Understanding Place Pins on Pinterest

By Brandon Dennis VP of Marketing, Cloudbeds.com | December 08, 2013

Pinterest recently updated their social network with Place Pins, which add a new layer of rich interactivity to location-based pins. Historically, Pinterest has been a great place to explore products and craft ideas. Upon noticing that many users shared travel photos as well, Pinterest developed Place Pins as a way to give users more context about the photos they're viewing.

With this release, hoteliers can finally take full advantage of Pinterest's 70+ million users, at last making Pinterest a viable marketing solution that can rival Twitter and Facebook at driving new guests to your website and booking engine.

What Has Changed

Pinterest has partnered with Foursquare, which provides location data, and MapBox, which provides the beautiful, quickly maps, to produce a new category of Pinterest "boards" for actual locations, called Place Boards.

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For those new to Pinterest, a board is a folder, or group, of "pins"-that is, images-about a specific topic. So, for example, many of our clients will use Pinterest to create boards like "Best Beaches in Palm Springs" or "Can't-miss Sights in Yellowstone National Forest".

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Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.