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The Dos and Don'ts of Video Filters

Filters have come a long way since the days of the Snapchat dog ears. These days, you can completely transform the way your face looks with one click. People are using filters to identify their true eye color, test new hair colors, and even stencil eyeliner looks. But where do brands fit into this shapeshifting picture? 

Brands and small businesses can join in on the filter fun in two ways– using them and creating them. When an especially unique or fun filter (like handsome Squidward) goes viral, brands can take part in the trend by using the filter for their own content. The filter acts as a common interest, bridging the gap for users who’ve never engaged with your brand before. 

And when brands aren’t joining in pre-existing trends on social media, they can inspire new ones by creating unique filters of their own. Here are our top 5 tips for navigating the use of filters on Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat. 

Do: Create branded filters

Branded filters are a great way to get exposure. Creating a branded filter on TikTok will help users discover your brand. The more people use the filter, the more people learn about your brand. Even if they aren’t part of your target audience at that moment, they will remember seeing your brand when the need for one of your products arises. For example, sons and daughters who recall playing around with Mac’s branded lipstick filter will probably remember that brand when their mom requests a new lipstick for Mother’s day. 

Do: Use the green screen filter for product tutorials 

Both Instagram and TikTok offer the greenscreen background which allows you to upload screenshots or screen recordings to show how to use certain products. This is especially helpful if you are a company that offers a brand or service. Check out our example of how we used the greenscreen filter to show off our product.  

Do: Create a brand mascot with filters 

Humanizing brands is a huge trend for 2022. Not only does it give something or someone for your users to connect with, but it adds some humor to your content. For example, Duolingo blew up for using their owl logo and making it their brand mascot on TikTok. Something so simple and silly had a big reward because TikTok users just couldn’t wait to see what the owl would do next. Here’s and example of Duolingo below.

Do: Create filters for trying on products

Creating your own branded filter is actually a great way to let your customers try on products virtually. Augmented reality filters can accurately depict how a product will look on your customer, allowing them to “try before they buy”. Brands can use their own filters in stories, comparing how the products look on with the AR version to build product awareness. 

Do: Hop on trends

When filters aren’t transforming your looks, they’re taking the internet by storm through fun trends like quizzes and games. Using trending filters is a way for your brand to join a larger conversation. Your content might even gain traction by catching the attention of other users who are already interested in the filter you’re using. This is especially true on TikTok, where the algorithm takes into consideration what filters a user engages with often when deciding what content to show them.

Ready to dip your toe into augmented reality on social media? Read about all the latest AR and VR trends in our latest Social Trends Report. 

Don’t: Use beauty filters when filming products

Beauty filters are fantastic for covering up the fact that you stayed up all night binge-watching season 2 of Bridgeton and then scrolling through #kanthony, but use a beauty filter to film products and you might find yourself on the other end of a catfishing allegation. Beauty filters change the color and texture of what’s on-screen. If you’re showing how a beauty product works, it won’t look the same when your customers try it on at home. 

The same goes for products like clothing items, nail polish, shoes, etc. Beauty filters alter the color of the items and may mislead customers into purchasing an item thinking the color is more muted or brighter than it actually is. 

Don’t: Use filters that don’t fit your vibe

You wouldn’t edit your feed posts in a way that violates your aesthetic, so why use a filter that doesn’t fit your aesthetic on Stories. Try to avoid filters that directly oppose the vibe you try to convey with the rest of your content. You want your filters to flow naturally with the rest of your content. They shouldn’t seem jarring to your audience. 

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Note: Recently, some filters are banned in Texas and Illinois due to state facial recognition laws. Check out what this might mean for you and your brand when creating branded filters. 

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Claire Dollen

Claire Dollen is a graphic designer at PLANOLY. She is our go-to for design trends and finding inspiration on how to use our product design features.

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Best Practices

Filters seem like it's everywhere on social media but are they always a good idea? Learn the dos and don'ts of using filters on your social media videos.

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