Tag Archives: Pinterest


Sell Emotion, Feeling, And An Experience To See Sales

Being a car enthusiast, and someone who is studying social media marketing for car dealerships, the notion of selling emotion, feeling, and experience is rather fascinating. A highly effective form of advertising that is often used in the hotel and resort industry, isn’t being utilized in other industries, or rather, not being used correctly. I believe that the greatest motivator in the buying process is feeling. When your favorite car brand promotes their new convertible, the scenery and sound affects draw you in, and if the commercial is successful, you’ll have a growing desire to experience what the actor is in the ad.

You’ve probably heard business people asking a salesperson to sell them a pen. Most of these sales pitches fail because they talk about the pen, but not about what the pen can do for you, as in how do you benefit from that pen. Selling cars has always been hard selling, and not about the benefits that buyer will see after they purchase that car. Instead of rushing someone into a hasty decision, either use marketing campaigns that strike at the heart of consumers, or consistently post content that gives a potential car buyer the desire to purchase a certain vehicle.

The home decor industry has fallen into the same trap, where spokespeople talk about “great deals”, but don’t try creating an emotion, feeling, or experience. What is better than sitting in an air conditioned house on a summer night, with a comfortable leather coach, watching a movie with the entire family? That’s an experience, a feeling, or emotion that many family-oriented adults desire to feel. We’re living in an amazing time where social media is dominating the marketing world, but industries aren’t using these tools effectively. Instagram and Pinterest are picture based platforms, and with great photos, you can create an experience for customers that will be desired.

It’s incredible that HGTV seems to be more effective at selling home decor products than the companies who produce and sell them. The same goes for the automotive industry where Car and Driver uses pictures, and posts content that could motivate a car buyer to choose a certain brand over the other. For Car and Driver, it’s not their job to sell cars, they’re specialty is reviewing them, and informing consumers. Yet, they’ve become a primary resource where car buyers could easily be influenced by a magazine article.

If you don’t start creating a feeling, an emotion, or start selling an experience, you will not see the ROI you desire from your social media marketing campaigns. Hard selling is slowly becoming the normal strategy for companies, not only those who produce the products we see on the shelves and in showrooms, but the ones who also sell them. How do car dealerships expect a certain model to sell, if they don’t promote their vehicle in a way that creates a desire to experience the feeling behind the wheel of that car? For HGTV, I get the feeling they’ve become more trustworthy and a better source of buying information on everything about homes and interiors than the companies themselves.

Social media has become the tool where customers grow trust in certain brands, whether that be a company, magazine, or television network. The reason why car dealerships and companies in other industries see low engagement rates is because they’re not posting content that builds emotion and a connection. The social media marketing era has created many winners in a multitude of industries, but now that social media is maturing, we’re seeing a lot of losers pop up, and that’s because they’ve resorted to hard selling. Sell emotion, feeling, and an experience if you want to succeed, because the hard selling days are over.

Automotive Social Media Marketing

Not Marketing On Social Media? You’re Playing With Fire

On my other website, Boston Auto Blog, I’ve discussed the importance of having a sound social media marketing strategy for car dealerships, but it’s essential for any industry. Over the past three months I’ve spent much time looking over companies’ social media strategies, while also taking notes on the businesses who aren’t taking social media platforms seriously. The findings were alarming for the businesses who weren’t consistently posting content, engaging with followers, or didn’t have any social media presence. We are now living in a time where marketing on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are vital, similar to when big conglomerates moved to neighborhoods, killing the small businesses off in the process.

As in the early days of the shopping mall and companies who could market, advertise, and mass produce products on a grand scale, new businesses who have the foresight of marketing on social media are stealing market share away from local perennial powerhouses. In 2015, it’s a friendly environment for young startups because they can use social media to their advantage as the virtual word of mouth. They can engage with followers even before their doors open, update their future customers on news regarding their startup, and already make an impact before their grand opening. The local stores with a strong tradition of being a great place to shop at is no longer good enough, especially if they’re not using Facebook or any other platform.

This year, there has been a new car dealership that’s moved into the local area. Months ahead of time they were posting updates and promoting their dealership with Facebook ads, so when the doors were finally ready to open, they had immediate customers. In turn, some dealerships in the area started scrambling and began promoting their Facebook fan page, but it was too late. The new dealership was not only promoting, they were also posting native content of their showroom, cars, nail salon, and memorabilia store. So far after 6 months since their grand opening, they’re by far the most popular dealership and have a following of over 8,500 fans on Facebook, which is more than dealerships who have been open for decades.

Traditional businesses who operate the old-fashioned way are playing a very dangerous game. By not going digital and updating their marketing strategy, they’ll get beat by the companies who are primarily marketing on social media. In fact, I haven’t seen one commercial from that dealership. Their popularity arose from word of mouth, social media marketing on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and engaging with the local community. They were already a member of the neighborhood before the store even opened, and no one can deny that it had an impact on the local area.

Social media marketing will continue to help grow the companies who use Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter effectively, and will kill off the businesses who don’t take social media seriously. It’s already become apparent that this new dealership is taking business away from other showrooms in the area. For any company out there, the new kid on the block who is reaching out to the community should be putting fear in the hearts of the hometown boys who’ve owned the local turf for decades. You either update your marketing strategy, or you’ll be forgotten like the town diners and local stores that were eaten up by companies who could advertise on a mass scale.

Marketing on social media is serious. Without a sense of urgency, and not putting in the time and dedication to grow your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram followings, you’ll be opening the door for others businesses who understand the importance of online marketing, and they’ll gladly take your customers away from you.

Instagram logo

Instagram And Pinterest Will Change How We Shop

Remember the days when you’d get a catalog in the mail, or you subscribed to a store and received online catalogs which influenced your buying decisions? With the existence of social media, and platforms such as Instagram and Pinterest, that’s all beginning to change. Pinterest, more than Instagram, has become the social media outlet where 32% of users plan to go buy what they pinned, while 30% said they’d take the next step in the buying process and purchase what they viewed on an online store, according to a recent study done by Millward Brown Digital. We’re slowly beginning to see changes in buying habits and behaviors, and it all starts with visualization.

Why are Instagram and Pinterest so compelling from a consumer’s standpoint? For industries such as home improvement, home decor, and clothing, visualization has become key to online marketing success. People who need new bath or kitchen fixtures no longer have to look through a catalog and find what looks good. On Pinterest, people can now see what those products look like in a bath or kitchen setting. They can visualize and see themselves in that room instead of being given a photo of the product with a white backdrop.

As the old saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words” and it can’t be more true for marketers and businesses on social media in 2015. The reason why Instagram is successful is because of the editing and filters done by users to make pictures really stand out. Not only are they great to look at, but they’re beginning to influence consumers in multiple industries. You’ve probably seen Millennials on Twitter sharing photos of cars, houses, and pictures of happy couples with the caption, “Life goals”. When did this all come about? Nice cars, houses with luxury interiors, and happy couples could always be found on television, in a magazine, or through a search engine. Why now has every 20-35 year old become enamored with pictures displaying luxury and happiness?

Pinterest, Instagram, and to an extent Youtube is where this craze for virtual visualization has come from. Similar to the days of the first movie with sound or first television that brought color to screens, people want more. Back in the early to mid 20th century people wanted sound and color to help make movies and television shows more appealing and easier to watch. Today Instagram and Pinterest have given consumers pictures with real life settings where they can see themselves owning that car, living in that house, or being happy with their significant other. That’s why Pinterest is seeing a combined 62% of users making buying decisions online, or being influenced to buy a product in the store. Those pictures are almost a trial version for consumers, where they can see what looks good in their house and if it’s worth purchasing to make their homes look the same as the one in the picture.

With all this being said, Pinterest and Instagram are opening the door for virtual reality and point of view videos. Instead of seeing someone in front a camera reviewing a product, first person videos is where the imagination of consumers goes one step further. If you’re interested in buying a car, you can find multiple car reviews on Youtube, with similar presenters all saying the exact same thing, with the same camera angles, and none of them can find a way to be different in any way.

However, Winding Road Magazine offers viewers point of view videos with a first person look behind the wheel. The sound systems they use make it possible for people to hear exactly what the driver is. Since the cameraman doesn’t say a word, viewers can put themselves in his shoes and imagine themselves in that car. With over 150,000 subscribers and over 50,000,000 views, Winding Road Magazine is well ahead of the curve when it comes to the next era of technology and social media marketing.

Visualization is becoming a major factor in buying decisions. If you’re posting pictures of your products with white backdrops, your content may not be as effective as the company who is using photos of their product in a real life setting, such as a living room or kitchen. Virtual reality will be made possible thanks to GoPro cameras and technology coming out next decade. More importantly though, right now in 2015, you must use Pinterest and Instagram to your advantage and give your customers exactly what they want; a visualization of your products.


How Much Different Is SMM From Old School Marketing?

As with any innovation, we are often struck with amazement as to how we went so long doing daily tasks the conventional way, when there was a better solution that offered just as much, if not more valuable in less time. Social media marketing is one of those innovations that business owners look at as the game changer, the revolutionizing method of marketing on a small or grand scale. But is SMM all that much different than old school marketing, which has dominated the advertising agency for the better part of 50 years?

When Steve Jobs created the iPod, everyone thought it would revolutionize how we listen to music, and it has. However, the groundwork was already put in place with the invention of the Walkman. Jobs innovated and improved an existing concept, and by combining that with modern technology, we’re able to access our music libraries on our phones, iPad’s and laptops. Almost every song ever written is now available, and can be bought with just a click of a button, instead of buying individual cd’s or records and frantically searching for the album. Marketing and advertising have seen the same innovation, but instead of one man changing how we communicate and reach out to customers, a group of innovators have created the world of marketing as we see it today.

Advertising in the 20th century was mainly television commercials and radio and newspaper ads. It was pretty straightforward as companies could reach consumers on a massive scale by using a variety of methods to get their messages across. Today the focus is on social media, and instead of giant corporations dominating the advertising scene, small and medium sized businesses can have just as much success as their larger counterparts.

While television, radio, and newspapers are still used today, the innovation Steve Jobs had on the music industry, is the equivalent to what Mark Zuckerberg, Kevin Systrom, and the founders of Youtube and Twitter have done to business and marketing.

One could argue that Youtube, to some degree, has taken a bite out of television advertising. The same ads we see on television are now being seen on Youtube before videos. Combine that with Facebook through sharing links, and you not only have a platform that shares videos that are in essence ads, but a micro blog that allows business owners and marketers to share important news, information, and links to persuade consumers to buy into their products. Facebook can be seen as a mini newspaper because of the ability to post short tidbits of information, while also having the capability to purchase ads to specifically target consumers who would get the most value out of what the company is selling.

Instagram and Pinterest can be used as online catalogs, zoning in on one specific product at a time. Instead of mailing out printed catalogs to a number of recipients, pictures being posted to these two platforms can capture the attention and interest of specific viewers, and with Pinterest, a link can be provided which leads the consumer right to the online store.

Podcasts can be used similar to radio. The major difference here is that companies can choose which podcasts to advertise in, leading to a higher rate of conversion. If there’s a car discussion podcast, a local or regional auto parts store or supplier could advertise, which would have more of an impact on the listeners than if that same company decided to place an ad on the radio, despite the larger listening audience. Of course, podcasting is already niche oriented to begin with, and that plays a factor into how companies use that platform to reach consumers.

Twitter is the virtual billboard. The people who are scrolling down their Twitter feed are similar to the drivers who are passing by signs on a highway. Each tweet is a quick blurb with 180 characters and a picture to go along with the message. The most important factor for companies is how to get those users to click and go to their profiles, and that comes with eye catching photos and short phrases

Social media marketing isn’t exactly a new concept, but it does however offer platforms for companies to specifically target the right consumer. Instead of 30 second television commercials, radio ads, and newspaper articles, businesses of all sizes not only can capture a consumers attention with a strong social media marketing plan, but retain them and add to the community of consumers that Facebook, Twitter, Instagram/Pinterest, and Youtube can provide. Old school marketing captures attention on a grand scale and creates short-term recognition. While SMM, if done right, captures and holds onto the consumer, if those future customers see long term value.


Social Media Matters: How Pinterest Can Be Used In Marketing and Business

Raul P / Foter / Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

When we think of Pinterest, the first thought that probably comes to mind is that it’s a social media platform that’s primarily used by women. This idea is very narrow-minded and negates the average consumer and business owner from seeing the effect Pinterest has in terms of marketing and business. Yes it’s a platform dominated by pictures, but those pictures have links, and those links can direct the user right to your company’s website or online store. In simpler terms, Pinterest is basically an SEO/Social media outlet that guides consumers to a specific site without reading a list of article titles and instead, pictures that grab the attention of the consumer.

Say for example your business specializes in beach chairs, hammocks, and other products that are primarily bought before or during the summer. If you have an online store or sell your products on Amazon, people who are in need of these summer essentials will search for that product and when they find a chair or hammock they like, they’ll buy it. With Pinterest, you’re subtly and casually reaching out to the customer with pictures of your product, making it a comfortable experience for the potential buyer.

To be an effective seller on Pinterest that captures the viewer’s attention, you must rip a page out of old-school marketing that we all learned at a young age, even if we didn’t take actual business courses. Take a high quality picture of someone relaxing in your beach chair or hammock; the ideal location would be the beach or backyard that puts the consumer in the shoes of the person who is reclining in your products. Before buying anything, consumers picture themselves using the product they’re interested in. In this case, they’re probably imagining getting a nice tan, feeling the warmth of summer, or that relaxation they so desperately want. You want to meet them in the middle, and the picture creates the experience for the consumer.


Pinterest can also be applied to contractors’ marketing strategies. By showing people what your business can do for someone’s home, that is the best form of marketing. It’s easy to say on a website that, “We remodel homes and create a comfortable living environment for your family”, but by displaying your work on Pinterest, where customers can see your skills shine, you’ll make a bigger impression on people than if you wrote a 600 word blog post describing what their room or house will look like after you’re team is done.

It’s all about creativity and giving the viewer the opportunity to imagine using your product or experiencing the change your services provided them. Pinterest is a way to connect with customers through the use of pictures instead of text. If you can get viewers to re-pin, click, and buy your products, you’ve mastered Pinterest. Social media is a powerful marketing tool that has endless amounts of potential. Some platforms work better for some companies depending on the industry, but if Pinterest can be of any use to your business, you must utilize it.