Pinterest Takes Flight

Pack your bags because Pinterest just got a lot more useful!  Advertising on Pinterest is not solely for products, it can also be used to promote services.  Advertisers and marketers are starting to realize that Pinterest is being used for major life planning, which requires these specific services.  Users turn to Pinterest to create a space where all of their hopes and dreams can be laid out, and one of the largest categories online is travel and tourism.  Pinterest thrives on images, and is one of the largest image-based sites, so then what better place to re-pin some of the most beautiful travel destinations?

Pinterest allows destination marketers to show off their best quality photos.  Pleasing images tend to have a greater impact on viewers than any amount of text, hence the saying “a picture speaks louder than words”.  Naturally, Pinterest is a prime spot for promoting travel destinations.  In Neil Patel’s blog, he engages with users in his Q&A forum.  One reader asked if customers search Pinterest in the same way as they would on Google, for things such as airline tickets.  His response leaned more on the destination side, rather than the actual purchasing of a ticket.  He was able to enlighten his readers by informing them of the benefits of advertising on Pinterest, something that they had never even thought of before.

American Airlines has utilized Pinterest to their advantage in this way, and has pioneered the airline industry through this new wave of advertising.  In an online presentation, American Airlines Social Media Specialist, Stephanie Scott, speaks about leveraging a business on Pinterest.  Since Pinterest is strictly photos, American Airlines focuses on showing images of their aircrafts and their interiors, or of travel destinations they have serviced.  Along with these images,  the Faces of AA is a board that shows photos of the employees.  This creates a connection between the company, the employees, and the customers, which in turn humanizes the brand.  American Airlines also provides behind-the-scenes videos, which gives customers an inside look at the company.  When users re-pin these posts, those pins are directly linked back to the main website, which increases traffic to the site.  Another tactic American Airlines uses is e-commerce, where they posts fare sales so customers can be directed to the website to purchase their tickets.

The most successful effort was their Promotion Board.  They created the hashtag #AAtoAsia to celebrate 25 years of safe flying to and from Asia. With this promotion, customers could win a trip to Tokyo if they re-pinned their graphic, along with a picture of a place they wished to visit in Asia.  When American Airlines collected the data after the promotion, they saw tremendous results.  Their number of re-pins, impressions, and followers all increased drastically, which is the ultimate goal of online advertising.  Now Pinterest users are satisfied and can fly safely!



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