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The Pinterest Metric You Should Be Tracking, But Probably Aren’t

You’ve heard how Pinterest isn’t like other social media outlets, and how it’s more like Google than Facebook. So, while tracking followers on Facebook might help you determine how many people your posts are potentially reaching, tracking followers on Pinterest is actually pretty misleading. The metric you should be tracking is the repin ratio (or the repin per follower ratio).

Followers are the most public metric on Pinterest, but relying on tracking them to gauge success is deceptive because that number doesn’t accurately portray the engagement you are generating on Pinterest, or how your brand is stacking up to the competition. It’s also fairly difficult to gain followers on Pinterest. Only a handful of brands and users have millions of followers on Pinterest, and they typically got there by being early adopters of the platform. Even more discouraging: Just because someone follows your brand on Pinterest, doesn’t mean they’re seeing or engaging with your content. This is true with many social media platforms, but even more so with Pinterest’s real-time nature. If you pin at the wrong time of day, and no one repins your pin, there’s a chance that no one saw your content.

A more accurate measurement of Pinterest impressions, clicks and followers is the repin ratio. Eighty percent of the pins on Pinterest are repins of other content. Repins extend the life of your content and can create a viral loop on Pinterest. Because repins are publically visible, the repin ratio also allows brands to benchmark themselves against industry competitors.

The repin ratio can be defined as the number of repins per thousand followers. To calculate your repin ratio, find the average number of repins of your last 50 pins, divide it by the number of followers you have and multiply this quotient by 1,000.

Let’s look at an example:

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Skin care Brand #1 – repin ratio calculated to 5.60

# Repins for last 50 pins:

636113
 969543
1211097
1042851
5201401
5821722
60624
41750
02342
651110

 

  • Sum of last 50 repins = 927/50 = 18.54 average repins for last 50 pins
  • (18.54 average repins for last 50 pins/3,313 Pinterest followers)*1,000
  • = 5.5961

Skin care Brand #2 – repin ratio calculated to 1.17

# Repins for last 50 pins:

10000
00000
00101
10202
20000
00100
42040
02010
00003
02030

 

  • Sum of last 50 repins = 32/50 = 0.62 average repins for last 50 pins
  • (0.62 average repins for last 50 pins/548 Pinterest followers)*1,000
  • = 1.1678

Brand #1’s repin ratio shows that it is seeing more repins per followers, more engagement and probably more click-thrus and impressions. Plus, this brand also now knows that they’re seriously outdoing one of their competitors with their Pinterest and content strategy.

If you calculate your brand’s repin ratio and it shows that you are not stacking up well to your competitors, there are some ways you can improve your repin rates and the quality of your pins. The most important thing to do is continually experiment and test new things to learn what works and what resonates with your audience. It’s time to start tracking your (and your competitors) repin ratio, and worrying less about your total number of followers.

Comments on this Article: 2

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  1. Anna Bennett says:

    Tailwind’s analytics includes pin/repin ratios which is a great time saver!

  2. Sarah Badet says:

    Good call, Anna. I hadn’t used Tailwind in this way before, but you’re right the data is there. Thanks for pointing it out! You’re always so helpful. Love your blog.

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