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Why Every Hotel and CVB Should Consider Pinterest

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Recently I started dabbling with the latest social media network, Pinterest.  Yes, I know what you’re thinking: another one? Who has time for another social media network?  This is one social media network that I believe every Director of Sales and Marketing of hotels, resorts and destinations will want to make time for because of (A) its incredible rise as a traffic generator, and (B) the particular suitability for events, tourism and culinary marketing.

Pinterest is like a giant bulletin board.  Using their Twitter or Facebook login, users “pin” favourite images to their own or others’ pinboards.  A pinboard is a collection of images (a.k.a. “pins”), usually chosen around a common theme.  Users can either upload images from their own computer, enter the url of the image or use the Pint It button,  a bookmarking tool that allows users to upload images right from their web browser’s toolbar.

To learn how to set it all up quickly, download Hubspot’s guide, How to Use Pinterest for Business.
As with other social networks, the goal with Pinterest is to build awareness, drive traffic to your
website and convert visits into leads.  Let’s say for instance you are Turtle Bay Resort, a beautiful independent resort on the North Shore of Oahu, in Hawaii.  Your destination is known for surfing and destination weddings, and you want to promote your meeting packages for groups looking for high-impact team-building activities.

Create one pinboard for each of those topics and name them: say Surf’s Up, Turtle Bay Romance, and Team Building Oahu Style.  That way you can make sure you attract followers who are passionate about each of those topics.

Next, start uploading:  shots of last week’s surfing competition, the photos your banquet manager took of Saturday’s beach-side wedding set-up and the candid of your client’s corporate group heading out onto the rope course.  Make sure the photos are clear and that you have the permission to post from anyone who could be recognizable in the picture.  Then pin away!

By logging in through Twitter or Facebook, you’ll be able to let your followers know you’ve started posting on Pinterest.  Add the Pinterest follow button to your website so that visitors can pin your website photos to their board.  Encourage your guests to take pictures of events and pin them.  You can even launch a Pinterest contest and give prizes or discounts to the best shots!

The promotion possibilities are endless.  What’s more, Pinterest users pin photos they LIKE and that make them feel good, so it’s likely to generate more positive vibes about your venue or location.

For a great discussion on applications of Pinterest for hotels, resorts, destinations and even restaurant, check out Jitendra Jain's post on the Hotel Internet Marketing Blog.

I predict that hotels and destinations that are serious about building their brand and enhancing their visual attraction to niche audiences will soon be flocking to Pinterest.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and Pinterest enables you to speak volumes!