Snapchat’s geo-location filters & what they mean for brands
What are they?
Snapchat’s geo-location filters are not just a fun app feature; they’re an ideal way for brands to use the exclusivity effect to facilitate social sharing. The new geo-location filters have definitely been gaining some interest in the past few months. The basic premise is that it offers exclusive image filters depending on your location, which can be activated by swiping right from the preview screen after taking a photo (much like the existing filters).
“We essentially see the death of the humble hashtag”
The hashtag — used for content tagging over platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram — can often become diluted with such large volumes of users as well as irrelevant content. Although Instagram now has an updated feature which allows you to search by location. this is potentially improved by the introduction of a new form of content tagging specific to location as well as topic. There’s still no way to filter by topic/location as of yet on Snapchat, but brands can pay for dedicated feeds which amalgamate user snaps – an option no doubt reserved for larger brands for the time being.
Why do they work?
So while it’s a fun element of the app for users, this is no doubt a HUGE opportunity for brands to create a story. It taps into the notion of providing an exclusive event or group that people can be part of. The feeling of being part of a select few actively encourages people to share with those who are not involved — evoking that dreaded FOMO in all those watching from a distance.
“If you didn’t post a blurry 5-second clip of that gig online, were you really even there?”
The psychology of exclusivity is no new-fangled premise; it lets consumers feel important and validated. In the age of social media one-upmanship, the proof that you went somewhere is a confirmation of status. Much like the old tree-in-the-forest scenario — if you didn’t post a blurry 5-second-clip of that gig online, were you really even there?
Location based filters could take this notion of social bragging and run with it a little further. In locations where companies have their own branded filters, they can provide an official stamp of attendance that people can show off (think festival wristbands still being worn a year after the event actually happened) as well as being able to promote themselves or their products.
The use of geo location filters at Coachella Festival in LA, the music festival come annual celebrity get together in the middle of the desert somewhere. Coachella is possibly the most exclusive and glamorous of global music festivals and Snapchat have no doubt tapped into its popularity. Not only did Coachella have a dedicated Snapchat feed, filters were available for certain areas of the main stage and there were even options for location filters specific for the Artist playing at the time. It’s a great stamp of proof for those lucky enough to attend providing solid encouragement to share their snaps.
What can brands do?
Brands can therefore inexpensively tap into this to provide their customers with a feeling of exclusivity via filters only available at their chosen locations, whether that’s a store, event or experience. As well as promotion through social share, brands can benefit by examining how the filters are actually used. Looking at the the images or context in which the filters are used can be pivotal in identifying how the audience is engaging with the brand. This information is VITAL for any brand wishing to understand their audience, allowing them to tailor their products or campaigns accordingly.
“Snapchat’s geo-location filters have the power to make brands the cool kids everyone wants to hang out with.”
How can this premise be explained further? Well let’s see…I’ll transport you back to the hallways of any high school. What’s your immediate reaction when you get left out by the cool kids? You’re faced with an impulsive urge to not want to do anything else but hang out with the cool kids. While I’m all for individuality in the real world sense, Snapchat’s location filters have the power to make brands into exclusive experiences. If used in the right way, they can make brands the cool kids that everyone wants to hang out with.
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