Duck face moment! Do we really need selfie spots?

Estimated read time: 4 minutes

Selfies ? certainly are mainstream. People take them. I do, too. And I learned how to take better ones. And even have a favorite filter.

I take them often and sometimes it seems overkill but I don’t think I do what I witnessed on a beach in Cancun.

Video: Check out my awesome hotel in Cancun

As I was sitting on my balcony in Cancun a couple walked up the beach. I enjoyed a beach walk myself on the trip and my AirPods did not fall out despite the wind!

I got some steps walking up and down the ocean and even took a selfie or four. But I didn’t do what they did.

They walked – strolled really – hand in hand. How romantic.

Then they stopped. One got their phone out and the other jogged for 8-10 steps. The partner took a picture or video of them jogging. Then the other did the same.

I can just imaging this instagramable moment. “Look at me jogging on the beach in Cancun.”

For 9 steps. It was exhausting.

Of course when somebody else takes your photo that is literally not the definition of a selfie.

What’s a selfie?

You hold the phone yourself – either directly or with a selfie stick – and then take the photo with the rear-facing camera.

One problem with selfies and maybe all social media photography is when it’s inauthentic. I mean how can the 10-step jog ever be an authentic Instagram Story?

Then we have companies that are encouraging selfies.

Google Trips for a while listed Selfie Spots as a place to visit.

That category seems to have disappeared. And now Google is killing that product completely.

Then we have companies who put up selfie walls. My gym does that. Events do it. We had one at the Stamats Adult Marketing Student Conference. ???

The Hilton in San Diego had a selfie wall on the riverfront.

Looking through the Instagram hashtag they recommend to use there aren’t many posts in front of that wall, but maybe a decent idea to encourage people to take and share photos.

I wonder if people even need encouragement to take selfies.

I just take them when I see something that appears selfie worthy to me. That’s of course highly subjective what is and isn’t selfie worthy.

Can I take a picture in front of it from the perfect angle. Some angles are just showing a better and even thinner side of me. ?

But getting people to take selfies in front of your business can certainly be a boost for you!

That selfie in front of the Eiffel Tower is a must and there’s all kinds of business humming around the French landmark.

When we were in Paris in 2018 I actually found it hard to find that perfect selfie spot. So maybe a selfie map is a good idea afterall.

I’ve also seen conferences that have Instagram frames that people can use for pictures. Others have done Snapchat filters. Others yet try Facebook frames.

Here’s an example of that from Meetings Today:

You can invite people to show their interest in your brand by using your frame.

An older version – pre-Facebook and still existent today – is when tour operators take your photo before you get on the bus or boat.

That’s how it was done when we were taking a river tour in Chicago on St. Patrick’s Day weekend. You weren’t even allowed to board before you posed for the picture.

We didn’t even look at the picture at the end of the tour and took selfies and other area shots during the tour.

No selfie spot needed.

The spots can be worth trying but really what might be the best idea is to create experiences worth taking photos of. And especially photos that include us.

That Hilton for example is located at a beautiful stretch of water in San Diego. There are plenty of other places near or at the hotel worth taking a selfie in.

Being customer-focused and creating those experiences that are worth taking pictures of accomplishes that organic marketing.

Of course, it’s helpful to remind people what hashtag they should consider using. Emirates did that well and in a subtle way in London where they have cable carts going over the river.

It was a fun experience – even with a jet-lagged 10-year-old by my side. Emirates also shared the hashtag for the attraction on steps and other places. It wasn’t too much in your face but also right there.

I also liked how the Hilton put the hashtag on the ground. Makes sense as we may be looking down when we type it in.