It seems like there are Snapchat filters for everything—new movies, Taco Bell, the day of the week, your location. . . . Some filters are ads, and others are created by Snapchat. But did you know anyone can create their own Snapchat filter?
People commonly create them for events like weddings or baby showers, but you can make one for anything you want!
Snapchat has made it so easy to create your own filter. You can design your own and upload it on their website, or you can use one of their templates and fill it in with your specific information. Snapchat’s instructions on creating a custom filter are clear and straightforward, so I won’t go into that here. Instead, I’ll focus on how your church can use custom Snapchat filters.
Fair question. Filters aren’t permanent, so you wouldn’t ordinarily create one for your church to use all the time. You might create one for your annual church picnic or for a fall festival—a special event that is lasting for a few hours. You’d also want it to be an event that you want people to document with their phones (so your Christmas Eve service is probably not a great choice).
Another fair question. You can view it as a form of outreach—if someone happens to take a Snapchat within your geofence, they would see your church name and perhaps be curious! Or they might see a friend’s Snapchat that used your filter.
If your church is looking to gain Snapchat followers (most likely for a youth group or some other young-person group), using a filter can alert people to your presence on the app.
Your Snapchat filter should ideally contain three elements:
Let’s break down why each of these elements is integral to your geofilter.
If you’re creating a Snapchat filter, you’re probably designing it for a specific event (as we talked about earlier). No matter the event, you should put the event name on the filter somewhere, whether it’s a youth lock-in, congregational picnic, or annual rummage sale.
This might seem obvious, but it’s worth repeating: list your organization name on the filter. It doesn’t have to be big and obvious, but listing your organization name contextualizes the filter, especially to people who might randomly come across it. You might even include your website (if it’s short and simple enough!).
Your geofilter design can make or break your filter. Remember, this filter will be overlayed on a photo, so don’t make it bleed too far into the center of the screen. Your design can go around the entire screen, creating a border, with the largest part of the design (the part containing your event/organization name) typically at the bottom. Or, you can simply put interestingly designed text at the bottom!
For some general ideas about how your design should be laid out and spaced on the screen, check out the filters predesigned by Snapchat.
Bottom line: Your design should stick to the borders so the photo can still be seen in the middle, and it should be simple enough that it doesn’t completely distract from the photo.
You have to set a geofence for your filter, so you’ll want to create a filter for an event that will be in one place. So don’t create a filter for your youth group’s scavenger hunt or your church’s Christmas caroling around the city.
Snapchat does require your filter to go through a review process, so make sure you build in enough time for that. In other words, don’t create your filter the night before an event.
Is your ministry on Snapchat? Have you created a filter? What’s worked best for you?
Have more questions about using Snapchat for your church?
Watch an interview with Hannah to learn about best practices for using Snapchat to further your ministry.