For Fun and Profit, Jump on the Selfie Train
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 3, 2014
If Google Trends are to be believed, Americans got less self-centered after March 2014. That’s when searches for the word “selfie” peaked. As of Friday, though, the work piqued less interest — its search popularity was only 68 percent of that height. The relative continued popularity of the hashtag linking to self-portraits, often taken with mobile devices and involving prominent forearm framing, may explain why some marketers are still succeeding by joining the #selfie ranks. I’ll explain that phenomenon below. But first, let me take a #Selfie.
[Warning: This music video may not be suitable for work. #NSFW]
For those who didn’t understand that last reference, “but first, let me take a #Selfie” is a lyric from the song “#Selfie” by The Chainsmokers. The irreverent music with a catchy rhythm inspired the YouTube parody above that has nearly 2 million views but is too inappropriate for Target Marketing to link here. Considering “BestVine” uploaded that clip in March 2014 and Billboard shows the song hit No. 16 on the Hot 100 chart on April 5, “#Selfie” probably helped contribute to that peak in search volume.
However, the phenomenon may be here to stay. Per an August 2014 post on Fortune.com: “The Oxford English Dictionary called out ‘selfie’ as the 2013 word of the year. More than half of all Millennials (age 18-33) have taken a selfie and shared it online, according to a March 2014 Pew Research Center poll.” (Google shows “selfie” reaching an apex of 51 percent in December 2013, slightly more than half of its March 2014 popularity.) Here are a few tips to help marketers be just as sought-after:
1. Be Original. Search volume for the word “selfie” actually dropped to less than 60 percent of its peak volume during the fall 2014 airing of the short-lived ABC comedy “Selfie,” which was based on the George Bernard Shaw play Pygmalion. The show’s main characters are Eliza Dooley and Henry Higgs. Ahem.
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