Whenever rules are created and lines are drawn by the major social media players, I’m always amazed when companies figure out ways to “beat the system,” or use these new standards to their advantage. When you break free of the social media rules, you get recognition for something that seems so commonplace when the reality is-oh wait-it’s never been done before.

Take the limitations set by Snapchat, for instance. This social media platform is evolving and growing at such an accelerated pace that every business wants to figure out how to use Snapchat to their advantage.

The problem? There’s no easy way to get social media users to add a business on Snapchat except for…well…through Snapchat. Other platforms like Facebook and Twitter can easily be inserted as social icons on a company website where users simply point, click, and wait to be redirected to the company’s page. But since Snapchat is an entirely mobile platform, so as of now there’s no way to redirect audiences to an account from a desktop. Couple that with the lack of ROI and reporting data available on Snapchat, and this social media up-and-comer has hit some roadblocks.

huffington post snapchat social media

Huffington Post noticed this lack of inbound direction towards Snapchat, and they did not like it. The digital media outlet’s director of growth Kiki Von Gilow knows its importance to reach Snapchat’s demographic, where the majority is of the highly coveted millennial generation.“[Snapchat has] a very different ROI than the other platforms, but it’s a demographic we think is very important,” says Von Gilow. We want to convert them to loyal HuffPo users.”

The solution: Huffington Post made their own “Add us on Snapchat” button directly on their site encouraging users to add them on snapchat. Simply click on the button and get directed to the Snapchat barcode avatar of the Huffington Post, the very same avatars that are used as Facebook and Twitter profile pictures to encourage conversion.

Now why is this so incredibly brilliant? Huffington Post didn’t wait for Snapchat to release an easy-to-use, desktop-friendly CTA button. They created their own in order to drive more traffic, increase their audience, and engage a new and emerging millennial demographic. They didn’t follow the rules, they didn’t stay behind the lines and wait their turn. They beat the social media system, and for that, I think they deserve a round of digital applause. And maybe their own Snapchat filter.