Use Snapchat’s geofilters to optimize your publicity

December 16, 2016

What do Gatorade, Starbucks, and SoulCycle all have in common? Custom Snapchat geofilters—and it’s bringing them hundreds of thousands of new views.

You may already know the concept of geofilters as cities and college campuses are already taking full advantage of this easy-to-use social media tool. But if you don’t know, a geofilter is an overlay filter that can be swiped onto a picture or video. Geofilters have designated locations they are tied to, (e.g. downtown Seattle alone has multiple available geofilters.) They can be used by any Snapchat user and uploaded to their personal Snapchat story — where any of their followers can view their photo or video.

But did you know that you or your organization could be making your own custom geofilter as well?

Snapchat is now offering everyone the ability to design and purchase their own geofilter for as low as $5 an hour per 20,000 square feet. Need a creative, low-budget means of publicity for promoting a special speaker, fundraiser or non-violent protest? Design a filter, set your event’s date and location, purchase the filter and give your organization the chance to garner thousands of views from all over the world. Here’s a step-by-step guide in setting up your custom geofilter:

  1. snapchat-geofilters1Design your filter.

    The most important step in the geofilter process is designing your filter. If you cannot seek the help from a professional designer, Snapchat offers some easy-to-use templates here. Photoshop, Illustrator, and Sketch all work well, but if you don’t have experience using these design tools, there are alternatives. Canva is a great, user-friendly online design program that allows you to design graphics and illustrations for Web or print.  Need some inspiration? This Tumblr is filled with geofilter designs.

  2. Upload your filter.snapchat-geofilters2

    Once you’ve finished designing your awesome filter, head over to Snapchat ’s On-Demand Geofilter site and log in with your account. Snapchat has a 300KB limit, so if your design needs to have some KB’s shaved off, TinyPNG is a great tool to use.

  3. Set date and time.snapchat-geofilters3

    Next, you’ll have to select the duration of your filter. Pay close attention here as you cannot edit the times and dates once you’ve submitted your filter.

  4. Set the location.snapchat-geofilters4

    After you’ve decided how long your filter will be live for, Snapchat will make you set the area in which your filter can be accessed. Your desired area must be in between 20,000 and 5,000,000 square feet. To set your location, enter the address and draw a fence around your event’s area. Tip: it’s best to be a bit generous.

You’re all set! After you’ve completed the steps above and paid for your filter, you’re ready to go and will receive a few confirmation emails from Snapchat. Snapchat promises to review your design and get back to you in one business day, but it’s best to submit your filter 3-4 days before you want your filter to go live!

After your filter has expired, Snapchat provides some basic metrics on how your filter performed. This data can sometimes take a day or two to appear, but once it comes, it will show you the amount of times your filter was used, and how many times it was seen.

Have you tried geofilters yet? What did you think? Let us know in the comments section below.

–Chris Lee, 2016 Winter Intern