More notes on Pinterest for Bed and Breakfasts

A follow up post to Pinterest for Bed and Breakfasts

I wrote about 95% of this post on a plane mid last month and with all the continuing interest in Pinterest I thought it best to try to finish up. I just discovered recently (yesterday in fact) that Pinterest has been around for more then a year (I came across a photo pinned a year ago) and backtracked to find the site was registered in November of 2009, which is interesting with all the recent hype about it.

If you have not yet started a pinboard for your bed and breakfast, I suggest your first boards be of things that are not directly about your inn or photos of your inn. I suggest starting with food photos first, niche foods seem to be hot, like gluten free photos and recipes as well as kid friendly for those inns that take children. Do boards about your area, restaurants and attractions, gain some pins and followers and then do inn specific images after you have started to gain some followers.

If you gain people’s interest right off they will follow you, which means following all your boards, instead of following individual pinboards that you create. The advantage to this is they are then exposed to ALL the new photos you might add, including your own specific ones relating to your inn.

Because pinterest is not a social network in the traditional sense, don’t worry about follower and followee counts. If you follow a hundred people and only start out with 3 people following your boards, it’s not a bad thing, as opposed to having only 12 followers on twitter and you are following 2000.

Some tips:

  • Use the move board function to move the boards you want the most attention drawn to the spots above the fold, The top 6/8 boards will be viewed first.  While people generally pin things as they see your own pins coming into the stream, if they find thing they like they will go to your home “wall” and you want the things they view first to be of the most visual impact to your business.
  • The best activity time for most interest seems to be around 6:00 PM up until about 8:00 PM during the workweek and throughout the day on Sunday.
  • When and if you start doing your own recipes and photos, you should pin them on multiple boards, as a photo can have multiple tags, i.e. an apple tart photo could have a breakfast label, an apple recipes label and a dessert label. This gives your photos/recipes/url links more exposure, as well as adding multiple incoming links to your website, blog or google+ business page.
  • You can ask guests and former guests to put their own photos of their visits of the area and your inn and then re-pin these photos on your own pinboard giving them credit. Make sure you give them a thank you and recognition for doing this, incentives as well are always good, a good way to do this is a thank you on your Facebook fan page or a shoutout on twitter and/or 10% off their next stay if they create a unique pinboard of the area (this would exclude just repinning other users pins)
  • Add the pin it widget to your photos on your blog and on your website, keep in mind if you move or delete the photos they do not stay on pinterest, the link remains but has a x where the photo will be, I would tend to think active pinners would delete it at that point so make sure your pin tabs remain active.
  • When pining new photos, don’t use aggregate sites. Foodgawker is a good example of this (and I hesitated using it as an example because it’s a great source of food photo material, but I’m sharing because B&Bs are so nice) Pin the actual source of the photo, so if Foodgawker aggregated it from go there and repin it as a source. What you want to try to avoid is giving out your secret sources as people who pin your interesting photos won’t be pinning the ones you find, they will go straight to the source instead.


This has been brought up on several blogs already: Some ideas to garner interest in your inn and other social media activities. Run a contest on facebook, your blog or websites. For former or frequent visitors to your area, have them create an area pinboard, this may include their own photos

You can run a dream vacation contest, have a selection of photos together that would include food photos with descriptions, special touches or add-ons (even if you don’t currently do all of them this can become a testing ground) photos of area activities and a board with your room pictures. Have past guests and potential future guests put together a board of options of what their perfect dream vacation would entail. Not only will it give you some insight on which rooms are favorites (from a past guests perspective) as well as the perspective of what attracts potential guests to a room or rooms, but you can see what people like to eat, what they like to do and what perhaps what you could offer that you don’t currently.

If 13 out of 20 people select an image of getting served breakfast in bed (or delivered to their door) and it’s not something you had previously considered doing, think about doing a trial run with it.  If 99% or 100% of people don’t pick a particular room, why? is it something about the description of the room? something it lacks? or just a poor picture that doesn’t show the room to its proper potential.  Choose a winner at random with their dream vacation (of course make sure its cost doable first) this can be an ongoing contest that’s drawn monthly or quarterly.

Last thoughts:

There is some talk that Pinterest could commercialize some of the boards or accounts which I hope doesn’t happen. I do know photos posted on my own board and on some of the boards I contribute to have already indicated that it can be source of “free” traffic to your website or blog.

Some recent blog posts of interest about Pinterest.

How to Get Around on Pinterest

7 Ways to Use Pinterest to Promote Your Business – Plus Infographic

The Ultimate Guide to Mastering Pinterest for Marketing

Pinterest Drives More Traffic Than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn Combined [STUDY]



About Chef Forfeng

Innkeeping Tip and Tricks: Please check out some marketing ideas for Inns and B&Bs, Blogging ideas, Facebook Tips and Social Media Tutorials
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12 Responses to More notes on Pinterest for Bed and Breakfasts

  1. Carol says:

    I’m having fun creating some boards – my emphasis is on the REAL Jersey Shore! What is the etiquette for 1. following others, 2. repinning, 3. other? Thanks!!!

    • Chef Forfeng says:

      you can pin whomever you want, repinning as well, just keep in mind when you follow someone, you follow all their boards, I quickly learned in the beginning sometimes you may just want to follow a couple of boards, I found myself deluged with baby clothes for awhile from someone I had followed “all” but had a lovely interior design board I ended up unfollowing all and just following the individual board instead. In terms of etiquette all I can see/find is be polite. It seems less social and more visual overall.

    • Carol says:

      Excellent advice, as always! Looking around today & I can see already that some people have many boards & it could be overwhelming. Thank You!

  2. Oh…and thank you also for helping spread the word about StayNYC!

  3. Pinterest warns not to use your account for self promotion. Am I missing something? I worry about these things and was reluctant to “pin” my own website.

    • Chef Forfeng says:

      An Hubspot put it: Pinterest Etiquette

      As with any site that is built around content curation, ‘pinners’ (Pinterest users) must be especially cognizant of citing the sources of their individual pins. And while Pinterest makes no direct statement that marketers cannot use the social network for promotional purposes, the site does discourage blatant self-promotion:

      “Avoid Self Promotion | Pinterest is designed to curate and share things you love. If there is a photo or project you’re proud of, pin away! However, try not to use Pinterest purely as a tool for self-promotion.”

      Couple this with Pinterest’s lifestyle vision, and what its means is that marketers need to find creative ways to promote their brand on the network and truly jive with its vision and user base. In other words, businesses should use the social network to showcase the lifestyle their brand promotes. If you’re a shoe vendor, a pinboard of the shoes you sell won’t cut it. A pinboard of a few of your shoes interspersed with images of places those shoes could take you, however, is the direction you should be thinking.

      Read more:

      There are many brands on there “promoting” their brand, but doing it wisely, so curating content aside from just your own puts it as “not blantant” self promotion. If pinterest were to start really cracking down on brands pinning their own content (from what I have seen so far) they would shutting down literally in the thousands of accounts.

  4. Carol says:

    Thanks for the GREAT post about Pinterest! Wonderful, specific suggestions are very helpful. I’m waiting for an “invite’ and then the time to do one more thing:)

    • Chef Forfeng says:

      Carol, just sent you an invite 🙂

    • Carol says:

      I did request an invitation (forget where it originated) but it’s been a while. I don’t want to annoy them with duplicate requests…..

    • Chef Forfeng says:

      Carol, I did send an invite, did you get it?

    • Carol says:

      Hi I DID get your Invitation – thank you so much! (I was referring to one I submitted previously from another source, but nothing happened) Anyway, I followed your link successfully & am trying to “learn” their system. Think I will look & learn for a bit & read up on Pinterest so – thanks also for the article from the HubSpot blog & your excellent tips! I really appreciate your help!!

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