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#Selfie Nation: A Content Marketer's Dream

Love them or hate them (and yes, many, many of us do hate them) but the selfie — a self-portrait, usually snapped with a smartphone — is a fact of cyber-life in 2014.  In fact, so ubiquitous is the selfie these days that the term earned Oxford Dictionaries’ coveted Selfie Nation: A Content Marketer’s Dream“Word of the Year” nod for 2013.

So, what does this activity, usually attributed to self-obsessed Gen Ys, have to do with us content marketers? Plenty.

Because if I post a selfie, there’s much more to it than the content (my smiling little mug). There’s also the context — where I am, what I’m doing, what I'm wearing, who’s there with me, what else is in the photo, the text that goes along with the post. And that’s where the magic lies for smart content marketers.

A few examples to inspire you:

  • Restaurant chain Hooters encourages customers to post selfies of themselves enjoying their experience with the hashtag #stepintoawesome.
  • Producers of the hit TV show The Walking Dead created the “Dead Yourself” mobile app, which lets users “zombify” their selfies and share the finished product online with the hashtag #deadyourself.
  • Progressive eyewear retailer Warby Parker built a photo booth — complete with different backgrounds — into its flagship store in Soho, where customers can snap and post pics of themselves trying on different eyeglass frames.
  • In Dove’s most recent “Real Beauty” campaign, high school girls were asked to describe what they didn’t like about themselves physically. They were then asked to take selfies that were later displayed in a small gallery, where visitors posted sticky notes featuring comments such as “beautiful smile” and “love your hair.” 

Sure, there are some big brand names and cool consumer products on that list, but that doesn’t mean that any business can’t play along and cash in on the selfie craze. Here are a few steps to get your own selfie campaign started:

  1. Make sure you have a solid objective for your campaign: what do you want the end result to be (increased brand awareness, website traffic, social followers, etc.)?
  2. Decide which social networks your campaign will focus on: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.
  3. Create a hashtag around your campaign so you can build an ongoing conversation around it.
  4. Create a landing page for the campaign that sets up the rules of play; be sure to include multiple mentions the hashtag and links to your selected social networks.
  5. Get your own team on board to get some momentum going.
  6. Get the word out and track your results.

So, how about you — have you built a campaign around selfies? Tell us about it in the comments — we’d love to hear from you!

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