Just a year ago while I was a senior at UT, I presented to 30 of my peers who were eagerly waiting for me to slip up. My job? Convince a hypothetical television network why they should invest millions of dollars gaining back live viewership with photos that disappear after 10 seconds on Snapchat. I know it sounds crazy. Even crazier, I, personally, did not even have a Snapchat account. After hours of research, memorization of my 20-minute pitch and a grueling Q&A, I put my registration where my mouth was and downloaded Snapchat.
I always believed that Snapchat bred narcissism in my generation. Who really wants to spend their valuable time looking at a selfie of me with dog ears on? For a group of young adults and teens who live in over-filtered, pixelized, Photoshopped fantasies on Instagram and Facebook, Snapchat stands out as authentic. It is a storytelling platform that allows its users to be vulnerable, inventive, and real. Last year The New York Times explained Snapchat is the Facebook of Generation Z, the successors of millennials. If we want to connect with LLYC campers and staff then we have to speak their language. The language of Geofilters and face lenses that make us look like we are throwing up rainbows. While the app may seem silly based on these few details such as vomiting rainbows, it is incredibly powerful. Whether it’s keeping you motivated to stay in touch with a friend across the globe because you want to maintain your “snap streak” or perhaps how it forces you to be creative in such a short timeframe. Many prominent social media influencers use Snapchat. Seems silly, but it’s very meaningful.
This summer, LLYC started a Snapchat account so that campers who were anticipating their best two weeks, or who were wrestling with post-camp depression, could still experience the Canyon. This year we are taking it up a level and creating Geofilters for LLYC recruiting events so that staff can add some canyon flair to their favorite photo sharing app.
As defined by Snapchat, a Geofilter is “a fun way to share where you are, or what you’re up to, by adding a fun overlay to your Snap. If you have location services and Filters enabled, Geofilters appear at thousands of places around the world.” We realized this tool could help staff wrap a Canyon filter around their college town experiences with us. What better marker of the Canyon experience than driving in the river? Thus our LLYC Recruiting Geofilter was born.