Like many Americans, I visited a National Park this summer. And like many Americans, the crowds overwhelmed me. (Read “Record Crowds Make America’s National Parks Hard to Bear.”)

On the one hand, it is heartening to see so many families enjoying our country’s natural beauty. On the other hand, I wonder if people are able to see anything at all if it’s not through their phones.

Seriously, folks.  Put down the selfie sticks!

Selfies and Your Company Brand

Sadly, our societal fascination with selfies doesn’t seem to be diminishing. On the bright side, however, people’s obsessive need to document their every move may uncover new and exciting opportunities for your company brand.

Consider the example of our client, a manufacturer in the industrial cleaning sector. We work with the company’s marketing department to provide ongoing content management and social media services that build brand visibility and engage audiences online. Founded in the 1920s, the business is relatively new to the social media scene after overcoming some initial skepticism. (“We make products that people use to clean windows and floors. Who wants to see that?”)

As it turns out, plenty of people are interested in cleaning. According to a 2015 study by the New York investment bank Scott-Macon, revenue in the cleaning and janitorial industry is forecast to increase at an average annual rate of 4.3% to reach $64.2 billion in 2018. An estimated 829,522 cleaning and janitorial services companies currently operate in the US.

Social media has allowed our client to stay in front of influential distributors and retailers with relevant product and company news. An additional (and somewhat unexpected) benefit has been the interaction with end consumers, i.e., the men and women in the field who clean everything from industrial facilities to commercial complexes and residential buildings. Such is their brand loyalty that they often take unsolicited pictures of themselves on the job, with our client’s tools in hand. As a result, photos of our client’s company brand are everywhere—on Instagram feeds, Twitter accounts and Facebook pages. With permission from the picture takers, we repost them on our own social media feeds where they serve as powerful visual testimonials.

You can’t pay for that kind of authenticity!

Make Lemonade Out of Lemons

Personally, the end of the selfie craze can’t come soon enough. But if your customers love you enough to post pictures of themselves with your products and your company brand, then by all means use them to your advantage—and celebrate the fact that a picture still speaks a thousand words.

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