October 24, 2017 | Lindsy Haslam
We can all feel it when a place is great. But what exactly makes it so? The Project for Public Spaces – the central hub of the global Placemaking movement, connecting people to ideas, expertise, and partners who share a passion for creating vital places – uses this diagram to articulate all the elements that contribute.
In the middle are the key attributes. The next ring out are intangibles or the things you feel as an effect of those attributes. And the outer ring are the things you can measure.
I’d like to propose one more measurement under Comfort & Image, and that’s Instragrammableness.
Instagrammableness is the measurement of how worthy a place is of posting its picture to Instragram. Or, how many places within a place are worthy of a user’s precious social feed.
While this all seems quite trivial, here’s a few reasons why it might not be:
- The first is simple:
- I thought I made the word Instagrammableness up, but it already has search results on Google.
So I suppose that’s proof it’s already a thing.
- Free user-generated content.
Have you ever requested a price estimate from a travel blogger/influencer? Or tried to inspire a user-generated content campaign. It’s not easy (or cheap). Now what if several users were lined up outside your door just waiting to post pictures of your place for free? Give them picture-worthy moments to take their selfies in front of, and voila! One time investment, lifetime of user-generated content.
- If you believe the art world sets trends, Museums are catering to Instagram too.
The Rain Room, The Ice Cream Museum, Wonderspaces, The Infinity Mirror Room, 29 Rooms.
While not all the exhibits in these museums were designed with the sole intent of being a great selfie backdrop, it was certainly taken into consideration, and they’ve experienced success (as in, ticket sales) as a direct result of how many times visitors have posted images from the exhibit.
When asked about the impetus of their pop-up installation, 29 rooms, Piera Gelardi, the Executive Creative Director and co-founder of digital media brand Refinery29 says, “[It] was an interesting opportunity for us to expose people to new types of artwork and concepts, but also create a space in which they could kind of be the star of the show.”
She goes on to explain, “We thought first about the experience IRL that people would have, and what interaction could take place in each room. And then we thought also about: What was the photo moment? How could we create this in a way that people could come in and really be the star of the space?”
- Travelers are using Instragram to do research and make travel decisions.
Part of that decision-making comes from all the unique experiences (measured in photos) that define the place.
As this article in Adweek puts it, “Social media is a way to connect with far-off places and new cultures before even stepping foot on foreign soil. Instagram is the modern day travel agent.” As further proof, “A survey of 78,994 people by travel dating website MissTravel found that 48 percent of Instagram users turn to the photo- and video-sharing network to help choose vacation destinations, and 35 percent use Instagram to discover new places.”
So how do you become Instagrammable?
- Set the example.
If you’ve already got the Instagrammable spots, there’s no shame in telling people where are. All these places are doing it. It could be your creative strategy. It could be blog content. It could be social content.
- Design for photo-ops
If you’re a community builder, and the spots don’t exist yet, consider how photo opps can be designed into the space. In this article from Ad Week, Emma Bazilian shares the type of images travelers most often share on social media, but there could be learning for communities as well:
40% post parks, mountains or forests
44% post urban hidden gems
34% post ocean, pools or blue skies
Parks, urban hidden gems, pools, and sometimes even forests and mountains are all parts of a new community. Look out points, sculptural seating, strategic landscaping, murals, art installations, even more artful signage are all opportunities for the photo-opp and, in turn, user-generated content.
For years we’ve been crafting marketing in hopes of controlling the narrative of a place or brand. Instagrammableness is another iteration of that intention, but instead of controlling the verbal narrative, there’s now an opportunity to control the visual narrative.
Lindsy Haslam is a Senior Account Supervisor at Greenhaus. Her Instagram account is fairly unimpressive because her husband refuses to be an Instagram Husband.