Instagram started as a photo-sharing app but now has metamorphosed into one of the best social media platforms for business.
As of now, it’s the most sought-after platform for brands to showcase themselves and their wares.
Instagram is one of the fastest-growing platforms for business and does not show any signs of letting up. One reason brands want to put their best foot forward on Instagram are the 1 billion active users who are on the platform. Also adding to the attractive package is the fact that users on Instagram are a lot more engaging than on other platforms.
Instagram metrics to track
When it comes to doing well in business, people who accurately interpret numbers are the most likely to succeed. The best part about modern digital marketing methods is everything can be tracked and measured. Instagram is no different.
There are several Instagram metrics which people can use to track progress. To this end, we bring to you seven metrics which are critical to brands doing well.
1. Follower growth rate
One of the most straightforward metrics people have to gauge the popularity of an Instagram account is follower numbers. A high number of followers adds social media clout to a brand as well as improve brand credibility. The number of followers is one-dimensional; it does little to shed light on how effective marketing campaigns have been over time.
Analyzing follower growth rate can give brands insights into how they have been progressing over the years. This can be determined easily - the number of followers gained in the past month divided by the number of followers they had at the start of the month.
Follower Growth Rate = Number of followers gained/number of followers at the start of the month
An example - let's say the number of followers gained was 100 in the past month, and the account had 1000 followers at the start of the month. The follower growth rate would be 100/1000 = 10%. If the FGR has been showing minimal increases or negative figures, it’s a sign that brands need to revamp their Instagram marketing strategy.
2. Engagement rate
While follower numbers are a good first impression, having a considerable number of followers without the engagement numbers to back it up can do little to drive business. Engagement basically means how well a brand's followers are responding to posted content. There are several methods followers can engage with content such as liking, commenting, and sharing.
Furthermore, the update to Instagram's algorithm ensures that users get more updates from brands that they interact with rather than just top-rated influencers who they happen to follow. Instagram engagement rate percentage can be easily calculated - divide the total number of engagement instances on a post by your total follower count and multiply it by 100 to get it in percentage.
Engagement Rate (%) = Total engagement instances/Followers x 100
Let's assume a post has 30 likes and 50 comments on an account which has 1000 followers. So the rate of engagement would be (30+50)/1000 x 100, which is 8%.
Engagement instances here means how many times unique user accounts have interacted with the Instagram account. While it's most common to use likes and comments, activating Instagram Insights allows Saved post numbers to be calculated as well. This will deliver an even more accurate result for engagement rates.
Engagement rates really come in handy when you need to evaluate influencer campaigns for your brand. You don't need to pay for sponsored posts that did not have the requisite engagement rate. Getting more likes for your Instagram account can improve your engagement numbers quickly and effectively.
3. Trending hashtags
Hashtags are an inevitable and inseparable part of any Instagram marketing campaign, functionally as well as aesthetically. Adding a single hashtag can increase engagement on a post by 12.5%. Hashtags are used as search terms on Instagram and make your posts discoverable to the majority.
Hashtags are not created equally; some hashtags have a lot higher engagement numbers than others. This is because the more popular and relevant a hashtag is to a niche, the more it is used. To increase engagement on your posts, it is important to roundup trending hashtags in your niche.
You can use the Instagram search bar to find trending hashtags as well as related hashtags for your brand. When you search for something on Instagram, it shows you the top posts as well as the hashtags associated with it. Searching for those hashtags can give you other related hashtags.
The easiest method is, however, by using social media monitoring tools to relieve the burden of manual searching as well as deliver quicker and more accurate results.
4. Website traffic
Instagram can drive a large amount of traffic to your website, provided it is used optimally. Earlier, Instagram used to be limited in scope as far as getting hits on websites was concerned. The reason was that it only had one place where you could post the website URL: on the Insta bio. But times have changed for brands.
Verified accounts on Instagram have the option of adding URLs to Instagram Stories when users swipe up on a story. This gives Instagram users more options to use their popularity on the platform to get more website traffic.
Traffic can be easily tracked as a metric using Google Analytics, which can give you an accurate picture of how Instagram can help push traffic through to your brand page. Also, adding UTM parameters can significantly increase the accuracy of Google Analytics. You can read through this guide for setting up UTM parameters effectively for your website.
The more popular a brand, the more people talk about them - this is the philosophy behind tracking brand mentions. While manually keeping track of mentions can be tedious, to say the least, there are social media analytics software tools that can give you accurate mention numbers as well as a lot more details.
Mentions are also an important factor to consider for brands wanting to know what people are talking about them on the platform. This is otherwise called as social media listening. Looking into this can help determine the sentiments of the conversations which can be positive, neutral, or negative. Brands can use this as a metric to gauge how their marketing campaigns are progressing, and also keep a check on what they should avoid.
6. Instagram Stories engagement
Instagram Stories are basically image or video content that disappear after 24 hours of them being posted. While their temporary nature has lots of appeal to the people using it, it makes the feature a lot difficult to keep track of engagement.
There are tracking tools within Instagram itself that can help you determine how well your Story feeds are doing with the audience. The only requirement to access Instagram Insights is that the account should be a business profile.
There are two crucial factors that you need to look at here with regards to Stories: reach and exits.
- Reach is the number of unique users who were interested enough to interact with your story.
- Exits give you the number of the story your followers were on when they exited your story.
Both these numbers basically talk about follower interests. Reach is how many people were interested, and exits specify precisely where they lost interest in the story. Putting these numbers together, you can pinpoint where you need to put in work as far as Stories are concerned.
Instagram Stories are going to get even bigger for marketing in the years to follow. Make sure you are ready and start on optimizing instagram stories for better results on your brand’s marketing campaign.
Reach is another important metric when it comes to Instagram Business profiles. Reach is basically the number of times different users have seen your posts, Stories, videos, and ads. If you want to check your account growth, measuring reach is a great place to start. You can check the reach numbers on Insights. It also indicates how many of those people were not following you.
Reach is often confused with Impressions in the marketing niche. Reach is the number of unique views of your story while Impressions are the number of times your content was displayed, regardless if it was clicked on.
As far as your reach numbers are concerned, you don't have to worry if there are inconsistencies with it, as it is a volatile number. You need to keep an eye out for positive spikes of reach numbers and narrow down the type of content that can do that consistently.
Other Instagram metrics to track
While the factors mentioned above are critical at helping brands gauge the effectiveness of their Instagram campaigns, they aren't the only ones. We've also listed a few metrics you need to keep an eye on as well in the pursuit of Instagram marketing excellence -
While follower numbers are important, audience demographics can give you much more detailed insights into your follower count. Audience metrics can help categorize follower data so your content can be optimized as close to your target persona as possible.
Impressions are still relevant for measuring the success of an Instagram campaign together with reach. Dividing the number of impressions by reach gives you average impressions per user, which is important as well.
Click-through rate (CTR) is a percentage figure of the number of clicks received on an ad divided by the impressions it generated. While CTR was earlier only used for the bio, now that the revamped stories display URLs, it finds use there as well.
Instagram has grown into a veritable powerhouse for brands who are looking to reach out to their audience. The future of digital marketing is measurable effort and performance. There are a lot of features and tools which can provide a detailed overview of your marketing campaign on Instagram.
There is a lot of potential for growth on this social platform, provided brands put in the work that is required. Instagram offers brands a huge pedestal with a large and active audience clamoring for quality content.
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