Instagram has been in the news a lot recently – there have been countless articles and complaints about shadowbanning, and many people are starting to lose faith in the platform as a good business tool.
But there are some clear and simple ways that you can make sure your Instagram account continues to grow and improve.
Your first port of call should always be Instagram Analytics (also called Insights).
You’ll only be able to access Instagram Analytics if you have set up a business account on the platform. If you’ve got a personal account, it is super easy to switch over your existing personal profile to a business one. It takes just a few steps and within less than 5 taps you’ll be set up and ready to go.
Once you’ve set up your business account on Instagram, Analytics stats will only be available on any new posts you create – so get sharing!
Let’s take a look at some tips and tools for using Instagram Analytics and how you can use them to help inform your Instagram marketing strategy.
Impressions & Reach
At a high level you can see your recent impressions and reach for your posts. These show at the top of the screen when you click on the Insights graph button on your profile.
You can quickly see how many times your posts have been seen (Impressions), as well as how many unique people have seen your posts (Reach).
If your reach has gone up or down significantly, there are a few things to investigate – what content have you been posting, how long your captions have been and what hashtags you’ve been adding to your images. Look at what’s changed with regards to these elements and see if you can work out why your engagement has changed along with it.
Profile Views & Followers
Profile Views is a handy metric as it shows you how many times users have looked at your profile. Clicking through to your profile shows a high level of engagement from the user – they haven’t just seen or liked your image, they’ve actually clicked through to find out more about you, look at your other photos and possibly even follow you.
Leading on from this, Followers is the next metric to check on the overview section. People can get their knickers in a twist about the whole follow/unfollow issue – where people will follow you, expecting you to follow back. If you don’t follow them back, often they will unfollow you. Worst of all, even if you do follow them back, they still may unfollow you as they just want to grow their own followers!
So, don’t get too hung up about followers. In 2017, engagement is the metric you want to be focusing on. Yes it’s nice to get followers but don’t let it consume your reason for being on Instagram in the first place.
Likes, Comments & Saves
If you look in the Top Posts section, you’ll be able to drill down into your individual post performances. You can change the date range from the default seven days to up to two years – really handy if you want to look at the bigger picture (but remember you won’t get any stats on images you posted before you switched to a business account).
You can then filter by content type (photos, videos or carousel posts) and metric too.
It’s a quick way to look at how your different content has performed in terms of reach, impressions, comments, likes and even saves (which is a fab fairly new feature where you can now save posts so you don’t lose them).
This is a great section to check out – it tells you a lot about your followers, including when your followers are on Instagram. It breaks it down by the hour which is so helpful for working out when are the best times to post your content.
It also shares a gender breakdown as well as city and country location for your followers. This can be very useful when planning your Instagram strategy as you can see what sort of audience you are attracting and compare if that aligns with your goals. If you are a local business in Perth and your followers are all in rural France, perhaps you aren’t doing the right things to attract your target audience.
Looking at all these insights for your Instagram posts, you will be able to see what content has worked well and what absolutely tanked. There is so much to consider on Instagram, from posting times, content type and hashtags, so it can sometimes feel a bit like a minefield, one you may not be sure is worth the effort in pursuing.
But remember that even the most ‘boring’ businesses can usually find quirky ways to make an impression on this platform – sometimes all it takes is a bit of creativity, and the stats to back up your content plan!
Other Tools You Can Use
There are also a number of other apps and tools out there which you can use to monitor your Instagram analytics and effectiveness.
Sprout Social is a popular option for external tools that measure your Instagram analytics. They report on your engagement rates, new followers, impressions, unique users and even things like incoming messages and sent messages.
Iconosquare allows you to track your hashtags and audience metrics on Instagram. It has a handy section which reports back on who had followed and unfollowed you (don’t get sucked into this game though!), and starts at a reasonably monthly cost for smaller businesses who are serious about their Instagram account.
A newer entry into the market and specific to Instagram is Followers+. It’s available on Apple and Android as an app and hooks up to your chosen Instagram account. Metrics it tracks includes, new followers, lost followers and they also track who follows you that you don’t follow back, as well as those you follow who don’t follow you back. It’s free with a limit of one account but some pro features aren’t included.