Friday, 28 March 2014

Top 5 Tips for Using Pinterest for your Hostel

Pinterest is a way to virtually 'pin' or bookmark images and videos of interest to a board in your Pinterest account. For businesses it's a great way to create boards to showcase your product, but also to get images from your website and blog shared by other users for free. It's a great platform for the travel industry as it appeals to people as a way to collect ideas together and places to visit, engage with other users to promote your hostel.

1. Make your account a Pinterest business page

Make sure you use Pinterest as a way to represent your business not just for fun. It only takes a few minutes to set up a business page and means you can access analytics and metrics to find out users, repins and impressions. This means you can quickly analyse which types of images are engaging or appeal most. Then focus your pinning on your audience.

2. Use 'Place Pins'

Pinterest introduced 'Place Pins' in 2013 which is specifically to allow people to plan vacations. There are almost 100 million of these now being used! There's also an iPhone app to pin on-the-go. The place pins are simple to use - just add a map and drop pins with the address and telephone number. You can even create a board of your location with recommended tourist sites and restaurants ready to share with people heading to your destination. Check out Air bnb's 'Loved in Paris' board as an example of how to do it!

3. Use all your assets

Pin all your photos but also any maps and blog images too. Make sure you add proper descriptions with hash tags and alt tags incorporated and urls where applicable, and that your website images are named for search engines, such as 'xyzhostel-Paris-bar', so when they're shared it has the correct information. You can tag people to pins too using @. If you work with a charity add a board for your photos with them and the activities you work on together. You can even add old pictures showing the history of your brand to create a story board.

4. Add a 'On Hover pin' to your web, blog and social media images

This encourages people to 'pin' an image whenever they hover their mouse over it - a great 'call to action' in marketing terms. Obviously this won't work on touch screens but is an effective way to encourage re-pinning. (Pinterest has instructions of how to do this)

5. Interact with other users

As with other social media sites, engaging with users is key. There is space to comment or converse with people pinning your pins, and equally respond to comments directed to you. Find out what boards people are placing you in, for example 'Paris Vacation Inspiration' and engage with your audience. You can also seek out influential pinners and write messages to them, for example people with the same target audience. Make sure you follow competitors and similar businesses to find out their latest news. You can also create Group Boards and invite users to collaborate (you have to be following each other to invite them).

And make sure you link to your Facebook and Twitter accounts!

Check out other hostel pages to find out what friends are doing, and see what works for you.
Good Luck!

For more advice see the Hostel Health Tips on