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How to use Pinterest for your travel and hospitality business

Marketing, Social media strategy

What is Pinterest

Pinterest is not a social media platform. It works more like Google. It’s a search engine but for visual content. Every day millions of people visit Pinterest to search for inspiration, create so-called Boards, and re-post existing Pins.

The platform exists since 2010. Already in 2011 Times magazine listed it as one of the best websites of the year.

To understand the idea behind Pinterest you can imagine an inspirational board full of pictures, and quotes. But instead of adding your inspirations to a corkboard, you place them virtually. You can have unlimited Boards easily categorized and organized. You can also access other’s people virtual spaces and re-pin their content.

Is Pinterest helpful in the travel/hospitality business

Currently, Pinterest is the 14th biggest platform. 14th might not seem like much but it means two things: There are still millions of potential customers that don’t know about your brand.   Furthermore, still few travel marketers or business owners are aware of its potential.  

The travel category is one of the most popular on Pinterest. According to official statistics, travel searches increased 60% in 2021. It means Pinterest can be a great platform to target your ideal customer and do research on current trends.

What people search on Pinterest

Since the restrictions after COVID eased people are ready to hop on planes, discover new places and create memories. But it’s worth mentioning that nowadays travelers look for different kinds of offers than they did before pandemics.

They seek connections, outdoor activities, and rural destinations. According to Pinterest, there are 8 types of travelers that every business owner should be aware of:

  • Bucket Listers -People who like to plan in advance and are focused on their dream destinations. Many of them add popular destinations to their boards but also are keen on trying something new and exciting.
  • Culture Chasers – Those who like to explore local cultures and learn about customs and traditions. There are many different ways to do so: through food, events, and homestays.
  • Digital Nomads – Since COVID many people decided to change their in-house jobs to remote positions. Many of them also were keen on taking their laptops and traveling. They often seek good life-work balance and places that will allow them to connect to the fast internet and take their breath away with beautiful views.
  • Foodie Travelers – Who don’t like good food? This type of traveler takes their love for a culinary experience to the next level. They pin interesting recipes but also interesting places to have a meal.
  • Memory Makers – It’s a broad category since a majority of us like to leave with amazing memories of the places we visit and people we met. This type of visitor might also be focused on the loved ones and search for family or friend getaways.
  • Outdoor Junkies – since the COVID outbreak many people decided to switch from city to nature. This trend is very strong and most likely will stay with us for longer. Outdoor Junkies might look for beautiful destinations around the world but are also keen on shorter one- two-days trips.
  • Rural Tourists – travelers who like to visit rural areas can like both: active and more passive ways of spending their time. What is important is to experience the natural flow of life and be closer to tradition.
  • Weekend Travelers – who don’t want to hope on the plane and experience something new? But the weekend travelers can be also people who explore their region, both cities and nature.

O course it doesn’t mean you have to target them all. But choosing the ones that align with your brand strategy and business characteristics can gain you, new potential guests.

What is the business purpose of being present on Pinterest?

Many marketers underestimate the power of this platform. But with 443 mln unique monthly users travel and hospitality business owners can truly benefit from it. So what are the main ways to utilize it?

Drive organic traffic: Many business owners use Pinterest to generate more traffic to their websites. Every Pin is clickable and can re-direct the user to an external source. That’s your chance to re-direct potential guests to your website or social media profiles.

Brand awareness: If you’re just starting and you still building your brand awareness, Pinterest can help you to reach more audiences. It works so well because the content that you post has a longer life span than on other platforms.

Inspire: One of the pillars of the travel industry is to inspire and let people dream. Not everyone on Pinterest will be ready to book a stay in your hotel or tour. But once they pin your content to their board it will help them to find your brand once they’re ready to book with you.

How Pinterest works

Pinterest is a global inspiration board generated by its users. Everyone can add something new or can re-pin existing content. Pinterest helps you to categorize pictures and graphics and save them for later.

Everyone can create Pins and Boards.

For many people, Pinterest is a great place to discover new services and products. It means it’s your chance to attract those travelers who never heard about your brand.

A pin is an image or animation with a title and description that is linked to an external website. Pins are saved by users which makes Pinteres a community-built platform.

Pins are organized into Boards. They are like buckets containing all your visual inspirations. Boards are usually public but you can also set them to be private. You can also create a group board where other people will contribute.

Pinning happens when you add a pin to the platform. You can do it by clicking the ‘add’ button directly on Pinterest or you can also save it from a website. Same as you share an interesting article on Twitter or Facebook.

As long your content is interesting and inspiring it has a bigger chance to be re-pined over and over again and get to a new audience. It means once you create a pin with a link to your website it can generate organic traffic for years.

What matters on Pinterest

Content lives longer on Pinterest because the whole idea behind the platform is to re-pin existing images. You can do it with your content (to make sure it reaches more people) or you can add others pins to your boards.

But to be truly successful on the platform you have to keep in mind a few things.

Targeting

Knowing your audience is always the most important thing for your marketing strategy. The majority of Pinterest users are women (76%). Knowing what they’re looking for is crucial to be successful on Pinterest.

Read more: Generation’s travel preferences – understand your guests vol.1

Branding

Branding is the process of building your image. Choosing the right visual identity and tone of voice will help you to become visible and memorable not only on Pinterest.

Read more: Social media branding for travel business

Right Keywords

Pinterest works like a search engine and it uses key phrases to help you to find the right inspirations. It means that when you create your own content you need to use phrases that are searched by your potential clients. The keywords can be used in titles, descriptions, and graphics.

Read more: Content trends to help your travel website rank better On Google

Consistency

Consistency is a key to success on social media. Posting regularly can generate more views. Some brands pin even a few times a day, but for a small business, it can be unrealistic. Fortunately, Pinterest offers a scheduling tool that will make your work easier.

How to know what is trending on Pinterest

Before you start to pin do your research. The right keywords will help you to build a presence and stay visible to your potential clients.

There are several ways to check what keywords will bring you more traffic:

Check your competition: if you don’t know where to start check your direct competitors. Choose the most popular account and study their content. Pay attention to descriptions and expressions and words that seem relevant. Remember! Do not copy!

Use external tools: You can use some apps to check what words will work for your brand. You can check Google Keywords Planner, Google Trends, or other apps like Semrush. Some social media planner apps also allow you to check for the most popular phrases.

Check the search bar: Also Pinterest itself is a great source of information. If you start to type some popular words in its search bar you can get loads of hints about what people are actually looking for on the platform. After searching for a keyword you can also see colorful tiles which allow you to dig deeper. You can use these phrases in your descriptions.

Pinterest DOs and DONTs

Use the right keywords: keywords are everything on Pinterest. Make sure you add them in the titles and descriptions.

Use hashtags: hashtags are a popular way to categorize your pins. Mix popular/broader ones with more specific ones with fewer posts. Seasonal hashtags like #christmasmarkets #summerholidays can work pretty well for your travel brand.

Mixed content: don’t focus only on your own content. Share also pins of other users and add some content from other sources. Those who contribute to the growth of the platform will be rewarded.

Copyrights: make sure that your content doesn’t break the law. Many business owners think that everything they find on the internet is free. In fact, most of the images are under strict copyright rules. So when you create your own pins make sure you have the right to use images and texts.

Link your content properly: make sure you don’t confuse your audience. It happens very often that the pin says one thing and after clicking on it re-directs the user to something totally irrelevant. It’s a big no-no. Be a reliable source of information and make sure you link your pins properly.

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Hi, I'm Magda

Hi, I'm Magda

Brand Specialist

I believe small brands have the power to change the world. I want to provide all the tools they need to feel empowered, no matter what their budget is. After all, every brand deserves equal chances to become recognizable.

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