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Pinterest for Hoteliers A Guide to Pinterest for Hotels, Resorts and Restaurants
So what's the big deal, you ask? And, what, pray tell...is it exactly?
What Pinterest is (and isn't)
Pinterest is basically like a giant digital tack-board / notice-board / scrapbook. It is a social photo sharing website that allows users to create collections (essentially photos and videos) of the things they like. The site's mission statement is to "connect everyone in the world through the ‘things' they find interesting."
So essentially if you find an interesting photo or video that you like on the web, you can "Pin" it to an appropriate pinboard on your Pinterest profile and add a comment / tagline. You can also follow other users' pinboards and like or repin the content they share. To make "pinning" easier, you can add a browser bookmark so you can quickly pin the photos and videos you want without leaving the site you're on.
What Pinterest isn't is another Flickr or Facebook...there are no status updates and most of the content you find on the site actually lives on other sites, so people can view your pinned content but also click through to the original site or webpage where you found it.
Creating an account is easy, despite the invitation-only mode pinterest.com is still in...just request an invite and you should see one come through fairly quickly.
Why is it popular...and who's actually using Pinterest?
A good question to ask, of course...after all, does every new social network deserve our attention? We've seen plenty of fads come and go in the social media space. While gauging long-term interest in social applications and the longevity of social sites is anybody's guess (remember MySpace?), Pinterest does seem to have carved out a niche for itself. The site is immensely popular with women and a vast majority of the content on the site is lifestyle based. A recent infographic by Mashable also suggests that the Pinterest.com user base is:
Why should hotels take notice of Pinterest?
While many hotels still need to get their social media basics right, there are quite a few that have invested the right resources in making social media work for them...these hotels can certainly benefit from experimenting with Pinterest. Here are just a few thoughts on applications of Pinterest for hotels:
Remember to keep content experiential...Pinterest is not yet another site you can simply "push" content out to (as a matter of fact, if you're doing that on ANY social network...please stop now). Other tips and caveats:
Hope you find the above Hotelier guide to Pinterest useful for your hotels or restaurants...here are some more sources of great practical info on Pinterest:
Have tips or examples of hotels, resorts, restaurants or bars that are doing a great job of using Pinterest.com? Leave a comment and let us know!
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