Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts wants to connect with guests on Pinterest when dream vacations are merely sparkles in travelers' eyes.
It is doing so with a Pinterest-based service, Pin.Pack.Go, which launched on August 15. It targets travelers who use the social network to plan trips and connects those guests with Four Seasons' local experts.
Using collaborative boards, participating guests work directly with Four Seasons properties to help plan their stays. The properties contribute both destination- and property-specific pins to boards, as well as concierge advice and travel tips, the brand says. Not only does it help extend Four Seasons' service culture and add value to guests, it also inserts the brand into its guests' conversations.
To participate, guests are encouraged to create a Pin.Pack.Go board and leave a comment on the Pin.Pack.Go pin indicating which Four Seasons they will be visiting. The specified Four Seasons hotel will follow the user on Pinterest. Users must follow back and invite the hotel to pin as a collaborator. The hotel's local experts will then pin recommendations filled with "insider knowledge and hidden gems," the brand says.
"The reason we were inspired to do this is we know a lot of guests are using Pinterest to plan trips," says Felicia Yukich, global social media marketing manager at Four Seasons. "So we're really inserting ourselves into an existing activity."
As of August 21, the Pin.Pack.Go board has 4,200 followers.
Pin.Pack.Go provides an opportunity to engage guests early on in the trip-planning process, making Four Seasons a part of the adventure from the very first pin, the brand says.
"We saw that for a category like travel and food especially there was an opportunity to get involved in the conversation and to engage with passionate fans. You can see trending pins are food and recipes and we have some of the best restaurants around the world, so it's a good fit and we established a brand presence," Yukich says of Pinterest.
Now, 77 of Four Seasons' 91 properties are on Pinterest.
The brand also has a dedicated bridal channel on Pinterest.
Pin.Pack.Go makes Pinterest part of the guest experience and is really "operationalizing Pinterest for us," Yukich says.
According to Yukich, Four Seasons will happily plan a trip with Pinterest users regardless of whether they have a reservation.
She likens it to Twitter.
"If you want advice, we'll give it," she says. "If you think about other channels, if people were to tweet to [Four Seasons New York], 'Is there anything good to do with kids?' Would we say, 'No, let us see your reservation'? We would go out of the way to provide the best recommendations possible."
That also includes aspirational boards for dream trips.
"If they're so passionate about the destination...we will absolutely cater to those people as well. Our primary target is our guests using Pinterest," Yukich says.
All the properties are using their local social media profiles to let guests know about Pin.Pack.Go. The brand is also injecting itself into social conversations to get the word out, she says.
In the first day, 13 boards were created, she says.
As of August 20, domestic properties that have received Pinterest collaboration invitations for Pin.Pack.Go include: Dallas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Beverly Wilshire, Maui, Lanai, New York, Scottsdale, Boston, Palo Alto, Houston, and Austin.
International properties include: Paris, Florence, Chiang Mai, Singapore, Langkawi, London at Park Lane, London at Canary Wharf, Marrakech, Pudong, Mauritius, Costa Rica, Buenos Aires, Bora Bora, Bangkok, Golden Triangle, Koh Samui, Hualalai, Sydney, Nevis, and Lisbon.
As of August 20, some of these properties have received up to five invitations apiece, Yukich adds.
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Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.
March 19, 2014