DMO Social Media Manager Finds Success as an Early Adopter of Pinterest

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Pinterest is growing at a rapid rate and the destination marketing organization (DMO) for Savannah, Georgia has found that it is a great way to showcase their destination.

Perhaps the hottest social media platform of 2012, Pinterest is a community that is perfectly suited for lifestyle, food and travel brands. According to the recently published Referral Traffic Report by Shareaholic, Pinterest’s 200,000-plus publishers reach more than 260 million unique visitors each month. That is more referral traffic than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn combined.Amy Brock (@amy_brock), social media manager for the DMO for Savannah, GA, recognized early on that Pinterest might be a great place to promote their visually-appealing destination. The DMO set up seventeen boards that feature everything from shopping, dining and recipes to hotels, weddings and more. If you snoop around Pinterest for a little while, chances are you will run into a high-quality image related to Savannah pinned by Amy. In fact, Visit Savanah has amassed close to 12 thousand followers and is one of the most followed travel brands on Pinterest.

In a recent interview with DMAI (Destination Marketing Association International), Amy shared that she originally “created a couple of boards on my personal account where I could pin ideas for our various Facebook pages – especially our destination wedding page, Savannah I Do.” In the process she noticed that “Within a couple of days, I had more than two hundred followers who were seemingly watching my every move and repinning everything I posted.”

After witnessing its potential, Amy created an experimental account for VisitSavannah and “quickly discovered that the majority of our wedding vendor members were already using this site to share their work and gather inspiration and ideas.” As a result, “in less than 24 hours, I had several hundred followers, just by sharing our members’ pins!”

Following her early success, Amy “created boards to promote Savannah similar to categories we use on our website: Hotels, Things to Do/Events, Dining and Shopping.” Additionally, she created boards that were unique to Savannah that included: “a Recipe Board, a Sweet Savannah Treats Board, Haunted Savannah, a St. Patrick’s Day Board and of course – a Paula Deen Board!”

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Which board has Amy found to be most popular?

Aside from the wedding boards, “our most popular board is the ‘Beautiful Savannah’ Board, where I pin all of the amazing photography from our website, blog and members. These pins seem to garner the most ‘repins’ and comments. Also, our Savannah Recipes Board is a popular one!”

What about ROI?

While still in the very early stages, Amy has seen some promising results. “Our blog traffic increased by 366% with people finding it through images posted on Pinterest. After seeing that number, I’m confident we are on to something big.”

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8 Responses to “DMO Social Media Manager Finds Success as an Early Adopter of Pinterest”

  1. Amy Brock February 2, 2012 7:02 pm
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    Rich, thank you so much for taking the time to contact me about Visit Savannah’s Pinterest presence. We are very appreciative of the feature on your website! All the best!

  2. Camels & Chocolate February 2, 2012 7:07 pm
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    I’ve been brainstorming ways to use Pinterest effectively, so this is good to know that your efforts *can* pay off using such a site.

  3. Troy Thompson February 2, 2012 10:36 pm
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    Nice work Amy.

    The key here is hidden in the opening paragraphs: “…high-quality image related to Savannah.” People will share great content and Visit Savannah certainly has some wonderful visual content.

    What is so appealing for me is that fact that Visit Savannah is now interacting with potential visitors at the very top of the travel planning funnel. That key moment when one adds Savannah to their wish / bucket list.

    If Visit Savannah can influence that decision, it is a huge win as it relates to organizational goals.

    Dare I say even more important than Facebook?

    Good stuff. Congrats Amy!

    – Troy

  4. Rich Whitaker February 2, 2012 10:42 pm
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    you bet-

  5. Simon February 3, 2012 8:29 am
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    Very interesting article and case history. Amy did a tremendous job and concretely showed how a good platform properly used and exploited can lead to a great success!

  6. ETourism Summit February 3, 2012 2:01 pm
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    This is great information and a good profile, Rich. I’m wondering how Pinterest albums can work for less-visually exciting destinations that don’t have the high demand appeal of Savannah.

  7. Rich Whitaker February 3, 2012 3:42 pm
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    thanks- i’m sure if you dig deep enough you’ll find some beauty… if not, try some tighter shots of popular things or try adding a filter.

  8. Sam February 8, 2012 3:35 am
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    Hey Rich, this is another good example of how Pinterest is a fantastic opportunity for the travel industry. I’d say the next step is to make each pin actionable by linking to a sales page or product ie. a tour/activity relevant to the image. As an example, our travel startup Much Better Adventures has created our pinterest board with this in mind with every pin linked to a local guide or provider ‘behind’ the image: http://pinterest.com/muchbetteradven/. We will measure the impact and see how it impacts sales but I see travel businesses doing this more in the coming months to great effect.