Are SnapChat Filters Worth It?

You’ve probably heard of this little thing called SnapChat. It’s the newest social network to take over our phones.

Its instantaneous and temporary nature seems to have caught the hearts of pre-teens and teens alike, while leaving their adult counterparts scratching our heads in confusion. I’ll admit, the first couple of times using SnapChat were rough. I tried to send meaningful snaps to friends and respond with heartfelt chats when they sent me their snaps – but I quickly learned that’s not really what SnapChat is about. It’s the filters! My snaps quickly turned to what all snaps turn to – funny pictures of me and my friends, fiancé, and pets using the random filters created by the folks at SC. And now even businesses, such as Taco Bell, Burger King, L’Oreal, and Coca-Cola, are getting in on the fun.

But is it worth it for smaller businesses and non-profits to get in on the action?

My simple answer is: yes, if there is a younger demographic you are trying to reach. To help you get a better understanding of your potential reach, let’s take a look at two of our SnapChat campaigns and how much they were used.


2016 Jacksonville Passion Play

Jacksonville Passion Play SnapChat FilterOur first-ever SnapChat filter was created for our annual performance of the Jacksonville Passion Play. This outreach event brings a huge crowd of guests as well as church members, and the ages of the attendees range from baby all the way to 90. You can imagine that some of the younger audience members aren’t necessarily thrilled to be there, especially when their mom or dad though it would be a “fun” thing to do as an entire family. That’s where our SnapChat filter came into play. Suddenly they were doing something “cool” again.

This filter ran from March 25 at 10 AM – March 27 at 10 PM for one city block. During this time, 465 people used the filter and 21,422 people saw the filter. We also saw an increase in people following us on SnapChat, people shared pictures with the filter on Instagram, and we received several shout-outs on Twitter asking for more filters.

While their parents were excitedly taking photos in our photo booth, the teens were excited to find a specialty filter on SnapChat.

We found this to be a huge win as it seemed to resonate very well with a younger audience and create a conversation in a generation that did not normally engage in conversation with us.


Cap & Gown Sunday

Cap and Gown Snapchat FilterOur Cap & Gown Sunday is our annual service during which the high school seniors are honored by being introduced before the service as well as leading worship. We kept the filter pretty simple in accordance to the other Cap & Gown advertising materials (bulletin shells, screen images, etc.). The filter ran from May 29 at 8 AM to May 29 at 1 PM for approximately two city blocks.

For about $20, 70 people used the filter (that’s just about a quarter per person) and 3,280 viewed the filter.

This was a great response for a filter created for a very small, specific crowd. Remember – this was a Sunday celebrating our graduating seniors, and it was those seniors who were the main users. To create a little hype around the filter, we sent out a snap to our followers that morning reminding everyone to use the filter. By the end of the day, I found many of our followers had created SnapChat stories using the Cap & Gown filter, as well as shared some of their photos on Instagram.

To create a little hype around the filter, we sent out a snap to our followers that morning reminding everyone to use the filter.


The Take-Away

Your filter cost will vary, but it’s pretty small in the grand scheme of things. If you’re concerned about money, scrunch your time down (I added several hours to the start and end times for both of our filters, in case we had people lingering in the vicinity) and be cognizant of your filter map (the smaller the area, the smaller your cost). Also be aware that prices may increase on special dates, such as Easter or Christmas.

If you’re trying to be relevant for a younger demographic, I feel the cost of a SnapChat filter is very reasonable. For about a quarter, or less, per person you can reach a younger crowd that might not otherwise connect with you.