In a likely step on the road to monetisation, Pinterest announced the launch of a suite of analytics tools last week.
The tools will be available for free to any user that has gone through the automated verification process on its website. Stats available include the number of pinners and pins collecting material from the brand’s sites and the number of repins (and repinners) those initial pins received. Brands are also able to see their total impressions and overall reach on the network, as well as referral traffic, in terms of clicks and unique visitors, that visited their sites from Pinterest.
Compared to the analytics available through 3rd party tools, the stats offered by Pinterest are basic. Premium tools such as Pinfluencer allow brands greater insight – for example, the ability to identify their most engaged followers and most influential pinners so they can focus their Pinterest activities as appropriate. However, if Pinterest is to offer ’sponsored’ sections as part of a monetisation strategy, it makes sense to roll out a tool that allows advertisers to measure the success of that activity in advance of launch. Pinterest is clearly learning from Tumblr’s mistakes in that regard – it’s rival network drew criticism for launching advertising formats without the means to measure their performance effectively.
The likelihood is that Pinterest has everything to gain and nothing to lose from the move. A survey back in August 2012 for Bizrate found that 70% of Pinterest’s users were motivated to use the network ‘to get inspiration on what to buy’ (compared to 17% of Facebook users), whilst a further 43% used the social network to ‘associate with retailers or brands with which I identify’ (24% for Facebook ). In addition, pins with prices get 36% more likes than those without, which all goes to demonstrate that Pinterest is the social network which most closely aligns the commercial goals of brands with the requirements of its users. The fact that Pinterest became Bottica’s leading social media referrer, assisting roughly 10% of sales, after the jewellery brand integrated ‘pinning’ buttons across its US website lends further weight to the argument.
And Pinterest is growing fast too – a recent Pew Internet study in the US found that pinning was almost as popular as Tweeting, with Pinterest attracting 15% of social media users compared to 16% for Twitter. In the UK, the base is small, less than 0.5m users but it’s growing fast – traffic to the site increased almost 800% between September 2011 and September 2012. The sample skews young (under 50), female (women are 5 times more likely to pin than men) and affluent (29% of UK users are in the highest income bracket). Combine this with the highly visual nature of the medium and you can see why a Pinterest presence is a must for premium fashion and lifestyle brands.
As well as painting a no doubt rosey picture regarding the amount of qualified traffic Pinterest is driving to brand websites, the new tools will also allow brands to hone their Pinterest content strategies by seeing which pins are popular overall, or even analysing popular pins on any given day and highlighting those on their website to create even more sharing.
However, many pinned images come from an array of unofficial sources that aren’t the brand’s website so marketer’s need to bear that in mind when using the analytics on offer to inform their content strategies.