November 16, 2023
November 16, 2023

Leveraging the
Power of Platform
Need States

Given the variety of offerings provided by various social media platforms, it is important for advertisers to consider a bespoke approach that allows for consistency and scale, while leaning into a platforms unique value proposition. In partnership with global media Mindshare agency, Snapchat set out to understand how brands can unlock the power of social media to maximize business impact by uncovering the unique power of various online platforms and how each platform can fulfill different consumer needs. A quantitative survey was conducted to better understand consumers’ subconscious associations between each platform and key attributes, i.e. connection, belonging, etc., across 14 markets that included US, Canada, UK, France, Germany, Italy, UAE, KSA, Turkey, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden, India and Australia. This study also included a neuroscience research designed and executed by Mindshare’s NeuroLabs team, the agency’s in-house neuroscience department.

Consumers are Seeking to Meet Specific Needs

Based on segmentation analysis conducted by Mindshare, six platform “need states” emerged that govern all social media behavior: Joy, Progression, Connection, Passing Time, Exploring, and Learning.

6 top needs of Snapchatters - Exploring, Joy, Learning, Passing Time, Progression, and Connection.

These “need states” differ across the world, reflecting the cultural nuances of each market. The UK and the US use social media as a “fun” space, while growing markets, like India, view social media as a source of progression. A higher percentage of social media users in Australia are focused on self-promotion while the markets of Turkey, the Netherlands and France are exploring and learning markets. In Germany, consumers want to use platforms to change opinions. Knowing how markets vary in their needs helps identify how best to reach these audiences through messaging, timing and ad formats. These need states were then mapped to generations and social platforms.

Some Platforms Have Unique Strengths to Leverage

Mindshare’s NeuroLab sought to understand the strength of each platform for delivering against each need state, through conscious and subconscious drivers. The results of the Implicit Association Test revealed how platforms are tied to unique need states, enabling brands to tap into platforms based on consumer needs.

When it comes to tapping into platforms where users feel happy, Snapchat stands out as a top platform most associated with Joy.

Snapchat compared to it's competitors brings the most joy

Across markets, Snapchat brings feelings of Joy when users think about using the platform. Brands looking to connect with users when they are in a heightened state of Joy have an opportunity to reach consumers on Snapchat.

Activating Need States by Matching Behaviors to Platforms

The final phase of the research set out to understand the behaviors that make each platform unique, in order to marry consumer needs to platform strengths and behaviors. Behaviors vary by platform, catering to different needs consumers are looking to fulfill. On Snapchat, Snapchatters are using the camera features to connect with friends by sharing their everyday moments.

Need states drive platform behavior. On Snapchat, users are seeking Joy and looking to spend their spare time Connecting with content and sharing something unique with their close connections on Snapchat.

Need States Driven by Snapchat Platform Behavior

A visual representation of quotes from young people on Snapchat

As uncovered from previous Snapchat research², close friend interactions are memorable, likable and engaging. Communicating with friends is a more pleasurable and enjoyable experience than just watching content from acquaintances or scrolling through a homepage or a feed.

Putting It All Together to Drive Outcomes

In the previous Snapchat research that was conducted, it was also uncovered that a higher engagement of Snapchat ads also delivers on brand outcomes, with Snapchatters reporting an increased likelihood that they would both recommend the brand to friends as well as purchase the products advertised. Brands have statistically higher engagement with ads on Snapchat than on any of the other tested platforms, proving that the halo effect theory was true, and a personally relevant platform delivers personally relevant advertising.

Snapchatters are more likely to recommend brands


Brands and advertisers need to create social experiences that take into account consumer needs while balancing cultural nuances to maximize brand impact across markets. Marketers must tailor their strategy to platforms’ unique need states in order to reach and connect with consumers on social platforms. Since Snapchat is a top platform associated with the need state, joy, brands can connect with Snapchatters when they are in a heightened state of happiness. This leads to greater ad engagement and brand outcomes.

Learn more about Platform Need States.

Learn more about how strong emotions drive brand engagement.

1 Source: Mindshare NeuroLab Platform ID Study, 2023. Commissioned by Snap, Inc.
2 Source: Neuro-Insight SST study, 2022. Commissioned by Snap, Inc.