Instagram is perfect for showing Coworking

At the beginning of 2018, I presented 100 coworking spaces from Germany on the 100 days before the COWORK 2018 on a Tumblr. One coworking space per day. The posts contained a photo of the particular coworking space, a sentence describing the particular coworking space and some necessary information like the address and links. I also asked if the coworking space has social media profiles and if so, what they are.

The coworking spaces I introduced were randomly selected. The evaluation showed that around 90 percent of coworking spaces have a profile on Facebook, about 60 percent have a profile on Twitter and around 30 percent have a profile on Instagram. The dominant position of Facebook did not surprise me. Facebook is also the most used social network in Germany. However, I didn’t expect Twitter to be used more often than Instagram.

At the beginning of 2018, 20 million Germans used Facebook every week, 1.8 million used Twitter and 5.6 million Instagram. So Instagram is more widespread in Germany, but most coworking spaces rely more on Twitter. That surprised me for two reasons: 1. I consider Instagram to be a more suitable visual medium for communicating coworking spaces. 2 Internationally, Instagram seems to be much more critical.

There is no research on social media and coworking spaces that I know of. However, I observed two things about Instagram last year. I am followed by 3-5 new coworking spaces every week, mainly from Brazil, which suggests growth in the coworking market there. Moreover, at international coworking conferences I was hardly asked for my email address anymore, but for my username on Instagram.

Design matters, Instagram shows it.

I think Instagram is important for coworking spaces. It helps to give an impression of the coworking space. Communicating the offer of a coworking space is very dull at first. What else can you say besides prices and opening hours? Maybe the internet speed. However, Instagram can be used to communicate the unique design of a coworking space to other people.

The design is the first thing people perceive when they enter a place. Design works and helps people decide whether they like something or not. It doesn’t say anything about the quality of a coworking space, but it provides orientation. On the other hand, design is a very individual expression of authenticity. The design is almost like a litmus test for coworking spaces because it conveys values and stories.

A visual medium like Instagram conveys these impressions best and also offers space for the text telling the story. I don’t fill the Instagram account of St. Oberholz alone, but with some photos, I tried to tell the story behind the picture. See here: [1], [2], [3] and [4]. Coworking spaces should care more about visibility, but this is a topic for another blog post.

Finally, a tip from Doris Schuppe of the Mallorcian coworking space Rayaworx: Never publish photos of coworking spaces without people, because they are what coworking is about at the end of the day. Coworking spaces are not just exhibition space for chic furniture, but places where people come together and work together. That should not only be visible on Instagram but should also be felt on site when you enter a coworking space.

PS After sharing this article on Facebook, a former member of St. Oberholz commented that he switched from another coworking space to us because of our pictures on Instagram. Quod erat demonstrandum.