Pinning your way to more bookings
There can be no doubt that Pinterest is taking the world of social media by storm. Now with 10 million unique visitors a month, the image-sharing social media site was only launched in 2010 but has a loyal following which grew faster than Twitter, and may even be enticing users away from Facebook (source: Forbes.com)
Pinterest now holds second place among the social networks in terms of referral traffic to websites, surpassing the likes of LinkedIn, Twitter and even YouTube. The only network generating more referral traffic is Facebook, but that’s hardly surprising given they now have over one billion users.
Another reason to take notice of Pinterest is because of the comparatively high spend of pinners, a quote from the Forbes article states when users follow through on a purchase they first saw on social media, the average order value is $179.36 on Pinterest versus $80.22 on Facebook.
So if you are not yet a user of Pinterest then you may be wondering what’s the secret sauce that makes it so great? Well, the answer is simplicity.
It allows you to create a collection of boards for you to pin your favourite things. Images, videos, books, and quotes can all be pinned, re-pinned and commented on. And that’s about it! But that’s also why it works so well.
Pinterest is a place for taking your time, dreaming maybe, but definitely a place for people to browse, looking for inspiration and somewhere to store ideas to come back to again. This is why its so popular for people who love cooking, planning weddings and of course travel, because these are topics that you can just escape into and find images people want to share.
Better still, it is estimated that 60 – 80% of users are women – and who also happen to be the people most likely to book a holiday? Yep, you guessed it, women!
So can Pinterest be used for marketing a holiday rental? You bet! But as with all social media this is not a magic bullet that will instantly get you bookings.
Here are some things to bear in mind, as well as some top tips for getting started:
- Building a following in Pinterest happens slower than other Social Media sites, but once you pin an image with a link to your website then it remains there forever more with the potential to drive visitors to your site. The key here is the sooner you get started the better.
- Pinterest is a place to be creative, but with millions of users devouring content it is worth being quite specific with the themes for your boards. For example if you run gourmet breaks in Spain then a board specifically about “Rioja Wine” might stand out better than one about “Food & Drink”. So what interests does your ideal guest have? What is your unique selling point? What is special about your area? What kind of images would they like to share?
- If your photos are less than top-notch then they just won’t get noticed. So think laterally and create boards around themes where you can pin other beautiful images. You can add a link to your website in the comments, or even better if you can actually post the image on your website or blog (such as in a blog post crediting the original source) and pin it from there. This means the pin will take visitors directly to your site, or if you don’t have a website for your holiday property then use Pinterest boards to drive people to your Facebook page or holiday rental listing page. This is all part of creating an holistic web presence for your rental.
- Certain images are more compelling than others. Spend a while looking at what is being pinned before you create your own boards and follow users. A new feature called “secret boards” allows you to create up to 3 hidden boards that can be published when you have a decent number of pins to encourage people to take interest and follow you back.
- Plan ahead! As with any kind of social media marketing, it pays to plan ahead. By September/October there is a huge increase of people creating Christmas themed boards as they get excited for the festive season. To take advantage you need to plan ahead; even if it means setting up a Christmas scene to photograph in the middle of July, it will be worth it to get a slice of the pie. You can also use the images on your Facebook page, Twitter, or mix up the photos on your website and listings to promote Christmas bookings. Then when the main event arrives, take as much time as needed to get captivating images to use next year.
- Finally, remember that quality photography is one of the best assets you can have for your holiday rental business. After all, we are living in a world where millions of internet users are attracted like bees to honey around a social network that is simply a place to keep beautiful images.
For more Pinterest ideas visit our Rental Tonic Pinterest boards.
Great article as usual Rental Tonic.
We’re new to Pinterest and one thing I found was that there seemed to be quite a lot of spammy websites displaying a lovely image on it, then pinning the image to their board so that when you click on the image in Pinterest, it took you to their spammy site. Put me off clicking on the images as I wasn’t sure if the site I would land on was ok. Have you found this?
Another thing I wanted to ask about your post – when you say ‘post the image on your website or blog (such as in a blog post crediting the original source) and pin it from there. ‘
Question – would this not leave you open to copyright issues as images are automatically ‘all rights reserved’ and even though you are crediting the original source I think you are still opening yourself up to copyright problems.
Love to hear your thought s on this.
As with any social site there are bound to be people taking advantage but normally your software should alert you to any dangerous websites – although I havent really come across it, only links to random ads. Its good practice to always check the item you want to repin first to be sure it leads back to the original source correctly.
Regarding copyright, the perfect scenario is that you use your own original content which is what todays internet thrives on, but if in doubt be sure to keep the link to the original source. Images are low resolution once pinned so its not as if anyone download them and sell them on, and I have seen photographers encourage their work to be pinned as it gets them more publicity. HereÂ´s an interesting recent article which touches on this, but Im sure there will be a lot of debate yet! http://techcrunch.com/2012/10/13/pinterests-attribution-program-grows-dreamstime-joins-to-help-end-battle-over-watermarked-copyrighted-images/
Many thanks for your comments