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Snapchat Best Practices

Snapchat is a unique social media platform in that the content disappears 24 hours after posting. Content takes a visual form—either in short 10-second long videos, or photos with text, stickers, and drawings overlaid on the image. Content can be shared between individuals or shared to a publically viewable "story." Snapchat can only be used from a mobile device, and analytics are very limited.

Audiences and Content

In University Communications’ experience, Snapchat is particularly effective for reaching prospective and current students.

Content that we’ve found to be most engaging for prospective students includes video and image combinations tied together in a story that shares brand personality and takes the audience behind the scenes of events. Prospective students view Snapchat as a way to see what life is like for real students on campus. These audience members tend to engage with content through watching and responding.

Content that we’ve found to be most engaging for current students is user-generated content and behind-the-scenes feature stories. Current students tend to engage through creating content and responding to our content.

Help and Support

The Snapchat Support Center is a robust resource for questions regarding the use of the platform. Visit as a first step in learning about the platform and for troubleshooting any issues.

How should I use Snapchat at MSU?

A Snapchat account can be set up with just an email address. Anyone can log in to the Snapchat account using the associated email address or the Snapchat handle, and the account password. Profile customizations are limited to the user name, name, and a profile image which appears in your Snapcode (a QR code that can be shared as an easy way to follow individuals). Any profile customizations will need to be made directly in Snapchat.

Learn more about creating accounts in the Snapchat Support Center > Getting Started.

Learn more about using Snapchat in the Snapchat Support Center > Snaps and Snapchat Support Center > Stories.

When creating a new Snapchat account, you may choose to refer to the following checklist:

  • Assign a staff member to have primary responsibility for managing the account, and have at least one staff member as a backup.
  • Upload an appropriately sized profile image.
  • Complete the account profile sections.
  • Promote your account internally to build the number of followers.
  • Develop a schedule for regularly posting content.
  • Promote your account handle (on your website, on print pieces, on other social media accounts, etc.). Note: do not use the Snapcode on Facebook as a profile or cover image, as this violates the Facebook terms of service ban on branded content.

As you manage your Snapchat account, you may choose to refer to the following checklist:

  • Post regularly with content relevant to your audience.
  • Be sure that your profile image reflects the brand.
  • Screenshot your story analytics every day as a way of tracking your analytics.
  • Storyboard all of your Snapchat stories. The more you prepare, the better off you'll be.
  • Change your account password as staff changes, and immediately after any account takeovers. Only current MSU employees should have access to the account.

Additional Resources

Below are links to relevant resources shared at Social @ Michigan State events. See the meetings and workshops lists on the Campus Community page for additional information regarding these events.