Snapchat has been a growing as a social media marketing tool for years and now counts more than 100 million daily active users since launching in 2011. Its quick rise to popularity may be attributed to teens and their selfies, but in the past few years, companies have been increasingly capitalizing on the app’s appeal and have seen positive returns from marketing with Snapchat’s other advertising opportunities. To enhance their ad program, Snapchat has started offering on-demand geofilters – an excellent new tool for restaurant owners looking to increase their business and reach.
Geofilters and Your Restaurant
Geofilters have long been a favorite feature in Snapchat. Users who have enabled location services in their smartphones can place an available geofilter on their photo with a quick swipe of their finger. The app automatically overlays a digital sticker, or the geofilter, of their location over their photo. Geofilters are often used by parks, cities, universities, and now, businesses. Snapchat tries to keep geofilters for each area to a minimum, and must approve each geofilter before making it available to users.
Snapchat recently expanded its geofilters, and now offers two types:
Community Geofilters: These free geofilters, designed by artists and designers, catch a user’s attention by allowing them to them note on their photo where they were when they took the picture. Community geofilters can’t include business logos.
On-Demand Geofilters: Before on-demand geofilters, the opportunity for businesses to increase their brand awareness through a sponsored filter could reach as much as $700,000 each day. On-demand geofilters, which are also free to Snapchat users, launched in late February. This new feature gives businesses a chance to get their names in front of users for as little as $5. .
With Snapchat being a newer addition to the marketing toolbox, its use for business advertising is not as widespread as opportunities on many other social media platforms. Restaurant owners creating an on-demand Snapchat geofilter will be among the first to use this easy, creative way to reach members of the Millennial and young adult audience.
Setting Up Your Geofilter
With a few easy steps, your restaurant’s geofilter can be ready to go live within a day. The first step: creating an account. You’ll need a Snapchat account to set up and post a geofilter. This account will also let you monitor the data associated with its use. Visit Snapchat’s on-demand geofilter page to get started.
Snapchat has provided several different templates that you can download to guide your design in Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator. Save your image as a PNG, and then upload your layout to Snapchat’s geofilter page, where you’ll see a proof of your design.
Once you’ve uploaded your image, you’ll set the parameters for your geofilter. You’ll choose the time and dates you want it to run, for a minimum of 30 minutes. You’ll also define your geofence, which marks the precise location of your geofilter’s availability. Each geofence must be a minimum of 5,000 square feet. Snapchat will provide you with an estimate, and after you’ve approved the price, you’ll submit your image and wait for approval.
The process is relatively fast. Snapchat will e-mail you when your geofilter is approved, and most companies have reported turnaround times of less than an hour. You’ll also get an e-mail notifying you that your credit card will be charged before your geofilter goes live.
Once your geofilter has been running for at least a day, Snapchat will let you know how many people have used and seen your geofilter, letting you compare campaigns.
While early stats aren’t readily available, the premise behind on-demand geofilters points to an increase in pictures being sent due to the increased amount of available filters. More pictures sent with your geofilter means users will have greater exposure to your brand.
There are many creative ways that on-demand geofilters can become a key part of your restaurant’s online marketing plan.
Grand openings and special events: As guests come to your restaurant for scheduled event, have a custom geofilter designed and available to encourage them to take and share photos with their friends.
Holidays: Do you offer specials for holiday weekends? Create a geofilter showcasing your company name or logo and tie it in with the festivities.
Special deals: Hashtag your special with a creative name and turn it into a geofilter. Make sure that the hashtag is integrated into other social media platforms to increase your reach.
Landmarks: Does your restaurant have a unique feature? Design a geofilter that incorporates your one-of-a-kind piece. When users take and send photos from your stand-out spot, their friends will get your name and location, and they’ll be more likely to visit your company after seeing fun photos from your restaurant.
Rafi Cohen, a graduate of Baruch College & Brooklyn native is the Co-Founder @ Orders2me, an online ordering platform that gives restaurant owners all the features they need to grow their business in the digital age.
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