How the Hospitality Industry Can Use Pinterest

Pinterest has emerged as a social platform to watch as more businesses jump on board (no pun intended). It lets users organize things they find on the web by creating pinboards then “pinning” items onto boards of each corresponding category.

My first thought upon learning about businesses trying Pinterest was that it’s a perfect platform for travel marketing since there are so many (independent and collaborative) components people consider when planning a vacation.

Plus, so much of leisure vacationing is taking in scenery, so there is already a very visual association with travel planning.

Here are a few ways the hospitality industry can utilize Pinterest –

Pinterest for Destinations

Destination marketing organizations (DMOs) can easily put Pinterest to good use! The intent of DMOs is to relay the various aspects of the city they represent, to entice visitors to come stay.

Destinations can uniquely convey their stories by sharing pinboards for numerous components of their cities: Hotels. Dining. Shopping. Attractions.

One brand that already has a solid Pinterest presence is Visit Savannah, responsible for marketing the Savannah area for leisure tourism, meetings and conventions. They began using Pinterest in November as an experiment, and, in just three months, have attracted nearly 12,000 followers.

The DMO has a variety of boards, including staples like hotels, dining, beautiful architecture and shopping, along with other themes like “haunted Savannah,” “let your hair down” (featuring  nightlife spots and libations), “Southernisms” plus one dedicated to St. Patrick’s Day, a major happening that includes an annual parade and various other major local festivities.

By including an array of visual content, Visit Savannah is allowing people to literally visualize various elements of the city and what may be of their vacation.

Pinterest for Hotels

Like destinations, hotels and resorts can also showcase their various offerings through Pinterest, via creating boards for topics like in-house dining options, amenities, spa services, meeting space and weddings.

Four Seasons hotel in Austin has created boards for the city itself, weddings, adventures, day trips, travel tips and tools and more, allowing their potential visitors to evaluate what features they’d want to include in an upcoming vacation. A traveler could even theoretically plan their entire trip with this page as the starting point, since so much information is available in one place.

Another angle hotels could utilize is targeting a specific niche. The Ritz-Carlton Chicago made a Pinterest page specifically geared toward the wedding market. Their boards include ones displaying the hotel’s ambiance, food and drink options, wedding accessories and honeymoon suites, plus linens, flowers and cakes.

While the audience has been broadening, Pinterest began with a strong female following, with ladies still being extremely active. Many women, single and married alike, have boards themselves dedicated to rather visually stunning and creative topics such as weddings. With that in mind, it’s extremely wise for venues to position themselves as a wedding hub as women will probably be drawn and prone to sharing the images.

Pinterest for Restaurants

Restaurants can create pinboards of various pertinent categories (food, events, cocktails, meeting rooms, etc.), similar to the way they might with Facebook albums.

While Whole Foods may be a grocery store, they’re setting solid example for many brands, especially restaurants. They’ve created boards for different genres of food, kitchens, food art, gardens, recipes, food for certain holidays, etc. Food photography seems to have become an ever-popular trend and people in the social space love sharing romanticized photos of the food they enjoy.

Whole Foods also does a great job of thinking outside the box. Beginning another social platform can feel intimidating and overwhelming, and it may seem that you don’t have “enough” to share on Pinterest. But, there are really tons of ways to broaden the scope of what would be suitable topics for you to share.

What other brands have you spotted on Pinterest?

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About the Author:

Debbie Miller

This monthly Social Media and the Hospitality Industry column is contributed by Debbie Miller. Debbie is the Founder of Social Hospitality, a blog which outlines the ways businesses in the hospitality industry are using social media. She works for HyperDisk Marketing managing social media accounts, writing website copy and executing SEO strategies for clients. Prior, she was with a destination marketing organization where she maintained the website along with launching and managing their social media presence. She is very active in the social networking community in southern California, has enjoyed watching social media emerge over the past several years and is fascinated by its continuing evolution. +Debbie Miller

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Comments

  1. says

    Great article Debbie. I’m happy to see you mention Visit Savannah (they have a vibrant Twitter presence as well). Pinterest is an exciting platform, it feels like the wild west of social at the moment. It will be interesting to see how brands use (and some will inevitably misuse) Pinterest. Always learning!

    • says

      Thanks, Tori! Yeah, Visit Savannah does an awesome job with social media in general. I’m really interested to see how Pinterest evolves for business as well as how “success” is measured and tracked.

      • Four Seasons Hotel Austin says

        Thanks for including us in the article, Debbie! We’re having so much fun with Pinterest and look forward to adding even more content in the future. Stay tuned!

  2. mike says

     Pinterest search seems to be totally broken now though – I’m not sure a DMO could recreate what Savannah did after their Jan. 26 “maintenance” of the search bar

  3. says

    Hi Mike – is the “search” function not working for you, still? It’s been working fine for me. DMOs can still add new boards or their own content via “add” top right. Let me know if you have any questions or if I can help in any way.

  4. Kricel11 says

    Awesome piece Debbie! You’re right on with all your suggestions and the information you’re providing is invaluable! Thanks!!!! 

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