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How to Create a Place Pin Board on Pinterest

Day 16 of 31 Days to a Better Pinterest Page. Day 16 is about creating a place pin board for your business. There are a variety of uses. Example number 2 has yet to be used on Pinterest. Article by Vincent Ng. #PintalysisAcademy

Welcome to day 16 of the 31 Days to a Better Pinterest Page, can you believe it that we’re past the half way mark?

For day 16, I’m going to encourage you to create a place pin board.  Place pins are a type of rich pin that is associated with a location on a map. While I would say it’s not essential for businesses to have a place pin board, it can add an extra creative and helpful dimension to your business depending on how it’s used.

Here’s what the place pin board created by Cassie from Ever in Transit looks like. As you can see it maps out some of her favourite locations in the San Francisco area.

How to create a Place Pin Board on Pinterest by Vincent Ng.

The use of place pins are only limited to your imagination. The best way to approach place pins is to think of it in terms of providing extra information that would be interesting or educational to your customers. Creating a place pin board without knowing how it contributes to your marketing strategy would be a waste of time.

Since your business is going to be different from the next one, I thought it was best to show how place pins could be used in a variety of business industries.

What Businesses Can Benefit from Place Pins?

Hospitality

If you operate a hotel, there’s no doubt that one of the questions your staff receives is where are all the good places to go eat and visit.

Why not create a place pin board with pins of all great eateries that 10 minute walking distance away? Also create a place pin board for all the attractions around the city and in the surrounding region that you believe your hotel guests may enjoy. Create pins that share little known secrets about the city, or even your hotel to help them become excited about visiting.

The Vancouver area, where I live, wasn’t just the host for the 2010 Winter Olympics, it’s also a place where you’re able go out to fresh ocean waters and potentially get up close and personal with whales through whale watching tours.

Something that many tourists who visit the Olympic host city may not be aware about. Imagine creating a place pin board that shows off those wondrous activities. How much would they want to visit the city and stay at your hotel?

Think of the place pins as an online concierge!

Supermarkets and Businesses that Support Local

Do you run a farmer’s market or a local supermarket?

People nowadays are curious about where their food comes from. Why not make it easier to answer that question and take photos of your produce, meats and vegetables and show off where all that delicious food comes from with place pins.

It’s not just limited to food, maybe you’re a fashion designer that sells your products in a variety of different retail locations. Show off where people can purchase your fantastic jewellery or clothes that you design.

Show Off Where You Source Your Social Products

Do you run a business that sells social products that are made by a group of women in Ecuador? Why not use place pins to show off where your social products are from, and to insert pictures of the people who are producing it.

To elevate those pins to the next level, ensure that each of those pins about social product have a wonderful story around them. You’re allowed up to 500 characters in pin descriptions. Use them to touch people’s hearts, and turn them into loyal customers.

Wholesalers and Distributors 

Do you do wholesale distribution of some sort? Maybe you sell wonderful kitchen sinks and beautiful  bath tubs.

Show off where these beauties are sold. List down all the retailers across where people can enter the showroom and see them with your place pin maps. Include telephone numbers where people can reach these retailers so that it makes it that much easier for them to make an appointment with one of their sale staff.

Now you’ve got some ideas about how to use place pins, and there’s so many more. Here’s how you can start a board using the desktop version of Pinterest. You can create them on all mobile devices as well, but for the sake of keeping it simple, I’m going to stick to the desktop.

How to Create a Place Pin Board

If you’re more of a video person, you can view the video I created about place pins. However, you can’t view the video, or you prefer reading, then read on my friend. Read on.


Go to your Pinterest profile and create a board (or you can create a secret board). Then scroll down to the toggle “Add a map?” Change that to yes.

You can also edit an existing board and change the settings there to make it a place pin board.

The good thing about place pin boards is that they are reversible. If you don’t like it, you can always change it back to a regular board.

How to Add Place Pins

Once that’s toggle on, you technically have a place pin board! Yeah. Nice and and easy, like eating a pizza that’s cheesy. Okay, I admit, I’m not Dr. Seuss, so let’s move on shall we?

How to Add Place Pins on the Interactive Map

There are two ways to add a place pin with the desktop version of Pinterest. The first is to click on “Add a Place” button. When you do this, it will automatically load up locations from Foursquare from which you can choose from.

When you start typing in the place, you have the option of choosing photos taken by Foursquare users, or you may upload your own to represent that location.

How to Add a Place Pin Board

When you do this, by default, the source of the pin will go back to Foursquare’s website. You can change this by changing the source of the pin by hovering over it, and then clicking on the “Edit button.”

The second method is to add a pin through repinning or from pinning directly from a website. Once the pin has been added to the place pin board, you’ll have the option to “Add a Place.” When you click on that button you’ll have the option to add a location that’s registered with Foursquare.

Add a Place Pin

When people click on a place pin that’s created in this method, it will default to the source of the pin, instead of to a Foursquare listing.

You may find that you can’t find your business or location on Pinterest. In order to add your business onto Foursquare, you will need to set up an account with Foursquare first, and then add in your business. For more details on how to do that you can check out this article by on PinTalk.net.

Day 16 Actionable Step:

For day 16, you’re going to start your own place pins board. Think of a theme for that place pin that would be relevant to your business.

Remember you don’t have to make the board public to start, as a matter of fact I would suggest that you play around with the concept of place pin with a secret board first.

Additional Resource:

Carrie Finley-Bajak wrote a wonderful and detailed post about how the travel industry can use Pinterest. For example, did you know that Texas Tourism has over 470,000 followers? Read all about it at Travel Weekly.

I’ve shared some ideas with you on how you can use place pins, I would love to hear your ideas. Please share your idea in the comments along with the rest of the Pintalysis community!

How Hotels can Increase their Web Traffic

Shangri-La Hotel Downtown Vancouver Large hotel chains such as Starwood, Shangri-La and Fairmonts have large marketing budgets and have dedicated web teams to help them remain competitive across the world, but how does an independent hotel or motel in a city increase their web traffic and compete with the large chains. I’m going to go into detail on how hotels with smaller marketing budgets can attract more customers to their hotel website.

1) Start Blogging About Your City to Increase Web Traffic

Most guests that stay at a hotel are either their for business or pleasure. Either way, all of your guests are probably very curious to know what’s going on in your city. While there are several travel guides like Frommers and Lonely Planet, this doesn’t mean that you can’t start a blog that informs potential guests about why your city is such a wonderful place visit.

Spend about once a week to create new blog topics of interest to your guests. If you’re not sure what would be of interest to them, ask existing guests what would have helped them prepare for their trip before they leave your hotel.

I’m going to use my hometown, Vancouver, as an example. Here are some potential blog posts that I would suggest for a hotel in Vancouver to write about to increase their web traffic.

1) Top 10 Free Activities to Enjoy in Vancouver
2) The top 5 Concerts that are taking Place in Vancouver in the Summer
3) Top 10 Can’t Miss Restaurants to Eat in Vancouver
4) Fun Family Activities in Vancouver During the Summer
5) What to See in Vancouver in One Weekend
6) The Best Ways to Get Over Jet Lag
7) Top 10 Places to Get A Suit Made Last Minute in Vancouver
8) Top 10 Honeymoon Places to Visit in Vancouver
9) Seattle and Vancouver? What’s the Difference for Tourists?

The important part of starting a blog is to think like an actual hotel guest. Chances are your website already has some great information about rooms, rates, about the spa, and availability. But what’s the next thing that most guests’ want to know? They want to know what there is to do.

By continuously updating your website on a regular basis to adjust to the seasons, you can attract new customers from out of town that are looking for information that you are providing. These people would be considered warm leads in booking a hotel with you.

Consistently blogging helps with search engine optimization (SEO). Google search engine loves fresh content. They love it when writers contribute great content. And by contributing on a regular basis, you can compete with much larger hotels.

3) Target Niche Keywords to Rank Well for Google

Targeting words such as “Vancouver Hotels” and expecting to be on top for that search word in three months is nearly impossible, at least it is if you don’t use black hat SEO. Especially if you have to go against the big boys like Expedia and Travelocity who spend millions of dollars to stay on top of rankings. It’s more important to use your website’s blog posts and copywrite to focus on keywords (aka search words or phrases) that will help you increase your web traffic.

If I had a hotel in Vancouver and I happen to be near Rogers Arena where the Vancouver Canucks Play, I might aim for the keywords, “hotel near Rogers Arena.” Other examples might be, “Hotel on Robson Street”, or “Dog Friendly Hotel in Vancouver”, or “Kid-Friendly Hotel in Vancouver”, or “Lesbian Friendly hotel.” The goal is to look for words that have low competition that you can rank well for quickly, instead of spending 2 or 3 years to rank well for like the phrase “hotels in Vancouver.”

It takes time and patience to research niche keywords, but by aiming at niche keywords that your competitor is most likely not going to aim for, you’re able to reach that target market, and as you start ranking well for those niche keywords, you will start ranking better for the more competitive terms like “hotels in Vancouver.”

4) Ensure Your Pictures are Titled Properly for Search Engine Optimization

If you’re running a hotel, chances are that there are potential customers that want to see what your hotel looks like. And yes, they’re probably going to go to sites like Trip Advisor to see, but there will be a few people who are going to Google for Images of your hotel. This is where you can drive more traffic to your website. Pictures that are clicked on in Google Image search pop up and then when closed lead to the site that the picture is on. This means a picture on a hotel website that says, “pool” is going to get lost in a sea of other photos that are titled pool. However, if you labelled your hotel “Shangri-La Pool in Vancouver” Then when people Google Shangri-La Vancouver under Images, the pool will show up.

This goes for bedrooms. Instead of giving a picture the title King Suite, title it King Suite at Burrard Inn. In order to do this properly, ensure that your photos are renamed before you upload them. Instead of having the photos named, DSC13532.jpg.

5) Provide an E- zine to your Newsletter Subscribers

I would highly suggest creating an e-book that highlights in detail about the wonderful activities that go on in your city, and update it every year. Travel books are popular. There’s no second guessing that, but why should travel books get all the attention. Why shouldn’t you create an e-book that people will start to get to know and download it from your site in exchange for subscribing to your newsletter.

Since many of your guests are booking flights months in advance, they probably are curious to know what’s happening in Vancouver at around the time that they arrive. Being able to provide them a seasonal guide of what’s happening will make their life much easier in terms of planning their trip. You can also use the e-zine and have some space to highlight advertisements about hotels and amenities. Also provide advertising space for your partners in the tourism industry.

Since the e-zine is free, don’t be surprised if you see it slowly spread over the Internet in the most random places. Having people view the e zine, and mentioning your hotel will definitely get a few searches online. Providing potential guests with valuable information makes them comfortable and your hotel look like an expert about the city.

6) Hold Contests for Local and Out of Towners to Build Links

Part of driving more traffic to your website, and being able to rank well within search engines is through link building. Here’s the short and sweet of what link building is, it’s when other sites links to your site. Just like right now I’m linking to Shangri-La in Vancouver downtown. When you have high quality authoritative sites linking to your website, this is an indication to Google that this site must be important.

You can have ten random websites link to your hotel website, but one link from the Huffington Post or the Globe and Mail is worth more. There are creative ways to get there, but for a small hotel a good way to link build is to look for travel bloggers, or local bloggers to work with and offer contests. Offer a free one night stay at your hotel. Ensure that when your contest is being held with bloggers that they have a link connecting to your site.

If you are in Vancouver, then you may want to pair up with a Seattle lifestyle blogger for the contest to get more out of town guests. Do you research carefully as not all bloggers are created equal. Notice how often they blog, how long they have been blogging for, and what other giveaways they have done in the past.

While it may seem like a tremendous effort, driving traffic to your website is a commitment that pays off. Once you have amazing content on your website, it stays there and will continue to drive traffic to your site. Surprisingly it’s not the new content that will drive most of your traffic, it’s the older content that will. And since most hotels go on for years and years, you can guarantee that if you do what was mentioned above, you’ll see a wonderful payoff for your hard work.

For more information on how to create a great online marketing strategy for your hotel feel free to contact MCNG Marketing.
Photo courtesy of Shangri-La Vancouver Hotel.

Restaurant Marketing Ideas that Increase Profit

Restaurant Marketing Ideas that Increase Profit

Wynn Hotel Restaurant

Photo Courtesy of YourVegas.com


You’ve come to this page because you’re looking for restaurant marketing ideas that will help your restaurant get to next profit level. In this blog post I’m going to share with you 3 restaurant marketing ideas that when executed will help drive new customers into your restaurant.

Restaurant Marketing Idea Number One: Host a Local Networking Event for All Your Local Businesses.

With most businesses around you operating during similar day time hours, one of the best things you can do is to hold a private event for all the businesses in the area during the evening. This is a great way to know business owners around the neighborhood, while giving each other referrals if appropriate and to build an unofficial association. This is the best form of hyper local marketing.

(It’s better if you join an actual business association.)

This is especially a great idea to carry out during the slow seasons. Print out some invitation cards, and go walk around in the 3 block radius and invite business owners. Have them RSVP by a specific date, and encourage them to bring a guest as well. I promise you that many of the businesses in the area don’t even know you exist until you approach them.

This is also a good approach because if you do delivery, now these businesses know who to call if they need to work late at night.

Restaurant Marketing Idea Number Two: Host a Restaurant TweetUp

If you’re looking at attracting a new crowd, then I recommend hosting a restaurant tweetup. Once you’ve developed a presence on Twitter with your restaurant and have regular customers coming in, consider throwing a private party for them and encourage them to bring their friends as well.

This will help spread the word about your restaurant and get people to start tweeting about it on Twitter, not just throughout the night, but days before the event has started. MCNG has planned restaurant tweetups in the past and there has been great success that has come from hosting them. This has resulted in stronger awareness of the restaurant, while also garnering dozens of mentions about the restaurant in one night.

Restaurant Marketing Idea Number Three: Design a Magnet for your Restaurant to Give Away

Real Estate agents, and other businesses, give away magnets to their customers. Magnets can be made very cheaply and should be given away to customers at the end of the meal. With the right message on the magnets your customers will keep them around for a long time.

It’s also important to look at the branding of your message. I wouldn’t advise leaving magnets in your billfold if you’re a Michelin star restaurant, but if you happen to be running a family oriented restaurant or one that serves many working class customers then you should do it.

Every time that your customer looks at it, they are reminded of your restaurant. Every time a family member of theirs looks at it they are reminded of your restaurant. Imagine how much it costs to place a newspaper advertisement that requires a customer to see it every day.

There are two ways to do this, give a magnet away to your customers by slipping it into the bill fold or attach it to a direct mail post campaign if you do one. If you decide to do a magnet, then really take the time to think about what type of message on the magnet that let it gets people to keep it. Or to think of a design of the magnet that is unique. If you happen to be operating a French Bistro then create a magnet in the shape of the Eiffel Tower.

These restaurant marketing ideas will help you achieve higher profit levels for your restaurant, and introduce you to new and loyal customers that you didn’t have before.

Here’s a quick recap of the restaurant marketing ideas.
1) Host a local business networking session.
2) Host a restaurant Tweetup
3) Make magnets that your customers will want to keep.

We highly encourage you to contact us if you have any questions about restaurant or hospitality marketing.