Sophie Bujold: Pin-what? A look at Pinterest and its purpose | TravelResearchOnline

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Sophie Bujold: Pin-what? A look at Pinterest and its purpose

Yesterday, we talked about why Pinterest might be a good fit for your social media marketing strategy, today, let’s take a look at what Pinterest actually is.

What exactly is Pinterest?

In a nutshell, Pinterest is a visual bookmarking site. People can sign up for an account and create categories (known as boards) where they can bookmark (known as pinning) interesting images, videos or links to useful information (known as pins) to create a themed repository of useful information. As long as your content has a visual element, you can pin it.

You find things to include on your boards by either surfing the web or by looking through Pinterest’s home page and content categories. 

As an example, click here to see what my Pinterest board looks like.

Beyond your boards, you can also connect with other pinners by following them, commenting on their pins and giving their pins a “like” – much like on Facebook (more on this later this week).


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Where did Pinterest come from?

As with most social networks, Pinterest was originally created for personal use.  It quickly grew in popularity amongst the wedding and cooking crowds as a quick way to collect wedding ideas and recipes before becoming more mainstream.

Nowadays, more and more businesses are harnessing its power to direct traffic to their websites or blogs and gather new business leads.

How can I use it for business?

As we saw yesterday, there are many reasons why Pinterest is a good fit for travel businesses. Most notably, the site attracts an ideal travel audience that is primed for travel information and it’s a great traffic driver.

Because of Pinterest’s visual nature, the best way to use it is as an inspiration board of sorts where you can tell a story about your brand, a product or your services. You can also pin product and indicate a price to give pinners a cue that they can purchase from your pin.

No matter what your choose to share, build your boards with the idea of sharing a variety of content and mixing in your own with a link back to your website or blog.

The best thing is to ask yourself what your ideal customer would be interested in learning about and building content around those things.

Not sure what that could look like? Here are three great travel-friendly examples to inspire you:

  • Air New Zealand has injected a ton of personality into its boards with information about who they are, what they offer and some of the fun things they do as a company.
  • Mouse World Travel did a great job of building boards that talk about their product and offer practical information that clients will need beyond their booking.
  • Rita Perez of RitaVentures, LLC. built a board that is all about the first destination wedding she planned. This is a great way to show other clients what she can plan for them.

The possibilities for your boards are only limited by your imagination. The more fun you have with them, the more you will stand out from the crowd and get noticed.

By now, you’re hopefully wondering how to get started. That’s what we’ll explore tomorrow!

Sophie Bujold is a social media strategist who specializes in helping travel professionals achieve online success. She is the creator of Take Flight with Facebook, a social media FAM trip program designed to help travel professionals of all kinds build a winning Facebook marketing strategy. Sophie also speaks at industry events and works individually with travel agencies across North America. For more insights from Sophie, visit her website and sign up for her weekly email tips (it’s FREE.)

  One thought on “Sophie Bujold: Pin-what? A look at Pinterest and its purpose

  1. John Frenaye says:

    I am not on Pinterest (being a guy and all LOL) but someone once did a great job of explaining the concept to me.

    Picture a school hallway lined with bulletin boards instead of lockers. Every student has one and can decorate it however they want but they use multiple stickers/photos/patterns, etc.

    As you walk down the hallway, you can stop and look at someone else’s board and make a comment on it. Or if you like it, you can take a copy of their cool content and pin it up on your board for people to admire when they look at yours.

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