As the fastest-growing social media site in the past few years, Pinterest is coming into its own as powerful marketing tool. According to recent findings from Pew Internet Research, it’s risen to third place behind Facebook and LinkedIn and ahead of Instagram and Twitter. Right now, Pinterest has 47 million registered users, and it’s only the start of its expected explosive growth.
Just by being a visually based platform, Pinterest makes a solid case for travel industry marketing. Instagram does as well, but the first channel’s main purpose of curating existing web content and users in a more mature demographic give it an advantage over the latter.
According to Suzanne Delzio in Social Media Examiner, Pinterest focuses on both boards and pinners, or subject areas and users. This means there’s a constant flow of products from those creating these boards as well as participants themselves, who tend to be women in their 30’s and 40’s with families – one of the most sought-after consumer demographics. Highly specific boards are also ideal for travel marketers offering specialized travel packages in interest and destination. Pinterest also combines the best of both worlds in search and social media. People search online for information, and they go to social media to connect. The social channel fulfills both of those needs and makes the nearly perfect venue for shopping – or browsing for a vacation.
Delzio also points out several other areas why Pinterest will grow. Here are some of these compelling reasons:
- Users doubled in the last six months of 2014
- Steady annual growth is predicted
- It may surpass Facebook in sales in the near future
Perhaps the only thing that holds Pinterest back is its lack of ROI metrics, which are already in place with Facebook, Google+ and Twitter. Furthermore, companies aren’t posting very often on their Pinterest boards, which may also be a reflection of this lack of hard proof.
Despite this issue, larger companies are seemingly squandering a great opportunity here. But travel marketing companies don’t need to goose-step with them.
To take the lead in Pinterest marketing and tap into this potentially profitable market, begin to create boards with your travel package destinations. Certainly include your professional photographs on your board, but also post high quality ones from your customers and followers. Be sure to include popular keywords in your captions.
You can also create boards that are more specialized. If you offer biking and hiking trips in Umbria, create a board with those exact terms. Make your board terms more specific, and the result will likely be more searchable to users.
When you have users begin to like or pin your posts, that’s similar to “likes” on Facebook, “favorites” on Twitter and “1+” on Google+. Repinning is akin to sharing and retweeting. Be sure to acknowledge those who recognize your posts and respond to their comments, just as you would on any other social media channel.
How have you used Pinterest in your travel marketing, and if you haven’t what has prevented your from starting? Share your thoughts below!