Making the Most of Your Snapchat Geofilter

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Yes, I put a photo of my pup in a filter ūüôā

Snapchat is a unique way of getting your brand in front of Millennials and Gen Z and engaging with them using a medium they value. Last week, I launched my first Snapchat geofilter for a newly constructed apartment community serving students in East Lansing, MI. The filter went live on the¬†first day of classes at the local university. It was snapped more than 1100 times, and those snaps were viewed more than twenty-three thousand times!¬†ūüė≥¬†Yes, 23,000+! And the investment didn’t exceed $170. Talk about exposure!

If your brand is going to be in front of 20,000 people, it’s even more imperative for you to be strategic in the design and execution of your geofilter. Here are a few tips on how I believe you can do just that:

  1. Design a filter that your audience¬†would actually want to use.When designing your filter, create something you think¬†your audience would enjoy using. In my case, I wanted my audience (students) to snap about their first day of classes, so our filter¬†simply said “First Day of Classes!” The user is clever enough to know that they should snap about what they they’re doing or how they’re feeling about the first day of classes.¬†The design or message you create for the user should be most prominent. Your logo should take a back seat.Design tip: Words can easily get lost in filters depending on the background, and you never know what background a user will have. To avoid any letters getting lost, be sure to use a thick font and/or add a drop shadow to your text.
  2. Place your logo, hashtag and/or website on the filter, when possible.You definitely want to use your business logo in your geofilter but it should not overshadow the primary message intended for the user. I recommend that your logo is smaller than your primary message, and placed somewhere around the edge of the filter so that it falls somewhere near the edge of the user’s screen. It’s also not a bad idea to add a hashtag or website address, as long as it’s short and typed in a legible font size.
  3. Target the right locations and/or events.Snapchat can get real expensive real fast if you try to cover a large area of land at once. In my case, I could easily blow a property’s budget if I try to cover an entire college campus. Luckily, what I learned during a Snapchat test at another property is that most students snap¬†while they’re eating! So instead of targeting the entire local¬†campus, (and potentially wasting money on sidewalks and grassy areas), I focused on the dining halls. Now that we have results, I know which dining halls are most popular/have the most popular Snapchat users, so I can focus on those¬†in the future! Snapchat also allows you to target events. I haven’t tried that feature, but I encourage you to explore it!
  4. Encourage engagement.Finally, one thing I didn’t do with this filter that I would encourage you to do is to ask users to send you their snaps, in exchange for an incentive. While Snapchat has the ability to get your brand in front of tens of thousands of people, you can’t actually see the snaps. So while I hope the snaps with my property’s name on them had positive sentiment, that’s one valuable piece of information I was unable to collect. (And I intentionally¬†didn’t do engagement because I feel we’re still building rapport with our audience.) When your audience sends you their snaps, then you’ll know exactly what’s being said on the filters that have your name on them.

If you’ve produced¬†some geofilters lately, I’d love to hear about what worked for you and what you wish you had done differently!

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