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Event marketing | 10 May 2016

Snapchat Geofilters: What They Are And How To Make One

David Epstein

Snapchat is the social media platform of the future, and Geofilters are a fantastic way for event marketers to engage event attendees using their platform of choice.

Snapchat is a platform loved and mastered by Generation Zs (people in their tweens and teens) and Millennials (people in their 20s the 30s) but it can be a bit harder for older folks to understand.

This article will help readers master Snapchat Geofilters so that they can:

  • Increase live event brand reach

  • Improve event attendee engagement

  • Control the conversation on social media

The most beautiful part of Geofilters is that they can be incredibly effective without breaking the bank, it costs as little as $5 to get started. So let’s begin, shall we…

What Is Snapchat?

Already familiar with the platform, click here to go to the next section.

Snapchat is a platform used on mobile devices. The company offers a mobile app for iPhone, Android, and there are third party apps for Windows or Blackberry (if anyone still uses those things).


According to ComScore, Snapchat has the 6th highest concentration of Millennial users, at 87%, behind apps like Tinder and Buzzfeed by only a few points.

The product is designed to share real-time images with friends. Users set a “shelf life” for how long an image will last before it is deleted after being opened by a recipient. The “shelf life” can last between 1 – 10 seconds.

The ethereal nature of Snapchat has made it successful among users who live out of their phones, which explains popularity among younger generations.

Typically, users will share “selfies” with friends as a way of providing contacts with a visual status update. According to Snapchat:


What Are Snapchat Geofilters?

Geofilters allow Snapchat users to add a location dependent design over a photo. These filters work similarly to Instagram filters, in that a user will take a photo, and then select the filter that they like best before sharing the image with friends.


Above: An example of a Snapchat Geofilter.

There are two types of Geofilters that Snapchat users have the ability to create:

Personal Geofilters: these are filters for graduations, weddings or other life moments that Snapchat users want to celebrate. Personal Geofilters cannot use trademarked images, or promote a brand in any way.

Business Geofilters: these are filters for businesses hoping to generate buzz on Snapchat. Images can include trademarks and other branded material.

The reason these filters are called GEO filters is because they are location based. When a Geofilter is created, the user must select the area in which the filter will occur.

Users are able to set a minimum geofilter area of 200,000 square feet.

Users are limited to a maximum geofilter area of 5,000,000 square feet. 

How Much Do Snapchat Geofilters Cost?

Two variables impact the cost of a Geofilter:

1. The size of the “geo fence.” A filter that is 5,000,000 square feet will cost much more than a smaller “geo fence”

2. The duration of the Geofilter campaign. Campaigns can last anywhere from one hour to thirty days. The longer the campaign lasts the more expensive it will be.

To give readers a sense of cost, to create a one hour-long Geofilter that covers 20,000 square feet, it will cost $5. 

How To Make A Snapchat Geofilter:

In order to get started, readers simply need to follow the four steps outlined below. For reference, the Geofilter guidelines provided by Snapchat can be accessed here.

1. Create A Snapchat account: If you haven’t already, create a Snapchat account by downloading the app from the Apple App Store or from the Google Play Store (again Snapchat is not available on Windows or Blackberry phones).

After following the setup prompts, go to: and sign into your Snapchat account.

2. Design A Geofilter: According to Snapchat, submitted Geofilters:

Must be 1080×1920 pixels.

Should be smaller than 300KB

Must be a .PNG file.

It is strongly recommended that event marketers work with a graphic designer in to create a Snapchat geofilter that event goers will actually want to use.

Snapchat Geofilters from Gary Vaynerchuck

Above: Examples of Geofilters created by marketing guru, Gary Vaynerchuck.

To try creating a filter for yourself, follow the step-by-step instructions in this helpful article.

3. Upload The Geofilter And Map The Area: Once you’ve uploaded your design, it’s time to map the area in which Snapchat users will be able to access the filter. Marketers will also need to select the dates in which the filter will be live.

4. Submit For Approval: Once the design has been uploaded and an area has been selected, it’s time to submit the design for approval.

It can take up to two business days for Snapchat to approve the design.

Promoting A Geofilter

After you invest time and money in creating a Snapchat Geofilter, it’s time to promote it to event attendees. In many cases, attendees are unaware that they have access to special Geofilters, so promotion is definitely important.

Connect On Snapchat: Create an event specific Snapchat profile and encourage event attendees to connect on the app. Then simply share a Snapchat story with followers reminding them about the Geofilter.

Snapchat provides users with icons that can be uploaded to other social media platforms, like Twitter, to encourage followers to connect on Snapchat.

Create Promotional Printed Material: There is something to be said for the power of well-designed signage. While events are increasingly going digital, including subtle reminders for attendees to use Snapchat Geofilters can be a great way to create traction among attendees.

Provide Incentives: Organizers can consider incentivizing event attendees to share Snapshots with Geofilters by providing a prize to the person (or people) who share the best snaps.

To do this, organizers will simply need to require attendees to share the snap with the event’s official Snapchat account.

Measuring Geofilter Success

Snapchat is about increasing impressions and engagement. Geofilters are useful because they can help event marketers to spread brand awareness by increasing the number of branded impressions among Snapchat users.

A common metric that brands using Geofilters follow is, CPM aka Cost Per Impressions. To calculate the CPM simply determine the number of Impressions a Geofilter generated and divide that number by what was spent on the program.

Hypothetically, if an organizer spends $50 on a Snapchat Geofilter campaign, and receives 250,000 Impressions, then the CPM is $0.2. 


Given Snapchat’s ever increasingly popularity among younger generations, Geofilters are a fantastic way for event marketers to reach key demographics in order to promote live events.

Geofilters provide organizers and event marketers with an inexpensive advertising option to increase event buzz by harnessing the power of event attendee’s Snapchat communities.

When implementing a Geofilter campaign, be sure to follow the steps outlined above, while leaving enough time to get the Geofilter approved by Snapchat HQ.

To learn more about social media marketing strategies to promote live events, download The Social Media Bundle For Event Marketers by clicking the button below. Inside, readers will find a comprehensive 15-minute read on social media marketing. Click the button below to grab a free copy!

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