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Ellen’s Oscar selfie, lessons learned

By March 5, 2014 August 20th, 2016 No Comments

It was the selfie seen ‘round the world after Ellen Degeneres gathered the perfect range of celebrities for her famous tweet from the Oscars. On Sunday evening, Twitter released an apology for the 20-minute service disruption (the tweet has now been retweeted a record-breaking 3 million+ times).  We may not all have celebrity status or the red carpet to ensure viral content, but there are a few marketing tips we could all learn from the stunt.

1. Timing is everything

Although the picture would have still been a fan favorite, it might not have had the same effect if it was tweeted after the show. During a prime viewing time, the audience was following along on various social media channels. It is important to know when these conversations are happening and how you can insert yourself.

2. Let the image speak for itself

If you are incorporating a visual into your blog or social post, make sure it doesn’t require a lengthy explanation that will lose your audience. Short, effective captions with a relevant hashtag will pack the most punch for your content.

3. Leverage content on various platforms

Not everyone saw the Twitter-crashing selfie when it originated on the platform, they may have learned through Facebook or various news outlets. This proves that people are constantly checking various platforms, so you should always know the most effective place to find your audience.

4. Have a clear objective

Before taking the photo, Ellen’s stated her goal with, “I thought we would try to break another record right now, with the most retweets of a photo.” It is vital to begin any content strategy with a clear objective to benchmark success.

While we later found out the entire selfie stunt was part of a paid promotion with Samsung (good for them!), it still has valuable lessons for all. Smile for the selfie!