Warning: This Means the End of The Pinterest Time-Suck

Have you been dedicating lots of time to Pinterest, pumped up by the sheer volume of visitors it receives each day, but not entirely sure how that investment of your time was paying off? (Confession: at LKR we started paying attention to this social network only in the past year but I’m so glad we finally got on board!)

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Fortunately the folks at Pinterest have heeded the cry of marketers everywhere: “Give us some metrics so that we can start measuring this stuff!” We asked, and they delivered!

In March 2013, Pinterest introduced free analytics reporting for verified business accounts. What does that mean? It means your own personal account with your name and your website or blog casually included in the description of your profile isn’t going to cut it.

(Still haven’t really dove into using Pinterest for your business? Check out this blog post on why and how to get started in just 15 minutes!)

If you don’t already have a business account with Pinterest, don’t fret; you can easily convert a personal account to a business one with a few steps:

  1. Head over to business.pinterest.com and click on Join as a Business (yes, even if you’ve already got the personal account)
  2. On the very next page, at the top right, they ask the question: “Already have an account?” Click on the word “Convert.” (If you want to have a personal account and a business account, that’s     fine too. Just stay on this page and enter the details for the business account, without clicking on “Convert.”)

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3. On the next page, you’ll have to log in with your personal account details.

4. Finally you’ll have to complete more fields about your business, agree to Pinterest’s terms, and click on “Convert” at the bottom right of the page.

And you’ve got your business account all set up on Pinterest!

The next step to get access to analytics for your account is to verify your website. If you don’t work with someone who’s in charge of the technical aspects of your website, check out these step-by-step DIY instructions by Amanda at A Royal Daughter. She does a great job of taking you through the steps depending on where your site or blog is hosted.

Once your website is verified, you can finally take a look at Pinterest’s analytics for your account by clicking on your name at the top right of any page and selecting Analytics from the drop-down menu there.

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Here’s the data you can get your hands in the different tabs on this page:

  • Pins: the number of pins of images that people find on your site (maybe of a product, an infographic, or an image from a blog post) and pin to one of their boards
  • Pinners: the number of people pinning things from your website to their boards
  • Repins: remember those pins that people pinned from your website? This metric shows you the daily average number of the repins that come from there, NOT the things you pinned to your own board that don’t appear on your website, like that funny cat photo or a picture of the team.
  • Repinners: the number of people doing all that aforementioned repinning
  • Impressions: the number of times your pins are showing up on Pinterest to other pinners
  • Reach: the number of individual people who saw your pins on their Pinterest homepage, on various boards,  or in search results
  • Clicks: the number of actual clicks from the homepage, boards, search results, etc.
  • Visitors: the number of people who went from a pin to your website by clicking on your website url or a pin that took them to your website
  • Most Recent Pins: all the pins that either you or other people pinned from your website
  • Most Repinned: which of the pins from your website are getting repinned the most
  • Most Clicked: which of the pins from your website are getting the most clicks

You can look at these metrics during different periods of time by adjusting the dates in the top left of the Analytics page.

So now that you can see all this information about your Pinterest account, the main question is:

Which of these metrics should I be paying attention to?

I like to think about these metrics as falling into two categories:

  1. the pins that drive engagement with your brand on Pinterest,
  2. and the pins that drive traffic to your website.

Both are important, and at the end of the day, the first is going to greatly affect the second. Here’s how I look at it: I find an image on Pinterest about a makeup tutorial (because there are a LOT of these on Pinterest). I love it, I repin it, but I don’t go to the website that it came from because the image itself fulfilled my need for knowledge about that particular subject. But since I repin it, the people who follow me see it too, and maybe some of them repin it as well. The more engagement that pin gets on Pinterest (here engagement means repins mostly, but also likes and comments), the more people actually see it and have the potential to engage with it as well. So it follows that there’s a higher probability that the people who click on that pin may also click through the the website where that pin originally came from, and maybe convert into a newsletter subscriber because they want more great content like the makeup tutorial they found on Pinterest. BOOM – more leads for that website.

So which are the metrics to look at for each category?

Category #1: Pins that drive engagement with your brand on Pinterest

  1. Pins. Hopefully you’re already adding beautiful, interesting, and/or provocative images to your website and blog that people will be inclined to share by pinning it to one of their boards. (Check out our blog for inspiration; we make sure each post has at least one interesting image, a.k.a NOT stock photography). So the Pins metric will allow you to see a trend in the average number of images pinned from your site across a period of time. If your numbers are low, it’s a good indicator that whatever images you’ve got on your site aren’t grabbing the attention or your visual-minded readers. If this is the case for your business, make sure you aren’t making any of these common mistakes on Pinterest when thinking up your pin-worthy content.

  2. Repins. This is one of the most important metrics to measure engagement with your brand on Pinterest. The data given by Pinterest is the average daily number of repins for your content, so you can see if there are any spikes or dips in the trends. It’s interesting to compare this metric to the Pins in order to see if your content is resonating not only with the people visiting your website and blog, but also with other pinners who may have never heard of you before.

  3. Most Repinned. You’ll find this is its own tab, not on the Site Analytics tab. While the Repins metric just tells you about trends of numbers, the Most Pinned tab will show you exactly what content from your site is grabbing people’s attention and motivating them to share it with their follows. It’s the other most important metric to judge engagement on Pinterest, as well as tell you what particular content is the most impactful for Pinterest users.

Category #2: Pins that drive traffic to your website

  1. Clicks and Visitors. (If these numbers aren’t the same, it means that some people are clicking on more than one pin and visiting your website.) These are the most important metrics to think about when considering Pinterest as a source of traffic to your website. You can compare the peaks and valleys in the number of clicks on pins and the visitors to your websites to the other metrics like Pins and Repins. They should have similar trends, but if you notice that a period of time when you have a lot of repins doesn’t see a similarly high trend in traffic to your site, you’ll know that the content that’s resonating with Pinterest users isn’t driving them to find out more about your business.

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    To get a sense of Pinterest traffic with respect to all referral traffic, just turn to Google Analytics and check out the data under Traffic Sources > Social > Network Referrals. There you’ll see how Pinterest shapes up compared with other social networking sites as a source of traffic to your site. Take a look at Traffic Sources > Sources > Referral to see where Pinterest ranks in the list of all your referral traffic.

  2. Most Clicked. Switch over to this tab to get the most interesting data related to traffic to your website. Here you’ll see exactly which pins are the ones that encourage the most clicks through to  your website. Pay attention to any patterns: colors, theme, the content itself, etc. You’ll want to keep those things in mind for the future visual content you create and share. Don’t forget my golden rule: if something works for you, do it again!

Pinterest is obviously working hard to play in the big leagues with Facebook to become a must-have tool in every marketer’s arsenal. I’m really curious though – do you put a lot of time and energy into using Pinterest to market your business? If so, what kind of results have you seen so far, if any?

Let me know in the comments below!

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About Laura Roeder

Laura Roeder is a social media marketing expert who gives businesses of all sizes the tools they need to make their mark on the web. She is the creator of the social media scheduling software Edgar, as well as social media marketing web courses like Creating Fame and Social Brilliant.

Comments

  1. Great article, thanks Laura! I love the new Pinterest analytics and I agree that having those numbers has been very insightful. The social data found in Google analytics was helpful and of course there’s always been http://pinterest.com/source/YOURWEBSITEURL.com/ to see what was being pinned from your site, but it was still hard to easily see what all was happening and what was really performing the best. I was able to tweak some things once I realized what was making the biggest impact on a page I admin & it really grew from there. I started the account in Feb 2012 & we’re up to over 2000 followers now, we’re getting great engagement, it’s our #4 source of referral traffic and we can directly track sales and new client leads to Pinterest! Another great tool for Pinterest that’s been hugely helpful to me is using Pingraphy to bulk schedule pins from our website. You can schedule them for future times and dates and have them go out over a set amount of time so that you’re not just throwing a lot out at once or only pinning when it’s convenient. I still get on at other times and manually repin content on Pinterest, responding to comments and comment on other people’s pins, but Pingraphy has been a time saver and has also helped us grow our audience & get more traffic by pinning at optimal times.

  2. We love using Pinterest as a luscious, gooey, eye candy pop for our metaphysical shop. It allows us to be inspired and inspire, learn and grow, while creating a lovely community of like-minded folk. Our plans in the future are to really utilize it to bring a preview of the many wonderful things in our shop located in Salt Lake City, as we head towards opening our online shop. While we only joined this year, the analytics will only prove to be more useful to make sure we are spending our energy in the right direction. We LOVE all your wonderful postings Laura! Thank you!! Blessings – Turiya’s

  3. Awesome overview of how to really use Pinterest analytics, Laura! I’ve added it to my collection of the best Pinterest links – http://casandracampbell.com/how-to-use-pinterest/