Meaningful Analytics Via Snapchat Filters

Brian Young
3 min readMar 12, 2017


The biggest issue with Snapchat is deriving meaningful analytics to report to your brands. Snapchat keeps a lot of analytics close to their chest, but there are three trackable and measurable interactions found via geofilters. They are as follows: Engagement, Actionable Impressions, and Non-Actionable Impressions. Tracking these three pieces of data can help you show your brand why Snapchat is important in a lot of media buying campaigns.

The Details:

On Monday, March 6th I made a media buy on Snapchat for an organization I work with called the National Millennial Community. I placed the filter over The Black Sheep Agency in Houston, Texas to increase our brand awareness. To me, a Snapchat filter is an alternative media buy because it is not a buy from the “big three” (Facebook, Instagram, or Google) and also because there is zero trackable ad conversion data. Additionally, because there is no way to create/monitor/quantify conversions, I only use Snapchat as a brand awareness tool. Stick with me now, as I dive into the analytics of Snapchat geofilters.

The Filter:

10 Hour Run, 63k Square Feet (5.9k Square meters) Coverage, $15.13 Spend

Post Filter Run Analytics


Engagement: Filter Uses (30)

One of the biggest components of the Snapchat user experience is Snapchat geo-filters. Snapchaters use filters to add context to their daily narrative captured on their Snapchat Story. Geofilters are often placed by brands for specific events or offerings. Geofilters are contained by a geo-fence and have a time limit between days and hours. When a user chooses to use a filter and creates a Filtered Snap, we measure it as an engagement.

We had 30 uses in 10 hours. or 3.3 per hour

Actionable Impressions: Swipes (26)

Swipes are a special impression because they are actionable. Users swipe right to find filters, however, just because Snapchater sees a filter does not mean they will choose to use it. You can, and often do, have more swipes than filter uses. For this reason, we call it swipes Actionable Impressions.

26 people swiped our Geofilter, and it had 30 uses. That means our filter Swipe impression/engagement average was 1.15 as the 26 Swipes resulted in 30 Engagements. That is high; most brands get less than 50% use/swipe average.

Non-Actionable Impressions: Views (1080)

Non-Actionable Impressions are views of a filter in a Snapchat Story. If a user uses a brands purchased filter, then sends a Filtered Snap to their friends and their story, Snapchat counts the views of the Filtered Snap. More often than not, people who view the story are outside the time window or the geo area the filter was available in. This means they cannot use the filter, so the impression is non-actionable.

Filter used inside the Geofence

Final Breakdown:

Reach (26 +1080): 1106

Engagement: 30

Engagements per Hour: 3.3

Actionable Impressions: 26

Actionable Impression to Engagement Ratio 1.15

Views per Engagement: 36

Cost per Engagement (CPE): $.50

Cost per Impression (CPI): $.14

Notes & lessons learned:

The ad was run for 10 hours on Monday, March 6th, 2016 and covered The Black Sheep Agency from 4a to 2p. This time window was too wide. It would have been more efficient to have run from 8 am to 10 am as that was the duration of NMC’s visit to the office. Because the window was too large, it skews our final numbers.

If I had been more concise with the period our price would have been closer to $5, and we would have seen more engagement in shorter window.

The data that comes out of Snapchat is nowhere near as powerful as the data from Facebook and Google Analytics. However, we can breakdown the available data to get a picture of Snapchat content behavior. Snapchat is huge with millennials and Gen-Z, so making Geofilters a worthwhile ad buy is a smart move.