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Using Pinterest to Enhance Your Online Visibility

February 12th, 2012 by InsideOut Solutions

Internet Marketing Weekly:

Pinterest is an image sharing social media platform that has been gaining a rapid rise in users, 10 million so far, and is showing itself to step far and above other image-sharing sites like Picasa and Flickr in search over the last eight months.

pinterest-search-trends

Search trends for Pinterest have outranked others in 2011

Obtaining entree to Pinterest has proved a challenge for some. There are essentially two ways to go about obtaining an invite to create a Pinterest account.
The first is to go to Pinterest and request for an invitation using your name and email address. Sometimes however, the invitation never comes.

Request a Pinterest Invitation

Request a Pinterest Invitation

The other way is to ask a friend who is already on Pinterest to invite you via email, Facebook or Twitter. I’ve attempted to gain an invite both ways, only finding the latter to be successful.

Does Pinterest Have Marketing Value for Your Business?

Pinterest is all the rage right now — especially with the new Facebook integration. But can you use it for business purposes, visibility and marketing your inn, ranch or other business?
Since Pinterest, unlike other social networks, allows “do follow” on their links, rather than the more common “no-follow” with sites like Trip Advisor, the links provided on Pinterest are giving ranking benefit.
This being the case, consider implementing these practices to enhance your search visibility when using your Pinterest account for your business:

When Setting up Your Account Under “Edit Profile”:

  1. Make certain you set your profile so it is not hidden from search engines and use keyword-rich, descriptive text in the “about” section.
  2. Begin the “About” with your business URL. This is not a live link but it can’t hurt to have it here.
  3. List your web URL and also set the location to the city and state where your business is located.
  4. If your inn, ranch or other business is well represented with a Google Places page, consider using that as the landing page for your profile instead of your website. If there are great reviews of your business and services located there, then this can really add value.

pinterest-set-up-account

When Using Pinterest:

  1. Create boards with keyword-rich titles.
  2. Use well-optimized keyword text when writing descriptions of your pins.
  3. Make sure to pin attractive images. Pinterest users are all about the visual.
setting-up-pinterest-board

 What Kind of Boards Might You Create?

Pick 1-3 niches that you’re passionate about which also support what you do as an innkeeper.

  • Create a board for each of the main categories that are on your website, like rooms, breakfast items, area activities.
  • If you offer vegan, gluten-free, fine cuisine, locavore, etc., create a board that shows your finds to support this focus.
  • Design: If your inn has a unique architectural feature or design focus, create a board for this (New England Cape Cod, Beachy, Mid-century Modern, Bauhaus inspired, etc.).
  • Gardening: Do you have unique gardens, flowers, or a food garden you maintain for the table?
  • Do you offer a wedding venue, or a cooking school, or a stretch of river for fly fishing?

Inns & Associations Using Pinterest to Good Effect.

Blair House Inn Bed & Breakfast
The High Pointe Bed & Breakfast
The Flying Frog Bed & Breakfast
White Oak Manor
Shadowlawn Bed & Breakfast
California Association of Bed and Breakfast Inns

Develop a Style and Personality for Your Boards

The pin boards need to make sense for your business and you need to have enough content on them to make them worth following.

  • Create boards that reflect both your personal and business ideas.
  • Feature causes you support, area attractions, as well as businesses and people that support your business.
  • Create a group board to increase engagement. Whether your goal is to encourage your employees to spread the word about your business, or to  receive feedback from current or potential customers, Pinterest allows  boards to have contributors. Consider hosting a group board so that your followers can add their own additions and pictures.

Share content that is relevant and valuable and not overly promotional so people are able to discover new things. Facebook doesn’t necessarily allows for that kind of discovery, and the kind of conversation you have on Twitter and the feedback you receive is very different. Pinterest gives people the option to choose what information they are getting. Unlike a general Twitter feed, Pinterest users can choose to follow certain boards and select the kind of conversation they want to engage with.

Gauging Success With Feedback

With Pinterest, an image you upload that is repined by others about a recipe, for example, may help as you develop new ones for your guests. If you see a particular room or garden feature being re-pinned, you may consider offering to feature that room in a promotion, or do a blog post on your gardening techniques.  You can gauge the most shared content as a way to improve how you speak to your fans, guests and followers.

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