There’s a new social medium hitting the Net hard these days—in fact, it’s already garnering more referral web traffic than Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube and Reddit combined. As a travel marketer that knows the importance of viral advertising, I say any channel showing that kind of potential should definitely be on our radar—and yours.
So allow me to introduce you to the newest social service making a big impact: it’s called Pinterest. And it’s a name worth getting to know. Pinterest seems slow to catch on in the travel marketing industry, but make no mistake, the site’s visual/social one-two punch make it a must-have for your marketing plans.
That said, I’ve compiled five important things you need to know about Pinterest right off the bat. Consider these pearls of Pinterest wisdom to be essential to your brand efforts.
- What It Is Pinterest is a virtual pinboard that enables users to organize and share images they find on the web. People use pinboards for anything, from planning a wedding and decorating a home to collecting their favorite recipes—or even mapping out their bucket list of vacation destinations. Pinterest users can also browse pinboards created by other people, as a way of discovering new things and getting inspiration from people who share their interests.
- How It Works A “pin” (or image) can be added to a pinboard from a website using the Pin It button, or uploaded from a computer. Each pin added using the Pin It button links back to the site it came from. Users can add as many pins to a board as they want, and they can “follow” other Pinterest users to see all the pins on their boards in real time (much like following people on Twitter).
- Why You need It Because Pinterest is based on the concept of visual bookmarking, it adds another layer of social outreach for marketers, especially those in the travel sector. Think of all the travelers out there pinning pictures of the places they’ve been or the ones they’d like to see. If you make Pinterest a part of your advertising strategy, those pins could potentially be of YOUR destination, YOUR hotel, YOUR restaurant, YOUR golf course—all linking back to YOUR website. Get the idea? It’s all about engaging your audience wherever they may be. And with a pinboard of visual content as your canvas, the sky’s the limit!
- The Legal Leg One critical thing to keep in mind is that even though individuals using Pinterest may be able to pin images from various websites without repercussion, the rules for businesses aren’t quite the same. There are copyright infringements that could put you in hot water if you’re not proactive about making sure the images you pin and re-pin are appropriately owned and licensed. Be sure to take extra care with this issue, especially if you’re utilizing Pinterest for public promotions.
- The Next Step Now that you have a basic knowledge of Pinterest and the ways it can boost business for your brand, it’s time to get started. Currently, Pinterest access is by invitation only—but obtaining it is as easy as requesting it on the site. Once you’ve been granted entry, spend some time exploring pinboards. Begin adding the Pin It button to all your own web pages and blog posts, so users can easily pin your content to their boards and link their followers back to your site. Start following travel-oriented Pinterest users and commenting on their travel posts. And think about ways you can use your Pinterest account for brand contests and promotions.
Have I adequately piqued your interest in Pinterest? If you’d like to learn more about how Dana can help you make the most of this service, contact Lynn at firstname.lastname@example.org.