You Are a Spy in the House of Love
How to Trick Pinterest Users into Falling In Love with Your Hotel Without Them Knowing They Wanted to
By Gabe Aldridge Founding Member, The SUPERGROUP | February 09, 2014
For some time now, the human race has been quietly undergoing the next phase of our species' evolution. A new group known as Homo Consumerus has emerged from the chaos and is quickly overtaking the planet. The leading minds in consumer anthropology continue to observe traditional hunting and gathering roles for both male and female members of Homo Consumerus merging into the singular skill of online shopping. And, while many have not heard the name, this species does indeed exist, and I must admit they aren't the brightest bulb in the box. And, actually, that's good news because you can use their weakness to your hotel's advantage if you play your cards right.
As social media scientists continue to observe an alarming decline in the collective IQ of Homo Consumerus, we are forced to admit that pictures truly do speak louder than words for this group. In commenting on the Pinterest consumption habits of Homo Consumerus, Justin Hernandez, writing on the Huffington Post's tech blog points out that: "Posting habits seem to be changing with most people solely sharing pictures directly from their Instagram accounts. Aside from the usual barrage of selfies and food porn, I've seen an interesting trend develop where photos containing thoughts or expressions are preferred over the actual words being typed into a status update."
In truth, I can't remember the last time I shopped online without using Google Image Search, or some other form of visual searching (and I'm not even a millennial). To demonstrate the potential power of visual social media platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram to the hotel executive community, allow me to share a brief personal experience of unintentionally booking a pretty expensive hotel stay all because of running across some nice pictures on Pinterest.
The Grove Park Trap
I have been remodeling a house for the last year and a half, and have used Pinterest extensively as a source of inspiration for cool design ideas. In one of my many nightly browsing sessions, I happened upon some photos of an amazing group of underground hot tubs. I immediately wanted to know where these photos were taken, so I clicked on the pins to find their origin. As it turns out, the photos were from the spa of a historic hotel in Asheville, South Carolina called The Grove Park Inn.
As I instinctively re-pinned the photos to my own boards, I next found myself at The Grove Park Inn's website booking a weekend getaway. I didn't even know that I was in the market for a spa vacation. I have known about the hotel for years now, but had not considered booking a stay until seeing the photos of their amazing spa. That, my dear hotel executives, is the power of visual social media channels like Pinterest when used cleverly to promote your hotel.