Monthly Archives: August 2012

Pinterest and the Innkeeper

Pinterest is the current “it” social media site. It empowers users to organize and share images that they find compelling and/or beautiful by posting them onto virtual “boards” that they create. It also enables users to browse images posted on the boards created by other users.

Saying that Pinterest is hot is an understatement. It’s downright nuclear. According to Experian, Pinterest has become the third most popular social network site in the US in terms of traffic, and became the fastest standalone website to exceed the 10 million visitors per month mark – ever. 80% of Pinterest users are females between the ages of 25 and 45. Daily Pinterest users have increased 145% alone since the beginning of 2012, according to Mashable.

The most impressive aspect of Pinterest is its capacity to enthrall its participants. On average, Pinterest users spend 89 minutes per session browsing, engaging, pinning and repinning. In comparison: YouTube visitors stay on average of 16.4 minutes, Facebook users stay 12.1 minutes and Twitter users stay a paltry 3.3 seconds per session.

It is projected that the site will account for 40% of all social media driven purchases in 2012. This statistic alone (if the other statistics weren’t inspiring enough) should be reason for innkeepers to take a dive off the vision board and take a swim in the Pinterest pool.

A quick search of “bed and breakfasts” on Pinterest.com yields hundreds of boards and thousands of inviting pictures of properties from around the world. Shouldn’t your property be represented on this popular, engaging, interactive, free website?

Are you ready to get started? Here’s how:

  1. Apply for an account—although the site is “invitation only”, securing an invitation couldn’t be easier. Simply go to the site, submit your request and wait a day or two for your request to be granted. There is no benefit to log on using your Facebook or Twitter account since Pinterest doesn’t integrate with Facebook business pages (yet).
  2. Create and name your multiple boards– consider what your guests and potential guests may search for and/or enjoy. Use descriptive, keyword-rich words to help users of the site to find you (and your Inn!!)
  3. Feature stunning pictures of your property, and mouthwatering images of your breakfast food and inviting table arrangements. Capture the fun/relaxation/sight-seeing opportunities that await your guests.
  4. Pin photos from your website or blog — By pinning new posts, you add links back to your blog—which creates traffic. Adding links from your Pinterest profile from your website and other social media sites adds further increases opportunities to be found by an interested targeted audience. It’s a two-fer bang for your marketing efforts! Don’t forget to add a pin to your website so web visitors can share your content on Pinterest as well. Ask customers to share photos of them enjoying their stay with you.
  5. Spread the love—engage with other Pinterest users by visiting their boards and commenting on their pins. It’s amazing how quickly these positive vibes come back to you and spread virally (in a good way!). The more you participate, the better your results will be, as fellow users return the favor.
  6. Most importantly: avoid making your Pinterest participation all about selling your business. Pinterest, like all other social media platforms, is intended to be a sharing devise, not a sales devise. As quickly as positive vibes spread, negative vibes can damper spirits as followers get the sneaking suspicion that they are being “sold” (no one likes to be sold).

Pinterest is a fun, appealing, practically addictive (you’ll see…) way to emphasize your brand, showcase the benefits of your establishment and make new friends from anywhere in the world…one picture at a time.