Snapchat is currently the hottest social media app out there. Teens are no longer the only demographic to be drawn in by Snapchat’s creative and playful features. News agencies, major brands, Gen Xers and, yes, even my mom are using it now, too!
One of the easiest ways to begin to build your Snapchat community is by following people you already know. To do so, simply:
- Open Snapchat
- Tap the Ghost at the middle of the top of the screen
- Tap “My Friends”
- Click on “CONTACTS” at the top of the screen. You’ll see a list of people already in your phone who use snapchat.
- Follow them.
Unlike other social media apps, Snapchat does not yet allow you to search for people to follow who you don’t already know, unless you know their Snapchat username (also known as their Snapcode). I’m sure they are working on this; but for now, you can’t search within the Snapchat app for people with similar interests or backgrounds.
“But, wait. How do I find awesome people I want to engage with on Snapchat then?” you ask me.
Don’t despair! Meet Ghostcodes.
What is Ghostcodes
Ghostcodes is a brand new app designed and built for real-time Snapchat discovery. It allows you to search for Snapchatters by categories or areas of interest in order to follow them. It’s simple and easy!
- Download the Ghostcodes app.
- Create your profile
- Search for people with similar interests
- Follow them!
In the Ghostcodes app, at the bottom of your screen you should see a Navigation Bar with five icons.
- Home (that looks like a house)
- Categories (that looks like a file folder)
- Search (that looks like a magnifying glass)
- Notifications (that looks like a flag)
- My Profile (that looks like the outline of a person)
Tapping this icon will take you to a screen full of Snapchatters that the Ghostcodes team is featuring. They are Snapchat superstars, if you will. You can tap on any of the profiles you see there to learn more about each person.
Tapping this icon will take you to a screen of general Categories. Tap on a category of interest and you’ll be taken to a screen full of people who post and create content related to that category.
- Pick a category of interest to you.
- Tap it.
- Scroll through the list of profiles within that category.
- When you find a profile you are curious about, tap it!
Tapping this icon will take you to a search screen. You’ll see two search criteria there: Snappers and Interests. You can search by Snapper if you know a particular person’s real name or their Snapchat username. Otherwise, search by Interest.
In the search bar at the top of the screen, type a word to describe the area of interest you seek. You’ll then be given a list of Snapchatters who share that area of interest with you.
Tapping this icon will take you to a screen similar to the notifications screens on your other social media platforms. You’ll see a list of people who have given you “kudos,” which are purple hearts equivalent to the “Like” feature on Facebook and the heart feature on Twitter and Instagram.
As you become familiar with Ghostcodes and you come across people you know or profiles you like, tap the heart to see it fill from empty (white) to full (purple). People will in turn do the same when they like your profile.
Tapping this icon will take you to your profile screen. The gear wheel at the top right hand portion of the screen allows you to edit your profile.
On this screen, you’ll also see a number next to a downward pointing arrow which indicates the number of people who have downloaded your Snapcode and added you to their community on Snapchat.
Tap the arrow to be taken to a list of the people who downloaded your Snapcode. Download their Snapcode to follow them back!
The number next to the white heart is the number of “kudos” you’ve received. Tap the heart to be taken to a list of people who have given you “kudos.” You can give those people “kudos” by tapping the white heart next to their profile. You’ll know you successfully gave them kudos when their white heart fills up and becomes purple.
Note: When setting up your profile on Ghostcodes, you have the option of selecting areas of interest that already exist to add to your profile OR you can create new areas of interest. I created #SHRM16 as one of my interests. You can select #SHRM16, too, if you are so inclined!
How to Add People You Discover in Ghostcodes to your Snapchat
Scroll through the list of people in the Categories list or find people on the Search screen.
When you see one you want to learn more about, tap that person’s profile.
On the next screen, you’ll see:
- the Snapcode of the person.
- their name.
- a downward pointing arrow.
- a brief bio about them.
- a list of all the social media apps they are active on.
- a list of their interests.
NOTE: Use the list of social media apps that the person is active on as a way to screen them. Tap one of the icons you see on their list and you’ll be taken to that particular social media channel. Once there, you can see the types of things they are posting. It is a great way to gauge the quality of the content that they will be posting on Snapchat.
If, based on what you’ve learned about a particular person, you decide you want to follow them over on Snapchat:
- Tap the downward pointing arrow that appears under their name. The arrow will change to a check mark.
- Next, open your Snapchat app.
- Tap the little ghost in the middle of the top of the screen.
- Tap “Add Friends.”
- Tap “Add by Snapcode.”
You’ll be taken to your Camera Roll where you should see the Snapcode of the person you just found over in Ghostcodes.
- Tap their Snapcode.
You’ll see the white Snapchat Ghost momentarily change to a skeleton version of itself.
Next, you’ll see the basic profile of the person you want to follow appear.
- Tap “Add Friend.”
You’re now following that person on Snapchat.
I know the last thing you may feel you need is another app to manage. However, until Snapchat evolves to allow you to discover people directly within the Snapchat app, Ghostcodes is an easy and great way to find and build your community.
Finally, you can add me on Snapchat as @joelyoh OR you can use the Search feature in Ghostcodes and type #SHRM16. You’ll see my profile pop up that way, too.
Feel free to send me your questions as you play around with both Snapchat and Ghostcodes! I’m not an expert; but I am perpetually curious about social media and am always tinkering and exploring and playing. Join me in the fun!
For more information and to attend SHRM 2016 Annual Conference & Exposition, visit www.annual.shrm.org.