When social media platforms are boiled down to their core, most ultimately turn out to have the same goals, express the same things, but each just differs in its delivery. It’s about the now, about what the user has, and about what the user is doing. Pinterest; however, is different. Pinterest is about the future. It’s about the user’s hopes, their dreams and their goals. Pinterest is about showing what the user wants from life.
Unsurprisingly, this means that a significant number of pins relate to travel. In fact, travel is in Pinterest’s top 10 largest categories, with hundreds of millions of travel pins being saved each year. Everyone wants to see the world- but the world isn’t small, and choices need to be made. Where first? What is there to do there? How should I prepare? For the traveler who doesn’t want to figure these things out for themselves, travel companies, such as cruise lines, provide loosely structured templates for vacation. When these companies combine with Pinterest’s analytics capabilities and advertising effectiveness, it creates a travel planning powerhouse that allows businesses to create an ideal trip for a chosen demographic, and then market it to them.
One way of looking at the process of planning a trip is to break it down into 3 stages– the dream stage, the plan stage, and the book stage. Pinterest is influential in each of these steps. In the dream stage, when users first desire to go to a place, Pinterest is not only an effective way to browse and save things relating to the users dream, but the site has already cemented itself as the go-to destination for american demographic with the most buying power– affluent 25-54 year old women, usually with families. This makes the site an ideal place for companies to find out what users already want out of travel, and to market new destinations to them. In the plan stage, users begin actively preparing for a trip they want to make. This is when a travel company can reach in and begin advertising their services effectively. Using Pinterest’s analytics capabilities makes it easier to find the users that would be most interested in what the company has to offer. Finally, in the booking stage, customers will set their plans in stone, purchase travel and accommodation and possibly plan outings. Once again, many users turn to Pinterest for this stage to browse options for entertainment and lodging. This is the final chance for a company to make themselves known to the user. The use of Pinterest for dedicated travel advertising may be in its early stages now, but considering its effectiveness and current growth rate, it probably won’t stay that way for long.