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Victoria Kuhn
by Victoria Kuhn
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Use Pinterest to Drive Conversion and Increase Social Presence in the Auto Industry

09/20/2012
Use Pinterest to Drive Conversion and Increase Social Presence in the Auto Industry

Should your brand be on Pinterest? It’s a common question in many sectors, including the automotive industry. If your brand wants more clicks, more walk-ins, more calls, and more conversion (eg more sold cars), read on!

Social media is ubiquitous, it can work for any brand: B2B or B2C, brands that are sleek, and brands that are more like steady-Eddies too. Before you speed along the Pinterest highway, first get the rest of your social fleet in order. If your website needs a lift, Facebook is tended to with the same frequency as dental visits, or the last tweet you sent was ages ago: get your house in order, including making sure you have staff or a partner to help you maintain and grow your presence. Sound familiar? Below is pie chart showing the time that a brand should spend engaging in social. [NOTE: We know every brand is different, the pie is a illustrative guide.]

Pie chart of time we recommend brands spend on social channels

 

If you posting and design attributes are current and you have a well-manicured content calendar, it’s time to Pin. No invitation required any longer. Set up your Pinterest account using your Facebook or Twitter account and then it’s time to Pin, rather it’s time to plan to Pin. Why is planning important? Setting a visual schedule is like planning a trip, otherwise, it’s pretty much like suicide doors from the past social-media-style. Embrace strategy as you would with any other business venture.

Next you need to set up Boards. Boards are categories. Start with 1-2 and be certain you can maintain them. Original content is best. For every repin you need 4-6 pieces of unique content. Strive for topics, images, quotes, and the like that you don’t see everywhere; these are pin-perfect.

Think details, not dealership. Take a close up at your lot; look for shiny, eye-catching cars akin to every car magazine you pick up. Showcase the small details that a car buyer won’t see from afar. Draw them in with artistic, stylish, and interesting images. If you are lucky enough to have vintage cars nearby, include them as they often harken an emotive response!

Pinterest 101. Really Pinterest for the masses, including men. Why men? While JD Power says that demographics are dead in social, others say that Pinterest is for women. Yes, 6/10 users are women, though this leaves 4/10 users who are men.

What to showcase? Classic cars, sleek and sharp cars, best-selling cars, cars that drive traffic to your dealership and online: you need not try too hard with these (though every pin should be the best photo you can take, everytime). With Instagram, everyone a photographer and the app is at your fingertips on Droid or iPhone. Filters turn an ordinary image into a masterpiece so it’s worth using it. Use it often and pin daily.

Examine what your fans are responding to on your boards. Then repeat and try to top it. Are you gaining followers? Seeing work shared or liked? Did you top your last number of pins? Set goals. Gain new fans. Evaluate and plan to improve once a month.

How-to pins are a great idea and easy to generate like safety tips, driving to conserve fuel, brakes-gone-bad. Think short text blocks with a eye-catching image THEN link to your website with a full-fledged related blog post.

Yes, you still need original content. The how-to articles or TBD pin topics you lead with are snip-its. When you link to your blog on your website, you can expand and demonstrate what you know (and that your brand is a resource): get much juicier with text and long rich posts.

Getting customers to your site is really where Pinterest excels for brands. And if the goal is to purchase from you then this is the channel. According to Jeffrey Zwelling, a guest blogger at Venture Beat: “Pinterest drives more revenue per click than Twitter or Facebook. We project Pinterest will be responsible for 40% of social media e-commerce transactions by end of Q2 2012.”

So find a content calendar, a cell with camera app, (don’t forget about Instagram) and get creative on the car lot.

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