In the past two years the “geofilter” has completely taken over social media - mainly on Snapchat and Instagram. Geofilters are location-based overlays that can be used for both personal and business use. Snapchat is constantly producing geofilters that their 150 million daily visitors can use, and now, just recently Snapchat enabled their users to be able to make their own. Following the rapid geofilter trend, Instagram created the “sticker” in December of 2016. The sticker can also specify your location to it’s more than 1 million monthly users. Both of these can be used for an incredible localized form of marketing.
What is the difference between Snapchat’s geofilters and Instagram’s stickers?
Snapchat geofilters have to be designed and paid for by a business. The amount of time that the geofilter runs for, and the radius of the location where the filter can be accessed is also determined by the business.
That being said, recently Snapchat started displaying a simple, white-font geofilter that is not paid for but specific companies, but is pulled from Foursquare locations nearby.
At this point in time, Instagram stickers can’t be designed and paid for by a company. Instagram does offer a “location” sticker that automatically pulls in locations from Foursquare as well. When a user clicks on the location sticker that is posted on an Instagram story, the user will see all the other stories that have been created at that location.
In other words, if you want a free geofilter you must make sure that your auto shop has a listing on Foursquare. (Check out our blog that lists the 10 most important online directories for your auto repair shop to be listed on.)
Free advertising sounds great, but will your customers really use filters and stickers?
If you are thinking that you are an auto repair shop and Snapchat or Instagram wouldn’t be a good form of marketing for you - think again! Many times, your shop’s customers are sitting in the waiting room for hours as their car is being repaired. Let’s be honest, they get bored! By providing them with fun geofilters that have your shop’s logo displayed, they will have a great time posting photos that all of their friends will see. Did you get that? All of their friends will be seeing the geofilter with your logo, boosting your shop’s brand awareness!
For some ideas and tips on how your auto repair shop can use geofilters and stickers, check out the ideas below:
1. Use them for special events
Special events are a great way to not only promote your business, but enable customers to be able to share their experiences. Instead of using them all the time, save them for special events such as an seasonal sale or opening of your new auto shop. This will save money and can reach a larger audience beyond those that are actually at your auto shop.
2. Have a good design so people use it
Have you ever been in a public place, such as a big city that has multiple geofilters? This makes it hard to decide which one to use, But generally you go with the most visually appealing filter. That is why it’s extremely important to make your auto shop’s geofilter look perfect. Be sure to have a good design that uses multiple colors/graphics. You can only use two lines of text so be sure to get your message across in those two lines.
3. Campaign with platform influencers
Geofilters and stickers are great for marketing to the exact audience you wish to. Because a customer has to physically use the filter, it campaigns with platform influencers. Platform influencers are the key audience that will promote your specific type of business to others. For example, someone getting their car fixed on a Memorial Day Sale at your shop may see a geofilter and post a Snapchat story using it. Their next door neighbor who has been needing to get their car fixed would see it and come into your shop shortly after. Platform influencers catch the eyes of people with prior interest in the subject. Geofilters/stickers are a great way to push them to make a buying decision with your advertising.
4. Target millennials
With the exception of LinkedIn, the majority of social media users are ages 18-29. So what better way to target this new group of buyers, than with Snapchat and Instagram?
It is important for your auto repair shop to be where millennials are, so get in the conversation through social media. Read our blog “How Auto Shops Can Get New Customers with Instagram” for more reasons why millennials are a great audience to target. Believe us when we say that millennials love Snapchat geofilters and Instagram stickers!
While you may have created an awesome geofilter, it is important that you encourage your customers to use the filter. Try creating a sign that is displayed in your waiting room that shows the geofilter and tells customers to try out the filter. You could also run a contest where people submit their funniest picture to be entered to win a prize!
Geofilters/stickers are fun for personal use to share what you are doing, but are even more beneficial for business use. It helps your customers promote your business without them even knowing it. Geofilters are great for industry events, store openings, and just being more involved in your community. It makes your auto shop seem a little more personal with awesome graphics that will catch a potential consumer’s attention. So ditch old and overused print ads, and turn your auto shop into a digital hotspot with geofilters and Instagram stickers!