You may be a Pinterest devotee or you may have deemed it unworthy of investigation, but there is reason to take notice. In 2013, Semiocast released data indicating that more than seventy million people, mostly women, use Pinterest. More than fifty percent of Pinterest's registered users visit the site daily or weekly. And, according to Reuters, most of the women who use Pinterest are in the middle to high socio-economic range, meaning they have disposable income. The ages of the typical user are widespread—about twenty-five percent each in the 25-34, 35-44, and 45-54 ranges, who may be interested in everything from destination weddings and honeymoons, to family trips, to retirement travel. If you're not using Pinterest to promote your business to them, you may be missing a big opportunity to market to a valuable demographic.
Many businesses have recognized Pinterest's photo-sharing social media platform as an excellent place to market their products, because commentary and websites can be linked to the photos. When a Pinterest user establishes a "Spring Break," "Bedroom," or "Fall Wardrobe" board, and begins to "pin" photos of places they'd like to vacation, ideas for redecorating, or clothing items they find attractive, each of these photos can carry a marketing message and a link to a business where that item can be purchased. Many marketing strategists compare Pinterest browsing to window shopping, except potential consumers can save images that caught their interest to a personalized board and come back to them, which makes buying much more likely.
To promote your group travel business on Pinterest, try some of these strategies:
- First, practice. If you haven't used Pinterest before, spend some time looking around at competitors' boards, and practice by establishing a personal board. Use the tutorials and get acquainted with how everything works.
- After you're feeling comfortable with Pinterest, establish your own business page account and create boards. You might create a board for each niche market you serve, particular regions, travel tips, et cetera. Do not create one board and use it for everything.
- Post photos from your business website to your boards. Each time a user pins or repins your photo (which happens when someone sees a photo a friend has pinned, and pins it to their own board), the link to your website follows the photo. You can label your photos, so if someone is searching for "Jamaica," and daydreaming about her destination wedding, your Jamaica photos will surface; suddenly, she's not just daydreaming—she's surfing your website, finding out how to make it happen.
- Use searchable terms in your pin descriptions. If you pin a photo of a destination wedding, or a Broadway show, think about the keywords a person would likely use in their search query about those topics, and include those keywords in your description.
- Use Pinterest to generate buzz about your business. This might be in the form of a photo contest or giveaway, or by pinning articles with great travel tips. You can also invite others (previous clients) to pin photos of their trips to your group boards, which helps you connect to the people following your clients' Pinterest boards.
- Establish yourself as a person, and show your expertise. Using Pinterest's "Places" board option to post photos of yourself at different FAM locations, theatrical productions, and exotic sites helps establish the breadth of your experience, and provides a power visual to viewers, marking all of the places you've visited on one map, as well as sharing your images.
- Once your Pinterest boards are established, follow others in the industry, e-mail a link to clientele, promote it on your other social media channels, "like" others' pins, and make an effort to add new information daily or weekly, so you will consistently show up in your followers' feed. (Don't overdo it here, though. If you post twenty-five items in a day, you'll clog your followers' feed. You want to remind, not annoy.)
Written by Jennifer Reynolds, staff writer for Groups Today.