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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

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

Pinterest Boards for Car Dealer

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.

 

Watch Wikimotive’s Erin and Amanda Ryan Discuss Pinterest for Car Dealers

Erin and Amanda can be seen every Thursday at 3:30pm EST on Get Your Social On, a new featured segment on David Villa’s Auto Dealer Live.

Originally published on Wikimotive's company blog.

Views: 274

Tags: Car, Dealers, Media, Pinterest, Social

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Comment by Mark Frost on July 18, 2014 at 7:51am

Agreed. We've got all of our clients on board with using Schema across their VDPs. I'm not on the development side so I can't speak specifics, but I love that search engines and platforms like Pinterest are giving sites more power to show what their content is all about.

Comment by Alexander Lau on July 18, 2014 at 6:45am

You're welcome Mark, it's not to show you up dude, as your article is SPOT ON! However, for those, dealership people, with more of a technical background they can apply metadata and those pins / posts hold even more power. Actually, this should be done anyway, regardless of Pinterest. All inventory VDPs and listings should be using Schema.org, semantic mark-up.

Comment by Mark Frost on July 17, 2014 at 2:50pm

Thanks for bringing that up, Alexander. Definitely worth a look. Would be nice if Pinterest included a more dealer-friendly option in the future, though, as none of the Pin types really suit inventory links well.

Comment by Alexander Lau on July 17, 2014 at 1:43pm

You forgot to mention Rich Pins @http://business.pinterest.com/en/rich-pins. However, you had better understand how Structured Data (https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/structured-data) and Rich Snippets work.

http://schema.org/AutomotiveBusiness and http://schema.org/Product,which we have on all of our websites and it helps them rank ahead of competitors.

How can I get Rich Pins?
Right now, there are five types of Rich Pins: movie, recipe, article, product and place. To get started, you'll need to prep your website with meta tags, test out your Rich Pins and apply to get them on Pinterest. If you're not technical, you might want to ask your developer or site owner to help get you going!

Product Rich Pins
For products we support two collection methods: oEmbed and semantic markup (Schema.org and Open Graph).

Which method is best for you?

oEmbed
If you have technical capabilities to set up an oEmbed endpoint — this is the preferred and most flexible method.

Semantic Markup
If you currently support Schema.org or Open Graph metatags, or if you can't set up an oEmbed endpoint but can easily modify your product page templates to include price and availability metatags.

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