You’ve heard it before: there are over 600 million active users and 25 million businesses currently using Instagram.
If your brand or business is not one of those active users then you are missing out on major marketing opportunities.
Unlike ever before, businesses, both large and small, have direct and immediate access to rich data about their target population. Rather than relying on the fundamentals of Psychology to try to understand your ideal customer, you can simply take a peek at actual daily behaviors to fully understand who your target population is.
Instagram analytics tools allow you to observe your target population in ways that can help you better execute your social media marketing plan. It also allows you to adapt your business plan to better serve the needs of your existing customers.
Perhaps most importantly of all is that these analytics tools allow you to foster genuine relationships with potential and existing customers.
So, how do you successfully maneuver the social media playing field?
With a proper Instagram marketing strategy you can make your account not only stand out from the noisy crowd, but you can also help your business thrive.
In this guide, we will break down everything you need to know about Instagram analytics, including why they are important to your business, how to know when your strategy is working, and which Instagram analytics tools will best serve you.
Why You Need to Use Instagram Analytics
Though you’ve likely heard of social media marketing before, you may not be exactly clear on how to use social media marketing effectively. Instagram marketing, in particular, can be an incredibly valuable part of your business plan.
Before you start posting content to your Instagram account, you must first understand why you are posting what you post.
Are you trying to increase brand awareness so that your target audience discovers your brand for the first time? Are you trying to gain followers so that you can build a community behind your brand? Do you want your followers to sign up for your newsletter on your website? Or do you simply want more engagement on your Instagram account?
Understanding your brand’s needs for social media will help you create the best social media marketing plan for you.
Even so, you need to know and understand your target audience intimately, from the types of accounts they follow to the time of day they are most likely to be active online. By understanding their needs and behaviors, you can tailor your content to give them exactly what they want.
And how could they not be a loyal customer after that?
The best way to truly understand your audience is through Instagram analytics tools. There is so much rich, free data available to you right at your fingertips so there is no reason not to use it. If you’re not sure how to understand the data that is available to you, continue reading to learn how to understand and analyze the data.
How to Measure Your Success
Metrics are an important part of your social media campaign. They help you know whether or not your efforts are working and help guide you during your campaign.
There are a lot of different things that you can look at to better understand the efficacy of your campaign, but there are a few solid metrics that will tell you most everything that you need to know.
Key Performance Indicators
- Engagement and Engagement Rate – This includes likes, mentions, replies, and shares. This allows you to see what percentage of your audience is engaged with the content that you are posting. If your engagement rate is low then you either have the wrong content for your audience or you have an audience that is not all that interested in your product, as is often the case with fake followers.
- Impressions – This number is the total numbers of times your post has been seen by others. This is an especially important number if you boost your posts or run ad campaigns as you want to reach as many people as possible.
- Followers – The number of users following your account isn’t the most important metric, but it is a good one to keep an eye on. Not only does your follower count ensure that potential followers will trust your brand, but it also means that you have direct access to the feeds of people that are already interested in your brand.
- Website Visits – If you are releasing a product, hosting a giveaway, or hoping to boost sales, then it is a good idea to monitor website visits prompted by your social media campaign. This will allow you to determine where your error has been made, if at all, during the funnel process. It will help you better understand if the content is working to bring people to your website and if your website is working to convert the visitors into buyers.
- Emails Collected – Email marketing is still perhaps the most effective form of digital marketing to date so many businesses use their social media platforms to help collect emails. This is often done through giveaways and sweepstakes that require an email for entry. If you monitor the email subscription count, this can help you determine if your campaign to collect emails is working.
The Top Instagram Analytics Tools
Now that you know why your brand or business needs to use the data that is available to you, let’s break down the best Instagram analytics tools to help you along the process. Many of these tools offer free versions that are perfect for a small business with just one Instagram account. Most of these tools will offer a paid subscription, which usually offers even more data analysis as well as planning tools.
1. Instagram Insights
The best analytics tool available is right within the app and it is free. In order to access the Instagram Insights, you must first switch your Instagram profile to a business profile. You can do this either with the app at the top or with your Facebook page.
Instagram Insights provides you with most of the basic audience data that you will already be looking for, including impressions, total reach, profile views, website clicks, and email clicks. It also provides you with information about all of your top performing posts according to which got the most views and the most engagement (likes, comments, or share) for up to the last two years.
The detail of the data is incredible and allows you to understand exactly where your audience is coming from. You are able to determine if users saw your post simply through the feed or if they found it through a hashtag. You can find if anyone clicked on your link from the post or if the viewers of your post even follow you at all.
The unsung hero of Instagram analytics is Hashtagify. This service allows you to explore the data behind certain hashtags to better understand your target audience. You are able to not only view the data behind your selected hashtag, but you can also view all of that same data for correlated hashtags. This data includes its popularity rates, whether or not the hashtag is increasing or decreasing in popularity, and the demographics of users who are using the designated hashtag.
In their free Beta version currently available, you can even track hashtags to monitor the audience that is currently using those hashtags. This includes accounts that these users are following, posts that have gone viral, and other topics that your audience is interested in that is not necessarily within your niche.
Hashtagify also presents all of your most influential followers in a comprehensive way that allows you to analyze not only their behavior but also the behavior of their followers, as well.
This information is available for both Twitter and Instagram through Hashtagify and can easily shape your social media efforts within the first analysis.
3. Simply Measured
SimplyMeasured provides detailed information about your social media campaigns, especially for Instagram. You are able to dissect everything you have ever done on Instagram to better understand what has worked in the past and how that can guide the future of your social media marketing campaign.
For instance, with SimplyMeasured you can closely track not only which days and times garner the most engagement, but it also breaks user behavior down in ways to better understand the conversion process. The more you understand user behavior, the better you can provide relevant content.
4. Social Rank
SocialRank is a totally free service that provides pretty in-depth data about your target audience and existing followers. While most of the other services heavily focus on hashtag analysis and content performance, Social Rank unpacks the data behind user behavior so that you can create content that will resonate with your target audience.
With hashtag analysis and clear data on user behavior you can better create your content to serve their needs. You can also sort your existing followers according to those who are most engaged, have the most followers, and which accounts are the most influential within your niche. The data available through this service alone can provide you with everything you need in order to create an effective Instagram marketing strategy.
Iconosquare is a paid app that allows you to easily analyze your competition. Sift through the analytics to better understand your community and engagement. Another key feature is that it helps you find the most important influencers in your niche. It also provides a comprehensive look at hashtag analytics, allowing you to monitor hashtag growth and influential posts for your listed hashtags.
The best part about Iconosquare is that it helps interpret the data by comparing your posting behaviors with follower behavior, including lost followers. It also serves as a social media management tool with an editorial calendar so that you can plan and adjust your content strategy all from the same spot.
SproutSocial is an incredibly comprehensive tool that provides detailed analytics that explains user behavior clearly. The platform allows you to analyze various hashtags and compare them to the performance of your posts. You are also able to analyze geotagging to determine which locations generate the most engagement and conversion from your target audience.
One of the best features that Sprout Social offers is a social CRM (customer relationships management) tool that allows you to monitor your engagement with certain users, including influencers. This can be critical as you move forward in growing your business and expanding your reach. Lastly, it is also a content creation and management tool, making it the ultimate platform for improving your Instagram account.
Most analytics will offer you very similar insight, so don’t stress about finding the best one. The best analytic tool is the one that you will use, so be sure to educate yourself on the key performance indicators, metrics, and trends that can help you better understand your audience. Once you determine which methods work best for you, you can find the best tool to serve those needs.