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

Bitterness, or how we need to learn how to build a bridge and get over it

If there is one human feeling I cannot understand, it is unwarranted bitterness, especially towards someone who has done no harm.

I was shocked at the way some people took the failure of Raspberry Pi to cope with the demand with such bitterness. This was not a personal insult, it was not something done to spite the world, it was not something that was done to cheat YOU.

Was I dying to get my hands on one? Yes

Did I want the honour of being one of the first ones to try it out? You bet!

What was my reaction at it being sold-out so quickly and at the servers crashing? Excitement. I was really happy for the people behind it for creating a product which has captured the imagination of the people. I was delighted that there is so much demand for it because it will ensure that in the long term we will have a vibrant community thriving around the project.

It is not as if they had taken deposits from everyone and then ran away with the money. They are not going to be charging exorbitant rates for their product, and the money made is going to be ploughed back into The Foundation.

I see the same thing every time a product or solution is delayed or some flaw is discovered in a device. Is it so hard to accept things as they come? Is it impossible to consider that we are all human and that there are certain issues we might not have forseen?

It is not often that I paraphrase a quote from the bible, but I would like to tell all the people who are angry at the Raspberry Pi creators: Whoever has never been sidewinded by an issue out of their control can throw the first stone.

So please, cut them some slack. You will get your hands on a Raspberry Pi eventually. It might not be today or tomorrow, but by the time you do there will be more people using it and you’ll find more help online.

As the ever-knowing Monty Python sung in The Life of Brian: Always look on the bright side of life!

Exclusive Interview with CEO of invoxia

AudiOffice by invoxia Launched at Mobile World Conference Barcelona

As today’s entry I ran a short interview I managed to secure with the CEO of a young French company called invoxia. I was also lucky enough to get to see the phone in action in a live hangout with someone who had been given a sample of the product to try it out.

 

 

You can read the article here:

Exclusive Interview with CEO of invoxia: mobile phone integration

(#58 of 366 X 2012 project)

A Slice of Raspberry Pi : An Autopsy

Raspberry Pi LogoFor today’s entry I wrote an article for Euro Tech – a new media outlet which has started out on Google+ as a collaborative effort between people from all over Europe.

You can find the interview itself here:

A Slice of Raspberry Pi : An Exclusive Interview!

But the really interesting bit is the way the story went viral on Google+ and how I think the foundation is using an early release to the public (before shipping it off to schools). It was posted in the afternoon and by this evening it had generated 40 shares and more than 50 +1s.

I can understand why it would go viral – because everybody wants to be able to own a fully functional computer for $25. What I’m wondering, however, is whether the people behind the foundation releasing it have really hit onto something big in terms of marketing and ensuring the success of the product here.

Their ultimate aim is to get more kids excited by technology and wanting to get into programming, however, by making it available to the general public before shipping it out to schools (in a more kid-friendly package), they have managed to create a massive hype. This way when an excited 14-year-old gets their hand on one they will run a quick Google search and find thriving communities out there that share their excitement.

There will be communities of people who have tried out using the Pi for every imaginable use, some of which are more exciting than others. I have made contact with someone who shall be using one to control his fish tank, and someone else who would like to try making an array of the little machines to create a more powerful one. The opportunities are out there for whoever wants to get creative, and that is what will generate excitement.

Now I just can’t wait to get my hands on one!

You can read even more about the Raspberry Pi here.

(#52 of 366 X 2012 project)

5 Ways Valentine’s Day can Cost Your Business

Today’s post is an article which has been published on Talk Tech to Me, GFI’s security blog. It examines a few ways in which Valentine’s day can cause businesses to lose money through reduced productivity and security risks which are enhanced on a day like tomorrow.

You can find the article here:

5 Ways Valentine’s Day can Cost Your Business