Social media is an instrumental component of any business's marketing strategy. But for users, scrolling through the mass amount of branded content across every social media platform can be exhausting.
However, there's one social media site where users actually embrace branded content -- Pinterest.
Because of Pinterest's power to influence purchases, it makes sense to develop and maintain a strong Pinterest presence. And, whether your business's social media goals align with improving brand recognition or increasing traffic, keeping an eye on analytics is critical for ensuring your content strategy is successful.
Additionally, JD Prater, an Ads Evangelist at Quora, told me, "Keep in mind Pinterest is all about discovery. Understand the Pinner's journey and how it's influencing future purchases -- and not necessarily today's."
To ensure you're able to achieve your Pinterest goals and see success on the platform, we're going to explore what Pinterest Analytics is, and show you the seven most important metrics you should be tracking.
What is Pinterest Analytics?
Pinterest Analytics is Pinterest's completely free, native tool that you can use to help measure your performance on Pinterest. Pinterest Analytics lets you collect traffic insights -- including impressions and link clicks -- so you can modify your strategy to better meet your users' needs.
To access Pinterest Analytics, you'll need a business account, which will also unlock the ability for you to create advertisements and promote Pins.
Pinterest Analytics offers the ability to sort your data from any time period, so whether you're doing a monthly or yearly report, you're covered. Data can also be sorted by device, which can be helpful when figuring out how you should optimize for mobile versus desktop.
You can also export your stats in a CSV file, which will come in handy for your next report or audit.
When you go into Pinterest Analytics, you'll see the dashboard divided into three major sections -- Profile, Audience, and Website analytics.
Pinterest Analytics is also split into four sections -- Impressions, Saves, Link clicks, and All-time. Let's explore those four sections now.
Impressions are the number of times your Pin has been viewed. This could be through a user's home feed, category feed, or search.
Saves are the number of times someone has saved one of your Pins to a board. This is how new people discover your content on Pinterest.
3. Link clicks
Link clicks are what drive your users to a destination -- whether that be your website, blog post, or another Pin.
Your All-time metrics include an assortment of things dating back to the very beginning of your Pinterest history. Here, you'll be able to see your most popular Pins, and the content ranked highest in search.
Lastly, it's important to note -- analytics should be used only once you fully understand the Pinterest user.
For instance, as Prater notes,"Before you start analyzing the data and drawing insights, it's important to understand the Pinner journey. There's no one way to pin. People's pinning habits are diverse and are centered on what they care most about (their interests)."
Pinterest Metrics to Track
There are seven metrics you'll want to track on your Pinterest account to assess how well your content is performing. Of course, depending on your team's unique goals, you might want to focus more heavily on a few of these metrics, rather than all of them.
As with any other social media network, impressions measure the number of times your content is displayed. Pinterest impressions include the number of times your content appears in a user's feed, search results, or a different category feed.
To get a sense of what your audience is searching for, look for patterns within your content to see which categories and keywords gain the most impressions. For instance, if you notice your "Quotes from impressive marketing leaders" post performs exceptionally well, you might want to lean more heavily into thought leadership content on Pinterest.
Repins are the number of times someone saves your pin to one of their own boards.
Repins are like a retweet on Twitter. It means that the user found your post both interesting and shareable. This action is more valuable than an impression.
Clicks are the metric that determines whether or not your content is driving your audience to your website. This metric is extremely important if your goal is to increase traffic with your Pinterest presence.
The number of clicks and visits to your website from Pinterest can be found at the bottom of the 'Site Metrics' tab. Clicks indicate the action of a click, while Visitors signal the number of unique users visiting your site.
Your Top Pins will be useful in determining your best content over time. If you launched an extremely popular campaign that resonated with your audience a year ago, you'll be able to go back and see the actions taken on that content. You can use that information to inform the strategy of your next campaign.
5. All-time stats
To see what content formats have worked for your account in the past, look at your data dating back to your account's inception. This data includes your most repinned pins, pins that performed best in search, and the pins most engaged with your most engaged with pins of all time.
Like your Top Pins, you can use your best-performing pins to optimize new content and provide your audience with what they want to see.
6. Audience affinities
In this section, you will see a breakdown of the categories your followers engage with and the top boards to which your content is pinned. This will help you understand your audience and what attracts them to your content.
A save means that people like your content and are saving it for later on one of their boards while, simultaneously, recommending it to their followers.
Saves increase the reach of your post on Pinterest and may indicate that the user plans on further engaging with the content later.
This metric is key to understanding which content your audience is identifying with, which will enable you to build deeper relationships with customers over time.
There are plenty of other metrics that Pinterest provides that will be helpful for your business. Remember, what works for one business's Pinterest strategy may not work for your company's unique voice and positioning. Using Analytics can allow you to test different content formats, which will ultimately add value to your customers' overall experience with your brand.