By Jennifer Shaheen



Snapchat, the image messaging app that’s used by more than 58 million people in the U.S., chose the beginning of September to roll out a new set of template tools to make creating and using geofilters easier. Geofilters are visual files that can be applied over a Snapchat photo, and can include captions, logos and more. They appear, and are available, for a limited time only to users within a designated geographic range; this can be as small as an individual room in a building or as large as an entire neighborhood. People check out geofilters as a way to find out what’s going on in their vicinity. If they like the design, or are attending the event, or just feel like it, they can also apply the geofilters to their own images.


Geofilters also have an application as a small business marketing tool, particularly for those having an in-store event or sale. Read on to discover some of the ways that Snapchat’s geofilters can work for your small business. 


Choose where the geofilter is seen and for how long

The price for a Snapchat geofilter varies based on the size of geographic area included and how long the filter is available. You can select an area on the map and enter a date range when you’d like the filter to be available. Snapchat will let you know how much this will cost. It is easy to adjust both factors to meet your budget.


SnapchatGeofilters_PQ.jpgPay and submit your geofilter for approval

Snapchat individually approves all geofilter applications to make sure they’re appropriate for the platform and meet formatting requirements. After you submit your payment information and PNG (portable network graphics) files, it generally takes between one and three business days to receive approval. Your payment is not processed until Snapchat approves the geofilter. Be sure to follow their terms and conditions as a business.


Wait for approval notification

After you’ve submitted your proposed geofilter, Snapchat will email you to let you know the submission has been received. You’ll receive another email letting you know if it’s been approved. Assuming it has, you’ll get another email when it goes live and then when it’s done. In the final email, you’ll be invited to extend the life of the geofilter. If the campaign has been delivering promising results, it may be a wise move to run it a little longer, but keep in mind that the ever-changing, ephemeral nature of Snapchat is a large part of the platform’s appeal.


Measuring effectiveness requires in-person observation

The metrics available for Snapchat geofilters are still fairly rudimentary. You can see how many people view, use, and share your geofilter. Determining how this translates into in-store traffic requires monitoring the people attending your event and asking them how they found out about it—especially those customers you’ve never seen before. As Snapchat continues to evolve, it’s likely a more robust set of metrics will become available, but for right now, in-person monitoring is the most effective way to determine how geofilters are working for your small business.


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