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Let’s talk about Instagram analytics. Working for an eCommerce brand, you’re well aware of the importance of social media. You, along with 200 million other businesses, have your Instagram account set-up and ready to go to market to the one billion active users who are out there, hungry for content.
But, as you quickly learn, there’s more to Instagram than just posting pictures. The second you begin strategizing, you’re hit with a wave of considerations to make. Posting rate, captions, filters, hashtags, and more. How can you be sure that you’re reaching the right audience? And how do you really know if your content is working?
Instagram, just like any other marketing channel, needs analytics to make sense. Marketing on Instagram without analyzing the data would be like writing a book and leaving every other page blank. Readers would inevitably have to spend their time maniacally flipping through pages looking for a cohesive narrative. And that just doesn’t make much sense, does it?
Instead, use your brand’s Instagram analytics right. Don’t waste your time staring at your data and hoping it turns into a practical strategy. Make it happen for yourself!
If you’re using Instagram as a marketing channel, then make sure you’re taking full advantage of Instagram analytics and everything you gain from tracking your data. In this blog post, we’ll go through what you should be measuring, then we’ll delve into these best Instagram analytics tools that will help you achieve your goals:
Let’s get started with the different data you should keep track of when it comes to marketing your products on Instagram.
While Instagram may feel straightforward, there’s a lot of groundwork that brands leverage in order to perform better on the platform. All of this is achieved by using Instagram analytics to measure the brand’s personal performance. If you hope to compete with other brands on Instagram, then you have to keep up on your Instagram analytics.
To make it easy for you, here’s a complete list of all the metrics to get a handle on every month. With this, you can continue to adapt your Instagram strategy around your insights…
Now that you know which metrics to track, let’s take a deep dive into how you can track them with an Instagram analytics tool! We’ll start with demographics and follower evolution.
First things first, you have to understand your audience in order to provide them with the most interesting content. Use Instagram analytics to learn everything you can about the people who follow your brand so you can find more of those people and market to them!
Instagram Insights, the built-in analytics that come with an Instagram for business account, is great for learning about the demographics of your follower base.
Even basic information like age ranges, locations, and gender can help you to develop a more interesting and specific strategy for the kind of people that are interested in your brand. All of this will become the basis of improving brand engagement rates, which is one of the most important parts of your Instagram presence to analyze.
Keeping an eye on your follower growth is also vital in keeping tabs on your account’s success as a whole. Instagram is actually the only place where you can see how many people have unfollowed you as well. Losing followers is normal, as some people just lose interest in your brand or deactivate their account. This feature however, is really helpful in finding a reason why you’re losing more followers than normal.
Of course, if you can see how many people have unfollowed you, naturally you can see how many people have followed you. New followers is a really helpful analytic when you are launching a campaign or even a collaboration so you physically see the rewards of your efforts. It is all very well gaining reach and making impressions, but it is that all important follow that we really want.
Take it to the next level with Follower Evolution. This is an advanced Instagram analytics metric that platforms like Iconosquare can provide you with. By keeping track of the historic data of your follower base, you’ll get a more complete picture of how your brand has evolved.
This kind of information can be useful when it comes to decisions about what languages to include in your marketing and which cultures your brand content will speak to.
Here is some important things to consider when tracking your follower evolution:
This is really only relevant if you find your brand to be gender based and your demographic leans towards one gender. Not everyone chooses to specify their gender on Instagram, so it should be noted the Instagram analytics here are not 100% accurate but it is still an effective analytic since most people do specify.
At the end of the day, it’s important to make sure your company is growing with the right people.
Similar to gender, this helps you confirm you are reaching the right people. There are 7 age groups that are available on Instagram analytics:
Instagram will show you the percentage of each group that follows you under your insights section!
It’s really important to check what time your followers are most active on Instagram. It’s all very well uploading exciting and engaging posts but posting them at a time when the majority of your followers are asleep or just inactive in general is no more than a waste of time.
If you look at the hours section in your insights, you can find the hour that boasts the most activity from your followers. Post in this hour and you can take advantage of this online activity to obtain maximum exposure. You can also view what days your followers are most active as well, which is also helpful to scheduling your social media posts.
This is an analysis of your followers’ top locations in terms of countries and cities. Instagram will very helpfully show you the top 5 locations your followers come from, which is ideal to see where you are attracting the most attention especially if you’re running ads.
Using these kinds of insights you can target your top locations and boost your posts!
Once you know who is into your content, it’s time to see how they’re interacting with your brand by tracking engagement rate.
There’s a reason why brands are so obsessed with engagement. Engagement rates tell you if people are interested in your products, image, message, and, ultimately, your brand as a whole. If they aren’t liking or commenting, then they are not as interested as they could be. So this is something that you absolutely need to track!
What content catches their eye? When are they most likely to ask you a question in the comments or even tag their friends? If you don’t know which posts are stirring interest, you can’t recreate them. So get a tool that helps you to understand your content and how well it’s performing. Then, create content that you know your followers want to engage with.
To measure engagement rate, it’s useful to look at a few different metrics…
You can definitely keep track of all of these metrics on your own, but working with an Instagram analytics tool helps to provide you with all the information you need in a more comprehensive way. Plus, it means that you’re not going back and counting each metric manually. With a tool like Sprout Social, you can have all of this information in one place, giving you a big picture of your Instagram analytics.
From there, it’s about reading between the numbers and drawing the lines between what worked and what did not! Speaking of which, let’s review a few ways to put your best foot forward on Instagram to help increase your engagement rate.
Most brands have a distinct image, a consistent recognizable style. And, of course, the Instagram account of your brand should reflect this style. Brands should look to define their personal identity on Instagram and stick to it. This can be achieved with the use of colour themes, image filtering and image context. It could be minimal, colourful, monotone, black and white, natural, still life, etc.
The point is that your brand should not project the random look of a personal account where someone documents their life. This doesn’t mean impersonal, but it does mean consistent and considered.
BUT that doesn’t meant that the style can’t change. In fact, it should! Your audience wants to see the brand evolve, otherwise what’s the point in scrolling all the way down to the bottom of your feed. Give them something new that also follows the personality of your brand. Keep them on their toes, but don’t stray too far from what you do!
This point brings us back to the ‘social’ component of social media. The ongoing conversation with your audience should work both ways. Where possible, the brand should be an active part of conversations by encouraging positive comments and replying to questions quickly. And when your audience sees that comments are acknowledged by the brand, they are more likely to engage in conversations themselves.
Plus, they’re more likely to @ your brand if they think you’re actually going to respond.
What’s more, the evidence that we have suggests that Instagram’s algorithm is designed to encourage this type of positive interaction. So, the more active you are, the more likely you are to appear higher on people’s Instagram feed. It’s a win-win for being socially active and taking part in the conversation.
To get a better understanding of how the Instagram algorithm works, this audio is worth a listen.
It can be tricky to know exactly how much to post as there is no defined best practice. However, our data does indicate that it doesn’t negatively affect your reach to post frequently throughout the day (up to 5 times is a good cut-off). It’s all about finding a formula that works for your brand and sticking to it (you can use an Instagram analytics tool like Later for that).
But remember, when all is said and done, only post if you have something worth posting. There is no value in posting junk content, so get organised. To be truly professional in this space, it’s important to build a library of quality content that is suitable for your account. Then you can choose to post it exactly when you want.
Hosting a contest on Instagram might just be the most effective way of gaining the most followers in the shortest time possible. If people ever need an excuse to do something, a bit of healthy competition never hurts! So if you want a whole array of people posting on your hashtag or following your brand, try starting a competition. This will drive the creation of high quality content, and really engage your audience.
There are a ton of services offering bot systems that claim to increase your followership and engagement, without any effort on your part. However employing this lazy approach is not wise.
Many bots designed to increase your followership will do so by automatically following and unfollowing specific types of accounts. The problem here is that the type of followers you gain from this strategy tend to be largely disinterested in your account, so they’re not actually engaged with your content. As a result, they in fact lower your engagement rate. Plus, Instagram is constantly updating its algorithm, improving its ability to detect the activity of bots. And there could be consequences. So it’s pretty simple – don’t do it!
If you follow these rules, you will be well on your way to cultivating a profile that can attract much more engagement. And as you track your Instagram analytics, you’ll be thrilled to see your number of likes, comments, and tags going up!
But now it’s time to look at a few metrics that go hand-in-hand with engagement: impressions and reach.
So we’ve talked about Instagram engagement, but what about impressions and reach? And, more importantly, what is the difference between the three?
Here is a quick breakdown so you can clearly understand the difference…
Each of these metrics plays an important part in building a winning Instagram strategy. Building the best Instagram strategy is quite logical and scientific; it takes careful tracking and measuring to see what needs to be improved.
Luckily, tracking impressions and reach is super easy directly within the Instagram app with Instagram for Business.
A lot of the information that you’re looking for can be found there, as long you have an Instagram for business account. If you don’t have one yet, grab your phone immediately and make the switch. It will definitely be an advantage to your brand. Especially when it comes to the amazing Instagram analytics that come along with it!
Instagram analytics that portray your impressions are also fairly important, especially if you are targeting a certain demographic. It has the same 7 day limit as reach so it is a good idea if you want impressions from further back to use a free Instagram analytics tool rather than just looking in the activity section.
These in-platform Instagram analytics kill it when it comes to demographical information, as we mentioned before. But it’s also where you can see your impressions and reach – for Instagram Stories too! For more historical data for metrics like impressions, it’s best to use an in-depth tool like Iconosquare for tracking information.
Instagram has many super handy features; it can show you reach analytics per post which is a really efficient tool to see how effective your new content is. If you’ve got pretty expansive reach but your engagement is low then, you know to switch up your approach.
Under the activity section you can find the last week’s worth of reach, which can give you some good perspective on how your brand is performing on the platform.
Struggling to expand your reach? Try using trending hashtags, embedding your Instagram posts into your website, posting on multiple social media platforms, posting at peak social media traffic hours or promoting your posts.
Another important analytic to take into account would be your Instagram stories as these can also give you a certain idea of your impressions and reach.
There is a plethora of analytics available regarding Instagram stories but the most important would be the direction of traffic from your stories. This means whether they click back, forward or swipe off. Depending on your results you can see which stories are working for your audience and which aren’t.
Whatever you decide to do, keep in mind that these Instagram analytics are the keys to understanding how well you’re doing on the platform. Don’t get lazy – keep track of them!
Speaking of reach and impressions, profile visits are definitely a factor you should take into consideration. The clue is in the name here; this is where you can see how many people have visited your profile.
It’s a good thing to measure against your engagement rates, if you’ve got a lot of profile visits but low engagement rates, that’s a hint to switch up your strategy.
A few ways you can up the ante with your profile visits is by engaging with more profiles, collaborating with influencers, promoting your posts and driving your website visitors to your Instagram by embedding your content there. High profile visits mean high exposure and higher chances of conversions so, what is there to lose?
Website clicks are arguably one of the most important Instagram analytics tools if you are selling a product. Having expansive reach and increasing impressions is great, but are users actually engaging and clicking on your website?
First of all, make sure your loading times are optimized and speedy; no one likes to wait for a website to load and if it doesn’t load quickly this can discourage users from following through and converting.
In order to optimize your website link make sure it is short and simple to read, as nobody will click on it if it looks like a scam link. Instagram gives you the last 7 days of data they have on website clicks. You can also compare this to your new follower influx and see how many of them are driven to your website. The key to optimizing your product marketing is in these little details!
The following are similar analytical features to website clicks you also could utilize to keep your brand up-to-date and running smoothly:
If you have a business account on Instagram you will know that you can feature your email in your bio. Instagram offers an analytic to see how many times it has been clicked. This can come from anyone and not just a follower.
This analytic can be really helpful as a small business without a website yet, or perhaps your website is under construction or being updated so you can focus on getting your audience to connect with you directly.
This is pretty much the same as email clicks but with your phone number. A lot of worldwide businesses don’t offer this feature but, at the end of the day a lot of people value being able to talk to a human being. This analytic is really useful for a business that focuses on client interaction.
This one mostly applies to businesses that are trying to target their local audience as this analytic shows you how many times people have clicked on the directions feature to be shown directions to your locale.
This is especially helpful when running an ad-campaign. If you are not seeing the numbers you want, evidently you need to switch things up and try another approach.
This analytic is able to show you all of your recently promoted posts. The reason why this is important is because it saves you a good deal of money as you’re not mindlessly wasting money on ads.
By clicking onto each one you can see more details on each promoted post so you can keep optimizing your brand. If you want a little extra push, Facebook ads manager is also very helpful when running ads as it does boast a few more helpful features than Instagram.
While your customer base may be liking and commenting on your content, you hit the next level when your audience is excited enough about your brand to interact of their own accord. And that’s where metrics like Hashtag Use and Brand Tags/Mentions really show you how well you’re performing.
The points to keep in mind are…
When a user takes a picture or a video and then tags/mentions your brand, or includes your brand hashtag, you now have authentic User Generated Content that you can use to improve your entire online presence. This is gold and should absolutely be tracked in order to understand what gets your audience posting about your brand, so that you can replicate it.
Once you do have content created by customers featuring your brand, you can actually use this content to increase your online sales. This is the beauty of a User Generated Content strategy. With a platform like Flowbox, you can collect this content, manage it based on your brand image, and then integrate it into various points along the online buying journey. Brands across industries have seen on average a 15% increase of eCommerce conversion rates thanks to this strategy.
And that’s why it’s so important to keep track of your Instagram analytics- it enables you to understand, in a real and data-backed manner, how excited people are about your brand.
We just have one more topic that we’d like to explore, which is how the quality of your users can help improve your performance. This is also something that can – you guessed it – be tracked with Instagram analytics.
Though this aspect of your performance can no longer be tracked in the same way as before the deprecation of the Instagram API back in April 2018 (RIP), this is still an important consideration. Attracting customers who can help you reach more people with their large and actively engaged followerships is a worthwhile venture. It’s also known as influencer marketing.
First of all, we need to explain what we mean by ‘quality’ in the context of Instagram Users. Whenever we look at an Instagram account we are given a whole array of information and, when organised properly, this information can be used to infer the ‘quality’ of the user. In other words, we want to know what their overall level of likability and influence is over their audience. Then by associating with your brand, we want to work out if these users have a positive effect on your overall image. If the answer is yes, that’s great! And of course, the more high quality users you have posting for your brand the better.
In short, a high quality user will have very positive follower/followee ratio, and a comparatively high engagement rate. Plus, in the interest of your brand, they will post frequently using your hashtag or mentioning the brand, making them a type of evangelist.
As a rule, if you have lots of engaged users posting for you, then you’re doing something right. If you have lots of inactive, disengaged users, then perhaps you have some work to do.
To have low quality users posting your brand’s hashtag is not overtly detrimental. However, they do not provide much added value through your association with them. By contrast high quality users can reflect well on your brand, and actively improve your brand’s image and boost growth. Therefore, you want to employ a strategy that actively encourages high quality users to engage with your brand on Instagram.
The most important points to keep in mind when finding high-quality users, or influencers, to work with are the following:
But you don’t have to go stabbing in the dark trying to find random accounts to work with. Nor do you have to be on your own trying to figure out if their partnership is right for you!
Luckily, there are amazing Instagram analytics tools like Traacker that will not only help you discover influencers – but also track their performance and your collaboration with them.
And remember, once you do have high-quality users posting for your brand, this content doesn’t just have to live on social media. You can work with a User Generated Content platform to leverage this content within your eCommerce store.
There you have it – that’s all of the information you need to successfully track your Instagram analytics! I hope you see the benefit of measuring your performance and how much it can help your brand.
And just to recap, here are the tools that can help you do it:
We can’t stress enough how much analyzing data can help you reach your potential. Especially in a crowded social space that’s constantly changing. Without analyzing, you may not realize your followers are no longer interested in something they were dying for before. And don’t you want to be the brand that’s always keeping up with the latest trends?
Looking for more Instagram tips? Head to our complete guide to Instagram Marketing, where you’ll find everything you need to know about promoting your products on this crucial platform.