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There’s a lot of buzz about Pinterest lately. The website is been dubbed “addictive” and SEOs are raving about the bump in traffic they’re receiving from the site. It seems everyone is jumping on the Pinterest bandwagon. But, as a travel professional your available time is limited, and you’re likely wondering, “Is Pinterest worth my time?” Here are four things you need to know before you dive head first into Pinterest-mania.Pinterest for Travel Agencies

1. Pinterest is Not Local

Most travel agencies serve a small local market. Unlike Facebook, Pinterest does not serve up results based on location. This frustrates local businesses that are looking to bring in business. In determining if Pinterest is right for you remember, your practice will find it difficult to grow a local fan base and share local content.
It’s not all bad news. It’s not local, so your message can spread everywhere. As a travel agency you have the ability to make big waves for the industry. Now that’s something to smile about.

2. You Need Original Pins

If your practice is on Pinterest and you want followers, you must pin (add) original content. It’s not enough to simply repin (share pins from other users). This is a hard rule to follow. Pinterest makes repining so easy! The cursor gravitates to the “repin” button before you realize what you’ve done. Resist the urge. It’ll be worth it.
On Pinterest you need to pin your own content. That means you have to create it, but if you already have a blog this should be easy. You can generate buzz by pinning your infographics, “best/top list” articles, captivating images, and destinations you’re selling. This doesn’t mean you can’t pin other great content from around the web. You should. Your followers appreciate content you’ve aggregated for them by pinning. But it won’t drive traffic to your website. So make sure to pin your original content most often.

3. Pinterest is Time Consuming

All of that content creation and pinning takes time. An empty Pinterest board looks sloppy. So if you’re going to add Pinterest to your social media arsenal, dedicate ample time and do it right. An active Pinterest user will not only pin original content, but also follow other pinners and boards, find content to pin from around the web, promote local events, repin interesting or inspirational content, comment on pins, monitor the interests of their followers, and tweak their Pinterest strategy. Is your head spinning? This all takes a lot of time.

4. You Need a Strategy

Pinterest is powerful. But if you’re not doing it right, you are really just wasting your time. If you’ve decided to dive into Pinterest, and dedicate the time to see results you will need a strategy. Get started with the basics. Decide who you will follow, how often you will pin, who is in charge of creating content, how often you will post, how often you will comment, and determine an overall objective. Since it’s easy to get off track, diligently monitor your activity and adjust if you’re straying from your objective. When creating your strategy dedicate time for each task and keep track. Set a timer if you must. When it rings, stop. Pinterest will be around when you get back.

Pinterest is addictive because it’s informational and inspirational. Pinners aggregate pins based on their motivations. (These insights are a marketers dream.) But don’t get lost in the sea of pretty pictures. Stay focused. Your goal is to spread awareness and drive traffic to your website.

5. In Conclusion

Pinterest is still relatively new in the social media game; its path is yet to be determined. Businesses that evaluate the value and dedicate time to developing a strategy are seeing wonderful returns. Before you spend your time on Pinterest make certain to do the same. It has potential to either grow your practice or become a spectacular waste of time.