Pinterest recently launched Place Pins, a way of attaching location information to pins on boards that have enabled maps. At first glance, they seem primarily useful for people compiling lists of where to get the best burger in a number of cities, or for planning your next vacation.
However, there are a number of ways they can be useful to businesses, even ones not in the travel or hospitality industries.
- Businesses with physical locations can attach their location to Place Pins of pictures they take in their workplace. A spa can associate pictures of their services with a mapped location; a restaurant or grocery store can post photos of delicious food – and associate it with their location. A hotel can post pictures of their view, and their comfortable beds.
- If you’re a local chain, create a board with Place Pins of all of your locations. (If you’re a larger chain, create different boards for each major metropolitan area, but the same general idea applies.)
- If you sell a product, encourage users to pin pictures of themselves using that product with Place Pins. Then set up a pin on that board where your customers can comment with their pin address so that you can repin these pictures to your company’s board. This way, your customers become advocates not only for your brand, but for a specific location.
- Give people reasons to spend more time in and around your physical business locations – or any conferences your business may host – by creating a board with Place Pins of neighboring businesses. I’d love to know that the business next door to you is a bookstore, or that across the street I can get a great sandwich. Tell me about your community.
- Is there a conference or event around your business? A board with Place Pins of local restaurants, tourist attractions, and hotels close to the venue will help people attending your events find food and entertainment at your location even if they aren’t staying with you.
- If your event has speakers from all over the globe, create Place Pins with head shots for each speaker at their main business address. Show the global/geographic nature your show provides.
- Use Place Pins on a secret board to map out business prospects. This could be very valuable for sales teams breaking out their territories, service representatives, or marketers working on targeted campaigns.
This last use case is especially interesting because it shows how Pinterest is becoming useful not only for client-facing social relationships, but also for internal purposes. Secret boards have been around for about a year now, but the added metadata from the newer rich pins such as Place Pins support business planning and processes as well.
Soon, I’ll talk more about how your Pinterest strategy should differ from your strategies for other social media properties you may already use, such as Twitter.