Custom Snapchat Geofilters – How to Make Them + 16 Creative Ways To Use Them

Raise your hand if you’re currently obsessed with Snapchat– ahem, me! I am! I’ll admit it, I was certainly not an early adopter of this platform. In fact, if you’ve read some of our past blog posts on the newest social craze – Do You Need To Be On Snapchat? and How To Use Snapchat For Business, you’ll know why we as a company were so hesitant to hop on the Snapchat bandwagon, and for good reason! If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not this platform is right for your brand– I highly recommend you check out the previously mentioned blog posts.

Now, if you are sold on this platform, hurray! This post is for you! We’ve been getting so many questions about Snapchat and how to create a Snapchat Geofilter in particular that we decided to investigate + round up the best advice for using them effectively!

Custom Snapchat Geoftilers, are they right for your brand? How to create them, design tips, best practices PLUS 16 creative ideas for using them to generate brand awareness + community involvement! Pin now then click through to learn more.

Stick with me and you’ll discover the ins + outs for creating a Snapchat Geofilter, why they are a good investment + creative ways to use them!

What Is A Snapchat Geofilter?

Before I go into further detail, let’s chat about what a Snapchat Geofilter is and why it might be a good investment. Geofilters are preset graphic overlays that can be selectively added to any photo or video from the Snapchat community. Geofilters can be used to illustrate the location, time, details, or characteristics of any given Snap. A user can use Geofilters to add an extra layer of context to the story they are communicating within their individual Snaps.

Creating a custom Geofilter for your brand can be a great way to build brand awareness, increase brand familiarity, and also offer a fun opportunity for your community to interact with you.

Brand Awareness

This past weekend I went to a launch party for the new Coffee and Convos website at Heartwork Coffee Bar. Alyssa, creator of C&C, had a custom Snapchat Geofilter created just for the event. What I loved about this Geofilter is that it allowed for those people who might have not have previously known about C&C, to become familiar with the Coffee and Convos brand.

Image via Coffee and Convos

Let’s imagine you were just casually strolling through Hillcrest (where the event was held) and you decided to Snapchat your outing. Wanting to add some context to your Snap story, you decided to browse the Geofilters near by, if you didn’t know about Coffee and Convos previously, imagine how curious you might be seeing it pop up as an option! I bet you would be interested enough to look into who they are and what they do– powerful right?!

Brand Familiarity

On the other hand, let’s say you did know about the launch party and you popped in for free coffee, tasty pies + good tunes (I mean, who would want to pass that up?). Having a custom Geofilter ready to use is a great way to reiterate your brand message. Coffee and Convos is focused on, connection, collaboration + community. Thier event Geofilter allowed them to really hit home this message that the best conversations really do happen over coffee.

Community Involvement

We have a saying here at Social Studio Shop and that is–

“Social media is a dialogue not a monologue.” (Tweet this!)

The more you can encourage your audience to converse with you, as opposed to just listening to you– the more your audience will feel a sense of community. They will want to interact with you when they know they are appreciated and welcome to the party. What better way to welcome them with open arms then to invite them using a Snapchat Geofilter!

Image via Nancy Wong

Pro Tip: Let your community know ahead of time that you will have a Snapchat Geofilter available to use! I love how Alyssa gave the heads up in her launch day newsletter.

How To Create A Snapchat Geofilter

Step One: Design It!

The first thing you will need to do is design the Geofilter you want to use. Make sure to read the Submission Guidelines thoroughly before starting your design. Here’s a few quick tips!

  • Size: 1080 x 1920

  • Files should be under 300KB (otherwise Snapchat might crunch your file to fit and you will lose resolution)

  • File Type: Web-optimized png with transparent background

  • Geofilters that are intended for business-purposes MUST display clearly the name of the business

    • You may not include the following:

      • URLs

      • Hashtags

      • Social handles

      • No pictures of people (but you can use an avatar)

  • Don’t cover too much of the available space (I saw one Geotag that took up SO much room in the Snap that you couldn’t see what was being Snapped)

Upload your design when ready, here.

Step Two: Save The Date!

Select the date(s) and times for your Geofilter to be available.

Pro Tip: Don’t over-commit! Only save for the dates that you really need. The longer you request to have your Geofilter in place, the higher your price will be.

Step Three: Select Your Location

Using Google Maps, you will draw a fence around the location you want to Snapchat Geofilter to be applied to. If a user is anywhere within this fence, your Geofilter will show up as a “Sponsored” option to add to their Snap.

Pro Tip: Your Geofence must be under 5,000,000 square feet. The bigger your Geofence, the higher the price of the Snapchat Geofilter.

Step Four: Submit + Wait for Review

It’s good to give yourself plenty of time before you need to use your Geofilter. Snapchat will review submissions in the order that they are received. There is no set timeline for approval but you will get an email if your Geofilter has been approved.

Side Note: Last week I designed a Geofilter for my girlfriend's bachelorette party. I designed the filter using Snapchat's easy to use templates (it took me about 20 minutes to customize), then I submitted for approval. I was approved in about 48 hours– so easy! I created a geofence around her apartment and around the restaurant we were having dinner. In total it cost about $16. Way more affordable then I thought it might be.

That’s it! Pretty simple but definitely requires some planning!

Creative Ideas for Using Snapchat Geofilters

Before sending you off on your merry Snap way, here’s a few creative ideas for using Snapchat Geofilters…

  • Sale at a brick & mortar store

  • Launch party

  • Book signing

  • New product launch

  • New service launch

  • Social campaign launch

  • Birthday party

  • Baby shower

  • Bridal shower

  • Conference

  • Workshop

  • Wedding

  • Networking event

  • App launch

  • Flash sale for e-commerce site

  • Giveaway or Contest announcement

I hope you've found these Snapchat Geofilter tips helpful! If  you haven't connect with us on Snapchat yet, we would love for you to come say hello! We're sharing exclusive social media tips, discount codes + fun behind-the-scenes!

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