But First, Let Me Take a Selfie: Brands Cash In on Social Snapshots

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Selfies: we’ve all taken one. In fact, so many people are snapping and sharing self portraits that the term was named Word of the Year in 2013 by the Oxford English Dictionary. Elevated by the likes of Ellen DeGeneres, whose Oscars selfie is the most-retweeted post ever, brands are now finding ways to cash in on the shameless snaps. 

With over 55 percent of Millennials turning the camera on themselves, brands are seeing selfies as a great way to engage with consumers on social media and with new campaigns. Sephora, for instance, has encouraged users of its Beauty Board, a Pinterest-meets-Instagram social beauty site, to document their favorite looks with selfies and tag the images with product names.

Other brands taking advantage of the selfie craze include China’s Huawei, which marketed its new Honor 3C smartphone as the “best phone for a selfie lover,” and French Connection, which installed a photo booth in its Regent Street store in London for customers to snap selfie photos in the brand’s clothes, which were then displayed in the store’s windows.[more]

Even NASA has gotten in on the selfie action with its Earth Day campaign that asked people to snap selfies wherever they were in the world. Over 50,000 selfies and 113 countries later, NASA produced a “Global Selfie” mosaic of the Earth. Axe and Dunkin’ Donuts also have ran selfie campaigns, while the #nomakeupselfie campaign raised over £8m in March for Cancer Research UK. 

Selfies are a measure of social capital “being traded for hard capital online,” Mashable notes, as tweets, shares and likes translate to ROI for brands looking to boost exposure. 

Samsung, for instance, struck gold again when the Red Sox’s David Ortiz posted a selfie with President Obama on his Twitter account. Turkish Airlines also recruited some big names for its #SelfieShootout campaign in March, in which fans uploaded selfies to win a free flight. 

Over in India, where smartphone use is exploding, selfies are too seeing greater adoptions by the public—and even elite public figures. Recently elected Prime Minister Narendra Modi posted a selfie after he cast his vote in the historic elections, and endorsers even created a #SelfiewithModi campaign that helped the politician gain traction among youth audiences. 

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