Instagram analytics tools can help you plan content and future campaigns, and reach your social media goals.
These goals should be specific, attainable, relevant, and timely. They should also be measurable. This tells you where your efforts are paying off, and where they’re not.
Under all those Instagram images is a goldmine of data. You can bet your competitors are using this information. Shouldn’t you be?
In this post we’ll explain the benefits of using Instagram analytics tools, what metrics to track to measure performance (and improve ROI), and the best tools to use (feel free to jump to that section).
Bonus: Download a free checklist that reveals the exact steps an adventure photographer used to grow from 0 to 110,000 followers on Instagram with no budget and no expensive gear.
Benefits of using Instagram analytics
- Learn more about your audience. Instagram analytics break down follower demographics according to gender, age, location, and language. Depending on the tool, you can also track interests and online purchasing behavior. With this info, you can craft a presence that speaks to your followers on this platform. Your Instagram fans may be different from those on other social networks.
- Measure success and improve your Instagram strategy. Instagram already provides direct, easy-to-parse engagement numbers, including likes, mentions, and comments. Instagram analytics tools let you see these numbers over periods of time. By comparing time periods, you can chart growth, determine the best time to post, and see what type of content gets the most response. Do photos of people work better than charts and graphs? Which filters get the most shares?
- See how your promoted Instagram posts are performing. Are your promoted Instagram posts getting adequate ROI? Analytics let you compare organic and promoted impressions. This gives you a sense of how far your Instagram ads are expanding your reach.
- Helps you set goals and objectives. By revealing the weak areas in your account, analytics drill down into problem areas. Identifying goals and objectives becomes easier.
- Divide resources. Consider the costs of social media. Labor, training, and development are among the costs of social media. So are technology, agencies and consultants, and business overhead. Instagram analytics tools help cut wasted by showing which areas most need attention.
- Plan campaigns. Information like which hashtags to use and who the top influencers are in your field is crucial. Your next great social media campaign depends on this knowledge. With it, campaign success becomes a science, not an accident.
- Gain a competitive edge. Instagram analytics show what others in your field are doing—right or wrong.
Measuring success—what metrics to track with Instagram analytics
Metrics can be broken down into two types. Account metrics provide a record of your Instagram activity over time; individual metrics keep tabs on each post. This data can point you towards campaign goals (i.e. reaching more of your followers, growing your engagement rate).
- Top post. This is the Instagram post that earned the most impressions in a particular month. Over time, your top posts will tell you your most appreciated content.
- Top mention. The post with the most impressions in which another Instagrammer mentions your username. This lets you find top influencers worth reaching out to.
- Top follower. Your follower with the greatest number of followers of their own. Although they may not have shared your content, they have a large potential audience.
- New followers. This number shows how campaigns and posting strategies affect follower count. If you’d like to boost this number (who doesn’t?), check out our post How to Get More Instagram Followers: The Ultimate Guide.
Individual post metrics
- Engagement. The number of times users interact with an Instagram post. This is a valuable metric by which to gauge what’s working, and what’s not.
- Engagement rate. Number of engagements (likes, mentions, replies) divided by impressions (how many people actually saw the post). This gives an idea of the percentage of your audience who are engaging with what your content.
- Instagram reach percentage. Total impressions divided by total number of followers. If only a small percentage of your audience saw the post, you might want to repost the content, albeit in a new, fresh way.
Instagram analytics tools
Instagram’s native analytics tool is free. It does however require that you convert your Facebook profile to a Business profile. This is a simple enough four-step process. Once complete, this conversion will give you access to Instagram Insights. These include the number of business profile visitors and the number of post-saves. Insights also includes the number of times that people use the Send Message option on your Instagram Story.
If you are running Instagram ads, you can see their performance here, or in your Facebook Ads Manager. You can also compare insights for the original version with those of the promoted post.
Insights are viewable only on your phone (i.e. your Instagram account). And insights are available only for content posted after conversion to a business account.
Hootsuite’s in-house analytics are viewable in the Hootsuite dashboard. The analytics are in two visual interfaces, overviews and boards. Overviews provide common metrics such as audience growth, website traffic, and total posts. Boards are customizable and shareable and provide an unlimited number of real-time reports.
Insights include reactions to posts according to language or gender, actions taken by followers, and clicks on bio URLs. Line charts, tables and tree maps allow for quick and easy identification of trends and growth.
Iconosquare is a paid app for businesses looking to keep an eye on the competition. The app provides Instagram analytics for community and engagement. It also helps identify the most important influencers in your field.
The app is especially useful for analyzing hashtag data. This data includes hashtag growth, influential posts using a specific hashtag, and more.
Union Metrics offers both paid and free options. The (free) Instagram Account Checkup offers a handsome, easy-to-use interface. At a glance, you can see your number of posts, followers and following, and best time to post. You can also see who your most ardent follower is, number of interactions, top hashtag, and top post.
The subscription service provides more particular information. This includes detailed profile analytics, profile analysis, and hashtag monitoring.
Simply Measured helps you compete in your marketplace. The cross-channel product examines your share in conversations relevant to your field. It also provides info about brand awareness and influencers.
The starter package Essentials unifies accounts data in an easy-to-use dashboard. The package also measures brand health and generates customizable reports. You’ll also be able to analyze your competitors’ performance. A free introductory report offers basics like number of engagements and engagement rate.
Billing itself as “your marketing sidekick,” this app promises to cut down the time you spend on social media. After analyzing your accounts, it suggests relevant content for you to post. It’s low on actual analytics, and its interface is simple. But if you’d like to keep your Instagram account alive with minimal effort, Crowdfire could be the answer.
This free tool lets you view key Instagram analytics such as growth, engagement, and number of followers. You can see the best and worst times to post, and whether you’re using top hashtags. Squarelovin provides daily, weekly and monthly analytics for your account, as well as for individual posts.
Those are a few of the Instagram analytics tools available. Most give the same basic info before diving into deeper analytics. With a little experimentation, it shouldn’t be too hard to find the one that works best for you.
Save time managing your Instagram presence by using Hootsuite to share Instagram video, schedule posts, and monitor your efforts with built-in (and easy to use) analytics. Try it free today.