By Chris Sugrue

June 22nd, 2017

Love, hate or loathe ‘em, selfies are a modern cultural phenomenon. So much so that Wednesday was National Selfie Day

Out of curiosity, we used Falcon’s social listening function to track the real-time social traffic around this most curious of ‘official’ days. What we discovered was a vivid showcase in the value of social listening, and will very likely challenge some of your assumptions too.

Listening to selfies? That’s crazy talk!
Twitter and Instagram may not be heavy on the word count, but they still throw social listening a crucial lifeline with hashtags. And with visual formats continuing to take over social media, you can’t afford to neglect this treasure trove of insights.

In this case, we simply entered the official hashtag #NationalSelfieDay as a query into our Listen monitoring tool. Listen did the rest.

370,000+ mentions 
The hashtag experienced a steady but slow rise in the days leading up to Wednesday, naturally taking off on the day itself. It was no surprise that Twitter, the spiritual home of selfies, carried 95% of the traffic.

national selfie day

Twitter is the channel of choice for selfies, source: Falcon Listen

The real-time, spontaneous and often mood-driven nature of Twitter posting lends itself perfectly to selfies. It seems that most people are aware that selfies remain something of a no-no on Instagram unless you work in fashion, or are in a fabulous or exotic location with no one else available.

Now [inter]National Selfie Day
While American in origin, National Selfie Day has been picked up worldwide to the point they may have to rethink the name. Here’s the international breakdown according to our platform.

Since starting in 2014, National Selfie Day is gaining traction around the world, source: Falcon Listen

Gender is a harder demographic to pin down with social listening, but of the profiles surfaced on Twitter, females edged ahead of males by a slim margin of about 2,000.

Who’s striking a pose for #NationalSelfieDay?
The Falcon Listen Influencer tab identifies the Twitter users with the greatest numbers of followers engaging on your search term (as well as news and blogs based on domain rank score).

So who tops the influencer list on National Selfie Day?

The NBA followed by NASA, apparently. Number two may surprise at first, but shouldn’t once you consider the national space agency’s famously slick and savvy social presence.

national selfie day

No.3 was less of a surprise.

The NBA got in on the day on Twitter and in person:

Meanwhile, NASA chose to do some employer branding.

national selfie day

national selfie day

Trend-jacking has become an ingrained part of social branding, and National Selfie Day is no exception. As we’ve previously written, when it comes to trend-jacking you need to look before you leap to ensure you’re attaching your brand to an appropriate trend.

On a light-hearted day, most chose to put a human face on their brands. For example, National Geographic’s globe-trotting camera people turned their cameras around:

Before National Selfie Day even dawned in the USA, the Greater Manchester Police in the UK were doing a bit of selfie public reach out.

Choose your best side and check your assumptions at the door
So what wisdom can we glean from National Selfie Day? The big lesson is how much you can learn if you just take the effort to listen to your social channels. The name ‘National Selfie Day’ immediately conjures up all kinds of images – did NASA and the police feature in yours?

A quality of social media is how much it inspires people to engage in inventive new ways. It is refreshing to see how brands and organizations all over the world are seizing on this day with various goals in mind and a great deal of creativity.

Perhaps it’s time to start planning your brand’s pose for #NationalSelfieDay next year?

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