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Pinterest, the vastly popular image-sharing social network, third only to Facebook and Twitter, has recently updated its layout, incorporating new features and cutting out previous ones in addition to tweaking the general look of the site. The Digital Tourism Think Tank has previously highlighted the network’s huge appeal, and the statistics pointing to it being a cross-demographic (although predominantly female) success story. Given this high popularity, for all destinations and tourism organisations currently on the site, or looking to enter the space, making note of the new changes is essential.

The Pinteresting Changes

As was the case with Facebook before it, Pinterest’s most notable adaptation is a greater focus on the images its users share. The homepage has taken on a more streamlined, ordered appearance, with the photos or ‘pins’ now larger. Additionally, the Categories section has been moved to a more instinctive location, into a drop-down list on the top-left of the screen as opposed to the previous placement under the Pinterest logo in the centre of the screen. The enhanced emphasis on images is underlined by the removal of the immediate display of the comment button when hovering over a pin – ‘repinning’ and liking the images is encouraged first, while comments can be left once the pin is specifically clicked on. Alongside the commenting option, when a pin is expanded further social options have now been included, broadening the site’s external scope; a button now enables the sharing of pins through other channels, a direct link is provided to the image’s source website, and a greater range of relevant boards are displayed alongside to supplement findings within the user’s area of interest.

Pinterest Marketing Tools

According to Social Media Examiner, the best feature to be introduced by the new Pinterest is its analytics tool. This is of course of key importance to businesses looking to make conversions using the site, allowing the tracking of results.  The site metrics produce four graphs of information, which display: the number of images from your website being pinned day by day, and by how many users; number of ‘repins’ and ‘repinners’; number of impressions a pin has made within Pinterest and its reach; the number of Pinterest-originating clicks and visitors to your website (Social Marketing Writing). These metrics work well with each other to allow a business to gauge what strategy is being successful for them on the site, particularly given the daily view of the statistics.

Pinterest is clearly aware of what the online consumer wants, implementing trends observed across social networking sites to their adapted look. With regard to destinations and tourism organisations, it is a great channel to make use of, not only because of its growing popularity but also because of the content it hosts. Pinterest serves as a social catalogue of inspirations for its users, which they then share with anyone who looks at their boards. Travel photography is a hugely popular category of images shared on the site, and so destinations controlling a steady outflow of such quality images, promoting particular locations, can be hugely effective marketing practice.

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