6 Genius Ways to Use Selfies to Grow Your Small Business

March 14, 2019 04:47 PM

Selfies may not be 'professional,' but in social media marketing they can give your business a real boost.



Appeal to younger shoppers looking to save money by offering a 'selfie discount,' where customers are rewarded for taking a selfie with a product in your store or restaurant. (Photo: Jacob Lund/Shutterstock)



by Meg C. Hall


People love to take selfies — especially when it shows themselves in a favorable light.


“It’s sort of marketing yourself in front of others,” explained Andrei Vasilescu, digital marketer and CEO of couponing site DontPayFull.com. “Small businesses can get amazing exposure in the market and more customers with the help of selfies.”


While selfies may be deemed “unprofessional” in some business settings, they can be a great way to boost your social media marketing efforts. In celebration of National Selfie Day on June 21, NCR Silver has collected a few ideas for how to use selfies to promote your small business.


Give a ‘selfie discount’


Bargain hunters will do almost anything for a deal. Rewarding shoppers for snapping a cute pic of themselves in front of your store can appeal to their vanity and boost business.


“Publish an announcement in all your social media profiles to offer special discounts for your customers who will post clear selfies taken in front of your business door and tagging your social profiles,” Vasilescu suggested. “This will make a huge rush to post selfies with your business to get that special discount from you, and you will get an immense publicity within a few days through social media along with loads of customers in your business.”


Leverage celebrity clout


Have you ever met a celebrity at a fundraiser or industry event? If they’re in the mood to snap a quick pic, a fun selfie can be a great way to boost awareness of your brand and boost your brand’s social status. When you share on social media, be sure to include their name and tag their profile (if you have permission) so the pic will show up more places and gain more interactions.


CEO Tim Andrews of the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI), a membership organization for the promotional products industry, loves taking selfies — especially with celebrity business people who speak at events, such as Kevin O’Leary from ABC’s “Shark Tank.”


Remember, you don’t need a movie star to leverage celebrity status. Selfies with popular local personalities can go over just as well with your small business audience. So if the mayor or a local news anchor swings by your restaurant for lunch, ask if they’d be willing to take a selfie with you or your menu.


Show off your brand’s personality


According to Meg Marrs, founder and senior editor of the dog-care resource website K9 of Mine, selfies can be very useful in developing a personality for your brand. Why? Because it shows your human side.


“Getting fun and even goofy selfies of your employees allows your customers to connect with your staff on a more personal level, which can, in turn, help build brand loyalty,” she said.


Hold a contest


Online contests are another great (and easy) way to leverage selfies and increase engagement with customers. Plus, they’re an effective promotional tool for bringing in more business.


For example, you could give away one $25 gift card each month to the person who posts the best selfie while eating at your restaurant. Or if you own a fashion boutique, ask shoppers to post selfies that show off their personal summer style. Whatever you choose, be sure you’re offering a reward worthy of participation, and track entries by requiring entries use a specific hashtag.


Selfies can be a great way to put a face with your brand, like NCR Silver did with this selfie snapped by two staffers wearing holiday sweaters. (Photo: NCR Silver)


Show off your local community


Small businesses are the heart of a local community, and selfies can help you celebrate the people, places and events that have a daily impact on your customers’ lives — showing you’re connected to and involved in your neighborhood. If you’re out and about supporting a local sporting event, enjoying a regional festival or visiting an area landmark, get bonus mileage for your brand by snapping a quick pic and posting it online.


Atlanta area bike shop Roswell Bicycles, for example, takes pics when they set up tents at area events, or even simply when staff show up to support a local high school football game.


Show your support of your local community by posting selfies from area events or with popular landmarks. (Photo: Roswell Bicycles)


Cross-promote with partner organizations


The on-demand lawn care service GreenPal found a way to use selfies to not only highlight their own brand, but also for cross-promoting with partners.


“We created a contest call the ‘Mo YO Yard’ selfie contest,’ said co-founder Zach Hendrix. “The contest basically consisted of our vendor partners taking a selfie in front of their best looking land that they mow.”


Once the pick was posted vendors would email a screenshot in to win a $50 Home Depot gift card.


“All in the promotion cost less than $1,000 to run it for many many weeks and it doubled our social media following. It was a lot of fun. The pictures turned out great and our vendors loved it,” he said.


However you decide to use selfies in your small business marketing strategy, be sure to have fun with it. Keep it lighthearted and show off your own — and your brand’s — awesome personality.