Keep It Pinteresting
How to leverage your dealership's social presence and search engine ranking using Pinterest
by Chelsea Stamper
Is your dealership pinning yet? Pinterest, an online pinboard that allows users to save and share their interests, has quickly climbed the ranks and is now the third largest social network behind Facebook and Twitter. It has some very interesting features. If leveraged correctly, Pinterest can give your dealership the ability to stand out from your competition. Take a look at the KainAutomotive.com Pinterest page for reference.
How it Works
Pinterest works quite simply- you start by creating a pin board. For example, KainAutomotive.com has a board titled "KainAutomotive.com Team". This board is a webpage that allows us to collect and organize pins, or pictures, of our team members. A pin is any picture that is uploaded to Pinterest. A user can either upload an image from his or her desktop or grab an image from virtually any website. When you "pin", or grab, an image from a website, your pin will link directly back to that webpage. Pinterest gives users the ability to browse pins by categories based on your interests. Just like Twitter's "Re-tweet" feature, if you see another user's pin that speaks to you, you can re-pin it on to your board.
Search Engine Optimization
What does this mean for businesses? As with all social networks, it's another way to connect with your customers. However, Pinterest has a leg-up on other social networks: it's an easy and visually-pleasing way to boost your search engine rankings. Search engines place a huge emphasis on the number of external links to your website. The more links to your site, the higher you'll climb on search engine results. Since each pin links back to a website, you can increase your search engine ranking by pinning images from your site. Let's face it- most of us only click on the first or second result when using search engines. Therefore, your dealership's search engine ranking is crucial. The more eye-catching the picture, the more likely you'll get re-pinned. Perhaps this will motivate you to spruce up your website with more vibrant photos!
The beauty of search engine optimization on Pinterest? It's beautiful! Instead of an ugly link that reads http://www.blahblahblah.com, your links will look like this:
When you pin an image, Pinterest allows you to give the pin a description of up to 500 characters. This gives you the ability to associate search-engine-friendly keywords with your link. For example, when we pinned a picture of David Kain to our "KainAutomotive.com Team" board, we typed "David Kain, President of KainAutomotive.com" and then a short biography in the description. This biography included the keywords "Automotive Internet Sales Training" and "Digital Marketing Solutions". These keywords are search terms that a potential client would use when looking for a company such as ours. What would a potential customer do an online search for if they were looking for your dealership? Be sure to include such keywords while being mindful that sounding too "spammy" will likely prevent other users from re-pinning your content.
Promote your Page
The right images and keywords will get you re-pinned every now and then; but to be truly successful, you'll have to promote your Pinterest page. The goal is to get your customers and potential customers to "follow" you on Pinterest and re-pin your content. There are many ways to do this- don't be afraid to get creative! One non-negotiable step is to add a link to your Pinterest page on your website. You don't have to stop there! On www.kainautomotive.com, we have a direct stream that shows our latest pins right on our site, as shown below:
Additionally, we've added a "Pin It" button to all of the images on our site. This button is hidden until a user scrolls over top of the image. When the button appears, users can pin an image from our site directly on to one of their boards, as follows:
It's that simple! If you website is hosted via WordPress, you can download the following plug-ins to stream your pins and add the "Pin It" button.
Stream Pins: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/pinterest-rss-widget/
"Pin It" Button on Images: http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/pinterest-pin-it-button-for-images/
If you don't use WordPress, talk to your website developer about how to make these changes. Another easy way to promote your page is to place a small "Follow us on Pinterest" logo on your business cards, advertisements, and email signatures. If you're currently utilizing Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks (which you should be), you can promote your Pinterest page by posting and tweeting about it. You could even offer a promotion exclusively for Pinterest followers. The options are endless! Keep your dealership Pinteresting- start to leverage the 3rd largest social network today! For more information, contact Chelsea Stamper at email@example.com