For TRO Smith | The travel and hospitality industries seem to all be in an absolute frenzy in recent years, collectively trying to stay up-to-date with the media trends. Obviously, social media is at the middle of these trends with the many advantages and responsibilities that come with managing and maintaining these accounts for a property or business. Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn and others are at the forefront of business models today, and fortunately being included in future marketing and promotion budgets.
A silent force
Almost silently, Pinterest has continued to emerge as a very strong competitor in the world of social media, they do this in a stealth-like manner while keeping the millions of loyal Pinterest “pinners” occupied with beautiful images. “Pinterest definitely explores new adventures for people who haven’t had the opportunities to get out and travel, while also opening the eyes of many people who want to travel just don’t know where they want to go, or looking to plan that once-in-a-lifetime experience,” says Timothy Munden, Social Media Consultant. Looking ahead to 2014, beyond just the pretty pictures and intriguing boards, Pinterest is looking for ways to finally begin showing a profit.
As part of the overall evolution for Pinterest, they began with introducing pins with more information back in May. These included Product Pins for things such as pricing for clothes, furniture and more with suggestions of where these items can be purchased; Recipe Pins provided the additional information of things like cook time, ingredients and servings for when feeling inspired to learn more after seeing the photo; and lastly Movie Pins that provided ratings, cast information and more details to further educate their viewer.
Expanding to advertising
In September, Pinterest introduced their most forward-thinking experiment in terms of monetization to date with the introduction of Promoted Pins intended for businesses. Still working on the details to find a tasteful way of integrating these into the Pinterest platform, they continue experimenting and gathering feedback on these features. Once final, there are many advertisers, which will be very eager to begin working with an inspirational platform such as Pinterest with so many active users.
“Pinterest is an ideal platform for Small Luxury Hotels of the World™ to drive brand awareness. We can utilize one of our best assets, our engaging imagery,” says Tim Davis, Global Director of Communications & Marketing for SLH. “It has allowed us to tap into a great demographic of travelers who continuously use Pinterest as part of their travel planning.”
The introduction of “Place Pins”
There’s no surprise that travel is very hot topic on the boards of Pinterest, and an obvious area of interest when it comes to finding ways to monetize this brand that only seems to be growing in popularity. With 1.5 million places “pinned” each day, and now with more than 750 million Pins of these destinations on Pinterest, Place Pins have been introduced in a big way.
Justin Edmund, Pinterest Product Designer, says, “Place Pins were designed to combine the beautiful imagery of a travel magazine with the utility of a map online so you can share it with friends. You can access them from anywhere on your Android device or iPhone, too, which means you can find new places on the go and even get directions! Place Pins also include extra details like the address and phone number right on the Pin so you can easily pull up useful info on a weekend adventure or before a night out.”
As the Place Pins are further developed and a Travel Channel is established, this will allow inspiration to transform into booking while on Pinterest. While a number of companies have attempted to connect this inspiration to booking concept, none have had the strength of Pinterest, and have eventually failed. However, in the case of Pinterest, they have resources to continue digging deeper into these travel channel developments, as they raised another $225 million in a financing round that valued the company at $3.8 billion currently. This concept is obviously very exciting for many within the travel and hospitality industries, and is seen as the next big thing for Pinterest. So “pin-away” and continue to become inspired on the many Pinterest travel boards.