You may think of Pinterest as the place to go for wedding and cooking ideas, but it’s so much more than that.
Pinterest is a social media platform where users explore, store, and collect visual content that they find inspiring, helpful, or entertaining – either for themselves or to share with others. In this respect, it differs from other social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, where the focus is on personal sharing and status updates. Users add or “pin” content— whether it’s their own or third-party content— to themed boards (e.g. Dinner Ideas, Furniture, Dream Vacations) so they can easily discover and digest new content related to their interests.
Pinterest can be a strong platform for tourism businesses to share inspiring, resourceful, and educational ideas. Use the platform to stay top of mind with your current customers, to raise awareness of your products and experiences with new audiences, and – most importantly –drive qualified traffic to your website, to very specific pages, to very specific products, to generate sales.
This article will walk through the main ways to start using Pinterest:
One unique benefit in creating Pinterest content is that it has a longer shelf life than other platforms, which can save time and money on content creation. The platform’s algorithm is driven by user interest and surfaces popular content rather than the latest posts. This means that the more people like and pin your content to their boards, the more your content will continue to show up in the feeds of others, even months later.
Tip: Focus on creating evergreen content that is continually relevant and does not have an expiration date.
One of the greatest features of Pinterest is that there are less file size restrictions on the format, compared to other platforms. Your Pins can be short or quite long, giving you more flexibility and creative opportunities. Pinterest has several Pin formats to choose from, including:
Also known as a Standard Pin, this format consists of a single image and a few sentences that link to your website.
Destination Vancouver’s Static Pin explores ziplining adventures around the city. This image shows how the Static Pin displays in the Pinterest feed before a user clicks on it.
Once a user clicks on the Static Pin, more details appear.
When a user hovers over the Static Pin, the destination URL appear overtop of the image.
Unlike a Standard Pin where you type in the caption, Rich Pins automatically sync copy from your website to your Pins, so when an update is made on your website, your Pin will also automatically update. Rich Pins are very effective to showcase products, recipes and stories.
Nitty Gritty Life Holistic Sustainable Living used a Rich Pin to share a local jam recipe.
A carousel is a Standard Pin made up of multiple images that a user can swipe through. Carousels are a great way to showcase different product features, promote multiple products or experiences at once, outline an itinerary, or even share your story in chapters. Carousel posts are available for both organic and promoted posts.
Destination BC used a carousel to share a list of five summer experiences from a recent campaign in a promoted post.
A great way to share compelling visual stories with your audience is with Video Pins. The movement in Video Pins are generally more eye catching compared to static images and can increase viewer retention (people love videos!).
Tourism Ireland used a Video Pin to showcase locations across the country where famous movies and TV shows were filmed.
An Idea Pin is like a multi-slide Pin—it can be used to share multiple videos, images, lists and custom text, all in one single Pin. They are perfect for a tutorial or to showcase a range of products.
Idea Pins are not widely available to all accounts yet – but you can request access here.
Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism in Alabama shared an Idea Pin to showcase the local white sand beaches, and delicacies.
A Collection Pin is a format that only appears on mobile devices. It has two components – a larger primary image with three secondary supporting images.
Destination BC used a Collection Pin to feature BC ski stories. Notice the one larger feature image, followed by 3 smaller images below.
Have products to sell? Reach potential customers with Shopping Pins. Create your Pin with product details and indicators so users can tap to see even more product information.
Heartprint Threads uses Shopping Pins to feature their local products in a carousel, allowing them to show a few different images of the bag in one post. By clicking on the “shop on Heartprint Threads” button, users are redirected to their website.
On Pinterest, your Pins, boards and even your profile are searchable. Like all things digital, optimizing your content will enable you to reach a wider audience.
Consider adding keywords and phrases to the following sections of your Pinterest account:
Non-visual users rely on alternative text (or alt-text) descriptions to perceive information in images by using assistive technologies, such as a screen reader. Alternative text on a Pin describes what your image or video is about. Learn more.
Describe the image as specifically as possible, while keeping it short. Popular screen readers cut off alt text at around 125 characters.
The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association’s Pinterest account is rich in keywords. The title includes keywords such as “British Columbia” and “Canada Travel” to help expand their search results for these key terms, and their description includes key landmarks and tourism attractions in the area.
Austin Texas includes a captivating title and a detailed description about the Pin, encouraging users to click on the Pin to read the full article
The title of CCCTA’s Pinterest board is clear and the description provides keywords and terms that users would likely be searching for.
Hashtags on Pinterest are clickable and will direct users to a feed of Pins with the same hashtag. Consider placing hashtags at the end of your description to allow your audience the chance to read your caption and call-to-action before they may be drawn away. You can also add hashtags to the comments section of a Pin but doing so won’t make it appear higher in the algorithm, as Pins appear in results in chronological order.
Note: Hashtags are not clickable on your Pinterest bio, board descriptions, board names, or profile name.
Tip: Although you can add up to 20 hashtags per Pin, a general rule of thumb is to add no more than 5 hashtags per Pin.
Pinterest allows you to upload, save, sort, and pin content into collections known as Pinterst boards. As a user, you can browse other users’ boards for content that piques your interest and “pin it” to your own board. Users have the option to follow individual boards or the entire account.
Tourism Tofino uses a Pinterest board to highlight activities in the area.
Boards that are inspirational, resourceful, or educational will attract more users. Here are some board ideas to consider:
Like any social media platform, the key to your success on Pinterest lies in being active, engaging and building relationships with others. Here are a few ways to grow a solid and loyal following on Pinterest:
Tourism Victoria has enabled a group board that is curated by users sharing content with the #ExploreVictoria hashtag.
To get more of your audience to see your content, consider Pinterest ads (or Promoted Pins). You’ll see “Promoted” labelled on the Pin, and they look and behave as other Pins do. Promoted Pins are placed where your audience is most likely to see them on the platform, like their home feed, category feed and relevant search results. Users can pin Promoted Pins to their boards, share, and comment on them.
Marriott Bonvoy boosted their Weekend Getaway package as a Promoted Pin.
A key feature of Promoted Pins is that after the first person has shared it, the “Promoted” label disappears and subsequent re-pins are considered earned media; which means you get free exposure. Pinterest allows you to run Promoted Pins for Standard Pins, videos, carousels, and collections. Learn more about Pinterest Ads.
Once you’re ready to take on Pinterest, it’s easy to get started:
1. Sign up for a business Pinterest account OR
Convert your existing Pinterest account into a Pinterest business account without losing your existing content.
Tip: Install the ‘Pin it Button’ on your website so users can easily pin your website content to their boards. Here’s how.
Subscribe to our newsletter