Mom, You're Doing Snapchat WRONG

When Snap, Inc., the parent company of Snapchat held its IPO a few weeks ago, Wall Street was abuzz.  It was largest tech IPO in quite some time, exceeding most expectations.  But perhaps more notably for those of us in the social media world, it meant that Wall Street felt strongly that Snapchat could make money and it was well on its way to taking its place beside the ‘big three’ of social media.

While we do some work with Snapchat and our clients, we mostly create custom GeoFilters. Last weekend, we did one for our friends at the Beer Garden Run in Helotes, TX.  We have been a sponsor for this fundraiser for several years.  They promoted the filter via other social channels to build awareness, which was key.  The filter was up from 6am to 5pm, with the event generally running from 7:30 - 11am.  We had 376 impressions of the filter with 224 conversions, or a conversion rate of almost 60%, which is very good.  But we had over 6,800 views, which we think is stellar considering the short timeframe of the event and that there were 1,000 runners.

However, when looking at Snapchat data, it is very important to consider all of the views that don’t occur on Snapchat.  I admit it...I probably use Snapchat more for the filters to post on Facebook and Instagram than I do on Snapchat.  And I am clearly not alone as we saw dozens of people do the same thing at the beer run.  And of course not a day goes by when I don’t see a friend post a picture with the Snapchat bunny ears on Instagram.  So this added exposure was a real bonus for the beer run.

But I know all too well (and my daughter constantly will remind me) that I am doing it wrong.

She is in Junior High, and she, as with most of her friends, have abandoned Facebook long ago as some sort of ‘old folks home’ where her parents hang out.  For her set, it’s all about Snapchat. So I decided to ask Annika what she enjoys so much about the platform:

Q: Why do you prefer Snapchat over Facebook or Instagram?

A: I think it’s more fun. There are more filters to post to your story, you can send pictures to your friends and the story deletes after 24 hours, so you don’t have to worry about deleting it.

Q: What Snapchat features are attractive to you?

A: Definitely the filters. I like that Snapchat has the feature where you can also call your friends if you want to.

Q: Why do you like these features?

A: The features make the app more fun. It’s convenient because you can also facetime your friends.

Q: Are you ever worried about missing out on a story because you didn’t log in for a while?

A: No, not really.

Q: How many of your friends use Snapchat?

A: Like, almost all of them.

Q: Do you ever post Snapchat filters on Facebook or Instagram?

A: No

Q:  Is it annoying when your parents get on Snapchat?


Imitation is the best kind of flattery. Instagram and Facebook are forever trying to keep up with Snapchat’s innovative and younger approach. Last year Instagram introduced contextual stickers and Instagram Stories with lackluster success in an attempt to draw in Snapchat’s younger demographic. On March 29th Facebook launched camera filters from six major Hollywood studios imitating Snapchat’s filters and added Facebook Stories, a feature very similar to Snapchat Stories that let people post pictures and stories at the top of their news feed for a duration of 24 hours. Only time will tell whether these new features will draw attention from a younger demographic. 

In the meantime, keep snapping away!