The following is a guest post from Visit Bucks County’s Jessica Lawlor. The following post represents the tourism board’s opinions surrounding the use of Pinterest contests in hospitality and tourism marketing.
As Pinterest continues to grow in popularity and an increased number of tourism and hospitality brands jump on board, companies are continuously looking for new and unique ways to stand out from the crowd. Recently, the Pinterest conversation has shifted to the logistics and benefits of hosting a contest on the social media site. After reading the post, “Pinterest Contests: Should You Create One?” on this blog a few weeks ago, I wanted to take the opportunity to answer that question with a resounding YES.
Visit Bucks County is the official tourism promotion agency for Bucks County, Pa. From March to May, Visit Bucks County hosted a “Repin It to Win It” contest where we partnered with Bucks County attractions and venues to offer current and new followers the opportunity to win unique prizes and experiences. To enter, all a Pinterest user needed to do was simply repin the prize they were most interested in to one of their personal boards. Three months, 3,000 repins and hundreds of followers and brand advocates later, we can absolutely confirm that a Pinterest contest worked for our tourism brand.
Below are five reasons why your tourism or hospitality brand should consider hosting a Pinterest contest.
1. To increase followers and create brand advocates
Throughout Visit Bucks County’s “Repin It To Win It” contest, our overall Pinterest following steadily grew, resulting in more than 700 total contest board followers by the end of the promotion. Additionally, we were able to create buzz about Bucks County attractions and businesses and create brand advocates. For example, on the Sesame Place contest pin, one follower commented, “We are headed to Elmo’s House this summer all the way from West Michigan! Would love this opportunity to learn more about Bucks County.” These public comments show other Pinterest users how desirable of a destination Bucks County is to visit, and may encourage others to follow the account to learn more, and potentially plan a trip.
2. To encourage interaction with current and new followers
Interacting with followers allows a company to showcase personality, leading to stronger relationships and brand affinity among fans and followers. Throughout the contest, we carefully monitored and replied to comments, showing our followers that we were paying attention to them and appreciated them spreading the word about the contest.
3. To amplify content
As followers repinned the prizes they most wanted to win and tweeted and shared their excitement on Facebook and Twitter, we were then able to reach a new audience who may not have already been following Visit Bucks County’s social media sites. One Pinterest contest winner tweeted about how thrilled she was to win to her 1,000 followers on Twitter, providing that all-important third party endorsement.
4. To grow brand inventory on Pinterest
A Pinterest contest also presents the opportunity to increase a brand’s product presence on the site. By providing specific pins for contestants to interact with, we were able to highlight certain tourism products with hundreds of meaningful repins throughout the contest duration, thus growing Bucks County’s overall presence on Pinterest.
5. To build a lasting foundation
By the end of our Pinterest contest, we had increased our following, created brand advocates and grown our brand inventory. Now that we’ve familiarized our followers with our brand, we’ve built a strong foundation for future Pinterest promotions. Recently, Visit Bucks County began our second Pinterest contest. We included Pinterest as part of our award-winning UNFORGETAWAYS (TM) social media game, running through Labor Day.
Has your company hosted or considered hosting a Pinterest contest? Be sure to share with us in the comments below!
Jessica Lawlor is the marketing and communications coordinator at Visit Bucks County, the official tourism promotion agency for Bucks County, Pa. Check out Visit Bucks County’s website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest for more information about things to see and do throughout the county.
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