Instagram and the Photographed Experience

26 October 2016

Emma Barreca was one of the first users of Instagram in Italy. Thanks to her training in marketing she was able to turn her passion for digital and photography in a highly requested professional skill in the field of tourism promotion.


Emma was our guest in BBS in the afternoon of Saturday, October 22, for the Master in Digital Marketing for Tourism and Events Management.

“I choose, I go, I try, I experience things if they can be photographed.” With this synthesis Emma Barreca (@hypoison on Instagram) has outlined the profile of the new type of tourist. The one that, smartphone in hand, does not delegate more to postcards or memory the testimony of an experience to remember. Now the technology, the devices we handle on a daily basis, are part of a shared communication path, especially through social media as Instagram, which assign a new facet to the concept of tourism marketing.


Beyond the new habits, the data presented by Emma Barreca prove that Instagram is a “mature” social media. For the great success it has encountered, the proof is the merging with Facebook, and the daily use made of it at the global level, for the highest engagement especially on issues related to tourism and food. Mature also in the sense of age: it has brilliantly passed the test of time and collects transversal consumers, where the segment of adolescents, however assiduous users and enthusiasts, is only a 20% of the total.


“Instagram is a mapping by images of unknown places with tourism potential,” explained Emma Barreca in the classroom. “One of the first pictures I posted, now years ago, depicted a small church of the province of Friuli. The enthusiastic appreciation shown by many users, from Japan to Australia, was a clear sign that the territories rich of small artistic and natural testimonies have enormous opportunity to attract a flow of tourists who ignore its existence. “


The workshop concluded with some suggestions that Emma has given to the students of the Master about the correct use of Instagram, also through case studies of very large companies and international touristic organizations. Among others, how to choose the hashtags cautiously in order to reach the communities to which we refer, avoiding to get lost in the anonymity of general keywords used by millions of users. Do not underestimate the power of the captions, since they have thousands of characters suitable to describe what is so engaging about the taken photo ant to what context it refers. And finally remember that on Instagram is not necessary to be the authors of the images, but it is indeed possible to tell interesting stories aggregating others’ images. With the necessary permissions.


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