Reality television, puppies, and Instagram followers. These are a few of my favorite things. Well not necessarily my favorite things, but any 19-year-old girls favorite things. By now, everyone has heard the catchy, yet kind of annoying chart-topping, female anthem “#Selfie” by Chainsmokers. As you can guess the song is about a girl obsessed with taking self-portraits while she’s out and about with friends. Universities need to realize that this song and everything that it entails could potentially be free advertising for their school.
Colleges and Universities should look at other successful campaigns that have included selfies and realize that this form of free marketing is how you reach the millennial demographic.
Way back before “selfie” was even a term used to take a self-portrait, Hooters promoted taking pictures of yourself with their well-endowed staff and sharing them and your experience with the company. Free advertising.
Shows like AMC’s The Walking Dead have an app that fans can download and “zombify” themselves. It has been such a successful campaign for the show that on The Talking Dead, a weekly talk show about the latest The Walking Dead episode, the best “zombified” picture of the week. Again, free advertising.
Why don’t more companies, especially colleges and universities create campaigns like this? IT’S FREE ADVERTISING. But, you can’t expect it to go viral like these two campaigns have at first. Planting the seed isn’t enough to make a flower grow, is it? No. You must nurture it and feed it. Same rules apply when starting up a campaign. Generate a group of people – preferable those with social media accounts – for outreach efforts. Before you know it, their friends will be getting in on the action as well.
The perks of selfies and #selfies (hashtag selfies) are they can be posted on any social media site, meaning it can reach most age demographics while staying current. The best part about selfies is that they are generated by the consumer – or in a universities case – students, fans, and alumni. Or so people think. Universities can take the reigns by telling their followers to go out and get a picture of themselves with a historic building, attending a University event, or with the beloved mascot. By creating this type of campaign, your prospective followers will build up.
Here at Verge Pipe Media, we love selfies. In fact, we promote them. On Sunday April 13th, we are having a Mad Men season 7 premiere party for all who want to attend. We have created a hashtag #AUMadMen and are encouraging people to take selfies having a good time and post them on social media. We are looking forward to seeing how this hashtag campaign goes.