“[Social media] really makes it easier for us to connect with our guests on a more personal level; be it on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, it’s really exciting to see how creative people can be with a mirror and a great background,” explained Fru Jerabek, events and bookings manager at Lost Society, a bar in Battersea, south London.
What makes it to Instagram?
Catie Allwright, social media manager at hospitality brand agency Mobas shares her advice on what will make customers stop for a picture:
“It’s all about the background and smaller details. It’s no good having a beautifully ornate mirror that’s big enough to capture a group of friends if the background is a fire escape, a shabby floor or an air-con unit on the wall.
“It doesn’t necessarily need to be too complicated either – framed artwork that fits the brand and its personality, decorative tiling, flower walls, printed wallpaper and plush furniture all work really well. Lighting should be soft and flattering – too dark or too harsh and selfies definitely won’t make the ‘gram!
“You also need to bear in mind foot traffic. Ideally the ‘selfie spot’ or mirror should be accessible, but you don’t want it to be in the way otherwise visitors will feel self-conscious and/or find it difficult to capture images of just themselves and their friends without strangers in the background. If space allows, there should be multiple mirrors or selfie spots as people are unlikely to queue or wait – unless they’re really dedicated.”
“When you see a great photo in a venue, you automatically make a mental note to drop by when you’re in the area and selfie spots go a long way in helping to promote the venue.”
The bar is designed in an art deco-style and incorporates the decadence of the 1920s’ golden age with more modern elements such as monochrome rooms and palm leaf patterns.
Elements like neon lights, themed wallpaper and a statement mirror in the background appeal to social media-savvy customers, Jerabek added.
“If the mirror has a bit more to it – that always makes it that much more capture-worthy. We have a variety of mirrors in the venue all at different levels and rooms to make sure you can take the best selfie anywhere in the venue,” she said.
Catie Allwright, social media manager at hospitality brand agency Mobas, said it was a no-brainer to get involved in this trend.
She explained: “There’s a new generation of cafés, bars and restaurants that are created not just to serve good food and a desirable ambience, but also that people want to take photos of and share with their friends and family.
“On social media there are a few things that you can’t escape: food, selfies and cute animals.
“If you own a bar or pub, at least two of those are relevant to you – and, potentially, all three if you’re dog-friendly.”
Customers sharing images of your business creates more attention and brings in new faces, Allwright said. “It really is that simple – and if you don’t, a competitor will, and you’ll lose business.”
She added: “Design the bathroom as a destination in itself, with just as much care and attention as you would the bar or dining spaces.”
Operators can capitalise on this by drawing attention to it on their social media. For example, Bar 11 in Norwich created an Instagram Highlight to collate photos taken by its floor-to-ceiling mirror.