With spring finally here, it’s time to start digging into some of those projects you’ve been putting off all winter.

Whether it’s finally getting around to finishing something around the house or revisiting one of those resolutions you made back in January—the change of seasons comes with all sorts of new possibilities.

Spring is also the perfect time to try something new for your business—like trying a new social network for example.

One of the networks we’ve heard a lot of questions about over the last few months is Pinterest.

In fact, when we asked our fans on Facebook, which network they’ve been dying to start using, Pinterest was by far the number one response.

That’s why this week, I decided to sit down with two of the people behind our Pinterest page here at Constant Contact, Senior Manager of Social Media Marketing Erica Ayotte and Corporate Community Manager Danielle Cormier!

What are some of the ways that Pinterest has changed or evolved as a marketing platform?

Danielle: I would say that Pinterest hasn’t really changed that much as a platform per se, but instead the way businesses use Pinterest has changed a lot. It’s put more of an emphasis on images, even more than the other social media channels have.

And you can do a lot of fun things like contests or have your customers curate boards or use it for content creation. For us, we use Pinterest for a lot of tips and different content that we like to show off.

Recently there’s been an update where they allow you to verify your Pinterest account and you can also use the analytics that will show you the analytics of your website right within Pinterest.

Erica:  Right and I think one of the ways that folks are starting to look at Pinterest is more of a pre-shopping cart. There’s been a lot of studies recently about how Pinterest is actually driving more sales than Facebook and Twitter combined even.

It kind of depends on which study you look at, but its driving a lot more sales and that’s because people approach the platform with a shopping mindset. It’s a little bit different than how folks approach Facebook or Twitter per se.

One of the things you talked about, Danielle, is Pinterest Analytics. I know there’s been a lot of news about that lately. Why is having these analytics so important to businesses or marketers on Pinterest?

Erica: Right. Yeah, so as a marketer or a business, you want to make sure that any activity (and any marketing activity) that you are engaging in is actually driving results for you. So, just in general it’s great to have some analytics, so you can know if your content is getting picked up, if your audience is responding to you, and how that’s affecting your funnel.

So the fact that Pinterest has now added some native analytics has really made it easy for marketers and businesses to see that what they’re doing on that platform is having a full effect or having an effect on their business.

So, I was hoping they’d do it a little sooner, but we’re happy that they did do it. There had been some companies before that were able to display some Pinterest analytics, but the native analytics are usually going to be much better.

Danielle: I think with Pinterest, you’re going to be pinning maybe a hundred or maybe 50 things when you go to visit the site in an hour or however long you spend. When you’re on Facebook, you’re maybe engaging with 5 posts max. So, a lot more engagement is happening within Pinterest, compared to the other social media channels.

You want to see what other people like—maybe you can see other trends with businesses similar to you that are really popular with people. And maybe you can have new products with that or see which products are most popular.

As far as looking at these metrics the analytics are providing, are there certain metrics that stand out that a business should pay more attention to?

Erica: I would say what Pinterest really focused on is the Site Metrics section of the new analytics. What that means is that it’s tying activity on Pinterest to your website traffic.

So there are a couple different things you should look at within the Site Metrics section. One is “pins from your website”. That means if someone goes to your website and pins an image, then it shows up on Pinterest.

It also tracks clicks to your website from Pinterest, which is really important, especially in terms of ecommerce. Even if you yourself have pinned a product from your website, you can actually measure the amount of traffic that pin drove back to your website.

And then also unique visitors to your website as well.

So those are the three key ones that I would hone in on. The other metrics that Pinterest included are more engagement based metrics— so how many pins, how many different pinners, that kind of stuff, which is all important for gauging how healthy your community is.

But it’s really the website metrics that are closer to the business results that you want to get to.

Danielle:  And something else to mention is that only the Pinterest accounts that are verified accounts can access these analytics. And you can simply go the Pinterest Business section and they give you the coding that you can put in your website into the HTML. And that way you can become a verified account.

So when you look at all these metrics, you understand the ones that are beneficial to you. How could a business use these metrics to improve their business or improve what they’re doing on a site like Pinterest?

Erica: I think we touched on this a little bit earlier, but I think really looking at (especially if you do ecommerce or you know that there a certain pages on your website that you know are converting pages), you definitely want to look at the traffic and visitors to those pages to make sure that you’re driving the business results to the key areas of your website.

Danielle: I also think it could really help you rearrange your website. If something gets a ton of pins and is 3 or 4 clicks deep in your website, you might want to bring that content to one of the first pages or your Home Page, or feature it in your blog. Maybe it’s a product or content that’s gotten buried but can become really popular because of Pinterest.

Erica: I would also say, make sure that if you’re getting a lot of traffic back to your website from Pinterest, it may be worth you adding a Pinterest button to your webpages to directly encourage people to start pinning and let them know that that’s an option for them.

Taking a step back, for someone watching that’s brand new on Pinterest and still learning the ropes, can you share some advice for someone just getting started on Pinterest?

Danielle: I would say, maybe take a couple days to browse through and think of one board you really want to create. Then start pinning content from other people and other websites. Add the “Pin It” button to you browser in Google Chrome or Firefox, whatever you’re using.

And start with just one board. You can  even make a secret board now and keep it private until you want publish it, in case you want to just try something out or play around with it. I think that way, once you get comfortable with a couple boards and you add a few more, you’ll get comfortable and have even more ideas.

Erica: Yeah, and I think one of the big benefits of Pinterest is that it really turns the curation model on its head, meaning that someone can choose to follow your whole presence, or they can choose to follow selected boards. So you can really look at it as a branding exercise and you can choose to create boards that maybe aren’t “smack on” brand, but still related to your company. Then you can see if folks are interested in that type of content from you. You can use it as an experiment and if things are getting picked up on Pinterest, maybe move that to your website or Facebook or another channel.

PinterestEbookHave more questions about Pinterest? Download our free eBook How to Drive New Business and Social Visibility on Pinterest!