How Snapchat Geofilters Can Help Your Local Business Thrive

How Snapchat Geofilters Can Help Your Local Business Thrive

Local businesses are always seeking new ways to connect with people in their area, but with so much competition from major corporations, getting their message across can be tough. In the past, people would read leaflets and newspapers and adverts worked well. Then TV spots took over. However, these days it’s all about reaching smartphone users.

That’s why savvy local businesses are always seeking new techniques to use social media as a tool to build links to local consumers. It’s also why Snapchat geofilters hold so much potential for promoting local start-ups.

If you want to experiment with Snapchat marketing, providing local people with a way to combine their content with your company can be extremely effective. Here’s how to do so.

What is a Snapchat Geofilter?

First of, if you are unfamiliar with Snapchat, it’s a social media network where users share short pieces of video content that are automatically deleted after a certain amount of time.

These snaps can be shared on their own, but many Snapchat users prefer to customize their content, adding graphical layers over the top of the video and features like cartoon animations. This allows them to add a little personal creativity and humor, and it’s a big deal.

Every day Snapchat user view 8 billion videos, and the network has at least 100 million daily users. It’s a safe bet that there are plenty in your area, which is why the ability to target local people is so exciting.

Geofilters Enable Users to Enhance Their Content

Snapchat records where every snap is taken. With that information, a geofilter enables the network to send relevant overlays to users. For example, a Paris geofilter could include a red, white and blue colour scheme in the background while a cartoon shark could be added to one in Sydney. It’s a good way for snapchatters to identify their location, as well as being harmless fun.

A beautiful young woman bathed in summer sunshine takes a picture of her friend using a mobile phone

A beautiful young woman bathed in summer sunshine takes a picture of her friend using a mobile phone

These geofilters can be uploaded to the Snapchat database by individual users and businesses and come in a variety of categories. Community geofilters are designed to promote local places like parks, squares, museums or schools and usually apply to non-profit organizations. Personal geofilters promote private events that do not have a business purpose, while business geofilters are intended for commercial promotion.

All of them have to be approved by Snapchat staff, but in theory anyone can submit a geofilter for people in their area to use. It’s easy to imagine how useful they could be for one off events like charity runs, soccer tournaments or parties, weddings, business conferences or farmers markets.

How to Create a Custom Snapchat Geofilter

Uploading a custom geofilter to Snapchat is the easy part. The real work goes into the nuts and bolts design.

To start with, it makes sense to download a Snapchat filter template. These templates are designed to be used with Photoshop, making the whole process simpler.

Now, you’ll need a design. It has to be 1080 x 1920 pixels and have a transparent background. When you are creating your design (or asking someone else to do so) remember that snapchatters will need to see their video content. Snapchat recommends using around a quarter of the room for your design, and leaving the rest for the user, which makes good sense.

When you have finished, save it as a .PNG file using “Save for Web (Legacy)” and select the PNG-24 drop-down option.

Now head to the Snapchat geofilters page and follow the upload instructions. Snapchat will ask you to supply a start and end date, usually over a period of one month. If you are using the geofilter to open a restaurant or promote a concert, be sure to include plenty of time to attract downloads.

You also need to supply a “geofence” to mark off the locations where the filter will be available. Choose this wisely to include areas where you expect to find customers or attendees.

How Geofilters Could Revolutionize Your Marketing Efforts

Creating Snapchat geofilters might not be so difficult, but how can they help a small business make money?

The first thing to consider is cost. Using geofilters isn’t expensive and they can be used over small areas for a few dollars a day, allowing anyone in your geofence to combine your branding with their content.

It’s here that their marketing brilliance emerges. If you have a fledgling fast food truck and want young people in the local area to know about it, hundreds of people could use your on-demand geofilter next to video of your pizza or kebab wraps. In turn, this could drive business straight to your truck, as their contacts find out about a new local eatery.

Turning the idea around, businesses could create their own Snapchat content using community geofilters to promote themselves to local people or target specific venues like concert halls or schools.

If nothing else, custom geofilters make it easier for Snapchat users to interact with a brand, and people love that kind of engagement. There may be some bumps and false starts along the way, but local businesses can definitely gain an advantage by using geofilters cleverly.


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