Pinterest is the site with all the recipes and crafts, right? There’s no way we could sell parts and accessories there, right?

While it’s definitely true that Pinterest is a site dominated by recipes, crafts, and fashion, it’s also a massive social network that can be a decent source of website traffic and sales. As of late 2019, Pinterest has over 322 million active users each month. With all those users, Pinterest can definitely be a source of website traffic and revenue for automotive part brands who want to try a different approach to social media marketing than other brands.

Here are some tips and best practices for promoting auto parts and accessories on Pinterest.

First, What The Heck Is Pinterest?

If you’ve never used Pinterest before, here’s a crash course:

  • Every Pinterest user can “pin” content onto a “board.” The board can have a personal theme like “things I want to buy for my garage,” and the “pins” can be links to products.
Pinterest garage board
Here’s a simple Pinterest board someone has made for their garage. You can find it here.
  • Pins are basically just links to websites. Pins can be links to product pages, links to helpful articles, links to videos, and so on.
  • Boards are social. Depending on your settings, your boards can be public or private. If a board is public, people can find it when they search on Pinterest. If they like the Pins they find on your Board, they can click on them, comment on them, and save them to their own board.

Pinterest is basically a combination of Google and Instagram. It can be a great place to find products, discover other people’s ideas, but it can also be entertaining to scroll and engage.

How Does Pinterest Help Sell Parts?

Pinterest isn’t a barn burner in the parts and accessories business, but it can definitely be a source of traffic and sales. Some of the ways we’ve seen Pinterest drive parts and accessories sales:

  • Casual auto enthusiasts are more likely to be on Pinterest. So, if you have products that appeal to casual auto enthusiasts (like, say a cargo organizer or general-purpose car detailing product), Pinterest can be a good place to promote that product.
  • Pinterest users will post interesting imagery. If you create an interesting or helpful infographic or illustration, it may get some traction on Pinterest.
  • Pinterest users will share basic DIY and how-to content. As long as your content includes nice imagery, basic DIY or how-to content will be interesting to Pinterest users. Just make sure it’s something with a universal appeal like “How To Change A Tire,” rather than something niche and complex like “How To Rebuild An Alternator”
  • Many Pins are discoverable in Google Search, which can drive traffic. If a high-profile Pinterest user Pins something from your website on their board, that can be a good source of traffic. It may also help with SEO.

While Spork generally does not recommend Pinterest to our auto parts clients, there are some situations where it can be beneficial. As always, the best way to find out if Pinterest can work for your company is to test it.

How Can I Test Out Pinterest?

Pinterest is easy to get rolling.

  • Create an account, and then start searching for keywords you know to be important. If your company sells brake pads, search for “brake pads”, “performance brake pads”, and similar terms to see what you see.
  • Once you’ve benchmarked a few boards and have a good idea about what people are pinning, you can create some boards for your company. Try to name boards in a way that is helpful, and then keep your Pin content related to your board theme.
  • Check-in periodically to see what people are saying about your Pins and to pin fresh content.
  • Use hashtags. Two to three can’t hurt.
  • Create an ads account and try promoting Pins to your site to see what kind of response they get. Pinterest ads can be very, very cheap to test (you can usually get clicks for just a couple of pennies), so there’s not much harm in trying.

How Can I Get Pinterest Users To Share My Products And Content?

A Pinterest user who has searched “4Runner” will frequently see suggested pins like these the next time they log in.

This is the million-dollar question right here: while you can create boards and pins to try and make sure your products appear in Pinterest searches, the best way to grow your presence on Pinterest is to get consumers to do this stuff for you. To that end, there are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Create Family-Friendly Content

Data shows that 8 out of 10 Pinterest users are moms. That means the content on your site is going to be shared on boards that will either be related to parenting OR on boards that will be seen by kids walking by.

Content that can help keep kids entertained – like auto-themed coloring books or activities for kids – would be a good fit for Pinterest. Likewise, you want to make sure the content on your site is family-friendly. Images of “booth babes” showcasing your products at events are likely to chase Pinterest users away.

2. Create Educational Content

The Car Care Council creates and pins a lot of helpful infographics.

Photos and illustrations of car parts with short explanations and easy to understand descriptions can be great content for Pinterest. For example, take a photo of a dirty air filter next to a clean one and turn that into a simple infographic that explains why and when an air filter should be changed. You can also create short educational videos about repair or installation, which can empower Pinterest users to get their hands dirty and buy some parts.

Another idea is to post photos and links to articles that give tips and tricks on how to keep your car clean and organized, and then leverage the traffic from these posts to promote products. A handful of good Pins can drive hundreds or even thousands of visitors to your site every month, all of whom can be marketed to.

3. Highlight And Share Your Community Connections

If your company is involved in the community, create a board on Pinterest dedicated to the organizations you support. Follow those organizations if they have their own Pinterest pages, re-pin their photos, and pin your own photos. If you do a food drive every winter, post photos of the collection bin or employees who are volunteering to sort through the collections.

If you’re a retailer, try following the official brands you resell on Pinterest. Magnaflow, for example, has a Pinterest account that gets some traffic every month. If you’re a Magnaflow retailer, try re-pinning their pins and commenting. People searching for Magnaflow products who find the official page may find your site as a result.

Summing Up

Pinterest is not a huge opportunity for most auto parts and accessories companies, but that’s part of what makes it so easy to try. Most automotive companies are ignoring it, which means it’s easy to establish your company quickly and see what Pinterest can do for you.

Also, it should be noted that Pinterest is not exclusively used by women, and many of the men and women who use Pinterest are your customers (or potential customers). A quick search of Pinterest shows lots of boards dedicated to “traditionally male” interests. Most of the women on Pinterest like DIY ideas and are handy and capable people. Check out these impressive boards about engines, overlanding, Jeeps, and 100,000 other topics. It would be a mistake for any brand to assume that Pinterest isn’t worth investigating because “it’s all crafts and recipes” or “it’s all women that don’t know cars” or whatever. Just test it and see what you get.