Social media marketing relies on eye-catching visuals to draw consumers in – so it’s no surprise Instagram is such a popular platform. If you’re not sure how to approach Instagram monitoring, here are some tips for gathering the analytics that matter.

Who’s on Instagram?

Of Instagram’s 700 million monthly active users, 68% are female, with 59% between the ages of 18 and 29, and 33% between the ages of 30 and 49. Additionally, 17% of teens consider Instagram the most important social site.

Of the 8 million users with business profiles, 1 million are active monthly advertisers. Brands are clearly using Instagram, and those succeeding know how to apply analytics smartly.

Built-in insights

Some of this information is available right within Instagram – as long as you have a business profile.

From there, clicking the bar graph icon at the top of your profile page brings you to the Insights area.

Here’s what you can see:

Information about followers – including new follows in the past seven days. New followers tell you you’re doing something right. If you aren’t gaining any new followers, you need to investigate why – perhaps you’re making some common Instagram mistakes.

Instagram Insights breaks down the percentage of male and female followers, as well as the age groups they’re in, and where they are located.

Post insights – including your top posts with filtering options. View all posts – both photos and videos – by Impressions, Reach, Engagement, Likes, Comments, and Saved for the past 3 months, 6 months, year or two years. Or look separately at just photos or just videos in the same way.

Use these metrics to take note of what’s resonating with your audience – as well as what isn’t.

You’ll need more comprehensive tools if you want a deeper understanding of why these posts resonate, but you can still get a sense of direction with Instagram’s analytics.

Stories insights – For those making use of this feature, you can view analytics specific to Stories to learn how effective they are for your brand.

Promotions – See data specific to promoted Instagram posts to know how you’re doing and what you need to change for campaigns to be most effective.

Beyond the built-in metrics

Instagram Insights are a great starting point for brands to have an idea if their efforts are working on this social platform. But if you really want to compete you need to know your audience and your competitors at a deeper level – and that takes more well-rounded tools. Here are a few things you want to add to the mix for best results:

Social sentiment monitoring – Without the context of sentiment, you can’t know why a particular post succeeded or failed. You can try to make changes based on guess-work, but you might repeat your mistake unwittingly while trying to figure it out.

It’s better to seek out tools able to segment your audience based on common interests and passion, then offer up content that speaks to those passions. User comments are loaded with this information – you need to be able to extract it.

Hashtags – These category-sorting symbols are a huge part of the Instagram user experience. If you don’t know which ones matter most for your brand, you’re missing a huge opportunity to break through to the people who care most about what you’re sharing. You need tools that analyze hashtags so you can use them to best effect.

Competitive analysis – Instagram Insights are great for seeing what your own brand is doing well (or not), but that’s pretty limiting. Some of the best information out there comes from your competitors – and the way your shared audience responds to them.

Be sure your social analytics software can handle this task. Competitive analysis should be a crucial part of your marketing strategy, so seek out tools that let you “spy” on other brands – so you can borrow their good tactics, and improve on their worst.

Influencers and detractorsAnother reason you want to analyze sentiment is to identify your strongest supporters, as well as potential threats. Those who engage and have large followings of their own could be leveraged as influencers – taking your message to their own massive followings and expanding your reach.

Those who troll your page or tag you with negative commentary can cause your brand trouble – and you want to know sooner rather than later. If you can’t keep tabs on these users and be alerted immediately to negative chatter, you may find your brand in hot water.

Instagram Insights doesn’t have a system in place for this, so you need an outside tool to keep you informed in real-time.

Instagram is only as good as your insights

Like any social platform, Instagram has a lot to offer brands – but only if you can access the data that matters and apply it to growing brand awareness over time.

You don’t have to be a global brand with a hefty budget to do this, though. Making use of Instagram Insights and other free tools can take you far – and when you’re ready, tools like NetBase can take you to the next level.

Ready to get more out of your Instagram posts? Reach out and we’ll show you how!

Image from Adrian Korte

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