Does Pinterest Work for Hospitality?

The jury’s still out on whether Pinterest is the new Facebook. But note that in a mere 9 months, Pinterest went from 50,000 users to 17 million, where it took Facebook 16 months to get there. Whether or not the phenomenon lasts, of course, remains to be seen.

However, if you’re curious about Pinterest and want to throw something new into your marketing mix, think about how you’d like to convey the customer experience in a creative, original way. Say you operate a restaurant in an eclectic, hip, buzzworthy part of town. Pin photos of places of interest around and nearby your place, as would a tour guide. Pin photos of unsung landmarks, living, breathing culture, street musicians and artists then pin photos of elaborate drinks served at your bar, enticing dinner specials, even candid staff shots.

Pinterest can be just as useful for hotels, in that a majority of your guests are out-of-towners who are largely unfamiliar with the lay of the land. Pin photos of popular destinations, recommended dining establishments, event coverage from the hotel, perhaps you can feature architectural flourishes in the hotel that don’t convey in marketing materials. Don’t these possibilities sound exciting?

This is your chance to play tour guide/concierge/ambassador to the city for your guests. “When it comes to pinning, the breakdown should be approximately 70% about the city and 30% about the hotel”  says Kelli Crean, eCommerce Manager for the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. You’re free to play around with those percentages any way you like, but that’s a good rough guideline to follow. Creating your own pinboard is free, and easy to manage and maintain, from a human resource standpoint. Why not give it a shot?

[hat tip to Carol Verrett]

Christopher Wofford is Digital Media Producer and host of WebSeries at eCornell.
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