Visual search engines like Pinterest and Instagram are more popular than social networking giants Facebook and Twitter with the hotel industry. Pinterest has grown rapidly in the past couple of years, and hotels have been capitalizing on its wide reach. Pinterest and Instagram are based on the concept of photo-sharing and hotels are now using these platforms to build their dedicated customer base as well as to catch new visitors. Hotel industry is all about visual experience, and these platforms provide the perfect opportunity to showcase their product images.
Pinterest, the pin board style social site, has crossed 70 million users in mid-2013 and is very much suitable to the travel industry since its foundation in 2010.
Starwood Hotel claims that its guests across 1,150 properties share around 44,000 images per month on Instagram. As a result of this, Starwood Hotel properties have tied-up with Instagram and the images snapped by its guests will be put under “Guest Gallery from Instagram” section in all of its sites.
Sourya Gaulin, director of corporate PR and social media for Four Seasons Hotel, believes that being on such platforms, there is value of presence. Four Seasons has launched a campaign Pin.Pack.Go on August 2013 so that their guests can participate by creating a Pin.Pack.Go board and then leave a comment on the board stating which hotel they will visit. The hotel named by the guest in the comment will keep following that guest’s activities, thereby, never letting the guest forget about the hotel.
Pinterest and Instagram create brand awareness and many hotels now have Pinterest and Instagram as their top priority.
Gaulin further says that the Pin.Pack.Go campaign on Pinterest is a pro-active way to interact with potential guests before they arrive and allows closer rapport with customers.
Brook Snow, columnist at Anvil Media, says “Pinterest and Instagram are grand ways through which hotels can showcase their personality as well as widen their social media reach.”
Although Facebook and Twitter have a wider reach, Pinterest and Instagram help marketers in reaching their target audience. For example, Pinterest has over 80% women users across the world. The hotels have accordingly created their marketing strategies, seeing the target customers. Pinterest is now the fastest growing social networking site in the world. According to a recent survey, Pinterest users spend more than two times than Facebook users.
Thus, they can easily convert their hits into leads when they aim at the target audience. According to a survey report by BlogHer, in 2013, Pinterest with 21% usage has already beaten Twitter with 18% usage, while Facebook still remains at the top. The trend is further going to grow, and visual search engines are here to stay.
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By G+ Author: Erin Washington.