If Pinterest isn’t already part of your social media strategy, it’s about to be.
“Oh, but Pinterest isn’t really right for–”
NOPE. Don’t click away just yet. Even if you’re not using Pinterest right now, y’all are gonna wanna check this out.
See, it’s been just over 2 years since Pinterest stopped requiring people to request an invite, and this social network just keeps getting bigger – as of this summer, it was up to 70 million members and counting.
(That ain’t bad, yo.)
Until recently, though, there was one thing keeping it from being as useful as it could be, and that was a halfway decent analytics platform. Pinterest was coughing up SOME data, sure, but not nearly anything as robust as what you’d expect from, say, Facebook Insights or Twitter Analytics.
That is…until NOW. (PLOT TWIST!)
Just a few weeks ago, Pinterest implemented a HUGE upgrade to its analytics platform. I’m talkin’ monster-truck huge – this puppy’s got some serious horsepower now. And after spending a little time getting to know it, I’ve gotta tell you: you’re about to start paying a lot more attention to Pinterest.
So what’s new? What’s different? What kind of data is Pinterest giving you, and how do you get it? More importantly, what do you DO with that information?
I’ll tell you all about it. But first things first. You need a Pinterest business account.
Long story short, because of the way Pinterest is set up, you need to have a business account to access your analytics. It’s free, you can convert your existing account, and it takes all of two minutes, so just go for it if you don’t already have one.
All set up? Good – that means you’re ready to start diving into your analytics. So, what are we looking at, here?
At first glance, your analytics dashboard might give you a few seconds of information overload. That’s why I’m gonna break it down into the three main components: Your profile, your audience, and your website activity. Those three snapshots in the middle of the page correspond to the navbar up top, and we’re just gonna tackle it one at a time. First, Your Pinterest profile.
Your Pinterest Profile
First up is the section that displays data for your Pinterest profile. This includes anything you’ve pinned to any board, and it looks a little like this:
This graph changes depending on what type of data you want to view. You have:
Impressions – The number of times a pin has been seen
Repins – The number of times a pin has been repinned (obvi, I know)
Clicks – Visits to your website from Pinterest
All-time – Your best-performing pins (in terms of repins, clicks, etc.)
You can also use the little drop-down menu above the chart to track your performance over different date ranges:
Underneath the chart, you’ll get pin-specific data corresponding to whatever tab you’re under. You can see, for example, which of your pins got the most repins over the past 30 days, or which of your boards got the most impressions, and so on. This is a goldmine for tracking the things you’re doing right, so you can do more of it. Wanna know what your audience likes the best? This is the place to find out!
There’s a little more data to be mined from this section of your analytics, if you want. Above the graph, there’s a drop-down menu you can use to sort your data according to what devices people are using when they see and interact with your pins:
Is it a neat trick? Sure! Are there really any practical applications for this knowledge? Well, your mileage may vary. Consider it a bonus for now.
That about does it for the Your Pinterest Profile section – and the stuff we can learn from the NEXT section gets even more exciting.
This section of your Pinterest analytics gives you all the information you could possibly want about your audience – and that’s a LOT of information, so we’ll start at the start.
When you first click over to this section, here’s what you’ll see:
It’s a pretty familiar setup, right? You can adjust the dates using the drop-down menu, just like in the last section. There’s an important distinction here, though: on the left, you get your average monthly viewers, as well as average monthly engaged users.
Pinterest defines “engagement” as anyone clicking, commenting on, repinning, or liking a pin.
Scroll down, and you’ll get a breakdown of your demographics – where these viewers live, what language they speak, and more. (One thing to remember when you’re looking at that gender breakdown: About 80% of all Pinterest users are female.)
Cool, right? HOWEVER, there’s one big adjustment you want to make when you’re looking at this data.
Up in the top-right corner of this page, you’ll see a little drop-down that looks like this:
Pinterest’s default is to show you your overall audience statistics, but if you really want to know how your FOLLOWERS break down, you’ve gotta manually switch it over by clicking on that little bubble. Both sets of data are valuable, but they can be very, VERY different, so make sure you check both.
Now, go back up to the top and click on “Interests.”
You’ll see a page that looks like this:
This is MASSIVELY useful. This page shows you the other sorts of things that interest your audience (just like before, you can use that drop-down in the top-right to go back and forth between your overall audience and your actual followers).
Naturally, some of these things won’t surprise you. I’m not exactly shocked that my followers are interested in things like social media marketing and small businesses. Others, though, might stand out a little more, and inform the types of content you pin! In my case, for example, I might consider the value of pinning inspirational quotes, or pins that promote a zen approach to managing a business. (Just remember that not everything is necessarily relevant to your business. I could pin a lot of hair porn, sure, but is it really gonna drive the traffic I want to my website? Probably not.)
Here’s where it gets even MORE interesting.
Scroll down this page, and you’ll see a breakdown that looks like this:
The first list shows you which boards repin your stuff the most, and who owns those boards. This is perfect for identifying your biggest fans on Pinterest, so you can 1) Post more of the content they love to share, and 2) Perform user-specific outreach (because who doesn’t love getting a little “thanks for being a fan” note every now and then).
The second list shows you the other boards that your followers engage – kind of like Twitter Analytics, this allows you to scope out who else your followers are interested in, and what sorts of content those businesses are pinning. When you need some inspiration, this is a GREAT place to start.
All this leaves only one section of your analytics left to explore, and this is a section you definitely should NOT skip.
Your Website Activity
When you get to this section, you’ll notice that it looks a lot like the first one (Your Pinterest Profile). There’s one big, important difference, though.
While the Your Pinterest Profile section gives you statistics for the pins that YOU pin, this section gives you statistics for the pins ANYONE pins – specifically, pins that originate at your website. You can see how the stats change:
You can see that I got a lot more impressions in the overall activity section than I did in the section for my own Pinterest profile – basically, this means that the pins people are sharing from my site are making a bigger impact than JUST the pins I share myself. (The pins I share myself ARE included in the tally on the right, for the record.)
Wanna see what those pins are, exactly? Scroll down to find out!
When you scroll down, you’ll see a list like this one:
These are the pins that are getting you the most impressions (and for each one, you get cool data like clicks, repins, and so on). Click on any one of those, and it will take you to the pin itself. For example, when I click that top pin, it takes me right here. Now I can see the pin, who posted it, and what board they posted it to. (B-T-Dubs: Thanks for the share, Susan & Janice!)
(Side note: You might notice that the same image shows up more than once, like it does in the list above. That’s because this list shows you each individual time something got pinned – so in this case, one single image got pinned by two different people and repinned a total of 15 times, for a total of 1,256 impressions. Sweet!)
This is why you need to make it easy for people to pin things from your website. Sure, there are browser plugins that individual people might be using, but you can make it even simpler. For example, installing a WordPress plugin makes it crazy easy to share images on social, including Pinterest, by creating a little overlay when somebody mouses over an image:
It’s a no-muss, no-fuss solution, and it makes it easier than ever for anyone visiting your site to share pins that can drive traffic.
Now, impressions are great, but clicks are even better – clicks actually represent traffic to your website. Use the navbar above the chart on this page to get a better look at which pins are sending the most people from Pinterest to your URL:
Just like on the Impressions tab, you can see a breakdown of which pins leading to your website actually directed the most traffic there. (As you can see, there isn’t always a lot of overlap – somebody repinning a clever picture from your website doesn’t mean they’re actually interested in what your website has to offer.)
Again, this goes to show the importance of making it easy to pin content on your website. These pins were seen by more than 1,400 people, and drove dozens of visits to my blog – and this wasn’t even a particularly strong month!
You can use the other tabs up there to explore the different categories, much like you did in the Your Pinterest Profile section. You can see which pins from your URL have been repinned the most, which are your all-time top performers, and so on – what they have in common is that no matter WHO pinned them, they all originated on your website.
*PHEW* Nothing more to see here!
So there you have it – the brand spankin’ new Pinterest analytics dashboard. Didn’t I tell you it’s awesome? (I’m pretty sure I told you it’s awesome.) So even if you haven’t been taking Pinterest super seriously already – and let’s be honest, MOST of us could stand to take it a little more seriously – now’s the best possible time to give it a good look. Get your business account set up, set up your website for quick and easy pinning, and devote some time to exploring your analytics – you might be surprised by what you find out!
What do YOU think of the new analytics platform? Is it making you reconsider Pinterest’s place in your social strategy? Let me know in the comments below!