In just a couple of years, Pinterest has become one of the heavyweights and darlings of social media. Think of Pinterest is a high tech bulletin board. Just like a traditional cork board, you ‘pin’ photos to your Pinterest boards. Unlike a static photo on a cork board, your ‘pins’ have the ability to carry information along with them when your followers click on them. Pins can have a link back to your blog, reservation site, or web page. That’s what makes it a power play that you may want to include in your marketing strategy.
As with all social media, I advocate inviting viewers onto the sites that you own and control rather than interacting with them only on social media (which you don’t own or control). Once you get them over to your website, you can add them to your newsletter or mailing list. You can also give them a call to action to book a room on your reservation system. Here are five ways that Pinterest can drive traffic to your site:
- If you have a blog, ensure that you include a photo in every post. Pin that photo to your Pinterest board with a link back to your blog post. Always post a description and include keywords and hashtags to make it easy for people to find your pins. Hashtag examples: #bedandbreakfast, #your-inn-name, #travel, #beach. Keywords and hastags make it easy for search engines to discover your pins. Syndicating your blog like this is an easy way to get your feet wet with Pinterest without creating a lot more work. Simply add one more step to your blogging process: Post to Pinterest.
- Embed your YouTube videos to your Pinterest board. They can be watched directly from Pinterest. All of your YouTube videos should have your web address prominently displayed so that guests can go to your web site after viewing.
- Make it easy for your guests and web site visitors to pin your photos. There are web plugins that can be added to your blog and your web site that allow guests to pin with one click. Of course, you must have interesting and fun photos on your site that guests will want to share.
- The first board you create should be one about your inn. After that you can mix it up and create boards that cover your interests and interests that your guests may have. An easy way to start a new board is to search on a keyword and repin from other boards that you discover. When I created my board A Spot of Tea (http://pinterest.com/lindagva/a-spot-of-tea/) I searched for boards with that keyword and populated my board with repins. This will get you noticed by people who may not know about your inn and potentially attract a new set of guests who are interested in that topic. Another great place to find pins related to inns is at the BNB Finder Pinterest page here: http://pinterest.com/bnbfinder/ or the BedandBreakfast.com page here: http://pinterest.com/bnblovers/
- Finally, here’s an advanced strategy. Create a community board and invite your guests to post pictures of their experience at your inn or enjoying activities in the surrounding area. This gets more people pinning and sharing information which can lead to more bookings.
As you can imagine, this post only scratches the surface of how innkeepers can use Pinterest. Shellie Leete owner of Claiborne House B&B has done a wonderful job of incorporating her inn and activities into multiple boards. You can view her Pinterest page here: http://pinterest.com/innkeeperva/
Let me know in the comments what your biggest questions are about Pinterest. I’ll collect them all and publish in a future post. In the meantime, you can follow my boards here: http://pinterest.com/lindagva/boards/