Social Marketing Experts Push for Analytics on Google+, Pinterest

By Cameron Scott 

enterprise, analytics, social networks, social networking, social marketing

wavebreakmedia /

Social marketing professionals are increasingly pushing the social networks Google+ and Pinterest to introduce analytics.

The British agency Punch today issued a public call for Google+ to offer analytics packages. Seattle-based Portent Interactive has also said that analytics are the logical next step for Pinterest as it makes its service more hospitable for businesses.

Brand marketing teams are under increasing pressure to show concrete results for the time and money they spend on social media, and analytics are the major tool they can use to do so, insiders said.

Currently brands using Pinterest and Google+ have to extract their own analytics, based on referrals to their own sites, manual follower counts and other labor-intensive manipulations of publicly available data. By contrast, Facebook offers insights for page administrators.

Google will need to deliver analytics for pages and communities to ensure that brands continue to invest in its fledgling social network, according to Punch.

“Introducing an analytics feature for pages will be key for Google+ to continue attracting brand activity that will make the network an even more engaging environment for users in future,” said Pete Goold, Punch’s managing director.

Google’s need is especially pronounced given “the potential for Google Analytics and also the growing correlation between community activity and visibility in organic search,” Goold said.

But all social networks need to provide numbers for the brands that use them.

“I think that all of the major social sites could seriously improve their relationship with brands and thereby secure future investment into their sites with enhanced analytics,” Goold said.

Pinterest’s need may still be less urgent than Google’s. The upstart social network already shows strong traffic and sales conversions in retailers’ own analytics, and its service lines up well with how consumers buy online, said Brian Solis, an analyst at the Altimeter Group.

Still, brands will want to get more specific information from Pinterest moving forward.

“Ultimately they’ll need to give you some kind of snippet of code so you could actually track which pins are generating revenue,” said Ian Lurie, the CEO of Portent Interactive.

Both companies have analytics products on their radar, but neither has said when they will launch or how much information they will deliver.

A page on Google+ for enterprise users says, “in the coming weeks we will be launching tools to give you access to as much data as possible about your Google+ page and +1 activity.” The company didn’t immediately respond to a request for more information.

Pinterest was less specific.

“We said when we announced the business site and business accounts that we hope to add more features, possibly analytics, in the future to business accounts, but we don’t have specifics,” a spokesperson told SocialTimes.