There’s no mistaking the popularity and quick rise of Pinterest as a social media platform. Forbes wrote a piece back in February detailing such. A whopping 430 percent increase in visitors between last September and December alone, around 20+ million members and above all else, it’s a platform for creativity without the fluff of content and blogs to interfere. It’s a personalization, much like Facebook, but it shows more than speaks.
Pinterest has outpaced LinkedIn and has multiple studies indicating that it draws more referrals than YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn…combined. And while you’d be hard pressed to say the demographic is a 50/50 split between men and women, that’s not to say the marketing opportunity is void with car dealerships.
There are many ways that Pinterest could, in fact, be of value for your dealership, if nothing more than to show off new models in a different, more creative light outside of just taking a picture of one car next to a dozen others on a lot.
That being said, let’s look at a few possibilities with Pinterest and your car dealership.
It’s virtually an untapped marketing angle
Hardly any dealerships across the country are on Pinterest. It’s a pretty cut-and-dry statement. Even most of the major car company websites are either not on it, or at the very least, not promoting it on their homepage. Do a quick search of your local competitors to see if any of them are anywhere near Pinterest and if you happen to find one, look at what’s on their page and see what you could do to make yours stand out.
And if no dealerships are committed to Pinterest as a way to push their vehicles and other services, then at the very least, you would essentially have a leg up on them by simply mulling over the idea. Creating an account and finding ways to blend your brand to spark curiosity of the Pinterest mainstays in and around your community is the next course.
Take notice of what your audience pins
As I mentioned above, the majority of members on Pinterest are women, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t customers or influencers, because their wall isn’t chock full of hot rods and race events. Take for example, a possible influencer who pins a number of pictures, infographics and other media with outdoors or traveling themes. The likelihood of them repinning one of your vehicles (barring that it’s not a photo of the dealership) could stand a greater chance because you’re offering content that’s more relatable to theirs.
Your dealership could stand out from the rest by how well you adorn your Pinterest wall. Consider clever ways to have a particular vehicle (maybe a concept car or model that’s a mere weeks away from release?) placed somewhere off-site, where there’s a nice panoramic shot of the city, countryside or downtown building in the distance. Find classic cars around the city, maybe be on the lookout for antiques from the early 1900’s, look out what tint you want the photo to be and try to vary your wall between car photos. You could go around and take photos of the sides of popular landmarks, whether it’s a historical centerpiece to your town, a museum or other way to make your wall resemble the community.
Be active, but not overly promotional
To make the most of your Pinterest marketing, you need to cultivate your influencers. Pin only the standout photos of the lot and don’t be one-sided with what’s being attached. Mix up photos with an infographic on driving distraction statistics or some sort of data that’s both visually appealing and informative. But most of all, don’t be too “pin-happy” and feel the need to overwhelm your followers with 10 or more photos every day. You’ll quickly be diminishing whatever following you amassed over the weeks or months you began your Pinterest campaign.
Be gradual, but impactful.
Discussing Pinterest and it’s possible impact with dealership marketing is fairly new ground, much like dealership participation with it. If and when your dealership begins testing the waters with Pinterest, you must carve out your approach to be unique above all else. Every referral out there isn’t derived from the same cloth, and with Pinterest accounting so heavily with conversions to multiple business niches, getting a lead from a stay-at-home mom whose interests and pins aren’t car-related, it’s building influence regardless.
Frank Golden covers the automotive industry on many fronts, including marketing angles, new vehicle discussions, auto repair tips and tricks and is a consultant for Toyota of West County, a new and used Toyota dealer in the St. Louis area.