While you may have heard about Snapchat and how it’s popular with the youths, if you haven’t been on the platform, it’s probably hard to understand why. And yet a lot of brands are still jumping SnapchatÂ with full force because they think they are supposed to.
I’ll be honest: I don’t think the Snapchat interface is very intuitive. I don’t think it’s easy to navigate at all when you don’t know what you’re looking for. There’s no tutorial either. However, I think there’s a chance that’s part of their secret sauce (though I wouldn’t necessarily advise other brands to try this UX strategy).
I’ve started to think that Snapchat is dealing in a few commodities: exclusivity and novelty. The platform isn’t easily accessible, which means that your grandma probably isn’t going to be asking you about that weird photo of you as a hippo that you posted in your Snapchat story for fun. It’s a place to play with your peers and friends, largely uninhibited.
Of course, anything gets boring if you do it every day. So Snapchat keeps changing their filters. Day after day, you can look at yourself through new lenses. You can be an old lady, the queen of hearts, or a dog. Tomorrow, you get a slew of new options. Some options only stay for a day while others might be around for a few weeks. This prompts people to check in every day and engage quickly with their favorites – they have no idea how long things will be around. This has to do with the fact that people love limited editions. It provides exclusivity and urgency; people will convert because they know they might not be able to later.
In short, Snapchat understands user behavior well. So, naturally, brands are trying to capitalize on their user base. For some, this means starting their own Snapchat account and using it to showcase products and nudge people into their sales pipeline. For others, it means sponsoring a Snapchat filter. While this certainly get a lot of eyes on your brand it is not without risks. You may end up paying a lot of money for something that makes you look dull at best and offensive at worst. Engaging on Snapchat takes as much strategy as any other social platform – perhaps more. No brand wants to seem like the awkward grandma crashing the party and ruining all the fun.
Before you jump full force into any social platform, you need to make sure that it’s right for your brand. If you’re considering adding a new social media platform, don’t do it just because you heard Snapchat was where the youngsters are.