So 2017 is here, and agencies are looking at ways to make social media marketing even more exciting for clients, not to mention rewarding. Trends are all well and good of course, but it is never that easy to find the right trend to jump on.

We thought we would take a look at a trend that has really become a worldwide phenomenon over the past couple of years: the selfie. Can brands use the selfie to promote their business online in a competitive and practical way? Or is it just a phase the world is going through, with no commercial value at all?

We are firmly in the latter camp, and we feel that using the selfie to help market your client’s brand is a sound and effective move. We’ve put together a little guide. The next time you have a client meeting, suggest going down the selfie route with a couple of projects. We think you’ll find that your client sees some real benefit.

Your Client And Selfies In Social Media: How It Works

The easy start

Selfies are fun, and people like them. On top of that almost anyone with a pulse can take a decent selfie. So you’re opening up your brand to full engagement with few barriers. But the one thing that any brand can do with selfies is run a competition. That’s the place to start.

Running a competition that uses selfies as an anchor is a great way to quickly engage. If you produce a physical product that can (preferably) be held in someone’s hand, you’re in luck. One of the most effective ways to use a selfie on social media is to have a loyal customer hold up the product and then make that a selfie.

To make it even more fun, you can then arrange to have a competition where the customer or prospect who takes a selfie in the most unusual location with your product wins a prize. It is an absolute no-brainer to pull off, and you can get the ball rolling with having members of staff do it first to build some trust.

So having a competition around selfies is perhaps the most obvious and easiest way to get things moving, but there are other methods you can put in place that will allow for a strategic arsenal of selfie ideas. We will take a look at some good concepts for selfie usage, which you can share with your client.

Competition with Selfies

Think about where your client works

This is an incredibly powerful way to bring in quick and highly effective engagement. If your client has a real business in offices, then encourage their fans to come on down and take a selfie on location. For a local business, this is good for building up and strengthening community ties.

You can then encourage these customers to share the selfies on their social media accounts, with your business name included in a hashtag. Find the customer that has the most shares or retweets for example, and offer them a discount on products. You’ll be surprised how people will take up the offer. This works particularly well with local businesses, but it can be used for any brand.

Give and receive

The one thing nearly every customer wants from a business is a discount. It doesn’t have to be huge, just enough to make some kind of difference in their personal budgets. This is where you can use a selfie approach to building up engagement.

Ask your client’s customers to take a selfie of themselves (with the product or not) and post it to your client’s Facebook wall. Or they can create a tweet around it and share it. In return, they get a discount on a product or service. You can even take the next step and offer continuous discounting, or a sliding scale of discounts for those who work hard to share the selfie.

Plan it out carefully enough, and you have a referral network that you can keep rewarding. And the best thing is, it’s extremely easy to do. Just check the social feeds every day. Obviously, this needs some discussion with your client, but most businesses would be happy to offer discounts to those customers who find them new prospects.

Reward Customers

Explore apps

There are a ton of selfie apps out there that businesses can look into and use. These apps allow people to take a selfie and insert it into the app. Whether it’s a funny picture it gets ‘placed’ into or just a message that they can then share around social media.

It won’t cost a lot for your client to get their hands on such an app and it means that you help them bring some personality into their selfie work. It’s just a twist on the selfie thing, and means that your client can potentially gain some real ownership into what is finally produced.

So why do selfies work for brands?

Perhaps the most obvious reason is that they bring authenticity and trust. Basically, this means that a selfie allows other people and prospects to see that people like your product and are not afraid to take a selfie with it. This obviously works best with those selfies that contain products. It’s a little something the experts call ‘social proof’. People endorse products through this.

Selfies are also a great way to tap into humour. This Is something that people instantly engage with. Asking the staff to do a bit of fun stuff in weird locations can bring a huge amount of humour to your client’s social media presence. Humour always pays off hugely because people see that you are human, and that you enjoy what you do. The selfie is a great way to spread the fun.

And don’t forget that visual work tends to drive more engagement. This certainly isn’t an invitation to spam the world with selfies, but we recommend trying out a few and checking your clients’ metrics. Hardly anyone clicks or even views text-only stuff anymore. If you can work to produce the best selfie idea for a client, and then follow through, we think you’ll see a healthy spike.

2017 could well be the real ‘Year of the Selfie’, and we think that any brand that takes the time to focus on making their skills in this area work is facing a great year for engagement.