Pinterest is evolving rapidly right now. New features introduced this year include Recipe Pins, Product Pins, and Article Pins. And, just over a month after they announced that they would be rolling out ‘Promoted Pins’, Pinterest has launched ‘Place Pins’ – which gives us the ability to pin images to a map!
This new feature is being marketed as a tool to help users plan holidays and days out – however it’s likely to prove to be a great tool for marketers too.
Place Pins have already been adopted by lots of businesses in the travel sector:
Who will undoubtedly primarily build maps around the destinations, resorts, and hotels they offer. It does look though, like travel companies will go beyond using Place Pins purely as promotional tools, and will also be using them to build useful and interesting maps like this gastronomic travel map, and this guide to European experiences with a difference.
It’s not just the travel industry that can make use of this new feature however. It’s bound to be a great tool for creating useful content for your audience; i.e.
- A company offering car servicing might create a map to show famous cars and where they derived from
- A fashion company might create a map of fashion shows around the world
- A company selling toys for children might create a map of the best places to go on holiday with your kids
However I think to get the most out of this new feature, marketers need to focus on a couple of things:
- Choosing great images
When you go to add a pin to a map you can search through lots of relevant images. It’s important not to take the easy route out and just choose the first image we find – if you want your map to be the best, make sure you’re choosing to pin the best pictures.
These maps – used properly – can be really useful. To do that though, the text that accompanies the images needs to be more than a few words describing what we’re seeing. The description should offer helpful information, so that the map becomes much more than a board for showcasing images of pretty things (not that there’s anything wrong with that!)
For example, this map promises to show you amazing places to enjoy happy hours around the world. A brilliant idea (especially if you like happy hours).
But I was expecting details of actual bars to visit during happy hour; with things like how much the drinks cost, what makes this place worth a special visit, and when happy hour is.
In practice this map offers quite a general guide to drinking in the pinned destinations. Unless I’m missing something it’s nowhere near as useful as it could be.
Place Pins looks like it’s going to be a brilliant tool, both to brands and consumers, and if anything, it makes Pinterest even more addictive. Whether that’s a good thing is another matter….