Thanks to the democracy that Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the like offer users, almost everything and anything you and your colleagues can dream up is possible.
It is not just that it is free, quick, and easy, social media’s dynamic environment also makes it the perfect platform for campaigns of all kinds.
On the flip side, the freedom of social media is seeing organisations spend an increasing amount of time managing their various accounts and engaging communications firms to help with tricky issues-management work.
So, there are challenges and opportunities.
“What’s better than a selfie?” we all asked ourselves, before coming to the obvious conclusion that it must be the GIGA selfie.
Despite being well aware of what it has to offer, few organisations use social media to its full advantage. The GIGA Selfie concept recently launched by Tourism Australia was a welcome exception.
Just like social media, the selfie has been around for a while. For more than a decade we have been taking pictures of ourselves with our phone cameras and posting the warped images online.
Trends come and go, and many in the communication and media industries have penned the selfie’s obit in anticipation of it dying out. Yet the phenomenon keeps maintaining currency and, as each new generation makes it to the age where they get smartphone approval, another wave of selfies roll onto social media.
So, news of the supersized selfie generated plenty of interest from media when it was launched by Tourism Australia last month.
Tourism Australia was not just looking to create a new and improved selfie, the GIGA Selfie was a marketing campaign designed to generate widespread social media chatter about the organisation and the country.
By establishing sites where holidaymakers could stand on a spot and have a distant camera take a picture of them, Tourism Australia was hoping to create thousands of ambassadors keen to spread the word about why others should come here.
Each person who participates receives a link to a video clip that can be shared and shows a close up selfie that transforms into a far-off picture — revealing they are standing at one of the most picturesque spots in the country.
The initiative was focused specifically on the selfie-obsessed Japanese market, which Tourism Australia has been trying to reinvigorate on the back of a steady decline in numbers.
It is still too early to judge the success of the GIGA Selfie, since the first event was just staged in Surfers at the start of the month. But experience tells us that every single one of those GIGA Selfies will be tagged, shared, and viewed several times over, generating free positive publicity, which most organisations would be willing to dedicate large parts of their marketing and advertising budgets for.
Tourism Australia certainly deserves credit not just for coming up with a great idea but shooting it out there into the almost boundless world of social media to see if it would fly.