I’ve been getting a lot of questions this past week about the value (and what is) Pinterest. There seems to be an incredible amount of media hype about as it as the “new” social network and how it will compete with the top social media sites.
From a couple of hours to digging around in the site (all in the name of research of course) I can’t really say the site is “social”, you can connect with other people who have pinned items by pinning things yourself but even comments don’t seem to have much interaction.
I CAN say that the site is highly addictive, so be warned!! Best investigated at night when the dishes are washed and the guests retired for the night, I understand it makes a good place to poke around if you have insomnia as well.
From a Bed and Breakfasts standpoint here are some notes that might be helpful on seeing whether you want to dive in and spend time online on yet another site.
I think that the ideas that can be garnered for breakfast ideas alone are worth visiting the site. If you check out http://pinterest.com/all/?category=food_drink and http://pinterest.com/search/?q=breakfast you can see that even if you don’t want to check out the recipes, the visual ideas alone are enough to make you go, “hmmm that looks interesting to try to recreate.”
Of note is the amount of ideas for redecorating bedrooms and bathrooms, as well as exterior landscaping, I am hard put to think of any innkeeper I know, that is at some point during the year is not renovating, revamping and redoing some portion of their inn.
Of note as well are the amount of B&B photos from websites and blogs that have been pinned by users. Even BedandBreakfast.com http://pinterest.com/bnblovers/ has jumped on the bandwagon.
While it’s too soon to tell whether you have one pinboard or many on Pinterest and if it will affect search engine rankings or not. Pinboards are showing up in Google search. Each time a user pins a B&B photo it also pins the link it originated at.
Some notes on using Pinterest:
Your profile on your Pinterest account offers you a link to your twitter account, a link to your Facebook account (personal only) and a separate area where you can add a hotlink of your choice to where ever you might want it to go, a website, a Facebook fan page, a G+ page or a blog. Links put within your profile/bio do not become hotlinks.
You can’t pin photos from Facebook that includes Facebook Fan Pages
You CAN pin photos from Google+ personal pages and business pages
Comments can contain links and they are hot/clickable.
There is a 387 letter count for your profile/bio
When you pin something you can also send it to your twitter and facebook (personal accounts)
Pinterest does have a app https://www.facebook.com/pinterest that you can add to your FB business page but apparently it doesn’t do anything (as of yet)
You can add a pin button to your browser tool bar at https://pinterest.com/about/goodies/ as well as a “Pin It” and “Follow” button you can add to your website or blog in multiple locations.
There is an option in your settings to “Hide your Pinterest profile from search engines” although I can’t imagine why anyone would want to do this.
I would suggest reading the help pages at http://pinterest.com/about/help/ as well as the Pin Etiquette page at https://pinterest.com/about/etiquette/ They do make it clear that self promotion is fine so to speak as long as it’s not ALL of what you do.
Here are a few examples of innkeepers that I have found using Pinterest so far.
Thomas Shepherd Inn
Claiborne House B&B
Butterfly Gap Retreat
Royalton Bed and Breakfast
Red Bud ValleyResort
The Old Hen
The Flying Frog B&B (not yet open for business
I would recommend checking out Mankin Mansion http://pinterest.com/mankinmansion/ which is doing some very nice focusing on weddings. I actually found their pin boards by Googling “Pinterest bed and breakfasts” and came up with their blog: http://historicmankinmansion.com/mankin-blog/2011/12/12/were-in-it-to-pin-it/
An examples of what is clearly a Bed and Breakfast lover:
I also came across this pin, which I’m not quite sure what to make of: https://pinterest.com/pin/160370436700422013/ but does make one wonder if B&Bs should start monitoring their brand on Pinterest as usership grows.
Some recent articles to note.
Pinterest: A Beginner’s Guide to the Hot New Social Network
Pinterest: A Hotel’s Quick Guide to the Hot New Photo Sharing Site
From the blog post: Hotel Indigo does a great job of “guestsourcing” – using photos that guests have tweeted or uploaded as a Pinterest board: http://pinterest.com/hotelindigo/hotel-indigo-through-the-eyes-of-our-guests/
Pinterest How and Why
From the blog post: Pinterest has jumped from only 40,000 users in October 2010, to more than 3.2 million in October 2011! This is pretty surprising, considering you still need an invitation to join the network. You can request an invitation from Pinterest, or if you know anybody that is already active on the site, they can hook you up with one. Once you get your invitation, you can sign in through Facebook or Twitter. (Pinterest does not post status updates or tweets automatically, unless you ask them to). I think that the most striking thing about Pinterest’s popularity is the amount of time that people are spending on the site. The site is relatively addicting, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if most users spend upwards of an hour there, each time they visit.
Pinterest is also quite useful as far as SEO goes. Each Pin contains a few links, that will certainly help SEO rankings. ‘Pin It’ buttons can be positioned right next to an image on your site, which is what I see a few retailers doing. If you are browsing the Internet, and see something that you want, pin it up for everybody to see! This is a fun and useful way to share what you think about the products you have, or wish you had. This also promotes the product itself, and depending on the popularity of the subject, could be repinned or shared over and over again.
If anyone would like an invite to Pinterest please put in the comments (I won’t publish the email address) It seems to take about a week otherwise if you apply to it.