat equivalent of Facetime with people. You can even send an instant message via voice recording or call the person directly all within the Snapchat app. On Snapchat your creative options are numerous, and they will continue to increase as it develops.
If you want to create a one-voice narrative in the content you create, then look to other apps. If you want to engage in a creative two-way connection with people, if you genuinely want to share your view of the world and explore new ways to see things, then Snapchat may be the perfect app for you. But in the end, your interactions with people will depend largely on your willingness to actively engage and play with others.
Bonus Reason: To Follow
Finally, in the social media world, you build your community by following people. Start by following @shrmofficial on Snapchat and engaging with us at #SHRM16. You’ll get to meet some of our official bloggers and staff via your very own up-close and unique access to our conference happenings. And hopefully make some new friends along the way.
For more information and to attend SHRM 2016 Annual Conference & Exposition, visit www.annual.shrm.org.