A Guest Post by Sam Bruce
My girlfriend and I recently booked a trip to Istanbul but with the wealth of content now available online, planning the holiday started as a scattered and overwhelming affair. On a whim, I plugged the destination into Pinterest which inadvertently made the process not only pleasurable again but incredibly practical.
What is Pinterest?
In 2012, the online world undeniably belonged to Pinterest. For those who have yet to embrace the latest social media craze, Pinterest is an image and video based online scrapbook where users can bookmark visual media on public and categorised boards. Unlike the more topical Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest is aspirational and ideal for planning shopping sprees, weddings, meals and now holidays.
Statistically speaking, Pinterest is the fastest growing website of all time (Business Insider). It drives more referral sales online from customers who spend more money than they do via Facebook (Econsultancy). It often also presents a brand’s products and services better than their own websites, a statement that is particularly true of many travel sites who often struggle to keep things simple.
A Social World
Its timing has been ideal as the influence of word of mouth social marketing hits an all time high; it was recently discovered that over half of online users make their purchasing decisions based on images posted on social networks (McKinsey, 2010). We’ve all done it and I am guilty of this myself having just booked a trip to Istanbul after drooling over a holiday album of the place posted by a friend on Facebook.
It is no wonder then that travel brands of all persuasions are flocking to create boards, each vying for a place on tech-savvy travellers visual bucket lists. They’ve been quick to see the potential of the Pinterest format and a handful of holiday planning websites have even redesigned their own website interface to mimic the new social network.
So why does Pinterest lend itself so well to travel planning?
On top of being the ideal bookmarker, it’s a space to find real travel inspiration from an online community of locals, friends, tourist offices, travel sites and bloggers. A pin really is worth a thousand words. I found browsing a board of images created by a local photographer in Istanbul was a lot more revealing and saliva-inducing than reading my outdated guidebook. It was also more useful; I saw a picture of a restaurant with a view of the Bosphorus that took my fancy and within a click I was on the restaurant’s website to book a table for two.
One of the more understated features of Pinterest for travel planning is the ability to create a board and invite others, such as travel brands, to post their ideas or offers. I could have created an Istanbul board entitled ‘Things to do in Istanbul?’ and then inviting friends, locals and travel companies to post their recommendations. Here’s an example of ‘Pinterequesting’ in practice, something that will definitely catch on heavily in the years to come.
If you are in need of a break this year, give it a go – Maybe I’ll see you in Istanbul!
This article was written by Sam Bruce, Co-founder of Much Better Adventures. Much Better Adventures use Pinterest to help adventure seekers discover unique holidays that are ‘muchbetter’ for locals and natural playgrounds alike. Check out their adventure travel shop window here.