There’s a lot of negativity surrounding the meteoric rise in popularity of selfies. Many people view the Millennial generation as vapid or self-centered when they see how many selfies are posted each day (millions, for the record).
However, selfies are one fad that’s endured for well over a decade. Furthermore, they’re often showcased on prime marketing real estate: social media.
Here are seven tips marketers can learn from the selfie generation and apply to their strategies.
Work Your Best Angle
Selfies are all about the angle. Whether it’s that slight overhead tilt or learning how to take a good mirror selfie, it’s these subtle shifts that make the biggest impact.
Marketers should learn to find their best angle by identifying their ideal customer. I.e., the customer who’s most likely to purchase their product or service. While experimenting with other opportunities is fine, working that best angle, in this case, segmentation, helps get the best results from campaigns and branding efforts.
Showcase Yourself in Your Best Light
Another important aspect of taking a great selfie is finding the perfect lighting. The shift from one window to another can make all the difference when snapping a selfie. The goal is to show yourself in crisp, clear lighting that results in a high-quality image.
Brands should also apply this strategy to their marketing, showcasing products and social media graphics with high-quality lighting and photography. The higher the quality of the image, the more it will stand out in the feed.
People can sense ingenuine behavior a mile away. While moderate editing can make your eyes pop and hide your dark circles, people are generally over the intense filters that turn you into a different person. Recent studies have shown that overly-filtered photos get fewer likes than more realistic or authentic-looking selfies. The same theory applies to behaviors and tone.
Consumers prioritize brand authenticity now, more than ever. Be clear about your messaging and if there are any underlying conflicts. Don’t force a square peg into a round hole: ensure everything you produce is authentic and aligned with your core values.
Use the Right Tools
When taking a selfie, having the right tools can transform your image. Whether it’s a ring light or an editing app, these tools can be the difference between a good photo and an amazing self-portrait.
What can marketers learn from this? Investing in the right tools is crucial. Many small marketing teams will opt for the cheapest option for project management software or email marketing automation, creating more work for themselves, and producing lower-quality materials. Assess your pain points, and solve them with the right tools.
Get People Involved
Remember when Ellen broke the internet with a selfie at the 2014 Academy Awards? This image became so popular because it had all the right people in it, enthusiastic and having a blast.
Apply the same theory to your marketing team. You’ll be more effective by bringing passionate, enthusiastic people into the picture.
Add Eye-Catching Elements
Snapchat added a new element to the selfie-taking experience: eye-catching stickers and elements. It’s no longer just a selfie of someone drinking coffee; there’s a corresponding sticker of an animated mug that says “morning ritual.”
Think about how you can take your imagery to the next level with relevant, eye-catching elements— for example, branded text overlays on social media photos.
Turn it Into a Challenge
Selfies are the original social media challenge. Whether it’s the Walking Dead zombie challenge or a simple #selfiesaturday, this creates a sense of unity and fun when taking a self-portrait.
Encourage your customers to take selfies with your product, using branded hashtags. The Smile with Lays campaign led to 700 product selfies being posted per day, generating 2.8 million shares, and leading to 5% organic revenue growth that year.
Before you discount the selfie culture as the bane of our modern existence, learn from this enduring trend, and apply that knowledge to your marketing strategy.