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When building a strategy, hotels should focus on achieving engagement with consumers and conveying an overall positive experience. The digital space offers the most effective platforms to achieve this, particularly the photo pinning platform, Pinterest, which is becoming quite popular within the hospitality vertical.
Pinterest is an image-oriented social media site that has helped people discover their love for photos. According to HotelMarketing.com, in Feb 2013 Pinterest drove more traffic to websites than Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube together. The hotel industry should take advantage of Pinterest’s largely female based demographic, as they are more inclined to be in the shopping frame of mind and connect with others through re-pinning. According to Piquora, the average pin is more relevant than the average tweet, with the average pin remaining click worthy for months, compared to the average tweet which remains useful for only a matter of minutes.
Hotels can create a range of boards in order to target all of their segments; the leisure traveler, meeting planners and prospective brides. By pinning photos of the destination spots, hotels can appeal to Pinterest’s female based audience’s desire to escape and plan a trip with their family. When planning a wedding, many brides turn to Pinterest for ideas, therefore hotels can target this audience when they are in the planning mindset, with photos of the hotel’s desirable wedding accommodations. Lastly, Pinterest also enables hotels to target meeting planners and convey the memorable experience they can offer, with photos of everything from banquet halls to the catering menu.
Hotels like Four Seasons have already taken advantage of Pinterest, with a profile consisting of 40 boards, 2,500 pins, and 6,000+ followers. Their boards range from destination spots, fashion look books, food and drinks, weddings, and their latest feature, the Pinterest concierge service. The online concierge service feature is a popular trend amongst hotels lately (see our previous post “The Virtual Concierge”). The Four Season’s Pin.Pack.Go initiative allows travelers to connect to the local hotel through Pinterest for travel advice. To use this feature, users are required to create a Pin.Pack.Go board, leave a comment on the Four Season board specifying their specific hotel destination, and when the hotel begins to follow their board, they invite them as a collaborate to receive pins with recommendations on insider knowledge and hidden local gems.
Pinterest is a unique platform, and given the advantages that it presents hotels and the tremendous amount of competition within the industry, hotels must jump on board (no pun intended) to stay ahead in this photo-centric digital space.