How We Got Half a Million Views on Our Snapchat On-Demand Geofilters

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MCG Social & FindSpark.com ​are run by a team that’s passionate about empowering people to achieve their goals. I started FindSpark and MCG Social back when Twitter was still mostly about what you had for lunch and Instagram had just launched. Since then, our team has capitalized on the amazing power of social media to create FindSpark.com, an engaged online/offline career community for millennials, and used what we’ve learned to power our sister agency MCG Social, dedicated to working with brands to engage and understand millennials​.

We help brands, employers, and higher education professionals create and execute strategies to engage with millennials, which includes strategies on how to utilize Snapchat​.

According to Snapchat’s advertising page, over 60% of American smartphone users ages 13–34 are Snapchatters. Why should you be on Snapchat? The same reason you “should be on” any platform — your employees, customers, and students are there — so you should be, too. Here’s another fun fact: there are 10+ billion video views on Snapchat every day. We recently finished an internal Snapchat On-Demand GeoFilter campaign around graduation season. We're excited to share our results — which includes one of our filters in the series being used 700+ times and receiving 122,000+ views — and what we learned, to inspire you and give you an idea of how you can use Snapchat for brand awareness and engagement.

The campaign concept We work with both college students and recent grads to set them up for career success, so what better time and place to connect with grads than at graduation - that amazing transition from campus to career. We created a campaign around graduation knowing that it would be a great opportunity to target relevant people and also get our community members excited about seeing our logo on one of their favorite platforms during a very important time in their lives.

Choosing the design Snapchat is all about being fun, raw, and silly. When we surveyed FindSpark members and asked them what words they would use to describe the type of content they want to see on the platform, the majority of the answers revolved around humor.

We knew we wanted the filter to be a "congrats" filter and customized each filter to include the name of the school. We also came up with three filter tag lines, surveyed our members, and chose the one with the most votes: Adulting Here We Come! We made sure the design copy was relevant for the person using the filter, and those they'd share it with.

Targeting locations We chose to target 13 key campuses based on where we have strong relationships through users, our Campus Ambassador program, and FindSpark Educators. We also chose based on who the keynote speakers were and how big the student population is.

Our final campus list included Hofstra University, Rutgers University, Pratt Institute, Fashion Institute of Technology, Pace University, Sarah Lawrence College, The New School, Fordham University, Baruch College, Brooklyn College, Hunter College, Queens College, and City College.

Look, Obama is in our filter!

Results All 13 GeoFilters were used a combined 8,000+ times and resulted in 575,000+ views. The total spend per use was around 10 cents, and each filter was used an average of 650+ times and received an average of 41,000+ views.

Tips for How to Create GeoFilters that Get Used

Make the filter available during the right time After testing a few filters, we learned it made more sense to have the filter available before the ceremony began versus having it up for a longer period of time after the ceremony was over. We noticed before the ceremony was when most of the social media action was taking place - when grads were waiting to walk. As you choose the timing for your filter, understand when people are most likely to be snapping and choose your time frame around that.

Make the filter fun and relevant Users are excited to see “out of the ordinary” filters, so make sure yours isn't just a blatant advertisement. Put the logo in the right spot in the filter You're not allowed to use other social handles, hashtags, or contact information in the designs, but logos are allowed. Don't put the logo too close to the top or bottom. Why? If someone posts their Snap to Instagram (which is great) the entire snap won't fit. They will be forced to crop, and you want to be sure your logo makes the cut.

Know the actual, real location Make sure your GeoFilter fence is over the correct area. For some of the campuses, it was hard to tell where the ceremonies would be held, so we had to really do our research. We also chose to have our filters up for a longer period of time, within a smaller area, rather than a short period of time and a larger area, in terms of budgets. For instance, the Rutgers stadium was one of our most expensive filters, $170 for 4 hours. The coverage only included "the floor," the middle area where the grads were seated, not the seats in the stadium.

Proactively encourage and search for usage We picked specific campuses knowing our Campus Ambassadors and members would likely use the filter. We also shared that we were running the campaigns through social and also did some individual outreach to super users. When the filters were available, we also did responsive messaging through Twitter and Instagram to encourage people to use the filters. Because of all of that, we got examples from almost all of the schools at which we had filters.

Conclusion

Our campaign was an exciting way to connect with our current community and reach new people who we know are relevant and will appreciate what we have to offer. We're excited to use on-demand GeoFilters more as the product continues to develop.

Want to learn more about Snapchat? Get our free 35-page e-book,

The Ultimate Snapchat How-To Guide for Brands, Employers, and Colleges: mcgsocial.me/snapchat

Want to learn more about how we work with brands to engage with and understand millennials?

Contact us: mcgsocial.me/contact

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