Agent Issues Why isn't Pinterest a big hit with agents? By Jamie Biesiada / March 20, 2017 Share 1 -- While agents using Pinterest to promote niche travel opportunities have had positive results from the social media platform, particularly in destination weddings and honeymoons, it is not as widely used as other channels despite its inherent visual nature, which would seemingly lend itself perfectly to travel."You don't see a lot of agents using Pinterest that much," said Margie Jordan, vice president of membership services for CCRA and a widely respected expert on using social media to market travel products and services.She said the somewhat stunted adoption of Pinterest in the agent community could be due to a variety of factors."I feel like there's a little bit of a break in agents' knowledge in how to use Pinterest and what it's really best for," Jordan said.Margie Jordan For example, she said, agents could be pinning things that don't link back to their website and instead link to a supplier's pin, which doesn't garner them any web traffic or potential leads.The amount of effort it takes to use Pinterest could also have something to do with its lagging behind more popular platforms such as Facebook, according to Brian Hegarty, vice president of marketing for Travel Leaders Group."It's definitely not within the top two or three that most agents are participating in when it comes to social channels," he said of Pinterest. "I think part of that is because of the effort that it takes to be [on Pinterest]. It's something that you have to continuously post new pictures to and create albums and opportunities and promote for there to be value versus in other channels."Hegarty also theorized that travel advisers are using the social platforms with which they're most comfortable on a personal level, and Pinterest might not be one of those. He recommends that agents choose to specialize in only one or two social media channels and do really well, and by that standard, Pinterest is usually not in an agent's top two platforms.Rosemarie Reed, vice president of sales and marketing for World Travel Holdings, said she tends to steer agents away from using Pinterest, instead urging them to spend their time on platforms that they use already and with which they are comfortable. "I personally believe Pinterest did not originally embrace business accounts/profiles," Reed said, and how brands and individuals could be differentiated on the social media platform. "This led to low adoption early on for brands/businesses."While she said Pinterest has evolved and added useful business capabilities since it was first developed, it doesn't make the list of the top channels for agents.Even so, Pinterest has found its place within the agency community. Travel advisers with niche specialties, such as destination weddings, honeymoons or family travel, have achieved success on the site.Catherine Heeg, founder of Customized Management Solutions and a frequent industry speaker on social media marketing, said Pinterest lends itself to agents who have specialties ranging from weddings to garden and culinary tours."Anything that's a real focus specialty where you can really understand your audience and put out things that are related to that niche but also have some other aspects to it," makes acceptable Pinterest content, she said. As an example, she cited a wedding Pinterest board that features honeymoon-related pins as well as pins with ideas for invitations, bridal party gifts and things of that nature.Hegarty said that "more aspirational travel categories," like honeymoons, family travel and safaris, do well on Pinterest because of their visual nature and the fact that many Pinterest users visit the site to collect things they want to do in the future.Agents interested in starting Pinterest boards are advised to drive their Pinterest traffic back to their website, blog or other online assets that they control. If they see success through increased traffic to those assets, Jordan said, they should consider using Pinterest's targeted marketing to boost their pins."One of the biggest benefits of Pinterest is how much traffic it actually drives to your website," she said. "Because that pin, for however long it's repinned and lasts on Pinterest, it doesn't ever go away. The link to your website can never be taken away. ... It's a huge driver of traffic to websites."