Thursday, June 21, 2012

5 Reasons Resorts/Hospitality Industry use Pinterest

This is a piece by Jennifer Craig, Sales & Marketing Manager of the Irwin Inn in Ontario.  It's one of the case studies featured in my newest book, Your Social Strategy.

"With so many social media market avenues available, it is hard to distinguish what ones to engage in.  Should you do them all? Or should you invest your time into just the ones, which make the best sense for your business.  
The Resort industry, markets a fairly emotive product a picturesque lake, a comfy cozy bed, sunsets, natural settings. All of which are hard to get across to the buying public with simple words.  Our target market is women ages 30 - 55, the primary decision makers when it comes to travel.  Our goal with social media was to try to find the best avenue to reach these individuals, and stay in their conversations and forefront of their minds when they were making their decisions.
For the Inn, one of the suggestions was Pinterest being fairly new to the social media scene, this vehicle peaked our interest level and we just started it for several reasons:
1. Its fastest growing demographic is our target audience, women ages 30 to 55 years!  They love pinning their dreams and wishes it’s like having a viral Bucket List!
2. It allows us to display our products & services in an emotive state, nothing expresses emotion more than a beautiful sunset over the stunning lake with 2 chairs in the foreground with a caption that says we’ve reserved you a seat!
3. It allows our guests to connect, they now can share images from our board with their followers of their visits to the Inn, favorite activity etc.
4. It is traceable back to our website, by inputting descriptions with direct links back to our website, viewers are able to travel from our Pinterest board directly to our website, and it’s searchable!
5. And most of all, it's fun to work with!

When we initially set up our boards, we realized the importance of not only promoting the Inn itself but also creating an atmosphere of excitement about our area.  

We initially set up 4 boards:
·         Activities you can enjoy at the Inn – highlighting the many different  experiences you can enjoy while staying at the Inn
·         "Resorting, a way of life" – a Fun board to express what Resorting Life is all about, many images here are captured from other boards
·         Explore the Kawarthas! – This was very important as it allows us to post supplement services and interest items in the area, in addition allow searches based on area not just the Inn.
·         Favorite Places & Spaces – this is a standard title of most pin boards, so we utilize this to showcase the variety of accommodations at the Inn.
·         We’ve since grown the board to include JUST for Fun – things on Pinterest that we just find interesting
·         Weddings – Showcasing the Inn’s location, and services when it comes to the most important day in a couple’s life
·         Executive Retreats – building up a relationship promoting team building, showcasing images of the difference a retreat at a resort can make.
·         Stoney Lake Memories – a board that highlights the beautiful scenery of our lake and special moments that have been shared. And we will soon be adding a Dining Board with full recipes of our favorite dishes, and our Spontaneous Board, for those interested in last minute events, specials and promotions going on at the Inn.

So far our experience has been very positive our followers are slowly growing, and the back links to our website have had a great increase.  We’ve definitely learned a lot along the way, including the importance of descriptions with on Pins, and links back to our website whenever possible.
We get excited when we see other’s repining our images, some for general interest, and others who have stayed here before and want to share the images of the Inn.
Happy Pinning!
Jennifer Craig , Sales & Marketing Manager
Irwin Inn, Stoney Lake

Thank you for sharing your experience with Pinterest Jennifer Craig! Happy Pinning!

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