Since its launch in March 2010, Pinterest has become one of the fastest growing social networks on the planet and grown its user base to over 70 million. It’s also now the second largest social traffic driver behind Facebook and accounts for 25% of all retail referral traffic. The highly visual nature of Pinterest makes it a perfect platform for hotel marketing and showing potential customers all the beautiful rooms, views and features that you offer. So given the visual opportunities that the hospitality industry presents we’ll be looking at 10 ways hotels can use Pinterest.
1. Generate Direct Sales
The latest statistics suggest that Pinterest shoppers spend twice as much as Facebook shoppers making the Pinterest world a fantastic source of potential customers. A pin can have short term and long term value for your hotels, driving both page views and orders several months after its original pinning. By creating a Pinterest account and growing your following, you can start tapping into its huge user base and generating additional direct bookings for your hotel today.
2. Increase Brand Awareness
In addition to generating direct sales, Pinterest is also a top tool for increasing brand awareness. According to Piqora CEO Sharad Verma “Pinterest is gradually becoming the Google of the visual web”. By pinning regularly and showcasing images from your hotel on Pinterest, people will become increasingly familiar with your brand. This increased brand awareness is great for long term sales because when customers are planning a visit to the area where your hotel is based, your brand will be the first thing that they think of and you’ll be be much more likely to get the booking.
3. Establish Authority
In addition to pinning images of your own hotel, you can also use Pinterest to showcase your local knowledge by pinning images of local landmarks or images that highlight interesting local facts. Doing this will help you establish authority with Pinterest users which in turn builds trust and confidence in your brand and increases the chances of them booking through you instead of your competitors or OTA’s.
4. Promote Events
Pinterest is an excellent place to promote specific upcoming events. Promoting exciting events (such as bridal fairs) your hotel is hosting or sponsoring weeks in advance by pinning some eye catching images can easily go viral and get the event in front of thousands of targeted users.
5. Drive More Traffic To Your Site
Your website is a fantastic place to provide potential customers with more information and generate online bookings. With Pinterest now driving more web traffic than Twitter, you can easily increase traffic to your hotel’s website by pinning regularly.
6. Increase Engagement With Your Audience
Pinterest users are very social and you can use the platform to ask your followers questions or receive feedback. This will then provide you with valuable customer insights that you can use to improve the services you offer at your hotel. All you have to do is create images that ask Pinterest users to rate your hotel or create images with specific questions and they’ll respond with their comments.
7. Run Competitions
Social competitions are a fantastic way to quickly increase brand awareness and with Pinterest deploying contests, sweepstakes, & successful promotions is extremely easy. A hotel has dozens of potential promotion themes all encouraging community engagement helping your brand reach more customers, friends, and fans through pinmania!
8. Promote Tourist Attractions
Your hotel’s features are just one of the many factors people consider when planning to visit a location. Beaches, night life, restaurants, museums and other tourist attractions are all things customers will think about before deciding to stay at your hotel. You can use Pinterest to promote all these tourist attractions & local businesses authoritatively selling your local area to potential guests by pinning relevant images as well potentially gaining local backlinks from businesses you are showcasing.
9. Offer Exclusive Deals & Discounts
Deals and discounts are one of the best marketing tools you can use to increase your hotel bookings. By offering exclusive deals and discounts to your Pinterest followers, you can generate lots of additional exposure as people will re-pin them and share them with their friends on Pinterest which results in more bookings and sales for you. Instead of focusing deals and offers through OTA’s you can market those offers on Pinterest potentially putting heads in beds and keeping the fees.
10. Increase Customer Retention
One great thing about Pinterest as a marketing tool is that once a person follows you, they’ll see every new photo you pin. This means even if they’ve used your hotel in the past, you can constantly communicate with them and increase the chances of them using your hotel again. These repeat bookings are an excellent way to boost your long term hotel profits.
So what’s the bottom line?
As you can see, when used in the right way, Pinterest can be a powerful marketing tool for your hotel that increases brand awareness, builds authority, drives sales and much more. In January 2012 Pinterest drove 3.6 percent of all Web traffic referrals, more than Google+, LinkedIn and YouTube combined so if you’re not already on Pinterest, make sure you get an account and start pinning today so that you can enjoy all the benefits it has to offer.