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GTMA’s Guide to Snapchat For Your Community

We See You Snapchat

Here at GTMA we are all about evolving with the times and staying on top of where the audiences are hanging out online. At the moment, the younger audience is hanging on Snapchat — big time! A whopping 76% of Snappers are age 34 or younger. No other platform comes close to the demographic breakdown that Snapchat has, so if you’re trying to reach a younger audience, this is the arena to do just that.

Perhaps it goes without saying that a platform with 200 million+ active users is a pretty tasty chunk of marketing meat; so why is it that more marketers aren’t utilizing Snapchat in their strategy?  As much as we hate buying into this ageism, the ongoing joke on the Internet is that people over 25 can’t seem to figure out that whimsical ghost and convuluted UI that is Snapchat.  Did evolution speed up light years to give magical ‘snapping’ powers to the young, therby barring us ‘olds’ from understanding Snapchat?  It’s possible.  But not to fear, GTMA is here to save the day with this case study. For those too old for Snapchat who enjoy a well thought out case study, you’re in luck (because we have a couple employees under the age of 25).

Snapchat’s geofilters offer a unique opportunity for apartment communities to reach this younger audience WHILE THEY ARE AT OR CLOSE BY YOUR COMMUNITY! Basically, a geofilter is a graphic that nearly anyone can create, which Snapchat allows you to load into their platform for users to overlay with their snaps.  Businesses and individuals alike can purchase on-demand geofilters for their event, business, or a specific location.  Brand logos an trademarks are permitted.

Below is a geofilter that GTMA created and broadcast during the recent NAA Educational Conference.

GTMA Snapchat Filter Example


Now there are some guidelines that you need to abide by..

Guidelines You Should Pay Attention To When Designing a Geofilter For Your Community:

  • You must have the necessary rights and permissions to include 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
  • Keep in mind Snapchat may display your business name as entered by you, to let Snapchat users know that you business provided the geofilter
  • No hastags, phone numbers, URLs, emails, or photographs of people
  • An on-demand geofilter can be active for no longer than 30 days

For complete submission guidelines directly from Snapchat, see here.

GTMA is not perfect.  And now that we’ve dropped every reader’s jaw, we want to share our initial design mistakes with you so that you don’t have to make them.  That’s right, go forth into the Snapworld like the cool, confident 16 year old inside you.

GTMA Snapchat Filter National Apartment Association

FAIL on 2 fronts.  No hashtags allowed, and we don’t own the NAA logo.


#NAAEduConf Snapchat Filter

FAIL. No hashtags allowed in geofilters.  #nohashtagsonsnapchat (sorry, couldn’t resist)

Tips & Applications For Designing Your Community’s Geofilter

1 – Let GTMA design it and make it really cool, hyper-local and funny! Snapchat specifically mentions in their guidelines that submissions should be creative and visually compelling, in other words — it must be something that will entice Snapchat users to snap with and send to their friends.  The more fun the filter, the more likely it will get used and seen by others.

2 – Don’t attempt to make any sort of offer in the geofilter design, this isn’t the place!  Snapchat filters are all about hyperlocal engagement and fun, so a traditional ‘ad’ style isn’t going to cut it.  Steer clear of ads or offers and instead just use a fun line with your community’s name as an understated element.  Do, however, promote the geofilter on your other social channels!

3 – Use other social networks to promote a giveaway, competition or free application fee if Snappers use your filter and can prove it with a screen grab! You can leverage those other social networks to push visitors to Snapchat, or train the on site teams to promote the geofilter, and then enter them into a sweepstakes, drawing, etc.

4 – Sponsor a geofilter about a certain area or neighborhood around your community to introduce yourself to a new audience.  This is a great way to get your current resident and future ones utilizing the awesome location surrounding your community and sharing it with their friends, making your neighborhood the place to be!


Results (Yes We Finally Got It Right)

GTMA Snapchat NAAEduConf Geofilter San Francisco

Here’s the results of one day of GTMA covering the NAA Education Conference. This is the extent of the data you receive from Snapchat. As you can see, we were charged $250 to cover two square blocks downtown San Francisco and 46 people used our filter and 1,530 people saw the snaps that used our filter.




Apartment Marketing Digital Marketing Multifamily Social Media




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