Snapchat Advertising Tips

SnapChat logo

Snapchat Geofilters are a really interesting social media advertising medium for small businesses and nonprofits alike. For the uninitiated, these filters allow you to select a geographic “fence”, upload a logo, and add a message that Snapchat users can apply to their photos or videos.

On the surface, this seems like a pretty straightforward way to get users to engage with your brand: allowing them to show your logo and filter over photos taken within your geofence when they are visiting your building or attending an event. That’s precisely how I made use of my test filter. It was the first and most obvious way I could think to use the medium.

Geofilter Setup

I put together a basic logo geofilter with a fence around the perimeter of our building for 2 days. All said and done, it took about 5 minutes to target half a block for $11 for 48 hours.

Here is my filter alongside one that our neighbor has purchased long term:

SnapChat filters displaying logo of digital marketing company and other Bellingham company

When I set out to complete the task, I was really just toying with it as a surprise for my business partners, hoping to get kicked by them. However, I quickly became interested in making use of filters to promote client business and events.

I read a little deeper into the guidelines and rules, provided below.

Snapchat Graphics

Do Not

  • Use logos or trademarks you don’t own or don’t have the authorization to use.
  • Include photographs of people.
  • Use phone numbers, emails, URLs, Snapcodes, download instructions, social media usernames, or personal information.
  • Use hashtags.
  • Promote gambling or lotteries.
  • Use more than two lines of non-stylized text.
  • Promote drug-related content.
  • Cover up too much of the screen.
  • Use social platform logos.


  • Be creative and make it visually compelling. Make something that Snapchat users will want to send to their friends.
  • Make sure it’s relevant to the location. Geofilters are about sharing a location, event, fun effect, or idea and should be something that Snapchat users will want to send to their friends.
  • Include “Geofilter paid for by [insert name of purchaser]” in 40-pixel height and with a shadow background on that text with any political content for personal or business Geofilters. Political content includes political issue advocacy or promotion of certain political parties and candidates.

Snapchat Business Guidelines

  • You must have the necessary rights and permissions to include any business names, marks, logos, or trademarks in a Geofilter.
  • If you are submitting a Geofilter for a business your Geofilter must include a business name.
  • Please keep in mind that Snapchat may display your business name, as entered by you, to let Snapchat users know that your business provided the Geofilter.

Ways to Use Snapchat Filters

Given the relative ease and low cost of creating a filter, I’ve brainstormed a few ideas for businesses or non-profits to add to their digital marketing toolkits. Keep in mind that these can be as simple as your logo uploaded, to more interactive and stylized options given your budget, brand guidelines, and campaign goals.

  1. Long term general branding and awareness around business location(s) (Compare to physical signage)
  2. Short term event promotion filters with your branding as well as information pertaining to the event within your targeted region (Compare to flyers/posters)
  3. Longer-term event branding and promotion where filters are created outside of the physical location of your event to attract travelers/new audience (Compare to mailers)
  4. Geo-Filters set to your competitor’s locations (Compare to Adwords bidding on competitor’s names)

If you are interested in seeing examples of some creative Snapchat Campaigns, check out these articles at State of Digital and Walaroo Media.

Check out how to use other social media platforms for marketing.