At thirty-three years old, I am in an interesting position in the professional world. I am not young enough to be an expert in every new social application that comes out; however, I understand how important it is to pay attention to trends and use them to further my business. Leaders and business professionals who are ten, twenty, thirty years older than me seem to want to complain about the young professional (millennials) using (attached) to these apps. Whether they like it or not, it’s a reality of the world in which we live and do business in, and it’s not going away. Instead of digging their heels in the sand, these leaders need to use new tools to educate, engage, and enlighten their current and future employees.

Snapchat is a social platform that is fast becoming an extremely popular tool in business. It’s beyond relevant, with 100M active users and over 7B daily video views. Snapchat allows users to share images or videos of 10 seconds or less and link them together to make a story. The videos and images can be watched once or twice, and only stay on the platform for 24 hours. Then poof; they are gone. If you want to know the full story check out Gary Vaynerchuk’s post “The Snap Generation: A Guide to Snapchat’s Story”.

If you are reading this, you are most likely a forward-thinking leader. Here are 5 reasons why you, and every leader should use or at the very least give Snapchat a try.

1. Show your personal side

Most leaders are only known at the office or where work is conducted, but employees today want to know their leader is human. What they do outside of work; hobbies, cool places they go, things they do, etc. A little of this goes a long way; be careful not to over share. You can show your personal side without being too “personal.”

2. Recruit Young Talent

An old mentor of mine always told me, “fish where the fish are.” The same goes with recruiting young talent. Companies are in the midst of the greatest talent war of all time. The age demographic for the largest number of users on Snapchat is between 17-24. These are our next group of employees entering the workforce. The CEO on Snapchat who posts regularly about their life and business, is going to attract the young talent as they prepare to enter the workforce. The CEO who holes up in a corner office, rolling their eyes at the latest social media fad will miss the proverbial boat full of young, hungry, educated potential employees.

 3. Challenge Yourself

Most people who are in leadership positions got there partly because they are competitive. They like solving hard problems and they are open to challenging themselves beyond their perceived limits. Growing an audience on Snapchat is a challenge. It’s like old school marketing and good old fashion hard work. Challenge yourself to figure out something new.

 4. Stay Relevant

As Reid Hoffman famously said “ You have to constantly be reinventing yourself and investing in the future.” This is exactly why leaders should do doing things like Snapchat. It’s an investment in their future and a way to show their teams they aren’t stuck in the mud with old thinking.

 5. Provide Instant Education

I realize many leaders can’t and shouldn’t share insider information to the outside world. But Snapchat is a tremendous way to share your personal knowledge and experience in an instant.  The best snaps I have seen, provide brief moments of inspiration or education that help me think outside the box.

If you are a leader of people and you haven’t yet explored Snapchat or you keep a ban on yourself because it’s the way your leaders did so in the past, maybe its time you change your thinking.  If Snapchat isn’t your thing, my hope if you will find alternative ways to implement these five ideas to modernize your leadership skills.

Add me on snapchat @johngeades

This article was originally posted on LinkedIn and was read by over 10,000 people.

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