the complete guide to instagram analytics

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  • The Complete Guide toINSTAGRAM ANALYTICS

    Thi rd Ed i t ion



    60-Second Videos




    Total Engagement

    Engagement per Post

    Engagement as a % of Followers

    Hashtag Mentions

    Hashtag Volume

    Hashtag Reach

    Hashtag Impressions

    Engagement Optimization

    Set up a Benchmarking Program

    Solicit User-Generated Content

    Leverage Ancillary Apps

    Follower Metrics Total Number of Followers

    Percent Change in Followers

    Follower Growth Tips

    Use Hashtags Effectively

    Encourage User-Generated Content

    Promote on Other Channels

    The 4 Essential Instagram Analytics Tactics

    Learn About and Cater to Your Audience

    Pay Attention to Timing

    Employ Competitive Benchmarking

    Work with Influencers (And Measure Success)



  • INTRODUCTIONInstagram is top-of-mind for any social marketer, and with 400 million monthly active users and 80 million photos posted daily, its no surprise that the network has been focused on adding more value for the brands using the network.

    The photo sharing network has continued to innovate, with several recent additions to the platform: Instagram has recently added 60-second videos, video view counts, and is planning on an algorithmic feed to increase relevance and enable marketers to surface their best content.

    The mobile app also has a full network of feature apps like Hyperlapse, Layout, and Boomerang, boasts an intuitive Direct Messaging service, and has developed a robust ad platform.

    In March, Instagram added notifications and the Discovery section to their web app, making the platform even easier to use.

    Instagram is changing the way that brands evaluate their audiences and create content. This is clearer now than ever before. 90% of the Interbrand 100 companies are active on the network, and a recent study from eMarketer found that by 2017, over 71% of companies with 100 employees or more will be using the network.

    Whether your brand is just starting to invest time and energy in Instagram, or is an established powerhouse on the network, youll want to optimize your strategy. This must be done without a solid understanding built on analysis. Through research and measurement, you can develop a solid foundation of what works, what doesnt, and what to focus on for your specific brand. This guide to Instagram analysis and optimization outlines the metrics required to measure and fully understand the photo and video-sharing network, and walks through some tips for using these metrics to plan and optimize your Instagram campaigns.


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    ADAPTING TO AN ALGORITHMIC FEEDInstagram announced in March that the network would be moving from a chronological feed to an algorithm that will surface the content that Instagram believes a person cares about most.

    As is its way, the internet freaked out:

    As marketers, we tend to get too excitable about changes like this, but this time, we shouldnt be surprised or upset.

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    Instagrams newsfeed update is not the first weve seen. Facebook first adopted this strategy in 2009. Twitter added this feature as an option earlier this year. We freaked out about both of those, and the world has continued to spin.

    That said, this will change how you use Instagram as a marketer. Here are a few things weve learned from these changes when they happened on other networks.

    1. Engagement for CLTV?

    With these algorithm updates, the content that people would be most interested in is surfaced first. What this means is that customers who regularly engage with your content will see more of it. This can keep your brand top-of-mind for the people who are already interested in it.

    As Instagram and other third-party services make it easier to connect to purchase points directly from the app, this can mean the users engaging with

    your content will have a higher likelihood of buying.

    2. Quality Will Likely Be Key: Dont Spam

    When Facebook updated its ranking algorithm in 2013, the network penalized pages that asked for Likes (as opposed to posting content that is relevant and engaging).

    This will likely become a factor on Instagram as well. Focus on content that

    people want to engage with, instead of telling them to.

    3. The Importance of a Paid Strategy

    Like weve seen on other networks, this will likely impact organic reach. All this means is that youll need to incorporate a paid strategy (as well as an organic one) on Instagram.

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    Paid and organic social are becoming more and more intertwined, and if your strategies live in silos, youre missing out on big opportunities.

    4. Connect with Your Audience

    Like Facebook, theres a good chance that the relationships between users will have an impact on the content thats surfaced first. Your follower count wont be the only audience factor that matters. As a brand, youll want to develop a follow strategy to ensure that the right users have the highest likelihood of seeing your content.

    5. Prioritize Your Influencer Strategy

    Influencer marketing is becoming a major component on Instagram, and this will only amplify that. Influencers will likely surface higher in feeds because theyre creating engagement within groups of users that have similar characteristics.

    If you use Instagram for marketing, theres a good chance this change will impact you. Luckily, its not the end of the world. If you can stay focused on delivering good content to relevant audiences, the tactical shifts will seem less daunting. Keep an eye on brands you respect to identify strategic shifts as this change takes hold.

    What can you learn from them?

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    INSTAGRAMS NEW 60-SECOND VIDEOSInstagram also recently increased the maximum video length from 15-seconds to 60-seconds. Combined with view counts, this lends well to optimization. Time spent watching video on the network has increased by 40%. This means the opportunity to impress, entertain, and convert viewers is greater than ever.

    For the Creative Class

    Instagram brands itself as a creators network, with influencers at the core, and this extension is a signal of that focus.

    As we found in our 2015 Instagram Influencer Report, the most-followed accounts on Instagram arent brands; theyre influencers like Ciara or Kim Kardashian. Just as relevant to marketers are the niche influencers who are

    known and respected within specific industries and segments.

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    For brands, partnering with these micro-influencers is a great way to get in front of a targeted group of potential customers. These are people who gained their audience by producing high quality content, and Instagram has just given them more flexibility to get creative with the visual stories they tell on the network.

    Instagram is also bringing back the ability for iOS users to create videos from multiple clips in their camera roll. This is another way for influencers, who dont

    always have a full production studio, to leverage Instagram as a tool.

    For the Data Geeks

    Brands are posting more than ever before on Instagram, and while video engagement has risen, it hasnt caught up to photos.

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    More flexibility is always better for a marketer, especially one who tests and optimizes content based on data. What can you do with 60 seconds that you couldnt with 15?

    Instagram has already started showing views on posts, and if the network follows Facebooks suit, itll eventually share data about view length. Understanding what is getting your followers to stop and watch a clip is as

    important on Instagram as anywhere else.

    Flexibility Is Always Good

    Whether youre a data geek or a creative type (or a bit of both), this new update gives you the flexibility to develop better-quality videos that your audience will want to watch, however long they are. And isnt that the point?

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    THE KEY TO INSTAGRAM ANALYSISTo understand any network, you need to know its parameters: what it does, which actions users can take, and which metrics count toward your success. You cant analyze what you dont know, so well start by defining the different ways of measuring Instagram. Armed with the proper metrics, youre able to research, measure, and optimize your Instagram programs.

    Engagement MetricsLikesLikes on Instagram are much like Facebook Likes or Twitter Favorites. They are a signal that the image youve posted has resonated with your followers. A user taps a photo or video twice in the center to like it, and the heart icon beneath the post turns solid red. Next to this icon is a count of how many Likes an image has earned.

    CommentsBesides liking posts, users can also share comments. The comments appear under the photo, with the option to collapse or expand when there are more than three. Users can tag other Instagram users and include hashtags and emojis in their comments.

    Total EngagementTotal engagement is the sum of Likes and comments on your Instagram posts during an established time period.

    Total engagement gives you insight into how active your audience is and how well your strategy is working.

    Engagement per Post

    The engagement per post metric provides deeper insights than just total likes or comments. It gives you an average of how much engagement youre getting

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    per post and helps you discover which posts earn the most interaction. Keep in mind that some of your posts will resonate well and ea