Pinterest for Vacation Rental Owners

Pinterest is addictive.  You find an image you love and post it on an online board – called a pinboard.  Create one board or dozens, each one devoted to a different topic, and share it with the world.  Let’s say you have a vacation rental property in the Smoky Mountains – you could have a board that displays the fabulous scenery; one that focuses on attractions in the area such as Dollywood, Cade’s Caverns, and Gatlinburg, and another showing images of activities guests can participate in.

When another person comes along, likes your image and repins it to their board, it carries the source URL with it.  If that link is to your listing, web site, Flickr or Picasa album, or Facebook page, you have a good chance of driving traffic back to that source when they click on the link.  So, it makes sense that a lot of your images belong to you and are displayed in several locations.

1. Explore Other Boards

To get the idea of Pinterest, spend some time exploring other people’s boards, noting what interests you and getting the gist of the types of great images that are posted. Take a look at our Vacation Home Rentals Pinterest to get some ideas of what could work for you.

2. Create a Pinterest Account

Currently this is by invitation only.  You can go online to Pinterest and ask for an invitation – this can take anything up to a couple of weeks to come.  Or, you can email me directly and I will send you an invite.

3. Add a Pin It Button

If you use Google Chrome you can add a Pin It button to your browser toolbar which makes it super easy to repin any image you like.  Go to the Pinterest Goodies page for all sorts of buttons to add to your web site or blog too.

4. Create your First Board

Go to the Add + button at the top of your page and select Create a Board.  You’ll be asked for a title which you should keep short, sweet and descriptive, and then assign it to a category.  Finally add a brief description of your board.

5. Start Pinning

This is the fun part. Put together your first board that will show off your best photos. Also pin things from around the internet that relate using the Pin It button.

6. Share the Love

You should also share the love by pinning other people’s images from their Pinterest boards. To do this you click on an image you like and select ‘Repin’.  You can also pin from other web sites, but make sure your pins carry a valid URL with them.  Pinning from Google images doesn’t help anyone.

7. Repinning

Repins are like the re-tweets of the Pinterest world.  Interestingly, 80% of pins are re-pins while only 1.4% of tweets are re-tweets.  This indicates how valuable it is to have quality images that link back to your own sources such as your listing or web site.

8. Don’t Over-Promote

Because Pinterest is primarily a sharing site, blatant self-promotion is frowned upon.  Don’t create a board that is simply a clone of your listing.  Instead, use some unique and interesting images that depict aspects of your property that may not be prominent on your site.

9. Let Others Know You’re a Pinner

Add a Pinterest icon to your email signature and on your blog and web site.  Other pinners will see it and will not be able to resist clicking through to check out your boards.

10. Have Fun Creating

There is no clear indication that doing all this will bring you more rental guests although some owners are using it to drive traffic to their sites very successfully.  My latest blog post showcases one such board.  Just have fun using it and share your results – we’d love to see them.