Should you be on Pinterest? There are only so many hours in the day, and marketing yourself on social media can have the uncanny tendency to consume all of them. Pinterest, though, has some unique qualities that can make establishing a presence there a good fit for travel agents.
In an article we wrote for our sister publication Hotel Management, Softscribe CEO Julie Squires told us that Pinterest is well-suited to showcasing travel because of its emphasis on large, eye-catching images.
“Visual content, for our industry, is just golden,” Squires says. “Ritz-Carlton has done a wonderful job; they have consistently beautiful luxury travel photography. They ask guests in the community to post their favorite pictures, so that’s more destination marketing. Whatever the hotelier’s profile, they can exploit that visually on Pinterest. In general, the trend in marketing is moving toward micro—fewer words—and visual, and Pinterest is a really strong proof point.”
Travel is also big on Pinterest because the site is a community built around aspirations – good for an industry that sells “bucket lists.”
“People use Pinterest almost like a wish book,” says Tim Peter, managing director of Tim Peter and Associates.
How to market yourself effectively on Pinterest? As with other social media sites, it’s important not to let your presence come off as a sales pitch.
“I try to mix pins that will go back to my website with pins from other sources,” recommends Kari Thomas on our Facebook page. “That way it’s not too obvious I’m ‘selling.’ Also think outside travel, recipes and fashion are very popular on Pinterest so I include those kind of things as well for more repins and likes.”
Other hot topics we’ve noticed in our own Pinterest experience? Weddings – whether dress photos, cake photos or venues – are huge, which is good news for anyone specializing in destination weddings or honeymoons. We’ve also noticed that DIY tips tend to get a lot of repins.
All this makes establishing a Pinterest presence a smart bet, since the community seems poised to keep growing. A study by InSites Consulting released last year identified Pinterest and Instagram as having the strongest growth potential among newer social networking sites.
Visit us on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/travelagentmag/places-id-like-to-go