Image for post
Image for post
Image Credit: Dylan Nunley (

Snapchat is NOT for Everyone — Don’t Believe the Hype…Here’s Why

Dakota Shane
Apr 10, 2016 · 7 min read

In marketing, all we’re hearing nowadays is that all brands should be on Snapchat. That if you’re not on Snapchat you’re falling behind or stuck in the 1960’s.

Some of the biggest voices in the marketing industry are saying this. Voices I learn from each and every day. On this point though, I have to disagree.

One of the most beautiful things about Medium is the ability for the “little guys” to take on the giants. So let’s load up our slings and do this thing…

I’m here to tell you the Snapchat hype is over-hype. Not every brand or person needs to be on Snapchat. The platform is wonderfully useful, but only for certain people and certain brands.

Don’t be so easily swayed before you think about the practical applications a platform has for your brand. Because your brand is all that matters. That’s why you’re here right now.

This is an article on Snapchat as a whole, but more than that it’s a plea — even a cry — for people to not be robots when it comes to marketing their brands. For people to think about issues through the lens of their own business.

Too many people use advice as a blueprint to build their shed. Instead, use advice as the tools to build a shed of your own design.

Here’s the breakdown…

Snapchat works for:

  1. “Personality-based” businesses
  2. People with large, pre-existing audiences on other platforms
  3. Individuals — “solopreneurs”
  4. Casual users
  5. Brands with a shit ton of money

And that’s about it.

Snapchat is not a platform to grow your audience. It’s a platform to nurture your already-existing audience.

It’s a platform for those who have proven they’re interesting enough to grow an audience already. It’s a platform for people to take the relationship with their audiences to a more intimate level.

If you’re looking to advertise on Snapchat, you might want to have a look at this beforehand…

Cost of Snapchat Advertising:

  1. Snapchat Discover: up to $700,000 per day
  2. Snapchat Filters: up to $200,000 per day
  3. Influencers: $10,000 to $50,000 per campaign

If you’ve got the capital, Influencer marketing on Snapchat could be a viable option. There are influencer marketing companies like Delmondo and Speakr who focus mainly on Snapchat.

Problem is, as you can tell, not everyone has that kind of cash flow. In fact, a the vast majority of people don’t have that kind of cash flow.

Snapchat is not for:

  1. Big brands looking to be “relatable” (unless those brands are buying space on Discover, Filters, or paying Influencers)
  2. Businesses not based around an individual or personality
  3. People without a social following elsewhere
  4. Most small to mi-sized businesses

I would go as far to argue if you fall into one of these categories, Snapchat will not only waste your time/money, but could hurt your brand.

In the eyes of millennials, there’s nothing worse than being corny and trying to be relatable when you’re not.

We can smell a lack of authenticity from a mile away — what else do you expect? We’ve had pop-up ad’s in our lives since we were in our Pampers.

If it’s millennials you’re trying to reach, all you need to do is be yourself. Be confident. Stay in your lane and you’ll be loved. Just look at how popular Bernie Sanders is to millennials! He’s not “hip” because he’s trying to Hit the Quan or the Dab.

He’s loved by the younger crowd because he is authentic and always himself and he doesn’t give a damn what others think about him. This is something that’s been absent for millennials since we popped into this world.

But let’s stop talking about millennials. There are far too many articles on our age group. Almost makes me wish I was ten years older.

Now, let’s go look at some people who HAVE been successful on Snapchat:

DJ Khaled — already a famous celebrity with 2 BET Awards and a Grammy nomination. We all knew him from his memorable intro’s: “WEEEEE THE BESTTTT!”

Gary Vaynerchuk — already a business icon with 3 NY Times Bestselling books, 200k YouTube subscribers, and 1 million+ Twitter followers.

Casey Neistat — had an HBO Series, a Nike commercial, and 2 million+ YouTube subscribers before the days of Snapchat.

Logan Paul — one of the first “Vine stars” before he made his way over to Snapchat. On Vine, he boasted millions of views and followers.

Even Snapchat stars “native” to the platform have almost all started somewhere else. Lilly Singh had a YouTube channel with 6 million subscribers before Snapchat.

Joey Graceffa was the same; prior to Snapchat he had 6 million YouTube subscribers, 2.4 million Instagram followers, and 2.3 million Twitter followers.

Again, Snapchat is a nurturing platform. Not a growth platform. So before you spend immense amounts of time and energy on Snapchat, try building an audience on a platform more growth-friendly!

I understand the appeal the lust around Snapchat. It fulfills both aspects of the “marketer’s fantasy” we all have: penetrating hard-to-reach markets and being early to the next big thing.

We all want it to be that easy. As easy as the answer being one platform away.

I know what you’re thinking, “Alright, what’s the answer then? Stop whining and give us a solution!”

Here’s the solution:

When choosing a channel for your social media marketing, select the 1,2 or 3 channels that work best for you. Don’t stick to a channel just because you heard about it on The Gary Vee Show, on AdWeek, or the Social Media Examiner.

If it doesn’t feel natural to you, then don’t do it. For people with very boisterous, captivating personalities or for very attractive people (let’s be honest here), Snapchat works great. But again, this is based on personality.

Look, I’m not saying don’t use Snapchat. Maybe they’ll switch up the algorithm like every other social media platform. Maybe that same update will make visibility and growth much easier. Maybe it will work for you in the future.

What I am saying is this:

  1. Don’t invest a lot of time and energy on Snapchat if it’s not going to be worth it. According to Mediakix, Snapchat births 158 years of content…per day…wow. That’s a lot of competition.
  2. Don’t believe all you hear from us marketers — shocker!!
  3. Try to stay focused and give other social media platforms you’ve worked so hard on some love! We as marketers are always looking for the special formula. The next platform. Sometimes, the answer is as simple as work harder & be yourself.
  4. If you’re going to have Snapchat as a focus, do it after you’ve built up an audience on another channel. That way you can funnel your audience into your Snapchat following.
  5. Give it a try. Maybe it will work for you. But if it doesn’t, that’s okay. Don’t beat yourself up for not being “ahead of the curve” all the time, or being “too old” for Snapchat. Who gives a shit if you are? Just be yourself. Be confident.
  6. First, find which platforms you love the most. Then, find out where your audience is. Finally, find a happy medium between the two.
  7. Marketing is about results based on devoted time/energy. So be honest with yourself next time you measure these, then act accordingly.

What are your thoughts on Snapchat? Comment below and we can talk it out.

Good luck on your journey, and have a great rest of the day!

If you liked this article, give another one a try:

Call to Action

If you want to put yourself in the best position possible to succeed on social media, check out my booklet titled: “The 7 Mindset Shifts for Successful Social Media Marketing”.

In these 12 short pages, you’ll discover the indispensable strategies needed to unlock your full potential on social media for your business, personal brand and more.

Click here to receive your free booklet now!

A network of business & tech podcasts designed to…

Sign up for Mission Daily


Mission Daily Newsletter Take a look

By signing up, you will create a Medium account if you don’t already have one. Review our Privacy Policy for more information about our privacy practices.

Check your inbox
Medium sent you an email at to complete your subscription.

Dakota Shane

Written by

I help make content marketing simple. Columnist: Co-Founder: Copy Buffs (a copywriting agency). Follow me on Twitter.

A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple.

Dakota Shane

Written by

I help make content marketing simple. Columnist: Co-Founder: Copy Buffs (a copywriting agency). Follow me on Twitter.

A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple.

Medium is an open platform where 170 million readers come to find insightful and dynamic thinking. Here, expert and undiscovered voices alike dive into the heart of any topic and bring new ideas to the surface. Learn more

Follow the writers, publications, and topics that matter to you, and you’ll see them on your homepage and in your inbox. Explore

If you have a story to tell, knowledge to share, or a perspective to offer — welcome home. It’s easy and free to post your thinking on any topic. Write on Medium

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store