On November 20, Pinterest released its newest feature: Place Pins. Cue travel
marketers rejoicing. The window of opportunity for travel and social media working in tandem has just widened, as Pinterest’s new feature provides many opportunities for hotels and travel brands wishing to expand on their social media marketing. Place Pins allow pins that correlate with actual addresses to coincide with a map shown side-by-side with the Pinterest board. In this way, the pinner or the viewers can easily visualize the options suggested on the board, and even take things a step further by planning trips, creating guides, or finding nearby activities or attractions all without leaving Pinterest.
“…every day, people Pin about 1.5 million places, and now there are more than 750 million Pins of these destinations on Pinterest. We asked ourselves, how can we help people turn their travel inspiration into reality? Today, we’re taking a first step toward that goal with Place Pins.”–Pinterest, 11/20/13
On a social network that is inherently travel-friendly, integrating maps with Pinterest boards is a natural step, and a feature that hotels should jump on in order to not only enhance their guests’ experiences, but their own hotels’ social media presences as well. Place Pins put an emphasis on discovery of local content, and as hotels are generally full of those who know the city best, it shouldn’t be too much trouble for hotels to take their Pinterest pages to the next level.
The feature works fairly intuitively. Pinners have the option of adding a map to an existing board or creating a new board with the map feature. The map feature can be toggled on and off easily at any point. After enabling the map, pins appear with an option “Map this Pin” and a plus sign, that when clicked, opens up a search area that is conveniently powered by Foursquare (here’s your friendly reminder to claim your Foursquare page)! From there, boards with maps will show side-by-side, even displaying addresses and phone numbers for user convenience. It’s worth mentioning that the mobile Pinterest app also now uses Place Pins so users can access them on-the-go. Pinners can send their boards to specific users – so if a hotel knows a guest is visiting soon, it might be a nice touch to take a moment and send that person a Pinterest board full of local spots to check out, complete with maps and contact info!
Constantly at the forefront of social media marketing, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts was one of the first travel brands to begin using Pinterest’s new Place Pins, and is a great example of how to utilize the new feature. The resort now uses Place Pins to complement its successful Pinterest trip-planning program, Pin.Pack.Go, which connects guests with local experts.
Pinterest should be an important aspect of any hotel’s social media strategy, and adding a mapping feature will only continue to make Pinterest integral. Beyond increasing guest satisfaction, showing creativity online, and acting as a digital concierge, this new feature can drive traffic to a hotel’s website, boost blog shares, and so much more!
(Photo courtesy of Flickr)