Picture Your Selfie Here - The Selfie Sensation
November 12, 2013
While the "selfie," (a self-generated, self-portrait) can be traced back to the 1800's, 2013 will forever be the year the "selfie" went mainstream. The word was even added to Oxford's Online Dictionary.
Just search "#selfie" on Instagram and you'll get millions of results.
Thanks to the front-facing camera feature on our phones – many of us now spend lots of time framing ourselves the way we want to be seen in the moments we chose to record:
Many might see these photos as merely self-involved, mindless snapshots but there's something fun about the "selfie" that today's dynamic personalities and brands are tapping into.
From Greater Media's WMMR/Philadelphia Preston and Steve's weekly feature, "Selfie Monday," to Bloomingdale's "#bloomiesselfie" campaign, brands are using this phenomenon to get closer and even learn more about their fans and consumers.
When brands really pay attention to an organized "selfie" exchange, they get a peek inside the most active, chatty fans' lives. These are also the listeners likelier to be on top of any culture craze - ultimately guiding brands about when fads fade to discovering what's next.
As the social space continually changes, brands have to be energetic and lively in order to keep up. And as much as you may personally loathe the "selfie" trend, the benefits for brands learning how to be present with it outweigh ignoring it.
1. When brands emulate fans' social dialogue and how they participate – the likelier the content is shareworthy in their eyes.
The Walking Dead is a great example of a "social brand," always hacking their way to fit the show in the fans' conversations:
2. Brands can help defy the aging process (any can suffer from).
Just last week country music legend George Strait took a "selfie" and instantly the younger fan base socially flipped out in awe over it:
3. "Selfies" give brands the visual opportunity to tell a story with few words.
Actor Jeff Daniels completely harnessed the power of this trend with this tweet:
The key to "selfies" is that they must exceed expectation in order for this type of expression to work.
Self-indulgent and mediocre social communication is as brand erosive as a bad break. Over time, the audience becomes fatigued and unmoved – creating passive fans.
And there is no value in a passive social fan base.
Just because we can take a "selfie" doesn't mean we should. It takes skill to humanize a brand and come off natural when participating with the latest trends.
That's why – in some cases – simply taking the camera off of you and turning it toward fans works. The "selfies" taken by your audience can be insightful and can offer a peek into what they do when they're listening to you.
Or, if you just happen to physically be in the moment with fans – photo-bombing their "selfies" always works, too. You know this young lady will never forget when Beyonce photo-bombed her "selfie":
There's no doubt fans want to be entertained socially– especially the younger end of the demographic.
And that's not always easy to do.
It's been said many times here at Jacobs Media that just because social is free, it does not equate to being easy. There is nothing simple about cleverly and consistently communicating as a real time social brand.
But if you're paying attention and coming at content from the fan's point of view, you might just take the next #BestSelfieEver!
Reach out to me anytime on Twitter @lorilewis.
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