Pinterest Board with Etsy products made in Columbus OH (click through for full board)Most of you probably have the same reaction that I do when someone announces a “new social network”  –  oh, no, not ANOTHER one!

It’s enough to keep juggling the time-suck challenges of all the current ones, right?

So, it takes a lot for me to pay attention to yet another way to stare at some sort of glowing screen, and I have to see the new tool’s application to tourism and hospitality since that’s my business.

That’s why I’m not interested in Google+ right now (other than its implications for search) but I’m quite intrigued by Pinterest, a digital bulletin board or scrapbook that allows people to “pin” interesting photos onto a themed Board.

I first noticed some tourism geeks talking about it around August 2011, then in November 2011 BusinessWeek ran the article, “Why Image-Sharing Network Pinterest is Hot“.

The service is taking off like crazy, especially among those who like visual inspiration: photographers, travelers, decorators and stylists, designers and food enthusiasts.  If you know the story of the Fiskateers and crafting, you know that a lot of activity and discussion can happen in a passionate niche.

CVB/DMO and Hotel Pinterest Boards

What are the possibilities for tourism?

Boards could focus on your unique local foods, architecture, shopping, birding, special events or historic sites. The more specific and visually appealing, the better.

Pinterest Board for St Patrick's Day in Savannah (click through to see the full Board)

Some examples:

**  Visit Savannah on Pinterest  –  they created an inspiration Board (shown to the right) for St. Patrick’s Day, which is a HUGE annual event in Savannah.

**  Visit Jordan on Pinterest  –  the famous ruins at Petra are certainly magnificent, but how about the curative powers of country’s places to relax?

**  Indiana Tourism on Pinterest  –  get hungry looking at their Super 46 Board of sandwiches in honor of the NFL Super Bowl #46 in Indianapolis.  Need ideas for social media integration? Note how the sandwiches campaign also shows up on the Visit Indiana blog (the Pick Your Favorite Super 46 Sandwich(es) post,) on Yelp via each sandwich restaurant’s page, on Twitter via sandwich-related tweets with the #Super46 hashtag and on their Facebook Page by status updates that highlight each sandwich, often with a video that’s also on YouTube.

**  Canton/Stark County, Ohio on Pinterest  –  building up their local Restaurants Board.

**  Wyoming Tourism on Pinterest  –  the Boards you’d expect (incredible vistas and Western stuff) but I really like their Hidden Treasures Board.

**  Experience Columbus, Ohio  –  many exciting Boards, but here’s a nice plug for local Columbus-based crafters:  a Columbus on Etsy/Made Here Board.

**  The Hotel Klausnerhof, Hintertux, Austria  –  how about this Advent calendar Board of snowy Tyrol photos?

Pinterest Board on wedding trends Four Seasons Austin (click through to see full Board)

**  The Four Seasons Hotel in Austin  –  still a pretty new account, but I like the thought behind this 2012 Wedding Trends Board.

**  Guatemala’s Pacific Fins Resort and Marina  –   for Hemingway-esque, The Old Man and the Sea types, a Blue Water Fishing Board.

To look for other examples, try a People search on Pinterest for CVB or Visit or Tourism or Hotel.

Pinterest Can Help With SEO

Just as with photos, video or other visual social communications, spend a little time on the descriptive text of your pinned images;  all of that text can be crawled and indexed by search engines.

Yes, Pinterest counts for SEO (Search Engine Optimization.) Direct link to the SEO for Pinterest video below, by a  bridal consultant.

Also note that each Board has a Facebook “Like” button, which can help spread your curation across your follower’s Facebook networks.

Pinterest is the topic of the January 19, 2012 #tourismchat on Twitter – I’ll update this post afterward with a link to the transcript.

Update:  Here’s the 19 Jan #tourismchat transcript (about Pinterest) via Chirpstory

Update 2:  My friend Troy Thompson has a terrific interview post featuring Joe Vargo, who runs the Columbus, Ohio Pinterest Boards mentioned above.  Get some insights from Joe’s experiences:  5 Questions – Joe Vargo on Pinterest 

The possibilities are pretty endless, aren’t they?

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