Snapchat geofilters: learn from the mistakes I made on a filter for @JoelComm

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Snapchat geofilters: learn from the mistakes I made on a filter for @JoelComm

Back in October, The Post: Canada’s Modern Marketing Forum presented a marketing conference with a fantastic line-up of leaders in this space. However, due to a prior commitment I was out-of-town during the dates. I was especially bummed out to miss Joel Comms talk on Snapchat for Business but thought that since I wouldn’t be there I could easily throw a simple Snapchat geofilter together to welcome him to Calgary & attend in spirit!


Let me tell you, my simple geofilter was rejected four (4) times before it was accepted!

Here’s what I learned:

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-9-40-12-am*Do not use hashtags. Even though I’ve seen other Snapchat geofilters with hashtags (#) in their event geofilters, I shouldn’t have wasted my time trying to submit a filter with it. Snapchat explicitly asks you not to use them in their short version of the submission guidelines. I learned a valuable lesson as it wasn’t worth the pain and aggravation of resubmitting.

*Do not add social usernames. Don’t use the “@” sign in your geofilters either. They tell you this in the submission guidelines, apparently I ignored it. My bad. screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-9-41-21-am

screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-9-42-21-am*Do not ask people to take action. I stupidly assumed that because mine was only to say ‘Hi!’ and not “sales related”, that it would be fine. Wrong

*Do keep it simple. I’ve learned that people like to use filters are minimally invasive. For this particular geofilter, I didn’t expect to see any uses because I threw my cartoon in it but I’d be curious to know if others have similar experiences.


*Do double-check your key info. Double check your geofence, dates and time! I’m definitely a stickler for this, however while I was away I got a notification that my geofilter was live. I had a minor panic attack thinking, “Oh no! It’s the wrong day!” I could’ve sworn I had the right dates in there but here’s the thing: after resubmitting 4x mistakes are definitely possible. Therefore, I waited until the conference was over and sent Joel a Facebook message with the filter telling him he was meant to see it, but that I had made a mistake. To my surprise, he had seen it!

*Do give yourself plenty of time ahead to submit of the event. Give yourself lots of time ahead of your event to submit your geofilters & resubmit if necessary. I typically try to give myself two weeks to get it all done but I will say that the Snapchat team is incredible to work with to resolve issues – if a filter has been rejected, they’ve always been good to share details and expand further if need be.

Here are Snapchats Advertising Policies

Other interesting info:

The geofilter ran for 3 hours, at around 21,000 sq ft. It had 3 uses & 497 views.

Send me a message to find out how much it was!

All-in-all, it was a fun way to say ‘hello’ and glad I learned some things, even though I was missing out on the big Snapchat for Business talk! And I was pleased that Joel saw it after all!


Kat Macaulay, BA ADdPR BnC
Kat Macaulay, BA ADdPR BnC
Kat Macaulay is a Marketing Strategist, Writer + Speaker known for her no-nonsense approach to pretty much everything. Using data insights, she helps organizations market more effectively to get results that matter. She's also a high-scoring instructor at Mount Royal University, where she teaches Social Media Analytics and Google Analytics + Marketing Measurement. She holds certifications from Google, as well as Facebook and is currently working toward a specialization in Marketing Analytics and a certificate in Data Science from IBM. When she’s not busy juggling kids, volunteering + work, she’s busy planning her retirement to Cape Breton.