Pinterest has stricken our visual fancy like no other network before it. Pinterest’s meteoric rise in only a few years shows the site is more than just a pretty community for people interested in fashion and lifestyle: marketers are all over Pinterest’s lead-generation aspects as online hits on products from the site have proved a marketing sensation. According to a study by Shareaholic, the site drives more referral traffic than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined.

But marketers still struggle to define how to define the success of their Pinterest content strategy. Based on my experience with Pinterest analytics and with the support of Pinterest-savvy folks at ShareRoot, I have defined the list of metrics that marketers should pay attention to when it comes to this visual social network.

 

First, let’s start with the definitions.

  • Pin. Pinterest helps people organize the things they love through the use of pins.  A pin can consist of an image or video of a gift, recipe, destination, or quote.  In order to populate your brand’s Pinterest profile, your team will need to collect and pin individual pins to boards on your brand’s profile.
  • Board. Your brand’s Pinterest profile is made up of boards, with pins on each board.  A board is an opportunity for your brand to showcase various themes/interests/passions of your brand.  You can create as many boards as you like, but you want to make sure that each board has a purpose and strategy behind it.  Pinterest users can follow individual boards, or entire Pinterest profiles.
  • Pinning. In order to turn a piece of content into a pin on Pinterest, a Pinterest user needs to take the first act of pinning the item.  In order to pin a piece of content your brand owns, you can click on “upload a pin” to pin an image or video that lives offline, and “add from a website” to pin an image from online.
  • Followers. A follower is any Pinterest user who has chosen to “follow” your brand.  Once a user has become your follower, each pin/repin made by your brand appears in that user’s Pinterest newsfeed.
  • Following. If you follow a brand or a Pinterest user, you are their follower. Once your brand becomes a follower of a brand on Pinterest or a Pinterest user, anytime that user or brand makes a pin or a repin, it will show up in your newsfeed.
  • Repin. Once a pin exists on Pinterest, users are free to repin that pin.  Each time one of your brand’s pins gets repined, that pin will show up in the newsfeeds of all of the Pinterest users following the user who reppined your pin.
  • Newsfeed. There are three newsfeeds on Pinterest: your brand’s newsfeed, another Pinterest user’s newsfeed, and the Pinterest category newsfeed.  The newsfeeds are the most active locations for content discovery on Pinterest.  The most engaged pins across Pinterest within a given category show up in the categorical newsfeeds.
  • Like. Similar to Facebook, Pinterest users are able to like pins.  The difference between liking a pin and repinning it is that with liking, the user is not prompted to pin that pin to their profile and it does not show up in the newsfeed of their followers.
  • Comment. Below the content of each pin is an open text box where users can make “comments”.   Although comments are not used too often by Pinterest users, there are some interesting ways to weave comments into a Pinterest contest execution.  That being said, similar to a “like”, a comment does not push that pin into the commenter’s follower’s newsfeeds.

Pinterest metrics marketers should consider tracking:

  • Average Repins per Pin. Based on your brand’s previous engagement history, average repins per pin, defines the average repins your brand has received each time it has made a pin or a repin.
  • Average Likes per Pin. Based on your brand’s previous engagement history, average likes per pin defines the average likes your brand has received each time it has made a pin or a repin.
  • Average Comments per Pin. Based on your brand’s previous engagement history, average comments per pin defines the average comments your brand has received each time it has made a pin or a repin.
  • Average 2nd Degree Followers.  Average 2nd degree followers shows your brand how connected your follower base is.  Specifically the average number of followers each of your brand’s followers has.
  • Follower Engagement. Follower engagement percentage shows your brand what percentage of your follower base you can expect to engage with each of your pins/repins.
  • Short Term Follower Engagement.  A current/recent snaphshot of follower engagement.  Your short term follower engagement will fluctuate rapidly in comparison to follower engagement, and is best used to measure the effectiveness of a recent modification to your brand’s Pinterest strategy.
  • Reach. Reach shows your brand the number of unique newsfeed impressions you can expect each time you make a pin or repin.
  • Velocity. Current average number of pins/repins your brand makes per week.  This metric is a great tool for testing out the ideal amount of pins/repins your brand should be pinning per week.  If you modify the velocity and keep it steady at a modified rate, you can use the “short term follower engagement” metric to determine whether the change in velocity produced better engagement results for your brand.
  • Impressions. The number of times pins from your brand’s website were seen each day on Pinterest.
  • Reach (Pinterest’s metric- specific to the relationship between your website and Pinterest). The number of people on Pinterest who saw a pin from your brand’s website each day on Pinterest.
  • Clicks. The number of clicks pins from your brand’s website received each day.
  • Most Recent. This pin feed shows you the most recent pins that originated from your brand’s website.
  • Most Repinned. This pin feed shows you the most repined pins that originated from your brand’s website.
  • Most Clicked. This pin feed shows you the most clicked on pins that originated from your brand’s website.
  • Top Fans and Influencers. A list of the most influential and most connected Pinterest users following your brand.
  • Top Pins. Pins originating from your brand’s website with the most engagement.
  • Total Interactions. Total Pinterest interactions with all of the pins originating from content on your brand’s website.

There are various tools available in the market that allow you to track some or all of these metrics. ShareRoot, Curalate, and PinReach are among them. But as a brand marketer it’s up to you to identify what service makes sense to you and what metrics are more important based on your marketing objectives. In this article I wanted to provide a complete guide to help you make that decision. Happy pinning!

Originally posted in Fast Company

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