How Snapchat, Tinder Can Better Serve Advertisers

Snapchat and Tinder are still struggling to introduce functions that allow brands to communicate with audiences in an effective way.

The possibilities for brands and social networks are limitless. But with the new generation of social networks, it seems like these possibilities haven’t quite been thought through enough.

It may be that servicing consumers come first, and rightly so, but in order to thrive and be able to secure revenue to take those networks to the next level, brands and their needs must be recognized. Brands can only do so much to overcome obstacles before they walk away.

While established social networks like Facebook and Twitter have by and large worked out how best to work with brands to reach their audiences, new-generation networks such as Snapchat and Tinder are still struggling to introduce functions that allow brands to communicate with audiences in an effective way.

As a result, brands are missing out on major commercial opportunities, social networks on advertising revenue and consumers–particularly the young–on exciting information and offers from favorite brands.

This, I believe, is largely due to problems with technology, but also a lack of understanding and inability by the majority of big brands to come up with innovative ways to overcome these hurdles.

For example, with more than 150 million daily users, 74 percent of which are under the age of 34, Snapchat is an advertiser’s dream. People spend on average 30 minutes each day using the application, and more than one-half (58 percent) are more likely to respond to a promotion than on Facebook or Twitter.

But discoverability on Snapchat is a big problem. I regularly hear from friends complaining that they can’t search on Snapchat for their favorite brand by its name or category–they have to know the distinct user name, which isn’t always a straight brand name. Plus, brands can’t easily and proactively reach out to their audience.

A second example is Tinder. With more than 50 million active users checking their account 11 times each day and spending on average 90 minutes per day on the app, I believe Tinder is another missed opportunity for brands today.

The lack of available information and metrics on its users makes it difficult to tailor ads, create bespoke branded content and analyze how successful ads have been. At the moment, ads are displayed to everyone in the same format as users’ profiles, meaning users can swipe past an ad without even looking at it.

‘Making the best’ of networks’ failures

The implication of social networks being suboptimal for brands is something I’m increasingly noticing. Brands are having to come up with ways to get around and “make the best” of networks’ failures. Largely, their solutions are clunky, in some ways old-fashioned and mostly ineffective.

At the same time, in order to appease brands and avoid losing out on even more revenue, social networks are having to introduce “halfway-house” features that acknowledge and attempt to address the problems brands are having, but without really coming up with a long term solution.

Brands are resorting to promoting their Snapchat user names on other social network channels such as Instagram and Facebook. This is typically done in posts that feature the brands’ Snapcodes or in their bios.

The issue here is that people either have to take a screenshot of the Snapcode or retype that username into Snapchat. This seems like an incredibly long winded, time consuming process that isn’t going to appeal to a young generation that wants everything done at speed and with ease.

With Tinder, very few brands are in fact advertising on the platform. They are deterred by the lack of metrics. For fashion brands, Tinder could be the perfect platform, but these brands tend to demand metrics on their social media audience.