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Snapchat: A platform brands can no longer ignore

- Katie Patterson, CEO and founder, Happy Medium, writes on social media for IowaBiz.com.

With new social media platforms emerging every day, it can be difficult to navigate through and determine which are worth the investment of time and advertising dollars for your brand. When Snapchat first launched, it was largely seen as an app for teens and didn’t need a lot of attention. That, however, is no longer the case.

Recent research shows that on any given day, Snapchat reaches 41 percent of all 18- to 34-year-olds in the United States. More than 100 million people use Snapchat every day to Snap with family, watch Stories from friends, see events from around the world, and explore expertly-curated content from top publishers such as CNN, Mashable, Cosmopolitan, MTV, Buzzfeed and more.

With this growth and attention, it’s hard for brands to ignore the platform altogether. However, if you’re not ready to dive-in fully on a brand account, there is a much easier way to expand awareness that is both cost-effective and engaging: on demand geofilters.


Geofilters are designs that can be layered on top of Snapchat photos or videos in the app while the user is in a set location during an established period of time. Snapchat allows companies or individuals to submit their own designs for approval. These have become a fun way to brand a special event, a significant day for a company, or event individual moments like a wedding.

HM_socialmediaday_snapchatFilter_6 Snapchat Filter Example

Images:  Before and after of Happy Mediums Social Media Day Filter in use. 

Once an individual puts your geofilter on their snap and sends it out to their friends, you receive instant awareness.

We recently assisted Principal Charity Classic with placements for special filters throughout the PGA tournament in Des Moines, and it saw a total of more than 25,000 views by the time the weekend was over. It helped raise awareness for the event overall and acted as an endorsement from those on the course as something their friends and family should attend in the future.

The key to an engaging filter is to have a strong design. If you just throw clip art on, it’s not going to be something that users want to put on top of their captured moments. Having a professional design team work on this for you is worth the cost, as they are well versed in the requirements and guidelines to get the filter approved and can develop a look unique to your organization.

For Principal Charity Classic, we put a branded hat that you’d see players wearing in order to encourage selfies on site and left a blank space below for the user to add copy for who they were cheering for during the event. It proved to be one of our most successful to date.

The design will be the biggest investment for this type of project. The rest of the price is determined based on the square footage of the area you want covered and of course the duration of time it should be up and running.

We recently launched a filter that was in our office for a full work day in honor of Social Media Day (June 30) and then added it to Hessen Haus during a happy hour event we hosted with the Social Media Club of Des Moines. For a total of 12 hours, it cost us less than $25 and we saw more than 4,000 views. That averaged to less than one cent per view, such a cost-effective option to increase our brand awareness.

Winefest filters

Images: Winefest filters saw more than 15,000 views at this year's event alone.



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