Hotels on Pinterest – Is anyone doing it right?

PinterestWe’ve all been hearing a lot about what an amazing tool Pinterest is, how a mind-boggling number of people use it on a daily basis, how it’s growing at an explosive rate and how it is a wonderful generator of traffic.

For anyone who has been hiding away in a dark corner and has managed to avoid the above here’s my crude summary: Pinterest is a social platform where you Pin interesting things on the web and organize them into boards which you then share with the world.

In my books, the main selling point for Pinterest is its highly visual layout which allows sharing in a completely different way to other social networks. Since you can pin practically anything that tickles your fancy on the web (as long as it contains images), with Pinterest you can organise information into visually engaging, theme-based chunks in seconds. All without having any design know-how or special software.

For hotels, Pinterest can be a great tool. Some great uses include:

  • showcasing a hotel’s design credentials,
  • leveraging interest about a particular destination by being an online destination concierge,
  • flaunting what’s on in your city,
  • sharing photos from events,
  • showing what a wedding at your hotel could look like.

The possibilities are as vast as your creative streak. The crucial aspect here is inspirational content which has value for your target audience. Creating boards with brochures, flyers and in-your-face promotional material will not get you anywhere further than ignored.

So now that we’ve established that your hotel brand should be on Pinterest – are any hotels actually there and doing it right? Well, the straight answer is that very few are. While a growing number of brands are creating profile pages on Pinterest (pinterest.com/*hotelname* – go on, check a few big boys out), most are still bare and undeveloped. Some, however, are getting it right, these are three:

Hotel Indigopinterest.com/hotelindigo/
What it’s about: Sharing guest pictures of Indigo Hotels around the world, neighbourhood guides for several destinations their hotels are in.
Does a great job of: Cross-selling destinations, showing they pay attention to, and appreciate what, guests post about their hotels.

Four Seasons Hotel Austinpinterest.com/fsaustin/
What it’s about: Engaging destination guides, wedding trends, travel gadgets, a budding board about the local music scene.
Does a great job of: Selling Austin, Texas, strengthening the right brand associations.

Hotel Gansevoort NYpinterest.com/hotelgansevoort/
What it’s about: A series of boards around a “Get” theme – Get Style, Get a room, Get around, Get involved, Get pics etc.
Does a great job of: Pushing the hotel’s style credentials, making you want EVERYTHING they pinned.

Whether this has convinced you to jump into the fray or just wait a while longer on the side-lines, here’s a parting thought: your current and future guests might already be there talking about you, can you afford not to listen?

Travel boards, design inspiration, bucket lists, must-dos are popping up all over Pinterest and your hotel is probably featured. Find out what’s been pinned from your website by going to pinterest.com/source/*yoururl* (replacing *yoururl* with your hotel’s website address eg pinterest.com/source/fourseasons.com/) – you might be surprised.

By Greta Muscat Azzopardi

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