How to take advantage of Pinterest metrics, tools, and techniques

My last blog post brought you up to speed on some of the new developments with Pinterest. Since that post, there has been at least one significant development worth tracking as part of your Pinterest strategy — the pre-announcement of self-service Promoted Pins Advertising. You can sign up for priority access to Promoted Pins once Pinterest has launched the program by registering at its site.

In this post, I’ll look at some metrics you can use to determine the ROI you’re getting from your Pinterest marketing strategy. Before you can get to the metrics, you need to determine your goals and figure out how Pinterest will work as one of your social media tactics. With that in mind, you can begin to look at relevant quantitative metrics, including the following:

  • Number of overall followers
  • Number of followers for specific boards
  • Influence level of followers
  • Repins and referrals from your website’s visual content
  • Repins per pin
  • Repinners from your boards
  • Pinning date and time
  • Most repinned pins
  • Clicks per pin
  • Comments on your pins
  • Liking your pins
  • Sharing your boards or pins
  • Growth over time

Beyond quantitative metrics, you’ll want to look at the qualitative data that’s present in the comments on your pins.


Given that you have some of this data, what are the implications from a marketing intelligence perspective? The data should allow you to ask these questions:

  • What types of images are performing the best — product photos, ebook covers, infographics, cartoons, videos, slide presentations, other images?
  • What days and times of day are performing best?
  • What sections of your website are generating the most pins?


After examining the implications, you might want to take the following actions:

  • Change the order of your pins.
  • Devote more time to a different category of pins.
  • Devote more time to a different board.
  • Evaluate and modify your pin captions.
  • Reorganize your visual content.


To help you measure your Pinterest activities, there are a number of free and fee tools that you can implement. Among these are the following:

Pinterest Analytics: If you have a verified business account, you should be able to access free analytics data from the built-in Pinterest Analytics tool to determine how people are interacting with pins that originate at your site. More recently, Pinterest has started to roll out an enhanced analytics function looking at results from your boards and pins. As the company says in a recent blog post, “We’ll tell you which of your Pins and boards are driving the most impressions, clicks and repins.”

To get to the built-in Pinterest Analytics tool, select the dropdown menu from your Pinterest account and then select “analytics.”

Once Pinterest has verified your account and started tracking activity from your site, you’ll find various metrics, including the following:

  • Pins from your website — number of pins, number of people
  • Repins from your website — content repinned and unique people repinning
  • Most-repinned content
  • Reach for your pins
  • Most-clicked pin

Much like with Google Analytics, you can change the date range to track the results of specific campaigns or other date-based initiatives. You can also compare across time ranges to see relative results over time.

To find out more about these and other metrics using the Pinterest Analytics tool, please watch the following video from Pinterest:

With Pinterest opening up a business insights application programming interface (API) to third parties, we are starting to see even more robust and integrated intelligence as these companies interact with the data and connect it to their own dashboards of marketing intelligence. According to a recent Business 2 Community article, the companies involved with Pinterest in this initiative are Curalate (which just announced Series B financing of $8.6 million in recognition of its visual image recognition technology), Hootsuite (Enterprise Version), Percolate, Piqora, Salesforce, Spreadfast, and Tailwind. Other tools out there include GoPixel and ViralTag.



Let’s take a look at one of the tools I’ve been using for tracking results on my Pinterest boards:

Tailwind: For those of you with Pinterest boards of curated content that you have uploaded or pinned from other sites, the Pinterest Analytics tool will have less value until the new enhancements are fully rolled out, since it currently focuses on content pinned from your verified website. For example, most of my Pinterest activity is generated from curated content. I have found that the free Pinterest Analytics tool from Tailwind gives me a starting point for tracking activities, including followers, repins, pins, likes, engagement rate (percent of pins with at least one repin), and specific data and ranking by board with some of this same information (see the screenshot below). Pinterest’s paid tools are even more robust, with competitive benchmarking and recommendations on optimizing content.

With the power of visual content as part of your storytelling strategy, the importance of Pinterest, Vine, Instagram, YouTube, and other visual tools can’t be underestimated. If you have an interesting story to share about your use of visual content, I’d love to hear from you.

To learn more about Pinterest, follow my board, which features infographics, whitepapers, ebooks, and tips on this valuable social network. For additional insights and tips on other social and digital marketing strategies and tactics, add me to your circles at my Google+ page, follow me on Twitter @theWebChef, or follow my other boards on Pinterest.

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