Analytics are an important part of any social media marketing campaign, giving businesses insight into which efforts are working and which aren't. Sites like Facebook and Twitter have become popular with professionals thanks in large part to their analytics capabilities. Marketers can instantly see how their campaign is connecting with their online followers, taking the guesswork out of social media work.

With data showing Pinterest passing Twitter in popularity, it's more important than ever that businesses include the site in social media marketing plans. With a lack of analytics, however, this has proven challenging, since marketers know they can keep up with campaign results on Twitter and Facebook. This is why it's no surprise that Pinterest recently rolled out its own analytics dashboard to help users track campaign progress.

1.) Measuring Activity

When a business pins something on its Pinterest board, the ultimate goal is to achieve repins, introducing the brand to all-new audiences. Pinterest's new dashboard lets users know exactly how many times a photo has been shared, including a 30-day overview that shows how many times each post has been repinned. Pinterest analytics users also have the benefit of seeing the interests of their followers, allowing them to tweak their campaigns to reach those customers. If a sporting goods store learns most of its followers are interested in fishing, for instance, its Pinterest campaign can be shifted toward fishing-oriented posts.

Pin Insights takes all of that information and provides it in graph form, giving users the information they need to craft more effective strategies. Through Insights, they can see how certain actions impact customer behaviors. If repins increase when a company posts a pin to a company website or blog, that will be reflected in the dashboard.

2.) Business Extras

For businesses, Pinterest has added some extra features, including Rich Pins, which allow them to put information directly on a pin. This can be used by a retail store to add prices to an item, with followers being notified if that price drops. It can also be used to add an address, phone number, and map to a pin or recipes to a food photo. Rich Pins are added by using meta tags, so a business may need technical help in setting them up.

Promoted Pins, on the other hand, will help businesses reach customers who have demonstrated an interest in their subject matter. While the service is still being tested, once rolled out it will be available to U.S.-based businesses in a wide variety of industries. Like sponsored content on other social media sites, Promoted Pins will appear alongside other pins with the word "promoted" within the content. Pinterest's goal is to ensure the site's users still have an enjoyable experience, so they'll only be shown pins that fit in with the content they've already chosen to follow on the site.

3.) Analytics for Business

Along with the other information in their dashboards, Pinterest business users will see which activities occurred as a result of Promoted Pins or Rich Pins. This will let them see how well that content is performing. This will allow them to determine if they should redirect their attention toward sponsored content, tagged content, or general pins for better results.

By providing this dashboard, Pinterest is clearly targeting businesses. Since visual social media marketing is more popular than ever, brands can no longer ignore the power sites like Pinterest and Instagram have in reaching customers. Pinterest's demographics show that brands targeting a high-income female demographic can especially benefit from using the service, since these are the heaviest users of the site. The site has also enjoyed high usage in content related to food and drink, although fashion and home dcor retailers have also seen big success in using Pinterest.

To get started with Pinterest Analytics, visit the site and choose Get Started. You'll need need a Pinterest business account, which involves completing an application, verifying your website and adding a "Pin It" button to the site. The button will bring the added benefit of encouraging users to check out your Pinterest profile, potentially boosting your followers and increasing your reach.

If you've been considering Pinterest for your next marketing campaign, the dashboard can bring new insight. When combined with tools like Rich Pins and Promoted Pins, you can potentially give your next campaign the boost it needs to reach a wider customer base.