Analyzing Instagram performance is key to any successful Instagram strategy. Here are 8 metrics you should watch, and some analytics tools to measure them, to up your Instagram game.
1. Follower growth rate
Like other social media channels, the number of fans isn’t the be all and end all metric. But the rate in which Instagram users follow your account is often indicative of what you’re doing (or not doing) on this platform. See if you can tie that rate to a rise or fall in your posting frequency, the amount of interactions on other users’ posts, a promotion requiring a follow, or the quality of photos and short videos you uploaded during this time period.
SumAll provides an Excel download of followers from month to month. Just add a simple formula to determine your growth rate.
2. Engagement as percentage of total follower s
Once your Instagram follower base has grown to a comfortable level, you’ll want to measure engagement — Instagram likes and comments — against your current followers count. (OK, so here the number of fans is more important than the growth rate!)
Here, I used my Agorapulse Instagram report to tell me how many likes and comments my account of 905 followers has received over the past month.
I can then take this average number of likes and comments and divide it by my 905 followers. That will be my engagement percentage per total followers.
Could your comments have increased because you were strategic in asking questions of your followers? (Could your comments have dipped because you didn’t ask good Instagram questions?) Figure out how the rate here compares with last month or the last six months as a whole.
Do note that non-followers can also like and comment on your posts. However, until Instagram reach and impression numbers are available to all, your follower base is your best bet for calculating eyes on your posts.
3. Engagement per post
You can use the above chart to determine the number of likes or comments per post. Those five posts earned 269 likes and 47 comments. Combine those two numbers and divide it by five — there’s your average engagement per post.
If your prior five posts had a much higher or lower number, analyze why that might be the case.
4. Clickthroughs on URLs
This Instagram metric is both easy and a real pain to follow. The only tappable URL you can share with Instagram users is the link you put in your Instagram bio.
So that’s the only URL you’ll have to track — until you change the link to something else. Pretty good, huh? Well, the bad news is that Google Analytics is wonky when it comes to tracking referral traffic from Instagram. Your other option is to use a bit.ly link so that you can more easily determine how many Instagram users have come to your Web destination.
5. Growth of hashtags
Tagboard is a great tool for monitoring hashtag promotions. In the example below, I followed the #yerbayes cross-channel campaign from yerba mate purveyor Guayaki. I filtered out all other channels except for Instagram.
If I want to determine the growth over the course of the campaign, I simply scroll down and count how times #yerbayes was used during that time.
Despite your best efforts to use a branded hashtag (like #yerbayes), you should also monitor your brand name as a hashtag. Instagram users make such hashtags with or without your prompting! So Guayaki should regularly look for #guayaki, especially if it is interested in gathering user generated content.
Data from both branded and brand name hashtag campaigns should be analyzed at least monthly.
6. Top hashtags by interaction
If you’re inserting hashtags in your posts, have you seen them have an impact on likes or comments? If so, which hashtags seemed to encourage the most engagement?
Another peek at my Instagram report from Agorapulse and I can see which hashtag is grabbing me the most interaction on my account.
7. Growth of competitors’ hashtags
If you’re using branded hashtags, your competitors probably are too. Check their bios on at least a monthly basis to see if they’re prompting users to use a particular tag. Then check something like Tagboard to see how many posts they’ve earned.
Is there something you can learn from these results?
8. Best day/time to post
Are you pleased with your follower growth and content with your hashtag strategy, but bummed at your engagement numbers? Maybe it’s time to examine when you’re posting to Instagram.
According to Union Metrics, one of my clients should view Thursday at 2pm as the sweet spot for posting.
This information can help you better shape a result-driven editorial calendar — and get you the Instagram likes and comments you seek.
What other metrics do you monitor when you conduct Instagram analysis?