A recent report from comScore has highlighted the opportunity available to the travel industry on Pinterest.
With 25 million users (double what it had 4 months ago), the figures quoted in the report suggest that Pinterest offers an audience of over 5 million people actively interested in travel content.
Coupled with other well known statistics in the holiday decision making process, the potential for travel agencies and other sector organisations isn't to be underestimated.
Whilst most families will have their holiday decision taken by the household adults, almost two thirds of the research into where they choose to go is peformed by the lead female of the house.
Why does this matter? It matters because Pinterest remains dominated by women. Over 70% of its user base is female.
A quick visit to Pinterest by anyone will reveal the vast amount of travel related content. However, more detailed analysis demonstrates this is largely uploaded by users themselves.
Few companies have grasped the fact that by populating Pinterest with good, well organised and destination specific content they can capitalise on a combination of audience, interest and the decision making process.
Companies in the United States have been swifter to react than most, but activity from travel companies in the United Kingdom remains low.
What could be done?
Let's look at a basic and incredibly easy to achieve example:
Any travel agency could create a Pinterest account and within minutes have a selection of "Boards" appropriately titled.
Let's started with 5 boards. We'll call them:
Into each of these boards we'll place image content. So, the Canary Islands board might contain 30-40 pictures of the hotels we have on offer in Lanzarote, Tenerife and so on.
Each image will be appropriately captioned and we'll briefly describe the hotel, what it offers and provide a link to where to get more information on:
The links we'll provide could be to pages on our own website, or perhaps on a travel related blog we'll maintain in conjunction with our Pinterest page. Remember - Pinterest allows you to place links with the description you place on pins.
We'll ensure the descriptions of images on boards contain all the words that Pinterest users are likely to use when searching content.
What we've just gone through is a simple and very achieveable process. You could take it to a much deeper level by having a Pinterest board specific to "Current deals" - leading directly to bookable holidays on your website.
Sellers of handbags, shoes, jewellry and many other female-interest wares have already adopted the very same approach with success.
You've achieved brand visibility, you know you're marketing to an audience demonstrating an interest in travel, the fact the majority of them are highly involved in the decision making process is undeniable - and you've done it all for the cost of nothing more than your time.
What's more, we've already discussed in previous articles that Pinterest traffic tends to last much longer than other forms of social media. Content posted 3 months ago still delivers referrals to websites in our experience.
We'd readily accept the fact that when discussing such opportunities you have to factor in many other points. However, as this is a free blog article we're sure you'll forgive us for not revealling all we'd suggest could be exploited in this situation. We've merely tried to get the mind ticking over for those in this sector.
The obvious question for our UK readers might be how many Pinterest users, interested in travel, constitute the 5 million we've mentioned earlier in this article.
We don't know that figure - but what we do know is that UK visitors to Pinterest have grown by over 800% in 2012 - to an astonishing 8,000,000 visits from our shores in September.
If travel was an interest for the same percentage as comScore say represents the average Pinterest user, then there were 1.6 million chances to put your content in front of an audience.
The UK, and females in particularly, are huge consumers of Pinterest content. Yet, the travel industry is slow to respond to it. The good news is that the window of opportunity is still open...