As you go about your normal daily activities, you may have noticed people under the age of 25 gathering in groups, making weird faces, laughing, and pointing at something obviously hysterical on their phones. Have you ever wondered what they're doing? Welcome to the reign of Snapchat, an app for sending photos that delete after 10 seconds.
Over the past few years, Snapchat has become one of the fastest growing and most used social media apps with over 200 million active users. With so many active users, marketers, and more specifically event makers, have been enamoured with the potential Snapchat has for reaching audiences about their events. But up until now, Snapchat has been the elusive golden snitch of event marketing; nobody has been able to truly figure out how to use it to consistently market their events.
The difficulty with advertising on Snapchat has always been that your reach is limited to the number of friends you have. While this seems similar to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, Snapchat is unique in that there isn't an easy way to search and discover accounts, meaning that if you aren't actively promoting your Snapchat account, people may be hard pressed to find you.
However, Snapchat has recently come out with a feature for events that allows you to share your event to a large audience that Snapchat users will willingly want to share with their friends - true organic marketing at it's best. It's called Snapchat Geofilters.
What is a Snapchat Geofilter?
A Geofilter is a creative little design that can be applied over pictures that a user takes on Snapchat. Filters are often used to denote a city, a historical place, or an event. For example, a Snapchat user in San Fracisco will be able to add a Geofilter to their picture that says San Fracisco. No matter what city you are in, you will be able to find a filter with your city name.
Snapchat is able to do this through Geofiltering, the ability to target specific geographic locations, so each location can have a unique filter. A Geofilter can be set to as large as a whole country, or as small as 20,000 square feet - approximitaly the size of a couple houses or lots downtown. For your event, you will want to set your Geofilter to the location of your event.
Why Use a Snapchat Geofilter?
Geofilters are a great way to organically get your attendees to share your event with their friends. Geofilters are particulary useful for multi-day or recurring events such as state fairs, music festivals, and craft festivals.
The main hope of using a geofilter for your event is that you attendees will take a picture on Snapchat and share it with their friends using your filter. While Snapchat doesn't allow gimmicky text on their filters such as URLs or contact information, simply stating the name of your event with a creative image that captures the essense of your event will be enough to draw interest.
If your target audience uses Snapchat, using a filter can be a great way to share your event and draw in some new attendees you might not have previously reached.
If you are looking to improve your online presence with a target audience mostly under 25 years old, using a Snapchat Geofilter will help greatly.
How to Create a Snapchat Geofilter
To create a Geofilter, you will need a couple of things:
- Snapchat Account
- Adobe Illustrator and/or Photoshop
- Graphic Design Skills or Access to a Graphic Designer.
If you don't have a Snapchat account, you'll first need to download the app and create one. Don't worry, you don't have to keep the app on your phone, you can delete it as soon as you create your account. You can download Snapchat for iOS here, or for Android here.
Once your account is set up, you can go to snapchat.com/on-demand where you will see this page. You'll notice that it gives examples of Geofilters that have been created by other events and businesses.
You'll want to select the Create Now button located beneath the For People and Businesses section.
Once you have clicked Create Now, you will be asked to log in to your Snapchat account. This is the same username and password you used to create your account on the app.
When you've entered in your information, click Log In.
Step 1: Upload Image
You are now on the first of four quick steps for creating your Geofilter.
Snapchat requires that your Geofilter meets specific requirements before letting it go live. Snapchat requires:
On this page, click the Download Templates button and you can open these in either Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator to create your Geofilter.
At this point, you need to create a filter for your event. If you don't have Photoshop or Illustrator, you can purchase it here. If you don't have either program and you don't want them, you can hire a professional or ask a skilled friend to create a Geofilter for you.
Here are some tips to keep in mind when creating your Geofilter:
- Leave a 149 pixel buffer zone at the top of your image and on the bottom of your image. This space needs to remain empty for Snapchat to accept your Geofilter.
Use Your Event's Name - Most events have a unique and recognizable name that distinguishes it as an event. Incorporate the name of your event into your Geofilter to familiarize people with your event and so that they can perform a Google search for your event and find it online if they are interested.
Be Creative - Create a design that captures the essence of your event.
Keep It Simple - Don't overdo your Geofilter. Leave plenty of open space so that people can capture the events and activities happening at your event.
Once your filter is created, click Chose File..., upload your filter, and go to the next step.
Step 2: Date Picker
Step 2 is the most straighforward and simple of all the steps; simply select the dates you want your filter to show.
Snapchat charges you based upon the number of days your Geofilter is active along with the size of the area you choose to select.
If you have a tight budget and can't afford to display your Geofilter for every day of your event, try running your Geofilter at the start of your event so that it creates momentum for the rest of your event.
Once you finish selecting your dates, hit next.
Step 3: Select Location
When you get to Step 3, the page will open up to a big map. In the top left corner of the page, you will see a search box where you can enter the location of your event.
Once you have found the location where your event will be held, press the yellow Draw Fence button at the bottom of the page. This button lets you select the exact area you want to target.
To begin, click on the outside border of where you want your Geofilter to show, and make a fence around that area. You can click as many times as you want, so if your event venue is an unusual shape, you will be able to capture the entire area.
To close the border, connect the last line you draw to the first dot you dropped. That will close the border and you will see a green shape appear on your screen.
If you don't click on the reclick on the original space you clicked, your border will remain open and you won't be able to move onto the next step.
Make sure you click on the original mark and your area will turn green, signaling that you are ready for the final step.
Step 4: Complete Purcahse
You have now reached the final step of creating a Geofilter for your event. This page will ask you to enter in a name for this specific Geofilter. For this example, I would enter Bryant Park Event.
Then enter your card information so you can pay for the service.
On the right side of the page you will see your order summary. It will show you a preview of your filter, the location you are choosing to target, the dates you seleceted, your contact email, and the total cost.
Click that you agree to the Terms of Service, and your Geofilter will be reviewed by the Snapchat team to make sure it fits the requirements.
You will be emailed once your filter is approved.
Now that your Geofilter is set up, get ready to use it at your event! Share it with your friends to help spread the word about your event.
Still have questions about Snapchat? Leave your questions below!