5 years ago

Beyond the recipes and cats, how airlines and airports can also use Pinterest

NB: This is a guest article by Marco Serusi and Shubhodeep Pal at SimpliFlying.

Over the past 12 months, Pinterest has gone from being a relatively unknown website to being considered one of the most-engaging social networks around, and not without reason.

When it first hit the headlines, about a year ago, Pinterest was still an invite-only site raking in about three million views a month. Today, it is open to everyone and receives about 25 million a month.

The initial skepticism of some commentators regarding its utility for brands quickly faded away as many companies launched their Pinterest profiles and the first data about its growing user base, demographics and referral traffic emerged.

This week Pinterest announced the launch of its business pages as a first step towards creating a more differentiated experience for individual users and brands.

At present, other than the terms and conditions, the only visible difference between the two types of pages is the possibility for brand pages to verify their websites, but new business-oriented features should be launched in the near future.

Pinterest for airlines and airports

We have had the pleasure recently of seeing how a number of airlines and airports have taken eagerly to Pinterest with a variety of different approaches.

However, given the novelty of this image-centered social network, only the aviation brands that persevered and adopted new approaches were able to develop meaningful strategies.

Many others attempted to use the same strategies they had applied in other social networks and ended up abandoning their profiles.

Now that Pinterest has launched its business pages it is likely that many aviation brands will once again join this social network or revamp their efforts.

As a reminder to these brands and the people behind them we have decided to offer some reminders of things about Pinterest that are too often forgotten or misunderstood:

1. Nurture dreams of destinations

Although many people like planes and some even call themselves “avgeeks”, few people really travel for the sheer pleasure they derive from being locked in to a beautiful and carefully designed pressurized tube for several hours.

The reason why people travel is obviously to get to a destination. And, unlike other social networks, on Pinterest people like to collect things they wish to see, do or buy in thefuture.

This gives airline and airports the opportunity to engaging the traveler in the dream stage – the first stage in the connected traveler lifecycle of the modern traveler.

2. Shareable curiosity and virtual journeys

What do you do when you dream? What is the most basic element of a dream?

You guessed it: an image. This is where Pinterest’s strength lies. The reason why Pinterest can be used so effectively in engaging customers before they have even made the decision to travel (and, subsequently, influence them to travel) is because its image-centric nature allows people to be captivated by various vistas of their dream destination.

The power of images need not be reiterated – research has shown how images far surpass text and other cues in influencing the human subconscious, including memory, dreams and aspirations. Pinterest offers airlines and airports the chance to associate their brands with “dream destinations”.

This is because its image-boards can not only generate Shareable Curiosity – the urge to find out more about something and then share what you find – but can also take potential travelers through Virtual Journeys of places far and wide. What better way to convince someone to travel?

3. Pinterest as an image hub and information resource

Another often missed opportunity is that of using Pinterest as an image hub where all the images created by the company or posted by users during campaigns can go.

For example, responses to a Instagram competition focused on the airline’s destination could easily be pinned to a dedicated board and provide plenty of brand-relevant user-generated but curated content.

In much the same way, images and albums created by the airline for social networks like Facebook can also be shared on Pinterest, allowing them to gain new life.

Basically, the next time you think of using images, think of how Pinterest can enhance or multiply the effect even better. How about a collection of great images on a single pin-board that helps your audience find the lowest fares to the destination depicted in the image?

Or how about a pin-board that gives your audience a ready-made resource to navigate around a dream destination – city guide, restaurant guide, weather guide and more?

As airlines and airports figure out how Pinterest works best for them, we have also showcased here what we think are a couple of the best examples of how Pinterest is being used to attract and engage customers.

NB: This is a guest article by Marco Serusi and Shubhodeep Pal at SimpliFlying.

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A founding principle of tnooz was a diversity of viewpoints from across the spectrum. Viewpoints are articles by guest contributors from around the travel and hospitality industries.



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  1. SimpliFlying in The News – November 2012 | KMP Digitata

    […] is always thrilling to know that our efforts are appreciated. For starters, the article Beyond the recipes and cats, how airlines and airports can also use Pinterest, written by our in-house experts Marco Serusi and Shubhodeep Pal, came out top on Tnooz as the […]


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