In the time it takes to read this sentence, 87,000 selfies* will be taken in America alone. (*We totally made that number up, but it’s probably a good guess.) After all, there are currently over 125 million images on Instagram tagged with the word ‘selfie’ – according to WGSN. Selfies now make up almost a third of all shots taken by people aged 18-24.
There is a lot more to those numbers than mere popularity, according to Sarah Gervais, assistant professor of social-law psychology at the University of Nebraska. “Rather than being bombarded with images in popular magazines, television and web pages that feed our discontent, we can look through our Instagram feed and see images of real people,” she wrote for Psychology Today.
The selfie, as a part of the visual-based social media world in which consumers now live, centers around the idea of being able to regulate what we’re exposed to and how we expose ourselves to others.
And wherever there’s exposure to be gained, marketers can’t be far behind. By October 2013, 884 brands were running selfie contests over Twitter, according to social media benchmarking company, Unmetric. Retailers in particular have seen the benefit in a tool that enables consumer interaction, all the while subtly encouraging the most organic of social sharing.
French Connection launched a campaign called #canthelpmyselfie, which invited shoppers in five of its UK stores to snap shots of themselves in the new collection – those images then appeared on large screens in the windows where people walking by (as well as those online) could vote for their favorite ‘model’ by placing their hand in front of sensors in the windows. Zappos encouraged Instagram users to use the word ‘next’ in front of their usual ‘outfit of the day’ hashtag to invite the Zappos stylist into their virtual closet. The Zappos stylist will then scroll through all public images on that account to make personalized shopping suggestions for the user.
As the numbers mentioned in the beginning of this post show, people don’t need much motivation to snap a selfie. That means you don’t need to offer a huge prize to make your selfie promo a success. Focus on interaction, fun and the gratification that comes from being part of something cool.
If you’re ready to launch your own Selfie Promo, HOC can help you create a truly engaging campaign that is sure to leave you smiling. Or if you just want tips on how to take a great selfie, we can help with that too. Simply e-mail Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org.