Using Snapchat As An Activist

More than 160 million people check Snapchat every day -- and seven out of 10 of them are under the age of 35.

The popular mobile app first became known for users posting videos and pictures that “self-destruct” (disappear) after they’re played. 

But there’s more to Snapchat than that. Members of Congress, media companies from the Wall Street Journal to the Food Network, and media personalities like Bret Baier are all on it too. 

Here’s how you can make the most of Snapchat as an activist.

#1 Usegeofilters

The next time you’re thinking of flyers for your event, think of Snapchat geofilters too.

Geofilters are custom designs (think stickers) that overlay on Snapchat photos. They’re limited to a specific location, known as a “geo-fence.” Example geo-fences may be inside a sports stadium, at a wedding venue, or a political rally or other event. 

You can create your own on-demand geofilters for any event to help spread your message. When people post a photo or video to Snapchat inside your pre-set geo-fence, they’ll see your filter as an option. When they select it, they’re sharing their photo or video plus your filter with their friends.

Starting at just $5, geofilters are often cheaper than the printing costs of flyers -- and have the potential to reach far more people. That $5 goes far: 20,000 square feet or half the size of an NFL football field.

You can use free design programs like Canva to create your custom design.

Geofilters must be 1080x1920 pixels and saved as a PNG, a common type of graphics file. It is best to place your filter in the top or bottom quarter of the screen so the filter does not block the original photo. 

Choose when and where you want your custom design to be active. Then submit your design to Snapchat at least 24 hours in advance. (You can submit your design here.)

The next day, you can see data about how your filter performed. 

#2 Create your story

Snapchat lets you create custom stories within a specific location (yes, the geo-fence again). That means that anyone using Snapchat inside the geo-fence can contribute to a group story.

You can select friends within your desired location to contribute to your story, or you can set it up so that friends of friends can also join in and see the fun. This all happens free of charge.

This means more publicity for your events, conferences, and more. 

Your next event can be full of attendees sharing their experiences with their friends and on the geofenced story. 

You can create up to three custom Stories of your own. You can post an unlimited number of times in stories created by others. 

To make your own custom Story, swipe right on the home screen then click the plus symbol in the top right of your screen. Then select Geofence and pick your desired location.

#3 BONUS: Take LI’s Online Training: Emerging Social Media Platforms

Structured as fun, easy-to-understand introductions, the three days of LI’s Emerging Social Media Platforms Workshop will get you up and running on new, popular social media platforms -- including Snapchat.

Each day, you will complete "deep dive" into Instagram (Monday), Snapchat (Tuesday), and Facebook Live (Wednesday). You can check out the full agenda – and sign up – here.

You will learn:
•    how to set up your account and choose from the different types of posts for Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook Live; 
•    the meaning common terms and acronyms, so you can maximize your presence; and
•    lessons learned from how campaigns, media companies, and conservative organizations are using each platform.

Register for Emerging Social Media Platforms workshop.