This article was published on July 8, 2012

Is your business using Pinterest effectively? How to measure success on the viral social media platform

Is your business using Pinterest effectively? How to measure success on the viral social media platform

One of the beautiful things about social media marketing is that its reach and reaction can be tracked. In comparison to direct mailings or print magazine advertisements, a business can actually count the potential customers who lay eyes on their tag lines and read over their reactions immediately, as they happen — right from their office computer screens.

With that said, it’s pointless to waste your payroll establishing a presence on a social media platform without accompanying your company efforts with a measurement plan. This is especially important when exploring Pinterest, a relatively new — and particularly segmented — platform that can do wonders for a startup’s brand and bottom line.

I asked a panel of successful young entrepreneurs the following question:

Are you (still) using Pinterest for your business — and if yes, how are you measuring if it’s working?

Here are 7 startups that are making their presence known on Pinterest, and collecting tangible metrics along the way:

1. Pin, Repin and Repeat

Nancy T. Nguyen“Our customers love following us on Pinterest. We get to show off our work, new things we buy for the business, and pin photos that inspire our company’s vision. We measure success on Pinterest by the number of followers and repins.”

Nancy T. Nguyen, Sweet T

2. Tracking Pinterest Analytics

Lane Sutton“Pinterest does not have many features besides your typical following, pinning, comments, etc. However, a few third-party apps have been founded. PinReach measures trending pins with percentages, assigns scores to accounts. Pinerly allows you to mass-follow, unfollow, schedule pins, and view stats.”

Lane Sutton, Social Media from a Teen

3. Go With Google Analytics

“We are making a big push on Pinterest and we track its success through Google Analytics. As long as we keep seeing a steady stream of visitors and conversions, we will keep up our efforts on the site.”

Josh Weiss, Bluegala

4. Not Much Yet…

“Pin Pinterest to our growing list of social media to-do’s. It’s a trendy thing to talk about, and surely now is the best time to begin building a following on it, but with sales and client management as the higher priority, it’s something we’re going truly into probably 3-6 months from now. For now, we have a meager profile and publish our design work and interesting articles/media on occasion.”

Matthew Ackerson, PetoVera

5. Are Your Fans Pinning?

Aaron Schwartz“We measure fan engagement by repins, likes and, most importantly, original Pins! It’s easy to create something that folks will share. Our fans vote on new designs through Pinterest. More impactful, though, is when fans create content themselves (i.e. sharing a photo with our product). We closely track our fan engagement through the number of original Pins.”

Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches

6. Put the Tools in Place

“We use Pinterest to promote our content and create boards around subjects our readers like, for example, Favorite Books and Fashion Picks, which we don’t typically cover in depth on the site. Over the last few months, traffic from Pinterest has almost surpassed our Twitter traffic which we track through Google Analytics. Now we’re experimenting with the Pinerly platform which is more robust.”

Natalie MacNeilShe Takes on the World

7. Drive Traffic and Build the Brand

“We use Pinterest to further engage Her Campus’s audience of college women. We pin images from articles on as well as other images we like. Pinterest has become a significant traffic driver for us — even surpassing Twitter in some months — as well as a helpful brand-building tool and additional platform to connect with our audience to further Her Campus’s community feel.”

Stephanie Kaplan, Her Campus Media

Image credit: Stevendepolo