The Selfie, that small little occupation, is an ultimate textbook example of how something that didn’t even exist five years ago has suddenly become one of the most obvious parts of our everyday internet lives. On the surface the selfie might seem like a crappy and superficial little narcissistic act; a slimy frog that muddies the magical kingdom of The Internet. But dig a little deeper and you’ll soon see that this little frog has grown to a full-sized, ruling Prince Charming, especially when it comes to content marketing and social media.
With the #SelfieOlympics people have taken the social media art form to the next level in 2014.
In the beginning, the selfie was best described as:
“a picture, taken with the family’s compact camera, of some dude awkwardly posing in the bathroom. After that being transferred through a very big and clumsy cable into the computer thingy and uploaded to MySpace, looking like a four pixels piece of art.” (Description by Agnes Stenlund, a.k.a. Me).
But today, the situation is different. Since the concept of the selfie first started the entire meaning and the potential impact that lies in the picture has changed, even though the act in itself remains the same. For starters, today we can actually look up in the Oxford Dictionary the definition of the word:
“selfie: a photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.” (Very fancy description by Oxford Dictionary).
But today the word “selfie” is not only a word in the dictionary, but also one sharp weapon concerning marketing and social media. I present to you a proposal: Why you should use the selfie as a social media tool.
1. Get personal in your business.
(NB: I hope that the relevance of a special business account on Twitter or other social platform goes without saying, so I’ll write these tips without explaining that aspect of the approach). A common problem with business accounts is the fact that they easily become a bit biased, which sooner or later can be perceived as spammy. Posting a selfie or two on a business account shows – in a nice, folksy kind of way – that there are regular people working at the company, and that the business isn’t just run by a couple of bots hanging around. Nothing creates trust like the “ordinary person” approach, and the recognition of posting a selfie makes it even stronger.
2. Make friends.
Back in the glory days of MySpace, the selfie brought an important section of social media to the table. The picture made it possible for people to show others how they really wanted to be, what they wanted to wear and how they wanted the world to see them. Suddenly it became easy to find new friends, people who were like you, and a ground breaking way of socializing was born. Even though a selfie really doesn’t tell people anything more than what you look like, it’s still a good way of getting new connections. By liking someone’s business update you’re basically saying, “Hey, I like your business.” By liking their picture of a donut you’re telling them, “Hey, your donut looks cool.” And by liking a selfie you’re saying, “Hey, you’re cool!” It’s not that hard to see which one is the best way to start a valuable connection.
3. Get people to join the campaign.
This one is simple. People want to share selfies. They’re looking for an excuse to do it. If you create a social campaign that includes posting a selfie you’re adding one more reason for people to participate, since you suddenly turn the focus from the commercial part in to the person in question. If you’re planning to create a hashtag to get more publicity for your website, try to include a selfie in one way or another and watch it spread. When anyone can post it themselves it’s even better, with no special login, most of the people in your targeting range carries everything they need to participate with them at all times.
The hashtag #fuckyouputin” at the end of January got thousands of Swedes to share selfies where they pointed their finger for the rights of gay people.
4. Get on trend.
The Turkish Airlines campaign, “Selfie Shootout”, from December 2013 has received more than 136 million views on Youtube.
I doubt I have to explain this any further, do I?
5. Make yourself look good (not just by choosing the right filter).
If you use the selfie correctly, it can be a way of showing the public your personality, values and skills in a little box. By using the right words, you can make yourself appear exactly as you want to. To choose the right time and place to share the selfie might seem a bit sneaky, but then again, look at it as a part of the business. Wouldn’t you try to spread the best sides of your company in a commercial or advert? That’s how it works, and it’s okay to play by the rules.
So if you didn’t know it before, I’m telling you right now, selfies are very much happening. What’s more, they are so hot right now. If you want to be one step ahead I, as the social pro that I am, would recommend you to embrace videos. After the growing trend of videos on Instagram, vloggers and of course Vine it isn’t hard to see that people love them. To share a short film of yourself saying good morning or cheers is another way to create and portray that sunny and relaxed personality of yours that you want everyone to see.
So let’s combat the wave of working against selfies. Instead, let’s create a society where you don’t have to scroll around someone’s Facebook profile to try to find a decent picture of her or him; a society where you don’t have to persuade your friends that, “he looks better in reality,” and “not at all like the high school picture he’s tagged in”. So, now, my challenge for you guys is to #postmoreselfies.