Why Snapchat geofilters should be your nonprofit’s new favorite social media tactic

I just found out something awesome–Snapchat geofilters are for sale and they are mega cheap. Like $5 cheap. You might not know what Snapchat is, let alone what “geofilters” are, but have no fear! You can use this new tactic to measurably boost your social media presence in 1 hour or less.

I’ll use this time to dig into what geofilters are, why they’re the greatest thing you’ve never used, and how to implement them in your nonprofit’s social media  communications strategy.

What are Snapchat geofilters?

Snapchat geofilters are images and text that users can overlay on their pictures, or “snaps”, based on location.

For instance, someone in Chicago can add this little stamp to their picture before sending:

Until recently, filters were generic images designed by snapchat or subtle advertisements for big, corporate brands. But now anyone can use geofilters to advertise anything from their sweet 16 to a political rally.

I like to think of them as pictoral hashtags; most people create filters to increase visibility of a new campaign, or encourage attendees to show they’re at an event. But really, the sky is the limit when it comes to ways to use this new medium. If you’re interested in more ways to use them, check out this post.

Why geofilters are the best addition to your social media marketing this year

There’s really four reasons why geofilters are so great for nonprofits to use. Let’s go down them one-by-one:

1) It reaches a LOT of people, especially millennials

41% of all 18 to 35-year-olds are on Snapchat, according to their numbers, and 60% of them use it every day. That means it has more daily active users than Twitter. Creating a geofilter with your organization’s brand is an easy way to increase awareness within the younger crowd.

2) You can laser-focus on potential supporters

Snapchat gives you the tools to define exactly when and where your geofilter will appear. For instance, you can make an anti-litter filter targeting the local park for a cost-effective PSA campaign!

3) Like I said, they’re MEGA CHEAP

Snapchat geofilters start at $5 for 20,000 sqft and go up from there.  And this isn’t one of those tricks when they say “starting from…” but you can’t actually buy anything useful for the starting price. $5 was able to get me a geofilter covering a large church for 24 hours, and I could cover a city block for about $15. Those are definitely nonprofit-level budgets.

4) People will actually engage with it!

One of the biggest struggles in social media is creating posts people think are worth engaging with. Luckily, people already go crazy for Snapchat filters, so you’ll be hard pressed to make a geofilter people won’t enjoy.

Snapchat also gives you the tools to measure exactly how many people used and viewed your filter, for maximum effectiveness in planning your campaign.

Hopefully you can understand the potential for this social media tactic. To use a really strange analogy, it’s like shooting 41% of all fish in the USA in a barrel with a ultra-precision rifle for just $5.

Take a minute to consider the uses and I’m sure you’ll come up with at least 3 ways you could take advantage of Snapchat to support your nonprofit. Once you have an idea, check out the next section for how to implement your plan.

How to create a Snapchat geofilter

I wanted to make this an in-depth, step-by-step guide to crafting the best geofilter, but Snapchat has made the process so easy, that would be impossible. There’s really only 3 steps:

  1. Upload your design

  2. Choose your time and date

  3. Choose your location

It’s as easy as that! To start the process, just go https://snapchat.com/create. You’ll need a Snapchat account to create the filter, so download the app beforehand if your org doesn’t have one–you can’t create accounts online.

With your newly minted geofilter in hand, you’re ready to conquer a whole new frontier of social media marketing. Go snap away, and enjoy!

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