Thursday 15 March 2012

Pinterest – Your Chance to Reach the Chief Vacation Planning Officer

I have to say that when I first heard of Pinterest I was very sceptical (but then again I am about most new social sites and often I’m proved wrong!).   There had been so much hype around the site that I didn’t just want to jump onto the next social media bandwagon. 

I had questions - surely, in the long term the site would reach saturation with millions and millions of pictures overwhelming users?  Why is it worthy of Techcrunch's best new start-up title?  Why would the site be useful to travel brands?

Having since experimented with the site and listened to some insightful presentations at EyeforTravel’s Social Media Strategies for Travel conference in San Francisco last week, I’m a convert!

What sets Pinterest apart from other social media channels?
  •          It has the potential to skip the search stage – yes, you read that correctly – users can potentially start the search process on Pinterest and skip the search giant Google!
  •          According to users spend more time on the site (15.8 mins) than Facebook and Twitter (and roughly the same amount of time as on YouTube)
  •         Referral traffic from Pinterest is significant (3.6% versus 0.2% from Google+ and Linkedin)
  •          There are no boring status updates that no one cares about
  •         The site’s dominant demographic is female (68.2%) with a high average annual income ($100,000)
  •          The site reveals unique insights into users aspirations – whereas most social media sites reveal where a user has been or has booked to go, Pinterest helps reveal a consumer’s aspiration

What does this mean for your travel brand?

Philip Grote, Director, Client Service - Marketing Solutions, comScore made a great point at the conference last week – Pinterest is your chance to reach the Chief Vacation Planning Officer ie. aspirational, affluent, females.  

Like it or not, in most households it the female who wears the trousers when it comes to holiday planning and decision-making!   The fact that 68.2% of Pinterest’s audience is female and a high proportion of them have high incomes, is a very attractive proposition for many travel brands.

The opportunity to target travellers according to their aspirations is also quite unique.  Regular keyword searches don’t reveal customers’ ideals and aspirations.   Pinterest provides the opportunity for travel brands to tap the ‘dreaming stage’ of the holiday planning process and turn dreams into a reality for the consumer.

Pinterest also reveals a customer’s interests – art, design, food, favourite destinations – as social data becomes more and more important, this information will be invaluable to travel brands.

Top tips to get started

  •          Request an invite to join Pinterest – they will usually get back to you fairly swiftly following your request·         
  • Depending on what your company does and your target audience, create titled Pinboards and pin images and videos of your travel brands destinations, your hotel’s design features, the food available at the destination etc.
  •          Follow those within your brand’s spheres of interest eg. If you are a hotel that exudes design prowess follow those interested in design and start to re-pin their images and comment on them
  •          Ensure your website is ‘pin’ friendly – can users visiting your site easily pin images from it?  The great thing about working in travel is that you will no doubt have some great images to share
  •          Experiment and have fun!

Lastly, I’ve used Pinterest to collect together a few social media infographics from across the web that you might be interested in.  You can follow me (search ‘Gina Baillie’ under people – there’s only 1 of me!).  

Happy Pinning!

Sunday 11 March 2012

Announcing the Winners of EyeforTravel’s Mobile Innovation in Travel Awards

After a tense 2.5 month nomination and voting process, the day finally arrived for the final of EyeforTravel’s Mobile Innovation in Travel Awards which was held in San Francisco last Monday.  

The day kicked off with a true Californian wake-up call in the form of an earthquake before the start of EyeforTravel’s Social Media & Mobile Strategies for Travel conference at which the awards were hosted.

After a morning of insightful social media and mobile presentations, followed by a hearty lunch, the following 10 finalists, spanning 3 categories took to the stage –

Best Mobile App
Best Western 2 Go
Orbitz Worldwide

Best Mobile Website

Best Western 2 Go
Marina Bay Sands

Best Mobile Strategy

InterContinental Hotel Group

In an animated 1.5 hour session, each presented a 5 minute pitch to our esteemed panel of judges. 
The winners were then announced at the evening networking drinks party as: -

·         Best Mobile Travel App – WorldMate
·         Best Mobile Website – Hotwire
·         Best Mobile Strategy - InterContinental Hotel Group

Congratulations to the winners!  All in all it was a very interesting process, highlighting the great work that many travel brands are carrying out in the mobile space.  Stay tuned for more interviews with the winners on

You can read more about each of them here -