Pinterest is one of those social media sites that businesses tend to ignore in favour of Facebook and Twitter. But because of its visual nature, it’s actually one of the most popular networks for travellers and foodies.
It also beats all other social media sites when it comes to converting visitors into customers.
What Is Pinterest?
Pinterest is an aspirational social media site used by 70 million people around the world. The premise is pretty simple – users create photo pinboards of objects they would like to buy, or places they would like to visit.
Hotel brands like the Four Seasons use it as one of their major social media outlets, and when you look at the stats, it’s easy to understand why. While Facebook’s active users grew by 2% in 2014, Pinterest users grew by an incredible 111%.
It’s also useful from an SEO perspective. Under each picture, you can include a brief description and a link to your website. If these descriptions contain pertinent keywords, they will show up on Google searches.
How to create a killer Pinterest page
To create a Pinterest page for your hotel or tourism business, visit Pinterest for Business. Once you sign up, you’ll need to fill out basic profile information such as your business name, username, profile photo, business description and URL.
Once you have your profile, you can start creating pinboards that will lure users to your hotel website.
The key is coming up with very specific pinboard topics. While it’s definitely worth showcasing photos of your hotel, pinboards that show off activities or landscapes in your local area will have a much broader reach.
Consider the types of tourists you would like to attract, and what will interest them about your area. For example if you run a motel on Great Ocean Road and you’re looking to attract adventure travellers, you could create a pinboard specifically devoted to surfing. If you run a cozy bed and breakfast in the Dandenong Ranges and you want to appeal to couples, you could create a pinboard devoted to weddings.
Using Pinterest to interact with guests
Pinterest, like Facebook, is set up so that users can like and comment on your photos.
However, you can also encourage them to engage more directly with your hotel. The Four Seasons runs a campaign called Pin.Pack.Go, which encourages guests to create a special pinboard to plan their upcoming holiday. Hotel staff then pin recommendations to their board.
You can invite users to collaborate on a specific pinboard by creating a Group Board.
Place Boards are also tailor-made for travel businesses. They involve pinning photos to locations on a map, which allows you to create itineraries that travellers can follow and email to their friends. For example, the Travel Channel has created a beach crawl itinerary board, while Thrillist has created aChicago Port and Whisky Tour board.
Hotels doing Pinterest right
These hotels have really mastered Pinterest. They have an eclectic range of pinboards, and their photos contain descriptions and links so tourists are drawn back to their websites:
- Hilton Hotels
- Four Seasons
- Wickaninnish Inn
- Malibu Beach Inn
- Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
- Grand Velas Riviera Maya
- Hampton Inn & Suites Albany
Pinboards ideas for hotels
If you’re looking for inspiration, here are just some of the pinboard ideas you could use:
- Hotel photos: Showcase your hotel’s best features; your rooms, the amenities, etc. Use photos from your hotel website.
- Local Attractions: Post photos of everything that makes your local area unique, whether it’s beaches, walking tracks, mountain views or restaurants.
- Activities: Highlight what people can do near your hotel. Create a separate pinboard for family activities.
- Inspiring quotes: Pinterest is full of inspiring quotes about travel and adventure. Jump on the bandwagon!
- Food: If your hotel has a restaurant, show off your food. If you don’t have a restaurant, post photos of local food or recipes.
- Weddings: Post inspiring photos for people planning their wedding. Bear in mind that 80% of Pinterest users are women.
- Travel hacks
- Local history: Pinterest users love repinning anything vintage, especially when they’re familiar with the area.
- Local architecture
- Behind the scenes: Let guests meet your staff and see what goes on behind the scenes.