Using Pinterest to market your hotel is a great way generate interest and traffic to your hotel’s website. Increased traffic, of course, gives you the opportunity to boost your direct bookings.
Pinterest is such a visual platform that it’s perfect for hotels, and it’s very social. Things on it are, by definition, shareable. To help your hotel tap into the opportunities Pinterest offers, we’re giving you everything you need to know to get you started.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
- How to set up an excellent Pinterest page, from profile pictures to boards
- Discovering which boards to pin to and get inspiration from, and how to drive follower counts
- Creating and pinning images frequently and regularly
- Optimizing your hotel website to encourage visitors to Pin things – a virtuous circle of traffic!
Since its inception, Pinterest has quickly grown to become one of the top social networks. They reached 150 million users last October. Businesses have quickly embraced Pinterest, as they found it to be a powerful driver of traffic and a new way to speak to their customers. Pinterest drives more traffic than Twitter, Linkedin, Reddit and Google+ together. The average Pinterest user spends $179.36 when they follow through on purchases, which is significantly more than the amount Twitter and Facebook users spend.
If your hotel isn’t already active on Pinterest, you are missing out. Topics like Food & Drink, Weddings, Home Decor and Traveling are extremely popular on the network – they’re all topics that rely heavily on visuals, and Pinterest is the perfect place for visuals. Your audience is already waiting for you.
Since Pinterest offers such great opportunities for hotels, here are 5 easy ways to get the most from your Pinterest page.
1. Set up an excellent Pinterest brand page:
When you get started with marketing on any social network, the first thing you need to do is set up a brand page that reflects your website and what you want to communicate.
Your ideal guest should enjoy interacting with this brand page. When you’re building it, refer to your hotel’s customer personas and create a Pinterest brand page they will like. Use data from your analytics and your reservation staff’s first-hand knowledge of your guests to build an imaginary person you can refer to when you build your marketing campaigns and social profiles. This will make your campaigns and pages easier to build and much more targeted.
If visitors like what they see on your page, they will follow you, visit your website and repin your pins.
What do you think are the most important parts of your Pinterest page?
The answer to this can be found in this heat map. Even though the design of the profile is a slightly older Pinterest configuration, you can see that people seem to be focusing on the profile picture, details like bio and website and the boards at the top. These are the things people immediately view when they visit your Pinterest page on their desktop.
Here are some tips on how to quickly set up a good Pinterest brand page…
Choose an easy to recognize profile image:
The first thing you can do is upload your logo as your profile image. The logo works here because most of your followers from other social networks and website visitors will be able to recognize it, and those that don’t will start recognizing your brand. These people will turn into followers. If you change your logo in the future, make sure you replace it on your Pinterest page too.
Fill in all details:
After you upload your latest logo, you should fill in all your details. Begin by adding your business name (hotel name), Twitter account and location. Also, add your website address and verify it – this will enable Pinterest analytics to start gathering data. It will let you track Pinterest activity on your website. The data obtained from your analytics can help you create a powerful Pinterest marketing strategy.
After that, write down your bio. It doesn’t have to be long or complicated: just write a bit about your hotel and your Pinterest page. Let people know what to expect from following you. End with a call to action that asks people to follow you or visit your website. Be succinct – your bio can only be 160 words long.
Set up the boards:
As you probably noticed on the heat map above, people do pay a lot of attention to your boards so make sure you set them up properly. Create at least 10 boards and add good board names, board descriptions and categories. Also, add attractive board covers. If you want a detailed guide on setting up Pinterest boards and other parts of your hotel’s Pinterest page, check out this post.
2. Create the right boards:
Boards form an integral part of Pinterest marketing.
Everything you pin on Pinterest is added to boards, and people have the option of follow you (and all your boards), or just following one or two of your boards. If you create the right boards and add the right pins to them, you’ll start generating followers, engagement and traffic.
Your boards should be on topics that interest your audience the most and can be tied to your hotel. Go back to your persona and read through it: you should have an idea of what topics interest your audience the most. Some of the classics are food, travel, home decor and weddings.
However, there’s a good deal of ‘wiggle room’ for more creative topics. Consider vacation theme ideas, event planning, the local scenery, even interesting colours or patterns from around your hotel – if it’s visual, you can put it on Pinterest. You can also pin offers and discounts so that you can share your latest deals.
These boards can be as general or as specific and detailed as you like.
For example, if you were creating boards on Food, you can either have one board on all types of food or several on specific types, like healthy food, main courses, desserts, pies, etc.
Don’t create too many boards, though! Too many options and topics can confuse your followers. Best practices recommend you stick to a maximum of 50 and a minimum of 10.
Your boards should steer you towards your Pinterest management strategy, as they will define what you will pin. Stick to pinning one topic per board. On Pinterest, both your followers and those visiting the categories section will see your pin (if you added a category to your board). People in these categories will be more likely to repin your pin if it’s related to it.
Also, people will follow your board because they’re interested in that topic, not necessarily because they’re interested in your hotel as a whole – at least, not yet! That’s why it is important to stick to a topic or subject. Straying far from the board topic will lead to unfollows.
An example of a hotel Pinterest page with really relevant boards is Kimpton Hotel & Restaurants’. If you check it out, you will notice several boards on travel. There are also boards on topics like food, breakfast and decor. They stick to one topic per board.
By default your boards are set to public with only one contributor (you). However, you also have the option to create secret boards and group boards.
Secret boards are boards where the pins and boards cannot be seen by the public. Only you can see them. You can use them to save images to pin (to your public boards) in the future.
Group boards are boards where you can invite other pinners to contribute pins. It’s a great way to get your audience involved and boost engagement. But to attract contributors you will need your boards to have plenty of followers. So work on it.
You can actually contribute to popular group boards to build your own following and to increase engagement. Therefore, you must constantly be on the lookout for relevant group boards to contribute to. A tool like Pingroupie can help you with this.
You can either create more open group boards where you want to attract many contributors or you can create exclusive group boards where only one or a few people can contribute. It should all depend on what your audience likes, so do some experimenting and see which approaches get the best results.
A company that creates exclusive group boards is Whole Foods. On their Pinterest page you will find boards like this one where only one or a handful of contributors add pins to the board. On the opposite spectrum you have boards like this one where lots of people contribute.
The biggest benefit of having only a few contributors is that it keeps spam at bay. Too many contributors will lead to more work for you, as you will regularly need to delete spam and discard spammers.
You also have the option to create secret group boards where others can contribute but the pins and the board will only be visible to the owner of the board and the contributors.
3. Pin Frequently:
If you want more engagement and followers, there’s an obvious starting point: you need to pin a lot of images. More pins = more exposure.
Ahalogy found that their clients get the best results when they pin 15 to 30 times a day. This means that you should pin an image every hour as it is better to spread them over a day than to pin them all at once.
Don’t worry, though! There are automation tools to help. You should be able to pin often and easily by using advance Pinterest scheduling tools like Viraltag and Tailwind. They have several integrations that help you find content and images to share quickly.
Buffer also lets you schedule to Pinterest, but they don’t have advanced features like the other two.
When you schedule images, make sure you directly pin most of the images. As a study found that 80% of the pins are repins. This means that only 20% of pins are directly pinned to Pinterest and these are repinned again and again.
If you pin images directly from your website and other sources, you will be more likely to get high levels of engagement and traffic.
4. Create the right type of images:
To succeed on Pinterest, you must know how to create attractive images. If you have a designer or a professional photographer, get them do it! If you don’t, you should be able to do it yourself with tools like Canva and Picmonkey. If you want a tool in app form, there’s also a new app called Spark by Adobe, which is free, simple to use and can create images in the correct size for any social platform.
Here are some tips for creating attractive Pinterest images:
Make them tall:
Tall images perform well on Pinterest.
Pinterest informed Buzzfeed Life that they recommend an image aspect ratio of 2:3 or 1:3.5. These images can range from simple photos of your hotel to sophisticated infographics that are filled with graphs and illustrations.
Don’t be afraid to go bold:
A report from Curalate found that bright red-orange images get twice as many repins than blue ones. If you’ve got red or orange in your brand colours, don’t be afraid to play that up! If not, try and find some red around your hotel.
The study also found that light, saturated images with more background, texture and colours perform better.
The key here is to create images that are different from the rest. Unique images stand out, pulling your potential guests’ attention. Visit your Pinterest feed now to see what the top images have in common, and what you can do to your images to get them to stand out.
You should give more details about the image you have just pinned in the description, but if you want your images to perform better than the rest, don’t hesitate to add a few words to the image too. Go for bold fonts and colours that will stand out. People will be more likely to read the attractive text on the image than the boring one in the description.
5. Optimize your website:
It’s not just enough to build your presence using your Pinterest page: you need to make sure your hotel’s website is ready for Pinterest too. Your website visitors should be able to pin directly from your website and drive traffic back to your site!
Here are a few easy ways to make your website Pinterest-ready:
Adding Pinterest-friendly images:
If you find that one of your pins has done exceptionally well on Pinterest, take full advantage of it: add it or a similar image to your website, for visitors who’d like it to pin it and drive traffic.
Add share buttons:
A study from BrightEdge found that web pages with tweet buttons get 7 times the social media mentions than those without.
This applies to all social networks. So, if you want people to pin more images from your website, consider adding Pin-It buttons. They’re unobtrusive, but they can give your website a serious boost. Pinterest has a customizable tool to help you get your buttons the way you want them – check it out!
These buttons should include regular share buttons and image share buttons. A tool that can help you easily add all kinds of share buttons is Sumome.
Add follow buttons:
An easy way to convert a good percentage of the website traffic into followers is by adding Pinterest follow buttons to prominent parts of your hotel website like the header, footer and sidebar. Make sure you not only add them, but also track them by using heatmaps as you will be able to see if people are clicking on them.
To sum up, you can begin maximizing your hotel’s Pinterest presence by:
- Setting up an excellent Pinterest page
- Making sure you’re pinning to all the right boards
- Creating and pin images frequently and regularly
- Optimizing your website to encourage website visitors to promote it on Pinterest.
How do you maximize your hotel’s Pinterest presence? Did we forget to share any important tips? Please leave your comments below.