Over the weekend CBS News shared a list of the most Instagrammed “Landmarks” in each state. Realizing that the pictures should be breathtaking and key spots in history…Gettysburg, Glacier National Park, The Grand Canyon, The Texas Book Depository, maybe Independence Hall…I eagerly went through the list.
And while some where quite breathtaking AND landmark…Denali National Park in Alaska, Pearl Harbor, The Badlands…many on first glance, and only first glance, were a bit surprising. Bunker Hill in Massachusetts got beat out by Fenway Park; if you were looking for say, Lake Michigan in Illinois, you would find Wrigley Field; The Liberty Bell in Pa? Nah, it’s the Wells Fargo Center in Philly. New Jersey, maybe Atlantic City or even the New York skyline? Nope. Met Life Stadium. One of the best shots and biggest surprises, even for stadia, was North Carolina. The Dean Dome? Nope. Cameron Indoor Stadium? No way. Charlotte Motor Speedway? No, no. it was East Carolina’s football stadium, so kudos to the Pirates for trumping some of the more well-known “landmarks” in the state, even in sport. Mohegan Sun Casino was another surprise, but congrats to the folks there for providing some great NLL and WNBA and college hoops to round out the gambling, and sharing the images with all.
Why? Think for a second. Large regular gatherings of people, a push to social and events that involve a using phone and mobile first generation. Add in the fact that connectivity at stadia and arenas, even venerable Fenway and Wrigley, is improving and there is a CONSTANT push for social engagement in breaks in the action at games or even at concerts, and you create “historical landmarks,” many of which may come and go over time as new arenas come into focus.
The traditional spots; Times Square for example, have multiple calls to action for people to use social media tools, while a growing number of landmarks like National Parks, are also reminding people to create more of what used to be called “Kodak Moments” while there on site. Making sure your cell is charged and there is a signal to push out also doesn’t hurt, but providing the requisite tags to show the aggregation is key as well.
Oh and it should be also noted, which fits the theme of “why,” that 15 colleges, not all stadia, also made the list. Taking the pictures of the kids at drop off, alumni returns and the general cataloguing of life on campus as we do today makes those schools also a natural fit for the list.
Will such lists evolve over time? Well for one thing it shows if you push social you can have some great returns, but you have to make sure tags are readily sharable and usable. Make sure that those in stadia and on site know who and what to tag; don’t assume. Also as connectivity improves; watch out for more and more 5G coming, as was pointed out at CES in January, more shots will also be shared, whether that is in a building or at an iconic historic spot.
One thing is for sure; social sharing isn’t going away, it is getting more powerful and useful, and for those who may not have intended to make the list and did, kudos. It sets a benchmark for all, be it National Park or Park Avenue, to be in the social conversation for the future. Capture THAT as something to look for.