|A handful of consumer and enthusiast publishers have built strong followings on Pinterest, but measuring the impact of Pinterest activity - beyond referral traffic - remains elusive.
One Pinterest analytics tool that shows promise is called Pinfluencer. The cloud-based analytics service, which emerged from private beta last week, tracks more than 25 metrics to help brands understand how users are engaging with the content being pinned and re-pinned on Pinterest.
"We do a directed crawl of a brand's pins and extract structured data," said Pinfluencer CEO Sharad Verma, adding that the approach borrows from the work he did during his time as director of product management for Yahoo's web search group. "We then look at all the metadata - pinner, board, etc. - and score the pins and the data. We believe pinning is an ROI action."
Pinfluencer joins a growing array of startups offering Pinterest analytics tools. (Pinterest does not provide its own dashboard or other integrated analytics, and has yet to release a public API to help developers build third-party tools for tracking Pinterest activity.) Companies such as Curalate and PinReach have released Pinterest analytics tools that provide more depth into how fans are engaging with content, using metrics such as re-pins, likes, reach and influence. Others such as Pinerly, Pinpuff, Optipin and Pinalyzer promise a variety of vaguely defined Pinterest analytics (and no, I won't call them "pinalytics").
Measuring pins and pinners
Pinfluencer can segment pins and pinners by categories such as most popular, most influential and most engaged, and can also aggregate these metrics on a board or brand level. Brands can also track activity across other brands to determine, for example, how well they're performing relative to competitors.
Pinfluencer metrics include pin rate, re-pins, acquisition velocity (number of new followers per day), clicks and page views per pin, and revenue per pin or per user. The revenue metric is of particularly interest to Pinfluencer.
"We are very focused on e-commerce," Verma said. "We think there's a perfect fusion between images and commerce. We want to tie behaviour with actual monetisation and e-commerce."
Pinfluencer is working with a handful of online retailers to correlate re-pin data with revenue, and the results so far are encouraging: Pinterest is driving from 40 cents to $4 in revenue per pin, per month, Verma said.
Pin metrics can also influence inventory and merchandising decisions, because they can be an indicator of demand for certain products, he said.
While the emphasis on e-commerce may be of value to online retailers - and publishers that are building e-commerce models - the benefit for most media brands is less clear. Publishers are more likely to focus on the metrics that show Pinterest's impact on website traffic, Verma said. Pinfluencer analytics will help publishers identify which assets resonate more with certain types of users.
Pinfluencer will also help publishers identify their most influential followers - an important insight for creating incentive or loyalty programs that reward pinning activities around a publisher's content.