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Snapchat On-Demand Geofilters in Canada

Posted on August 25, 2016 by

Snapchat is a growing goliath when it comes to social media and messaging on mobile phones. Since launching in 2011, it has really resonated with a younger demographic and is said to have more users (estimated 150 million) than active monthly users on Twitter. Even since it launched, brands have been looking for ways to capitalize on the platform.

IMG_2016-08-15 16:37:46Geofilters are a creative way to customize your ‘Snap’ that you send on Snapchat. You can add an image overlay to the image you’re sending or posting as a story. With location services on, Geofilters are often custom to where you are or set up for particular events. Edmonton has a lot of Geofilters for local attractions or just generic Edmonton ones. zag creative first experimented with Geofilters back in 2015 when we developed and got approved a permanent Geofilter for on104th in downtown Edmonton. To this day, if you’re around our office on 104th street, you can see the filter we made! When we wrote that blog, however, Geofilters weren’t available to businesses.

Well now, over a year later, Snapchat has made it even easier for people and small businesses to pay for a custom Geofilter for their brand or event with On-Demand filters. Me, being the social media person I am, needed to give these a whirl as we begin to find strategic places to recommend these to our clients. My friends and I were throwing our second annual “Beer’lympics” and wanted to create a filter for the event, and so below is a glimpse at the process!

Design the Geofilter: A filter should be simple yet memorable in a way that will help it become associated with your event or brand. Because my event had to deal with alcohol, Snapchat rejected my first two filter attempts citing that it encouraged excessive drinking, but approved my third, pictured below. Snapchat’s turnaround time for approval was really fast (under a day) both times. Uploading the filter and positioning it in size and where you want it on the screen was really easy too! When designing, make sure to consider how it will overlay on both dark and light pictures (this was a mistake I made). Other guidelines and tips can be found here, but a major consideration is contact information like URLs, hashtags, and social media handles are not allowed.



Map and time the Geofilter: Once it’s uploaded and positioned, pick exactly when and where you want your filter to run. For the area, you can draw an exact fence over the area you want your filter to show up at. I drew mine over my yard and didn’t have any problems with it showing up where it should. Below is an example of the interface with a fence over our office.

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Buy the Geofilter: Pricing for a Geofilter is a product mainly of the size of the area requested and duration that the filter will run. For mine, I had it run for 26 hours over an area of 120,702 square feet and the total cost was $52.30 USD.

Enjoy the Geofilter and check some analytics: Having a Geofilter at a party is a great little perk that people can get excited about. Just imagine the potential for a brand, to get that kind of natural exposure when people send pictures with your filter overlaid or post it on their story. Snapchat provides some basic (but exciting) analytics after your event on how your Geofilter was used. During the 26 hours it was live, it was used 90 times and seen 4,161 times (accounting for the number of times that people received a Snap with the Geofilter or saw it in a Snapchat Story)!!

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And there you have it! After trying out this process for myself, I’m convinced of the potential for companies to use this as a tool for event engagement and brand awareness around initiatives they’re running. It’s a great way to get the word out about an event in an organic way and reach people through something that’s engaging and personal. We’re really excited to provide recommendations and facilitate the implementation of these filters with our clients and see how this growing social media platform can provide awesome value for consumers!

6 Posts That I’ll Delete You Off Facebook For

Posted on January 29, 2016 by

As zag creative’s Social Media Specialist, needless to say, I spend a lot of time on social media and I love it. Endlessly scrolling through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even LinkedIn isn’t a time-waster for me; it’s my job. And with the title of Specialist, I feel like I’m entitled to a rant or two about posts that irk me on Facebook. People use social media for different things and there is no right or wrong topic to post about, but some posts just really bother me and make me hover over the “Unfriend” button before realizing I’m not brave enough to actually go through with it.

If you do post one of the following types of post, don’t take it personally, these are just my opinions. If I had my way, everyone would only share cute pictures of dogs on Facebook.

  1. One like = one prayer. I get it. 99% of the time your great-aunt Barbara shares a post encouraging people to share, comment, or like it to support a cause or initiative, it’s because she’s well-meaning. If a post is doing a good job at spreading awareness or raising donations for a charity or event, that’s one thing. But posts that make you feel guilty for scrolling past, or say “Like if you agree, don’t like if you’re the worst person in the world”  have no place in my news feed. They remind me of those chain emails I’d get in junior high that would say “Forward this to 3 friends, or else you’ll never find true love and you’ll lose all of your toes.”
  2. Vague or attention seeking posts. Nothing bothers me quite like attention seeking and so when somebody makes a vague post like “On my way to the hospital” with no context, it doesn’t fly with me. If you have something to share, share it but if you make a post like that, chances are I’m not going to ask for further details.
  3. Offensive posts. Genuinely you’re allowed to share what you want on social media; that’s one of the things that makes online platforms great. It’s a place to share opinions, thoughts, and what matters to you — but there’s a limit and definitely such a things as being too opinionated and too offensive. Honestly, I get pleasure sometimes reading intense Facebook comment debates that go nowhere, but if you’re posting something just for the reason of being offensive, maybe think again.
  4. Anything with a minion on it. I haven’t seen Despicable Me, nor do I feel the need to, but even if that movie was the Pulp Fiction of our generation, there would still be absolutely no need to take a photo of a minion in an “adorable pose” and put it next to a quote that’s semi-relatable about Mondays being the woorrssstt but completely irrelevant to minions. Make it stop.
  5. Sharing a picture by screenshotting it. This one is a little more specific, but have you ever seen someone share a photo by taking a screenshot on an iPad or iPhone, and it’s obviously because the menu with the time is at the top? Facebook has a share button. Please use it.
  6. What 18th century poem are you? (or the like). Sure, it might be fun to see what celebrity you’d be if you were the other gender, but we do realize that these mean absolutely nothing, right? Having these as a distraction from all of the depressing, politically charged posts on Facebook is a nice break, but it goes too far when people take it way too seriously and say they always knew they were a triangle.

I love social media for the value it gives with creating community and having authentic conversation. Don’t take this post as “Rules” for social media because I get that everyone uses it differently, but be weary if you are friends with me on Facebook, that I might be judging you a little bit the next time I see a post with a minion on it.

How to Survive University and Pretend Everything’s Fine

Posted on December 4, 2015 by

For the last month, all you had to do was remind me that I would be more less done university in a few weeks and I’d be reduced to a pile of emotions. Sure, there’s good things about being done my undergraduate degree: no more midterms, no more finals, no more pretending to pay attention in class, no more starting and finishing a term paper the day it’s due, etc. There’s a lot I’m going to miss though, and it’s really weird to think back four years ago to my first term at MacEwan and look at how much I (and everything around me) has changed.

It’s even weirder to think that somehow I survived it. I definitely wouldn’t consider myself an expert at life, but if I had to give a first-year student seven tips on how to make the most of the next four (or more) years of their life, here’s what I’d say.

  1. Learn How to Learn:
    Everyone has a different way to study efficiently and get decent grades. Figure out what works for you, whether that’s reading the entire textbook and making cue cards (unlikely) to skimming chapter summaries the night before the exam (more likely), find the right vibe that works for you.
  2. Have a FOMO:
    One of the truest pieces of advice I’ve ever been told is you’re going to regret more what you didn’t do than what you did. There’s nothing wrong with a fear of missing out so take risks and have new experiences. You’re only young once and university is supposed to be a time to take risks and find yourself, so take that whatever way you want and get out there, champ.
  3. Try to Build a Resume:
    One day, you’re probably going to want a job and you don’t have to be as crazy as me, and work four jobs while taking four classes, but try to get some experience. Work a job, volunteer, and get some training in a relevant area. Getting involved and having something to show for it goes a long way.
  4. Lists for your Lists:
    The first thing I do every term is make a list of everything I have due for marks in all of my classes chronologically, with how much it’s worth. Seeing what I have to do and how much I should put into it might look overwhelming originally, but knowing what to focus on one week at a time, puts the entire term into perspective.
  5. Don’t Forget To Do What You Love:
    In the midst of the emotional hurricane that is university, don’t forget who you are and what makes you happy. For me, there’s nothing I spend more money on than concerts and music and so regardless of how early I have to be up the next day, I’ll usually never turn down a night of live music. Don’t forget to see your friends too; if that means going all out at a keg party on Saturday and having to write two entire papers on a Sunday, sometimes it’s worth it.
  6. Be Recklessly Optimistic:
    My cover photo on Facebook for the longest time has been a banner saying “Everything Will Probably Be Alright” and to be honest, it probably will be. Even if you fail that exam or have no idea how you’re going to find a job when you graduate, you’re human and you’re a pretty great human at that. Change your perspective and look on the bright side. A little positivity goes a long way.
  7. Never Choose What’s Comfortable:
    Don’t settle for what’s easy because after all, life isn’t easy. Choosing the simple path now will just lead to a life of emptiness and pain. University is going to be hard and there’s going to be so many times you’re going to want to drop out and just do something easier, but keep pushing yourself and following your dreams.

Being more less done my Bachelor of Commerce is a weird feeling, but the last four and a half years have been without a doubt the most amazing years of my life. I’m so insanely thankful for all of the absolutely stellar people I’ve met and every crazy experience I’ve had with them. I’ve met some of the most amazing people, and learned so much both inside and outside of the classroom in the last four years. Overall, work hard, love lots, and just live because everything will probably be alright.

Being a zag Intern

Posted on August 7, 2015 by

IMG_2015-08-07 10:23:05Movies and TV shows often portray interns as young, decent looking students who specialize in making coffee, asking redundant questions, and being the target of verbal abuse from everyone in the company. Jas and I both agree though that as interns, aside from the decent looking part, we’ve experienced none of these things.

I’ve been with zag since the beginning of June as their first ever social media intern and from the interview I knew that being an intern here was going to be nothing like the movies. Things at zag are different, and not different like when your mom would say it, but different like a breath of fresh air after walking through a forest fire. To demonstrate, here’s my list of my 5 favourite things about being an intern at zag:

  1. The coffee machine. Coffee and I go way back; it’s a pretty serious relationship. Working as an intern here has only brought me and coffee closer together with zag’s incredible and complex coffee machine that, just like a relationship, originally intimidated me but now we’re going steady.
  2. The downtown lifestyle. On my first day, I played “A Thousand Miles” by Vanessa Carlton the entire ride downtown specifically for the line “Making my way downtown…” I live east of Sherwood Park, and even though I go to school downtown, working on 104th street has been really neat. It’s awesome to be around so many cool restaurants and shops!
  3. The company. I promise I’m not getting paid to say this, but zag creative is actually a really rad place to work. They have some really awesome projects on the go and it’s incredible to see the unique stuff they do. The people that work here have such a unique set of skills that come together like rum and coke, getting the world drunk on creative ideas and killing it everyday. They also have a really cool looking office and I have a lovely view from my desk of a whiteboard window drawn by Kat, where it’s always raining.
  4. The experience. I’m graduating from university in December and getting this type of hands-on experience has so much value. I have learnt so much about how to actually do interactive marketing online and also how to work in an agency setting. It’s been incredible to have the opportunity to get my hands dirty in different projects and learn lots of new things.
  5. The people. The people I’ve met at zag are stellar. They’re not only so incredible at what they do, but also hilarious, hip, so stylish, and really fun to be around. They love sangria, animals, and have the most hilarious stories. From day one, being part of a really strange lunch conversation, I knew that these people were the type of people I’d want to work with. Coming into work early summer mornings was made so bearable knowing that I’d be around such positive and interesting people, and probably laugh at least once.

Being an intern at zag creative this summer has taught me so much about the industry that I want to work in. Every chance I get, I brag to my friends about my awesome internship at one of the coolest companies there is. It all feels kind of surreal to be here. I’ve met some amazing people, been part of some amazing things, and couldn’t have asked for a better way internship. #inTurndownforwhat