How to use the power of the ‘selfie’ to promote your Facebook page

By Hannah Scarbrough | 14th Jul 2014

‘Selfies’ – taking a photo of yourself using a smartphone or camera – have become ubiquitous on social media, with seemingly everyone from Kim Kardashian to your grandmother taking part in the phenomenon. But how can you harness the power of the ‘selfie’ to bring people to your hyperlocal site?

Selfies articleEmma Meese, Manager of the Centre for Community Journalism and BBC Social Media Trainer, suggests using ‘selfies’ as a way to promote your Facebook page, saying: “Summer is prime time for events, from carnivals to festivals to village fairs. People from a specific location come together to celebrate their community, and a community news site should make the most of these opportunities to promote themselves. You can hand out leaflets and speak to people to raise awareness of your project – but how do you make sure people actually go home and visit your site? By taking photos of those attending the event and creating an album on Facebook, you incentivise people to come home, log on and tag themselves – creating instant engagement and interaction with your page.”

To attract people on the day, Emma suggests something eye catching – such as a ‘selfie pod’ (as used by Pobl Caerdydd below) or something distinctive to pose around such as a local landmark. At the Welsh language festival Tafwyl, the Pobl Caerdydd team (using a ‘selfie pod’) took nearly 90 photos overall, many of which have been tagged, liked and commented on. This interaction means that the post has reached many other Facebook users, promoting the page to a relevant and engaged audience.

If you are bold enough, your ‘selfie’ promotion can even attract the most prominent of festival goers – as Pobl Caerdydd discovered when the First Minister of Wales joined in with their team selfie!

Tips for event-based Facebook albums

  • Employ a sense of fun with a distinctive call to action, such as a poster board, Photo Booth or local landmark
  • Do ask permission to publish – especially if children are involved
  • Don’t forget to give the name of your Facebook page, with encouragement to tag themselves and others
  • Ensure that you are posting regularly before you encourage people to visit your page – an album posted in July, preceded by a status update from February sends the wrong message
  • Follow up engagement with interaction – answer questions, respond to comments and offer a warm and responsive welcome to your page
First minister selfie

The First Minister of Wales takes a selfie with the Pobl Caerdydd team. Photo by Bruce Etherington.

Have you tried something similar at a summer event? Let us know @C4CJ.

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