Embrace the selfie.

Smart brands pay close attention to the cultural landscape and they find ways to apply what’s popular to their brand. “Selfie” was Oxford’s 2013 Word of the Year. 57 million Instagram photos were tagged #selfie in 2013, and that doesnt even cover them all considering not everyone tags their photos. So obviously, people are pretty into taking photos of themselves these days. As a brand, why not encourage that trend by creating a contest or conversation around it? Some brands have already caught on, like Warby Parker Eyewear and Dunkin Donuts.

One day while I was in my radio world, I was contemplating new ways we could connect with listeners and I got the idea to make a station Snapchat account. We put it the user name our on our social media pages and in an hour we had hundreds of Snapchat friends. My co-hosts and I started sending random photos and videos out and the listeners were responding back with their own. Almost all of them were selfies. It was mutually really cool for both us and the listeners because they got a glimpse into the antics that go on behind the scenes of the radio show they listen to in the mornings, and we got to see some of the people who listen. We got to take the connection we already have with our listeners and bring it to a whole new level. Building onto connections like that is what will keep customers loyal to your brand.

Selfie campaigns are genius, because you’re telling your customers “Hey! We know you’re out there and we want to see you!!” There is this weird stigma that selfies have now, like taking photos of your self is a egotistical thing, but all anyone wants when they post a selfie is to feel a little confidence boost. I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Taking a selfie that you think you look good in, posting it, and having people affirm that you do in fact look good is a great feeling. By a brand ASKING people to do this, they are affirming that you’re beautiful before you even post the photo! Which makes you want to participate that much more and interact with the brand.

At the station we started doing a Snapchat contest. Every once in a while we will send out a snap of a selfie of us with a prize you could win and we ask listeners to snap us back and we will pick a snap to win the prize. We have gotten some really hilarious snaps back, and the listeners are always beyond stoked when their response wins. People screencap the snap we send them saying they won. They share with their friends that a selfie got them a prize and that they were snapping with their favorite radio station.

Relationship building, one selfie at a time.

Here’s a Snapchat selfie I sent our listeners before a big work event last week, encouraging people to come find me and say hello.

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