What is Pinterest for? This is a question a lot of business owners ask themselves. Not just what the use is for consumers, but if it is worth investing in yet another social network. What the ROI, Return On Investment, is on Pinterest.
Let’s get a bit more into the benefits of using Pinterest for your travel business:
Some Pinteresting Statistics
While Pinterest doesn’t share many statistics itself, when they do it’s usually something quite impressing, such as the following:
- Pinterest is a community of more than 100 million people. [September 2015] source: business.pinterest.com
- About 70% of these 100 million monthly users don’t just visit Pinterest—they also save or click to learn more and take action. [September 2015] source: business.pinterest.com
- The number of searches on Pinterest has grown 81% in 2015. [September 2015] source: business.pinterest.com
… or is it?
And what about these additional (P)interesting statistics about the current use of the platform:
- Half of U.S. women between the ages of 18-54 have signed up for Pinterest. The number of male users grew 133% since 2014. [October 2015] source: techcrunch.com
- Pinterest is seeing its strongest growth outside of the U.S., accounting for 60% of new users. The fastest growing markets last year were the UK, Japan, France, Germany and Brazil. [October 2015] source: techcrunch.com
Source (including all graphics below): Pro Point Graphics, via Google
What is Pinterest for the Tourism INDUSTRY
Whether you work at a destination marketing office, a local attraction, hotel or in another branch of the hospitality industry, I’m sure you’ve noticed the increasing importance of having a presence on the internet.
The world has changed not just in real life, but also online. Consumers are getting more and more in charge of their own buying process and the traditional booking funnel in the travel industry is getting outdated. People want to be engaged and they also share with others in every face of the booking process.
Tourism marketing has always been highly visual and that comes in handy when using social media platforms such as Pinterest. Visual content make dreams tangible: you can almost see yourself in a destination, taking in landmarks, dining at restaurants, walking down streets and experiencing the local attractions — all those things that will end up on a customer’s travel itinerary.
This provides a huge opportunity to connect with your customers at each of these key moments in their travel buying cycle. For every stage in that cycle, your business can be there for your customers. Here are some tips on what is Pinterest for the Tourism Industry:
Stage 1 – Dreaming
Consumers that think about taking a holiday collect information on certain travel types and/or destinations in self-organised ‘pin boards’.
By providing these users with relevant content that sparks their interest, content that can make them visualise themselves in a certain destination or experiencing a certain activity, they move from thinking to actively considering.
STAGE 2 – Planning
Consumers have made the decision on where to go and are now seeking recommendations to build their itineraries to add to their existing pin boards or in a new pin board that’s narrowed down and now centered around a certain destination.
Demonstrate the value in a certain destination by providing the user with content that shows not only information about unique features and itinerary options, but also tips that confirm that this type of trip is right for them and achievable to realize (budget tips, family-proof, etc.).
STAGE 3 – Booking
Consumers want to lock in flights first, then book their stay and activities as good deals arise. They are actively searching for someone that can provide the experiences they want.
Make it easy for users to find the best offers on your Pinterest account and to book as soon as they click through to your website.
STAGE 4 – Experiencing
Consumers go out into the world enjoying their time in new surroundings. They check social updates on the go and ask themselves what to do, where the locals hang out and how they get to where they want to go.
Provide them help to get around and book activities, so that consumers get inspired to return to you on their next visit.
STAGE 5 – Sharing
Consumers like to relive their experiences with friends, but they also like to share their knowledge with others through reviews and ratings.
Collect user-generated content and use their stories and photos to amplify their positive word of mouth to reach a new ‘generation’ of dreamers.
What is Pinterest for?
You can never have a truly effective online marketing campaign by only focusing on a single channel at a single point in a traveler’s buying cycle. You need to digitally greet them at every step of the way to their purchase.
Follow me in the next article of this series to find out who created Pinterest and what their vision is, before we dive into the logistics and strategies of getting the most out of this visual bookmarking platform.