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5 Steps to Pinterest for Hoteliers

A picture is worth 1000 words (or so they say) and that’s what makes Pinterest the current must-do hot social media channel.

It’s a well-known fact that users will not stay on a webpage for long if it does not interest them with wordy pages often falling victim to the short attention span of readers. Pinterest eliminates this factor by cutting out words and focusing on the photo/video sharing aspect of social media.

What makes Pinterest unique to other photo sharing networks such as Flickr, is that the content is shared from the original source. Online marketers take note – this feature makes Pinterest a fundamental asset for your brand’s SEO strategy.

Here are four ways to make Pinterest work for your hotel:

1. Show off your hotel’s location why the area is a ‘must visit’ place by focusing on the attractions close by!

By carefully crafting and presenting the location of your hotel, your Pinterest profile can become your hotel’s virtual destination concierge, while local attractions and the demonstration of your local knowledge will become an incentive for holidaymakers to stay in your hotel.

The beauty of using Pinterest is that you don’t actually have to own the content; you can find the images or videos online of upcoming events or local attractions and showcase them quickly and easily on your board.

Pinterest’s board feature is also the perfect tool to target specific audiences. By creating boards to cater to different interests you can show off the richness and diversity of your destination and attract a pool of consumers. Consider the following audiences as a starting point:

–       A family destination with fun day out activities

–       A couples retreat or honey moon destination

–       Boys holiday or stag destination

–       Girls holiday or hen destination

–       Night owls – a board displaying the vibrant nightlife

–       The naturalists – a board to show off the natural beauty hotspots for the outdoor lovers

–       A cultural calendar for the anthropologists

But make sure you first have a clear idea of the identity of your hotel and the surrounding area as what attracts one person may put off another.

2. Don’t be afraid to show off your hotel!

The strength of Pinterest is its visual power. If you’ve invested in great photography, this is the place to use it.

Display all the features and design elements that make your hotel unique and attractive – show off the best bits of your business on your board. Showcase your facilities and what would make the ideal venue for a conference, a banquet, a party or a wedding. Include shots of layouts, gift ideas from the gift store, signature drinks, surrounding gardens and other areas and of course, the bedrooms.

The culinary talent and chef’s imagination will be a strong selling incentive, Pinterest gives you the opportunity to market everything great about your hotel with its visual strength. So think chef profiles, speciality dishes, recipes and healthy eating tips, signature drinks and wine recommendations. Make a board to show off your in-house restaurant.

Do the same with the gift shop (if you have one) and display the unique qualities of your gifts. Include the occasions for which they would make a great buy and in doing so urge the visitor to buy directly from your on board facility.

3.  Website referrals and traffic

As mentioned above, Pinterest is proven to be a brilliant generator of direct referral traffic, even beating Twitter according to a survey this year by sharing tool Sharaholic. Especially in the case of lifestyle and retail content which makes it the ideal tool to help positively impact your SEO strategy.

As more users ‘repin’ your pins and give your products more exposure, the greater the chances they will be attracted to inbound links from external sources. Given that off-page SEO dictates roughly 75% of how well you rank in search engine results, Pinterest is not something to neglect.

4. To crowd source customer feedback

It’s important to remember that Pinterest is all about interests (it’s not a secret, its in the name!) What this means though is that it’s not a place to display your general promotions and ads, and especially not to seed out your marketing messages – as with ALL social media channels, it’s a place to provide engaging and interesting content. So keep your activity stream exciting and fresh.

Self-promotion is BAD (not in the hip bad meaning good way…it’s just bad)! No one likes a company that only talks about how wonderful they are. The way to get around this is by displaying positive feedback from previous customers and encouraging them to engage with your page. Users are more likely to believe the positive messages of others not affiliated with the premises.

This then makes Pinterest a brilliant recommendation device, and because others can directly track the source of the positive recommendation, it is deemed to be reliable and independent. Try to encourage past visitors to leave feedback by running a competition. By doing this you are able to connect with visitors, both old and new in an interesting and engaging way that not only leaves you with positive recommendations, but also visually support your facility.

Are you a hotelier currently using Pinterest as part of your marketing strategy? Let us know how you’re getting along, or any challenges you’re facing by tweeting us at @hroc_pr.