According to Nielsen's State of the Media: Social Media Report 2012, Pinterest has over 27 million active users as of July 2012, and has shown explosive growth in the last three years, as seen from the graph below:
Image Credit: Shareaholic
Even though Pinterest can't yet compete with Facebook, it is growing exponentially and in three short years is now one of the top six largest social media networks, alongside Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and YouTube.
Yet most marketers are flying blind when it comes to Pinterest; they either don't know about or have access to Pinterest analytics, or to relevant data about the performance of their Pinterest marketing campaigns.
Let's review what's available when it comes to Pinterest analytics, and how to leverage this information to improve your Pinterest marketing strategy.
Start With Pinterest Web Analytics
Pinterest announced the launch of Pinterest Web Analytics in March. Pinterest Analytics is only available for Verified Business Accounts. If you haven't already done so, you should convert your existing account into a Business account, or sign up for a new Business account.
Once you've gone through these steps, you access your analytics by clicking on the drop down menu on the top right hand corner:
Once inside your analytics, you can view the following information, which can be customized by date range:
- Pins: Images pinned from your site.
- Pinners: How many people are pinning images from your website.
- Repins: Which pins originating from your site are being repinned.
- Repinners: The number of visitors repinning your pins.
- Impressions: How often your pins are shown on Pinterest.
- Reach: How many unique visitors saw your pins.
- Clicks: How many times users click on your website.
- Visitors: How many visitors clicked through to your website from Pinterest.
- Most Recent Pins
- Most Repinned
- Most Clicked
Notice the data focuses on pins of images that appear on your website. So if you repinned an image to one of your boards, and other people repin or like this image on your board, you won't receive credit for this as the image was repinned.
Pinterest Analytics tracks data based on pins originating only from your site. You can't rely on this tool for analytics data about your entire Pinterest presence.
That said, however, there is plenty of information that can be gleaned from this data. Here are some questions that can be answered by analyzing the data from Pinterest Analytics:
- What content are your visitors loving so much they just have to pin it?
- If you pin your own images to your board, are they attracting click-throughs originating from Pinterest?
- How many different people are pinning images from your site, and what are they pinning that you don't know they're pinning?
- What pins are bringing the most traffic from Pinterest to your site?
Using this information, you can determine what other images you should be pinning on Pinterest, what images/products to feature and highlight on your site or social media campaigns, as well as how to adjust placement of products on your site.
You can also track changes in your customers over time. Perhaps an image/product that your visitors loved and often pinned a few months ago has now been replaced by a different image. This could reflect a change in customer tastes that can impact your marketing message and content.
From The Most Repinned section, you can glean insight into your followers. If you click on an individual pin, the number of repins is shown, and then you can click on the number to see who pinned this image. You can then visit their profiles to see what else they like to pin, follow them if they share interesting content, and work on maturing the relationship from social signal to engagement to relationship to action.
Using Google Analytics to Track Visitors from Pinterest
Google is focused on enhancing social media statistics in their Analytics product, so this is a great way to track your Pinterest marketing activity.
By going to Traffic Sources > Social > Network Referrals, you can see referral data from Pinterest. This basic report shows you the URLs that people visited from Pinterest to your site, how many visits and pageviews to each, as well as the average visit duration and pages/visit. You can compare this data with other social media referrers and gain deeper insights into your social audience for each of your profiles.
If you want to learn more about your Pinterest visitors, you can create a custom Analytics report to investigate your Pinterest traffic.
For example, you can look for how many unique visitors came from Pinterest, social actions, goal completions, goal conversion rate, goal value, bounce rate, avg. visit duration, and pageviews.
Here's a link to a custom report that you can install to your analytics account (make sure you're logged into your Analytics account or this link will appear to be broken):
If you create similar reports for Facebook, Twitter, and other social profiles, you can use this comparative data to help you figure out where to focus your time and attention.
Other Pinterest Analytics Tools
There are other tools that have appeared on the market focusing on analyzing data from Pinterest. Some have come and gone, while others are still going strong. Here's an overview of the most prominent:
For brands with large budgets, Curalate can be a great tool for their social media tracking arsenal. With Curalate, you can discover, track, and measure the sharing of visual content.
Here's a video with more information about Curalate and how their platform works:
Another amazing tool, Piqora helps you to "Gain insights into pins and pinners with image recognition and URL Parsing."
Using Piqora, you can combine analytics data from your website and from your Pinterest presence. You can also see likes and comments for each pin, and the top pins driving traffic and clicks. Piqora also gives you data on the performance of boards so you can further optimize each board and focus attention on the best-performing boards.
Another great feature is Competitor tracking, where you can see competitor activity and other metrics.
With Octopin you can identify your top influencers and engaged audience. You can also track your reputation and brand image.
Much like the others, PinLeague allows you to track your growth over time, measure ROI, and track competitors.
As part of PinLeague you can also gain insights into your Fans & Influencers, and find out how many followers, pins, and potential impressions they have.
Of all of the tools mentioned, Cyfe is the most basic tool as it is mostly a dashboard, but it's excellent for benchmarking.
You can create a widget in Cyfe to track for Pinterest boards, pins, likes, followers, and following. Once you create the widget, Cyfe will aggregate historical data. You can then export reports and see exactly how these items have grown over time.
You can then correlate with other activities such as running a Pin it to Win it Contest, or publishing a popular article on your blog that people loved. You can also monitor competitors and benchmark their growth.
Unlike the other tools mentioned, Repinly shares Pinterest stats, including most popular pins, board, and pinners. This is a great board to find new people to follow and get an idea of the content that Pinterest users love. Brands can use Repinly as a source of inspiration and information when developing their Pinterest marketing strategy.
How to Use Data From Analytics to Improve Your Pinterest Marketing Strategy
Now that you know the different tools you can use, it's time to select an analytics platform and start using this data to improve your Pinterest marketing strategy:
- Choose your Pinterest Analytics platform: If you have a budget for Pinterest marketing, select between Curalate, Piqora, Octopin, and PinLeague. Whatever platform you choose, most of the data will be the same. These platforms will help you figure out what content is being pinned to Pinterest from your website, what pins people are following from Pinterest to your website, who are these people pinning your content, and more. Based on this information you can build a Persona for your Pinterest demographics and learn how to market to this Persona.
- Combine this data with Pinterest and Google Analytics Data: By combining these tools with Google Analytics, you can gain further insights about your Pinterest followers. How many pages of your site do they view? What's their bounce rate? How long do they stay on your site? Do they perform a goal conversion? What are their favorite pages to visit? If their bounce rate is too high, you'll know they're not liking what they find on your site. If they are spending a lot of time and visiting many pages, you are offering the right kind of content to this demographic.
- Check out Repinly: Using this platform every once in awhile will help you study other popular pinners, pins, and boards to gain inspiration.
- Set up your Cyfe dashboard: This way you can track and benchmark basic growth numbers over time – for free!
Once you know what images your users love to Pin, you can focus on creating and sharing similar images/products. As you gain further insights into your target demographic, you can fine-tune your marketing message accordingly.
It's Time to Add Pinterest to Your Online Marketing Mix. Why Wait?
Dive in and learn. If Pinterest continues on it's meteoric growth, it will be a major source of traffic that most businesses cannot ignore.
By understanding how to track your Pinterest marketing efforts with Analytics, you can determine your ROI and adequate resources to allocate for your Pinterest marketing campaign. As Pinterest is still growing, you can benefit from being one of the most active pinners in your industry and gain a competitive edge.