We’ve all done it – some more than others. I try to resist as it does feel a touch narcissistic, but I succumb from time to time. Just yesterday, for example, I took a selfie with a friend in front of the Harbour Bridge.
Narcissistic or not, the selfie – a self-portrait photograph that is typically taken with a smartphone and then uploaded to social media – has moved from a trend to a full-blown phenomenon.
On Instagram, the hashtag ‘selfie’ has more than 100 million posts, and brands, celebrities and even charities have been jumping on board the selfie bandwagon.
The popularity of the selfie speaks to the growing dominance of social media and photo sharing. And a selfie campaign has the potential to be a unique and relevant tactic for businesses to encourage their audience to engage with their brand.
How can your business leverage the interest surrounding the selfie?
The selfie has opened up interesting opportunities for businesses to market themselves online, and many big brands and products are currently doing this very successfully.
There are many ways to make use of the selfie and integrate it into your next campaign. The key is that you need to think outside the bounds of the traditional advertising relationship.
The #nomakeupselfie has been one of the latest selfie campaigns to go viral, with thousands of women around the world sharing photos of themselves without makeup to raise awareness of and funding for breast cancer research.
Producers from the popular television series The Walking Dead introduced a branded application called Dead Yourself, which let fans of the show ‘zombify’ their selfies and share their images online using the hashtag ‘deadyourself’.
The app also includes a Bite a Friend feature, which lets users turn a friend’s selfie into a photorealistic zombie. This is a great example of a fun way to engage your audience and create buzz around your brand.
The creators of the app knew that their target audience was engaged with the television show and used this to create a product that would resonate with their audience.
Dove recently launched the ‘honest selfie’ campaign, which challenges young girls to upload an honest selfie and have their mothers do the same.
These photos were then uploaded to a gallery on a website, where viewers were encouraged to debate what beauty is using the hashtag ‘beautyis’. This is a great example of a business providing an avenue for users to share their thoughts, feelings and selfies on social media.
Other businesses have held contests that encourage fans and followers to take photos of themselves with particular products. Users posted these photos on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with a particular hashtag, giving the business increased reach across multiple social media platforms. Some businesses have also offered discounts or rewards for users who post selfies of them engaging with their products.
Here are some tips on how to run a successful selfie campaign:
Understand your audience
Before beginning any campaign, it is critical to understand your audience. Social media users post selfies as a fun and convenient means of self expression – if your brand offers something that fits in with their own interests and desires it is more likely to be successful.
Start by monitoring trends to gauge what your audience is more likely to engage with and take notice of conversations happening on your social media platforms.
Implement a strategy
From there, it is important to implement a strategy behind the campaign. Think about your objectives – do you want to generate increased traffic to your website, gain more social media followers or engage current customers?
A selfie campaign needs to be fun and engaging for users to actually participate. Consider using your brand advocates – your most loyal and engaged followers – to start the campaign and ensure their selfies are shared as much as possible across social media.
Develop a relevant hashtag
It is important to create a hashtag for your campaign. This will help build an ongoing conversation about your campaign, increase the reach of posts on social media channels and help your business see how many users are actually engaging with your product or brand.
Marketers should always be on the lookout for new trends that can be cleverly leveraged and with the right planning and strategy, a selfie campaign can be a great way to engage and connect users with your brand and products.