If you're looking for a great way to boost your brand with one of the hottest social media stars, consider using a Snapchat geofilter.

If you're unfamiliar with geofilters, they're Snapchat overlays that sit on top of snaps. People who take snaps can opt to use a geofilter that's available in their immediate area.

When Snapchat users visit your place of business, they can select a geofilter that you've made available for that area. Then, when they send the geofiltered snap, their friends will not only see the snap, but also your amazing filter.

And here's the best part: your geofilter is branded.

Follow these steps to make a geofilter for your own business.

1. View the Guidelines

Before you even begin to design your overlay, you need to make sure that you follow the rules. That's why you need to look at the Snapchat guidelines.

For starters, you'll see that there are two different types of overlays: business and personal.

Unsurprisingly, you'll want to use a business overlay. That's because business overlays allow branding, while personal ones do not.

Also, keep in mind that you can't include any of the following in your filter:

•    Trademarks or logos you don't have authorization to use
•    Photos of people
•    User names, phone numbers, email addresses, URLs, or Snapcodes
•    Hashtags
•    Lotteries
•    More than two lines of stylized text
•    Drug-related content





In addition to those Don'ts, here are a couple of Dos: make sure your geofilter is relevant to your location and doesn't cover up too much of the screen.

2. Create the Graphic

Once you're familiar with the guidelines, it's time to create the graphic. For that, use your favorite image-editing software, such as Adobe Photoshop.

The graphic itself must be 1080x1920. Keep in mind that Snapchat is still primarily a "portrait" oriented app. That means most snaps are taken with the smartphone or table held vertically.

Fortunately, Snapchat offers templates that you can use to create your own geofilters. Just open one of them in the tool that you're using and you're already well on your way to creating a great overlay.

Make sure that you create your overlay as an outline more than an image that takes up the center of the screen. Remember, the geofilter should complement, not cover the snap itself.

Also, your geofilter must be saved in PNG format with a transparent background. The reason it needs a transparent background should be obvious: it wouldn't be much of an overlay if it wasn't transparent.
Finally, remember that the overlay must be no more than 300Kb in size.

3. Submit Your Geofilter

Once you've completed your filter, it's time to start the formal submission process.

Start by visiting the On-Demand Geofilters page. Click on the "Create Now" button.

You'll probably have to sign in to Snapchat if you haven't already done so.

Once you're signed in, you'll see a screen that enables you to upload the graphic you created in the previous step. Just click on the "Choose File" button and upload it just as you would any other file.

Once you're done uploading the image, you'll also need to select the dates that you want your geofilter to be available. You can run the filter for 30 days at most.

Following the date selection, you'll have to select the place where your geofilter will be active. For that, you'll draw a geofence.

Yes, you will draw it. Literally. On a map.

Don't worry. It's easy to draw.

Keep in mind that you should draw your geofence just a little larger than the location where you want it to appear. That's because geofence technology isn't very exact.

Finally, you'll complete the whole process at the checkout screen.

Remember to give your geofilter a couple of days for approval. Submit it early so that you'll have plenty of time to use it during the timeframe that you've selected.

4. Testing It Out

Once your geofilter has been approved, you'll want to test it out to make sure that people can access it in your location.

To test your filter, simply take a snap within your geofence area and swipe right to access various overlays. You should find your overlay within the batch.

If you see your overlay, then be happy. Everything is working as it should.

5. Analytics

Yes, there are analytics associated with your geofilter. You can learn more about them here.

Create Your Snapchat Geofilter Now

Snapchat geofilters are a great way to promote your brand on one of the most popular social media apps in the world. Just make sure you're following the guidelines and that your filters enhance the snap while simultaneously promoting your brand.

Published on: Jul 11, 2016