Should Your Small Business Create a Snapchat Geofilter?

For brands trying to connect with Millennials, or show that they're socially-savvy, creating a custom Snapchat geofilter could be a huge boost.

Snapchat has made it easier for brands to create their own geofilters, but should small businesses invest in this?

For brands trying to connect with millennials, or show that they’re socially-savvy, creating a custom Snapchat geofilter could be a huge boost.

Jay Hawkinson, senior vp of client success at SIM Partners, told SocialTimes that he feels these custom geofilters are a great idea for businesses:

Snapchat Geofilters communicate the “where and when” of a snap, giving brands an opportunity to engage with consumers in the moment. From an event and location-based marketing perspective, they give brands an opportunity to create shared experiences with consumers as well as another way to activate their sponsorships. For example, a brand sponsoring a car at the Indy 500 might do a Snapchat Geofilter that highlights their car and driver. Fans in the stands could then share snaps with their friends using that filter to celebrate their favorite driver and commemorate being at the event.

Blue Fountain Media tried this, and it really enjoyed the experience. It bought a 4-hour block on a Friday for roughly $30, created a geofilter for its Madison Ave. business and generated about 4,000 impressions.

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CMO Yoni Ben-Yehuda made the decision to try a Snapchat geofilter to see how clients and employees could use it, and he was thrilled with the results:

We wanted to own the location of our offices – we are geographically located in a part of the city where there are a lot of other businesses  – we could use a geo-fence (quite small) to capture a ton of competitor locations as well as business locations. By capturing a 2 block area in New York, we were able to reach a couple of hundred companies.

Ben-Yehuda told SocialTimes that the technology is something Blue Fountain Media can use again in the future, as well as recommend to clients. Though you don’t see a whole host of metrics with a custom geofilter, Ben-Yehuda had some advice for brands considering this feature:

I think one of the big things we found is that it needs to be a pretty targeted location. Targeting a large amount of area will be expensive, which for larger brands may be fine, but for smaller brands – it needs to be pretty honed in.

Creativity is king–there is a lot of competition even in small areas, in our area we were one of 5 custom filters at the time, the creative needs to be good enough to stand out and relate.

It needs to be pre-planned. There is a 16 hour lead time (although it was about 20 minutes before the filter was approved after submission) and once it is approved there is no room for edits. Despite the fact that it seems like a simple process, expectations need to be set with clients.

Hawkinson had more thoughts for brands wanting to dip their toe in the pool:

As always, brands should stay true to themselves and their users and strive to fit well within the context of the location or event. Snapchat users add geofilters when they want to share where they are with their family and friends — focus on how your brand can enhance that experience.

On-demand geofilters are now available in the U.S., the U.K. and Canada, and will come to more locations soon.

Readers: What do you think of Snapchat’s geofilters?