When I heard that Pinterest was rolling out a new feature called “Place Pins” my ears perked up. Pinterest is without a doubt one of my favorite social networks, and I knew this new feature would be something great.
If you aren’t already familiar with Place Pins, basically what they are, are regular Pinterest Pins that grab location data from places like Foursquare.com and use that data to map out places on a Pinterest board.
Sound confusing? It’s really not. For instance recently I whipped up a new “Place Board” on our company Pinterest account called “SEO Companies.” This Place Board mapped some of the top SEO companies throughout the United States.
How to Create a Place Board
Creating a Place Board is as simple as creating a regular Pinterest Board, with one added step.
Start out by creating a new board, but be sure to enable the “add a map” option before you create the board.
This will automatically trigger a full scale map as well as the option to create Place Pins within the Board.
Creating Place Pins
Creating Place Pins is also similar to creating regular Pins. The main difference is that the location must be listed on one of Pinterest’s partner pages (listed below).
Start out by clicking “add a place” and follow the instructions from there.
Once you’ve selected a city, search for the location that you are looking for. If your location does not appear you are out of luck I am afraid. If you are really insistent on having a Place Pin for that location you can navigate to Foursquare or one of the other partners and create a listing for them, just make sure you fill in the correct information and address.
Once you’ve selected a photo and have entered a description, you can add your pin. Repeat these steps to add more locations.
Hacking Pinterest Place Pins
One interesting thing to note is that when you create a Place Pin and view it, you will see a link created on the “website” button at the top of the Pin. This URL is taken from the source of the location URL, in most cases Foursquare. In other words, if you click on the Pin it will take you to Foursquare or one of the other partners.
Now, some people might not want this for obvious reasons. Some people might want all users to visit a particular website instead of Foursquare. To change this, simple edit the Pin by clicking the “pencil” and change the URL to whatever you desire.
Most people want to truly take advantage of having a Pinterest Place board so really changing the destination URL is really quite pertinent.
Where Does Pinterest Get Location Data?
When you create a Place Pin, Pinterest will ask you to select a City / State and search for a location. It searches for locations from the following websites:
- Atlas Obscura
Thanks to schema’s standardized markup and OpenStreetMap, all Pinterest does is look for information such as “itemprop=”streetAddress” throughout all of these databases and nicely formats your information in a Place Pin.
Promoting Your Place Pins
Pinterest Place Pins have opened up huge opportunities for marketers looking to promote their businesses. Place Pins make it easy for marketers to not only promote their businesses, but their Pinterest account as well. Some early adopters of Place Pins have been lucky enough to be featured on Pinterest’s example board page, and have basked in the glory of some great traffic as a result.
One great way to promote Pinterest Place Boads and Pins is by letting people know you’ve added them to your list. I don’t know about you, but anytime someone links or pins to me I get pretty excited. Normally other people do as well.
For example, I made a Pinterest Place Board for the top “SEO Companies in the USA.” I added about 50 of what I consider to be the top SEO and related companies in the USA, most of which I’ve had some sort of interaction with in the past. Once that was done I tweeted or Google+’d the companies and people on the Place Board.
Even if you don’t know the person you are tweeting or sharing with, it is ok. As long as you aren’t doing mass spam is is socially acceptable to send someone a public or private message to let them know you thought of them.
Getting your Pins listed in Pinterest’s search engine is another way to bring in traffic and interest to your board. Pinterest has their own algorithm based off of their own metrics which I haven’t fully researched, but I am assuming it is based off of likes, shares, repins, etc. This isn’t a great example because the “SEO” niche on Pinterest isn’t exactly one of the big ones:
In this case, the best niches to promote for Place Boards would be (with examples):
- travel / vacation – Top Vacation Spots in South Florida
- restaurants – Best Cuban Restaurants in Palm Beach County
- brand boards – Marriott Hotels Throughout Central America
- sports – Football Stadiums in the USA
- personal – Places I’ve Been
- personal – Things I Love About Paris
- municipality – Local Attractions in Delray Beach
- state – Virgina: Things to Do for Lovers
- directory offshoots – Open Table, for example could make Place Boards for each city and list restaurants
- the BBB could list top rated businesses in their area
The possibilities are truly endless.
Pinterest Boards create a very fun and user friendly way to explore different areas. I know that we will be taking advantage of them for our clients and my personal projects in the future.
Another great way to promote your Place Pins is via email. You can email the people that you’ve pinned to let them know about this and encourage them to share it or like it on Pinterest. The goal is always to get as much engagement as possible, any way you can take it.
There are so many ways to push a Place Board:
- add them to directories
- write blog posts about them
- promote on other peoples Fourquare
- Skype your contacts
- even Call people and let them know
The next way to promote your pins is via Pinterest itself. If you can get people to like or repin, it will link back to your pin or profile. While these links do have the nofollow attribute, there have been many studies concluding that this will still internally promote your account within the network.
Find similar boards / pins and drop a link within a comment. If you are going to do this make sure it is as non-spammy as possible. Stay classy.