Social media has, since its introduction, created a conundrum for marketers: how do we measure success? It’s all well and good to gain followers and likes, but what does that really mean in terms of bottom-line impact?
Pinterest, the latest addition to the social set, introduces a whole new set of opportunities, as well as a whole new set of questions.
Don’t Think Of It As A Social Platform
The best way to look at Pinterest is not as a social platform. Don’t think about developing a “Pinterest Strategy.” Consider Pinterest a media channel for content marketing. The social aspects are simply a means to virally spread awareness of your content.
To really be successful with content marketing on Pinterest, your material needs to focus on one of these 10 subject areas, the keys to reaching Pinterest’s audience of affluent women:
If your brand falls into one of those categories, you have the odds in your favor to win on Pinterest. If not, figure out ways to meaningfully ladder up to those topics.
Women are using Pinterest to capture ideas, inspiration and potential projects around these subjects. Pinterest is far and away the leading way people are discovering the content in those areas. So, success with Pinterest is closely tied to the overall success of your content marketing.
Clicks & Conversions? Yes, Really
So, how do we measure success with Pinterest? Again, Pinterest is more like traditional marketing channels than social media in this regard. The most important question to ask is this: is it delivering viewers and engagement with your content?
Clicks back to your website – and, if appropriate for your business, conversions – along with followers on Pinterest – are good gauges to measure viewers and engagement.
Unlike its social predecessors Twitter and Facebook, Pinterest is not a walled garden. Clicks on content a marketer pins will leave Pinterest, driving traffic back to their website. That click-through is the moment of truth for Pinterest marketing.
To maximize the chances for success, think about the experience users will have when they land on your site from a pinned item. You may want to specifically great visitors who come through from Pinterest with either a dedicated landing page or some other unique greeting.
That creates a great user experience because the consumer will know where they’ve landed and why they’re there. Within that landing experience, you should also invite them to follow your brand on Pinterest.
Regarding measurement, it’s smart to leverage analytics to track clicks and, if appropriate, conversions or sales from Pinterest. These clicks can be as valuable as targeted, paid search clicks from Google if you deliver the right experience post-click. It’s a worthwhile exercise to compare the cost-per-conversion to that of other channels to measure the cost benefit.
With brands that invite users to follow them on Pinterest from that landing experience, we typically see a 3-15% conversion rate to people following the brand when these best practices are followed. That means we have more followers the next day, more repins and more traffic.
Measure brand engagement on a per-user basis. I recommended comparing how Facebook followers engage with your content versus Pinterest followers, figuring out a percentage of users who engage across the total number of followers.
We find that Pinterest followers tend to be seven times more engaged than Facebook followers. Based on that number, if you have to decide whether to spend a dollar to get more Facebook followers or a dollar to get more Pinterest followers — if you’re going to get 7X more engagement with Pinterest followers, it’s pretty easy to see where to invest.
Pin By Pin
Marketers need to maximize each individual pin to attract people to repin and click-through to your site, just as you would optimize keywords to drive people to your content via Google. The measure of success is the repin ratio. Eighty percent of the pins on Pinterest are repins — just the same content bouncing back and forth, like ripples in a pond. We want to make sure we get the biggest ripple possible.
The average pin gets a .3% repin ratio. With 1,000 followers, 3 will repin. There is a ripple effect, but it typically peters out after a few rounds of repins. The repin ratio measures whether people are sharing your content and to what extent. If you can get a repin ratio of over .5% there’s actually an escalation of sharing. More people pin and see the repin every time. That’s where you see the pins go viral. One pin can drive a thousand clicks to the website.
In many ways, Pinterest has the advantage over Facebook and Twitter for marketers. At the end of day, it’s all marketing, but Pinterest behaves more like a traditional channel, giving marketers the ability to control the experience. It also makes it easier for marketers to drive and measure success in ways that are meaningful to their businesses.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.