Endless Potential for Airports
I’m excited to be blogging about Pinterest. Once I dabbled with this virtual Pinboard for a short time, it became very clear to me why it’s one of the most popular and fastest growing social sites in the world. I started Pinning nearly a year ago, but I only pinned my own aviation and aerospace pictures. I then discovered other Boards and realized that there are endless ways to fuel my aviation and aerospace habit. I also see endless potential on Pinterest for airports to promote themselves— and a number of them have already started Pinning.
American Association of Airport Executives is Pinning
Gwen Papineau Basaria handles the Pinterest Boards for the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE) who started Pinning in January, 2012. “With 10.4 million registered users, and as the thrid most popular social media site, we’d [airports] be silly to to not at least have a foot in the door,” Basaria said. Though the AAAE Pinterest Boards are still in their infancy, Basaria says she is always looking to connect with AAAE members and their airports, keeping them abreast of what is happening in Washington, D.C., and around the industry. Her advice to airports, “Jump in— share what is happening at your airport, with the industry, and engage your passengers.”
Some Pinteresting Airports
A number of airports have done just that. Here’s a review of a handful of airports who have started Pinning.
It’s no surprise to me that ATL is one of the first airports to start a Pinterest account. Their innovative social media team is on the forefront of digital media with an interactive Twitter feed and engaging Facebook page. They have 8 Boards on Pinterest and they have covered a number of topics. One board, creatively titled, A Cure for the Common Layover, has pins of Atlanta events and must sees. Another has pictures of the airport including, Now Boarding, with shots of interesting aircraft that visit ATL.
You have to check out San Diego Airport’s Boards. They have a bunch of Pins, not just for the average traveler, but for aviation enthusiasts as well. They’ve Pinned great photos of planes spotted at the airport and have another Board dedicated to aviation history. My favorite is the Board for vintage travel posters— another great way to engage people and get people talking about their airport. They also have a Board featuring art on display in the terminal.
This airport uses one of its Boards to promote the new SkyTrain. This is another example of how Pins can tell a story about your airport. Maybe you are promoting a coming event or, as in this case, the grand opening of their new people mover. The also have a Board, From 40,000 Feetwith brilliant snap shots taken from the sky. PHX has a great Board featuring food you can indulge in while waiting for your flight— a creative way to entice and even increase revenue for airport vendors.
This airport’s bio does a good job of explaining there purpose in Pinning: “An airport Pinning? It’s just the kind of thing that makes CAK a better way to go! We love great vacations, relaxing experiences and our Customers.” Their first Board covers the relaxing experiences part. Calm, Cool and CAK, has 23 pins. The cover pin of a nice, comfy sofa with the words, “Relax”, takes your mind off the stresses of travel. Their Boards are creative and engaging like, Wish You Were Here, which highlights all the exotic and fun places you can reach from CAK.
“An airport Pinning? It’s just the kind of thing that makes CAK a better way to go!”
Burbank, a refreshing alternative from LAX, has seven Boards. This airport does a miraculous job of promoting the airport. They have one that depicts the history of the airport, one that shows its convenient location, another dedicated to the air carriers that fly in and out of their airport, and one that is called, The best of BUR. Clever too is the Board titled, You Can Get There From Here, with Pins of pretty places you can visit by flying out of BUR.
A screenshot of Harrisburg International Airport’s Pinterest page.
One of the First Airports on Pinterest
One of the true original Pinteresting airports, MDT has all their bases covered. They have nearly 200 followers of their 17 highly interactive Boards. One titled, Fly to________from…, highlights locations around the globe, accessible from MDT. Imagination is the only limit to the Pins featured. I especially like the Travel Accessories Board because it’s not only helpful to travelers, it is a great way to promote the must-have’s that you might find for sale inside an airport. MDT also features a Board with handy travel apps, another service to passengers.
Stephanie Gehman is the marketing manager for Harrisburg International Airport (MDT). Gehman says Frontier Tail Spotting is their most popular Board. Pinners re-Pin images from the airports non-stop Frontier service to Denver and Orlando the quickest.
A Great Way to Reach Women
Pinterest and Instagram are the airport’s two newest platforms that they use for their social media marketing strategy. They have seen a tremendous amount of interest on all of their Boards, especially from women. Gehman says MDT signed up for Pinterest in February, primarily to reach that demographic.
“We wanted another avenue to reach women ‘where they’re at’ online,” Gehman said. Women are the primary trip planners for family vacations and Pinterest’s unique user demographic is a perfect opportunity for them to connect. “Knowing that, we thought using Pinterest would be an intuitive way to reach the ladies.”
Ready to Start Pinning?
Adding Pinterest to your social media arsenal might be good for you airport. Finding a way to connect with people who use your airport is a decent strategy to have. Pinterest is another way to gain inbound links to your airport’s website and can enhance your content marketing efforts, leading to increased revenue, visibility and image. Gehman encourages other airports to start Pinning but cautions airports who are not maintaining their current social presence, not to jump in too quickly.
“Pinterest isn’t for every airport,” Gehman said. “If you’re struggling to maintain consistent and compelling content on the social media platforms you already use – stick to those.”
Gehman added, “If you’ve got the time, and can put forth the solid content marketing effort with Pinterest, go for it! Airports that are sharing on Pinterest currently are doing a great job – it’s remarkable how many different categories of visual content relate to travel and flying.”