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Jared Hamilton
From: Jared Hamilton
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Mark Frost

Mark Frost SEO Manager

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A Beginner's Guide to Pinterest for Car Dealers

When it comes to social media marketing, the last site you’re probably thinking of adding to your repertoire is Pinterest. The site is known for its large female user base, collections of clothes, decorating ideas, and DIY tips and tricks; however, with its unique spin on social bookmarking, car dealers can use their inventory to reach an entirely new social audience.

What is Pinterest?

Before we go any further, it’s probably best to give a brief introduction to Pinterest. Because unlike Facebook and Twitter, which are in-your-face mainstream services used by nearly every business on the planet, Pinterest is only just now maturing.

Pinterest provides a way for people to collect things–articles, images, products–they like from across the web and share them.  It’s a virtual bulletin board. Users “pin” items to “boards,” which are typically dedicated to a specific topic, but are ultimately a preference. For instance, some users may have boards for different fashion trends to publicly show off what they’re looking to buy next season while others may have boards dedicated to recipes and cooking tips to keep track of things they’d like to cook.

But Pinterest has evolved into more than just a site for people to pine over fashion trends and recipes. It’s a hub for real ecommerce that every business has the opportunity to take advantage of by providing Pinterest users with access to your inventory.

Why Pinterest is Important

Facebook and Twitter are all about absorbing information and moving on. Nothing stays popular too long on either service, as there’s always something new that comes along and the old stories get buried away.

With Pinterest, on the other hand, anything cool can remain popular over time. While it does have a homepage similar to Facebook and Twitter–on which users can see recently-posted content–users explore profiles and find content in different ways than they would on Facebook or Twitter. This allows your content to have more longevity and potentially reach more people than it otherwise would on other social media sites.

3 Ways to Drive Traffic from Pinterest

Now that you understand what Pinterest is and how it’s being used, let’s talk about what’s really important: ways dealers can utilize it.

Pin VDPs Using Inventory Images

One of the biggest struggles in automotive social media marketing is getting traffic to VDPs. By design, these are not social-media friendly, and typically ignored by users when posted directly to a social media page. With Pinterest, however, you can take images of your inventory and pin them to various boards, allowing users to discover them as if they were regular pieces of content.

You can have boards for exteriors and interiors, or separate content by model and have unique boards for each model your dealership offers. This will allow fans searching for content on a particular vehicle to easily be able to find and share your content, helping your dealership become a bigger and bigger presence amongst Pinterest users.

Pin Blog Posts From Your Site

Does your dealership have a blog? Are you still using it to post pictures of recent car buyers with their cars? Take steps to create content relevant to the vehicles you sell that people actually want to read.

Whether that be the history of a specific model or a list of luxury options buyers can add to their vehicle, make sure your dealership is producing a variety of posts that people would want to click through to, read, and share.

Pin Landing Pages

If your team is creating landing pages, start sharing them. Not all may be appropriate for social media, but vehicle landing pages are perfect if you’re looking to promote important pages to drive traffic. You’ll also generate social signals in the process, which will benefit your overall SEO strategy.

These are just three of the most basic ways to utilize Pinterest for your dealership’s social media presence. But in order to grow that presence, you have to post more than just content that directs to your website. Users will follow your boards and repin (similar to a retweet) more of your content if you prove to be a great source for a variety of topics related to your dealership’s brands.

Ideas for Growing Your Following

Have Fun with Boards

Don’t just name your boards “Camaro” or “Jeep,” stand out by creating titles that actually make users want to click. Be specific about what your pinning to each board and you’ll attract more and more interested users to follow.

For instance, a Jeep dealership could have a board called “Jeep Owners Have All The Fun,” which could be pictures of Jeep meet-ups and off-road adventures.  A Chevy dealership could have one titled “Why the Camaro is Better Than the Mustang” and  post images of old and new Camaro models, along with videos of races, reviews, and other things having to do with the Camaro/Mustang rivalry.

Include Local Content

Part of Wikimotive’s automotive social media strategy is to always include local content that encourages a targeted local following for clients across all social media sites. To accomplish this on Pinterest, we create boards exclusively for a dealer’s local area.

Whether that be sunny Florida or strong Boston, there’s a ton of history and other interesting things that can be shared about your local area. Create a board for pictures and information about local landmarks and have a few dedicated to local sports teams. You want to focus a lot of your initial effort on getting connected with local users.

Videos, Photo Galleries, and Wallpapers

In order to build a worthwhile presence on any social media site, you have to maintain a balance between your content and content you discover. One of the most effective ways to do this as a dealership is link to various videos and images galleries from major automotive publications.

If Car and Driver has a great video review of one of your newest models, pin it from the source. When LeftLaneNews publishes one of its incredible photo galleries of a car you sell (or will sell in the future), make sure people can see it. And if you really want to reach the enthusiast, have a brand-related desktop wallpaper board filled with wallpapers of various models that users can browse through to show off their brand loyalty.

The Future: Promoted Pins

Promoted Pins work the same as Promoted Posts and Tweets on Facebook and Twitter: your paying for more eyes on your content. For ecommerce, this is a big deal because the average shopper referred by Pinterest spends between $140 and $180, as opposed to Facebook’s $80 and Twitter’s $60.

With geotargeting, category selection, and other options sure to be at your disposal, dealers will soon be able to get their content in front of interested, local users.

These small parts of your dealership’s overall social media strategy can make the difference between doing the bare minimum and accumulating a valuable following. Pinterest does not require a major investment or a ton of time to add to your social media routine–it simply requires dedication to quality upkeep.

Lauren Moses
Mark, Great article. I am an avid pinterest user myself and am constantly sending and receiving pins from friends and family. I started our dealership one and have tried to remember to pin but do get a little side tracked sometimes (I can't imagine why...) and think that I am on my personal account so I have to remind myself to stick with relevant things for the auto industry. I had never thought to pin something from our own website, though now that you have said it I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner. Here's to spending the rest of my evening Pinning away!
Mark Frost
Glad to hear I could help and give you some ideas, Lauren! For our clients, the best results have come from the blog posts. When you've got articles with high-quality images, you can often pin the same link to multiple boards with a different image.
Alexander Lau
There are great bulk upload tools as well for inventory posting such as for only $50.00. Works like a charm.
Lauren Moses
I was trying to pin some of our inventory last night and was having a kinda tough time doing it. For some reason it wouldn't allow me to do it even after going to our website. I have yet to figure it out but I am going to keep playing with it today.
Erin Ryan
Hey Lauren!It is so great you are taking steps to broaden your Dealerships Social Media! Do you use a "Pin It" button? It is an add-on to your Internet browser. If so, you can use this to Pin from anywhere on the web, including your dealership's website.What you would want to preferably do is go to individual VDP pages and pin the images (stock images/floor room or lot photos) that are already existing for potential customers and now they become your pinnable pins.You want to ensure that you pin it to the appropriate board on Pinterest with a creative name and proper category so it gets indexed within Pinterest so when people search for the type of vehicle they can easily find it and reshare, providing social signals for your dealership's website and increased website clicks that can turn to possible leads. Having a local pin board on the dealership's Pinterest account to have local people who are on Pinterest to help your area find your account too is ideal.Like Mark said, it is great for all blog posts as well to pin for those fantastic social signals!

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