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One Million Selfies and Counting

Group Of Tourists Taking SelfieBusinesses often find it difficult to engage audiences on social media platforms. Many businesses operate under an assumption we refer to at mRELEVANCE as “The Field of Dreams” theory; if you build it, they will come. Unfortunately, while this concept works well in the movies, it doesn’t work very well for social media pages.

The initial ‘taste’ of social media engagement usually leaves businesses wanting more. This ‘taste’ typically results in a few leads from short term engagement prompted by paid advertising or trending news. However, this can leave businesses wondering how to sustain social media engagement on an ongoing basis without paying for it or having to hijack trending news. One of the key ingredients to long term, quality social media engagement is getting user generated content from raving fans. Once a vendor or a consumer has established a relationship with the audience, the key is then finding ways to magnify this relationship.

User generated content is social media content that is created by the user. Think of it as third party endorsement, or a testimonial. That seems self explanatory, but the user in this definition is not the owner of the page but rather, the business’ target audience. Contests and promotions provide the perfect platform to encourage your target audience to create user generated content. Couple a contest with our obsession for taking selfies and you have the perfect storm.

Over one million selfies are taken per day. Selfies make up 30% of photos taken by people between the ages of 18-24. Why are they so popular? Well, the change in technology has created a more visual generation of users. Millenials and younger are the most visual of generations thus far, more so than Gen X and early Gen Y.

What is a selfie? Good question, this is a self-portrait photograph typically taken with a Smartphone. A little background on this growing craze.

Initially, MySpace popularized the profile picture, and by 2004, images tagged #selfie began to appear on Flickr. The iPhone came along in 2007, and we began carrying cameras around in our pockets. Pictures were easily snapped and shared, either privately by text message and email, or by uploading them to social networks. In 2010, in an effort to support video chatting services like Skype and Apple’s own Facetime, Apple released a new version of the iPhone 4 with a front-facing camera. Apple’s users began snapping self-portrait photos and the selfie was invented. Another boom for the selfie explosion in the past year is due to an emerging group of apps that have offered additional vehicles for photo-sharing (e.g. Instagram, Snapchat).

How can I apply this to my business, you might ask? Here are a couple of examples. mRELEVANCE launched a unique social media campaign for Keystone Custom Homes that combined the popularity of selfies with non-profit advocacy. Created to benefit HOPE International, a non-profit organization that provides loans to entrepreneurs in developing countries, Smile for HOPE invited participants to take selfies at the builder’s model homes or quick move-in showcase homes and post them to social media. A donation was made to Hoe International for each photo posted. The campaign generated over 1,500 new social media likes to the Keystone Custom Homes Facebook page, as well as a donation to Hope International and increased exposure.

Most recently, mRELEVANCE created a Facebook ‘selfie’ promotion for Rausch Coleman Homes, a homebuilder based in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The campaign offers current home owners the chance to win a $100 HomeGoods gift card when they take a ‘selfie’ with their current Rausch Coleman home and post it to Facebook. This is coupled with a promotion called Own for Less than Rent that encourages buyers to stop renting and to enjoy the benefits of homeownership.

If you would like to find ways to encourage your raving fans to create user generated content, call us at 770-383-3360 or go online! Creative selfie promotions are our expertise.