Using Snapchat filters adds a unique element to your posts and geofilters can show viewers a special overlay that is accessed in certain locations. Snapchat recently made it possible for viewers to create their own geofilters which opens up new creative possibilities for posts. Whether you use Snapchat’s existing geofilters or create your own they can add a festive design element that can be useful for marketing or simply showcasing new sticker graphics.
Initially Snapchat geofilters were somewhat limited because they were only offered through the company. Now there are community submitted geofilters that are free and available to users and you can make your own custom geofilter for a special event. Businesses can create a custom geofilter using their logo or brand to promote themselves to Snapchat users.
Here are some tips for using Snapchat geofilters to your advantage-
1. Define the Geographical Area
The way that geofilters work on Snapchat is that the user must be within a certain range to use the filter. If you purchase a custom geofilter that range is about 20,000 square feet or more. You will need to provide details about the area where you want the geofilter to appear and then Snapchat will create a “geofence” for your filter. When users are in that area your filter will appear as an option for them to add to their posts.
In order to find a geofilter the user will need to have the filters box checked under their settings and have their location available on their smartphone. As long as they are within the geofence they will be able to see your geofilter appear as one they can add to their photo or video.
2. Follow Business Guidelines
If you are choosing to create a custom geofilter in order to promote your business you will need to make sure that you follow Snapchat’s guidelines. Businesses creating a filter must have the necessary usage rights and permissions to include any brand or business names well as logos or trademarks. It is important for anyone who creates a geofilter to know that filters must not contain any photographs of people, URLS, hashtags, phone numbers or emails.
For businesses that means that you might have to be more creative in getting people to contact you when they see your filter. Having your business name may be enough but you can also find ways to include your social media handle or website without using an @ symbol or “.com” so that Snapchat doesn’t recognize it as a URL.
3. Understanding Specifications
It is important to have a good idea of the guidelines and specifications for a geofilter to avoid having your custom filter rejected by Snapchat after you submit it. If you follow all the specifications then you are more likely to have your filter approved so you can use it right away without having to make any adjustments. The files need to be 1080px by 1920px high, under 300KB in size and saved as a .PNG file with a transparent background.
4. Using Templates to Design
If you don’t have a designer to help you make a custom geofilter the good news is that Snapchat offers templates to help people create their own filters. You can edit and customize the templates if you don’t have any of your own design programs to create an overlay. These pre-made design elements can inspire you but you can also look at other people’s geofilters for ideas and inspiration.
5. Choose the Right Date for Your Filter
Custom Snapchat geofilters are only allowed to be active for 30 days and then they can no longer be run. You will also need to schedule the exact dates that it will run but not any more than 30 days ahead of the day you submit. That means you need to time your submission accordingly and have an idea of the specific time period where your filter will be most effective.
Geofilters can be effective if you are using them to help promote a special event or let people know that your business recently opened in the area. You can choose the exact start and end dates for the filter so that it falls prior and during your event or opening. If you want to create another geofilter after the 30 days are over you can simply submit a new design and choose new dates.
Snapchat geofilters are a great way for users to show their followers where they are and what they are doing. Custom filters can be a useful way to promote a business, a specific occasion or just be more creative with Snapchat. As long as you understand and follow Snapchat’s rules and guidelines about designing geofilters they can be a fun and effective addition to your online presence.
Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.