It's easy for people to spend time on popular social media platforms — and, increasingly, the platform of choice is Pinterest.

The growing use of the image sharing social media platform has created a high quality of influence on retail and branding. And that means it's essential for marketers to learn the basics of Pinterest Analytics.

Examining repins and researching follower interest with Pinterest Analytics can make Pinterest engagement more meaningful, help you increase online activity and enhance the digital experience for your customers.

Changing Demographics and Trends

It has been often reported that Pinterest has been an attractive platform for women. In late 2012 the Pew Institute noted that women were five times as likely to be on the site as men, “the largest difference in gender of any site featured” in the report.

But additional influences are turning Pinterest into a discovery tool among social media users of all demographics. The end result is highly motivated followers who become potential visitors to an associated website, raising online exposure and increasing conversion objectives such as registrations or e-commerce sales. 

A 2013 Sharaholic study ranked Pinterest second to Facebook in driving traffic to websites. Moreover, Business Insider noted that Pinterest accounts “for 23 percent of global social-mediated e-commerce sales in the second quarter of 2013.” 

All of these indicators have positioned Pinterest as a valuable key to engaging social media users and as a measurement opportunity for branding. 

The Basics on Pinterest Analytics

So where should a business start to measure?

Monitoring the number of pins may feel like the natural first choice in a measurement plan, but an overreliance on this metrics fosters a HITS mentality; An overemphasis on received hits but without understanding the “why” to make meaningful decisions.  

The key is examining engagement on a given board. This means monitoring the engagement metrics, which are Impressions, Repins and Clicks.

To make decision based on the engagement metrics, managers can examine the Pinterest Analytics page. Pinterest Analytics is accessed in the upper right of the screen, under the settings dropdown menu. Once accessed, the analytics page can display one of three dashboards:

  1. Your Pinterest Profile
  2. Your Audience, the people who visit the Pinterest board
  3. Activity from Your Website

One note: To view the Activity from Your Website board data, verifying your website on Pinterest is required.

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The Pinterest Profile and Activity from Your Website dashboards display the engagement metrics.  The results are shown in a time graph, with adjustable date ranges available.  These boards also display 30-day historical data and the most repinned images since the start of the Pinterest board.

Different Dashboards

Both dashboards appear similar in purpose, but the difference lies in the data source being considered — activity associated with Pinterest board (Pinterest Profile) versus activity initiated from the associated website (Activity from Your Website).

Overall, the dashboards results will show which images are being pinned, and a sense of reach from the number of impressions given. Of particular value are the images that are constantly ranking in Pinterest search queries. This reveals how the images and company brand are being discovered.

The Audience dashboard offers board follower demographic metrics by country, metropolitan area, language, and gender. An interest picture board reveals additional topics and boards that followers typically see. This dashboard is useful as a thought starter as to what would interest Pinterest followers further - from local topics such as sports to language specific description on images.

The potential for Pinterest to grow its audience further remains great despite some indicators of soft response. TechCrunch reports a Global World Index study that noted a 111 percent increase in active users on Pinterest, yet Pinterest lags other social media platforms in frequency of usage.

But because studies indicate a strong correlation between board visits and website referral traffic, Pinterest is certainly a worthwhile look to marketing managers. More strategic benefits are expected, as Pinterest has been rumored to introduce advertising in 2015 through sponsored pins.

Learning new ways to engage customers should include a review of Pinterest metrics. Pinterest Analytics is a great platform to learn metrics nuances that lead to meaningful engagement.