Selfie Marketing

You’ve got a whole lot of business power sitting in your pocket.

If you own a smart phone, you know that it’s a combination hand-held computer, camera and camcorder. It’s even a GPS and an mp3 player. (Oh yeah … you can also make phone calls with it.)

We’re going to concentrate on the camera. This feature has enabled the explosion of the “selfie” phenomenon—photos or videos people take themselves and whomever or whatever else might be in their immediate environment. These make up a large part of the image content of social media. It’s fun. Entertaining. Even … shocking at times. (Go ahead, scroll through your Facebook or Instragram feed if you don’t believe me.)

For the business person, the selfie idea is a simple but powerful tool you can use to promote, build and protect your business.

I am taking for granted that you have a Facebook page for your business and have used social media to some degree. (Some of the following five suggestions will work fine as still photos, accompanied by your written status update.)

News and Commentary

From your desk, conference room or wherever, shoot a short video to:

  • Welcome a new employee on board
  • Announce having acquired a new client
  • Promote good news about your company (moving to bigger office, high ratings on Yelp, etc.)
  • Provide helpful tips or information that people can use
  • Tell people about a sale or discount

You could also comment on things, such as:

  • Current news events that affect your industry
  • Someone in your industry who is noteworthy
  • A new book or other information you found helpful

If you’re shooting video, try to keep it short (60 to 90 seconds is ideal). You can upload photos or video from your phone directly to your Facebook page with the Facebook app. (You do have the Facebook app on your phone, right?)

Your Own YouTube Series

Set up a YouTube channel for your business, start posting videos, and build a following. Dream up a title to brand your series. It doesn’t have to be anything too clever. (“Margie’s Marketing Minute,” “Plumber Talk” and “Skip’s Corner” are a few examples.)

Make each episode one to five minutes long. You can cover a lot of topics:

  • Answers to frequently asked questions in your industry
  • Case studies
  • Tips, tricks, and how-to’s

If you can be engaging or even slightly entertaining, it’s a bonus for the viewer. If you’re not a skilled actor or public speaker, then just being helpful is enough.

In the Field

If you’re a contractor who does on-site work, capture images or video for use on your blog, to explain how you solved a particular problem or to show the results of your work or how you accomplished it. You can do the same thing at trade shows, conventions or other business functions.

Legal Protection

Use your camera to document completed work or compliance with a client request.

This kind of documentation is something that you might want to keep on file for defense in the event of a client accusation, complaint or even lawsuit.

Training and Quality Control

More and more companies are employing remote workers. If you need to train them and can’t do it in-person, phone video is an excellent substitute.

Video is also an excellent way to improve quality control. In instances where it’s impractical or impossible to do a face-to-face review of someone’s work or how to improve it, sending a video is ideal. And it’s more effective than an email, because it includes tone of voice and facial expressions. (Email is as notorious for causing misunderstandings as it is famous for being convenient.)

Helpful tip: Most standard or high-resolution videos over a minute are too large to send by email. So, get a free Dropbox account and get the app for your phone. Then you can upload your large video files to Dropbox and send your employee a link where they can download the video.

With a smart phone, you have a marketing, protection and training tool in the palm of your hand. What would have cost you hours and/or dollars to do ten years ago, you can do this afternoon easily and for free. Plus, it’s a fun way to both keep your company’s name in front of peoples’ eyes and to improve client relations and employee performance.