Nic Young
21 August 2017 00:00


The reputation of Snapchat has shifted rapidly over the last few years, from faddy teenage selfie platform to super-powerful marketing tool, but there’s a fine line between creating something that’s irresistibly engaging and looking like you’re trying just a little too hard.

We’ve trialled and tested a range of Snapchat Geofilters at a number of key NEC Group Arena shows over the last 12-months, picking up a few do’s and don’ts along the way.

Todd Newton, NEC Group Arenas’ Content Marketing Manager, explains why you and your business should be utilising Snapchat at your next live event…


It’s super simple to set up…

Less is more when it comes to producing a Snapchat Geofilter and doing a bit of research beforehand is key. It’s wise to check out campaigns that have worked (and those that haven’t) to gain an idea of exactly what you should and shouldn’t be doing. There are rules and regulations around what your filter can include, so be sure to check these out before producing yours.

Once you’ve got your design, all you need to do is create a Snapchat business account, upload your filter, select your geographical field and submit your budget, then you’re good to go!

Do’s: ensure filters are 1080px x 1920px, under 300KB and saved as a .PNG file. Avoid creating a design which takes over the centre of the screen and absolutely include some form of branding (so people know who you are and what you’re doing). Oh, and be creative – your aim is to produce something that users will want to send to their friends.

Don’ts:  Don’t use logos you don’t own, photographs of people, phone numbers, emails and URLs. Social platform logos are a no-go too. Don’t be dull, don’t duplicate other people’s filters and finally, don’t go OTT. Keep it simple.

It’s cheap to run…

As with a lot of social advertising, the more you pay the higher the reach, engagement, performance etc. but with most platforms, you’ll need a bit of cash to get your promo off the ground. Snapchat, however, is excellent value for money when comparing your ROI. For as little as £50 - £60 you can get your filter covered across almost 250,000 sq. ft. meaning you’ll catch loads of users in your selected geographical area!

You’ll be asked to manually select the area you want your Snapchat Geofilter to go live in and with a real-time calculation of cost as you increase / decrease your fence, you’re never at risk at going over budget.

Filters increase your brand exposure…

If you’re planning a live event in the next few months, honestly, give Snapchat a go. You’ll be engaging with those physically in attendance at your event, but perhaps more importantly, you’ll be creating a huge impact further afield. The sharing effect means for just a couple of quid, you’ll have fellow Snapchat uses sticking your brand in the faces of thousands without having to do a great deal of marketing.

It’s useful to tap into your existing channels (emails, Facebook, Twitter) to promote your filter, but to be honest, Snapchat Geofilters are quickly becoming expected from users who’ll be searching for a filter which allows them to show-off to their mates and boast that they are at a hot gig, iconic venue etc.

Things to watch out for…

As with any social media platform, Snapchat does have its flaws. The two biggest issues come in the shape of the unpredictable approval times and the analytics you’ll receive after running your campaign.  

Snapchat recommends sending your filter for approval 48-hours before going live, sometimes they can be approved within a few hours, other times the pending process doesn’t complete meaning your filter won’t actually go live. It’s annoying, but the way to get around this is by uploading with plenty of time spare, preferably a week or so to prevent any scares.

The second thing to be aware of is the basic analysis you’ll receive once your campaign has run its course. The reporting has developed over the last few months and we reckon it’ll keep getting better, but for now, the only stats you can view are the Swipe Impressions, Uses, Views and Use Rate. You can’t gain any real-time reports, data capture or view durations, but we’re hopeful that these kinds of things will be available in the very near future.


Don’t be too precious. Figure out what you’re looking to achieve and then test, test, test. If you’ve got a calendar packed full of events across the year, handpick a few and get some Geofilters running. There’s no winning formula, what may work on one event may fail at another. It’s all about imagining what your audience would want to engage with. If you design with that in mind, then you can’t go wrong.