With more than one billion active users, Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social media platforms – making it a gold mine for brands, marketers, and creatives.
However, like any other social media platform, Instagram users crave engagement. Blame it on dopamine, but a good response to your posts make you feel like your hard work has paid off. Many marketers use Instagram analytics tools to monitor their accounts and fetch reports to analyze performance. It’s easier said than done, though!
Instagram’s algorithm is not an easy nut to crack and organic reach is continuously on the decline. When you are just another user among one billion active users, you ask yourself, “Am I doing it right?”
Hang in there!
One of the best ways to grow your Instagram account and create an influence that converts is to understand Instagram’s metrics and track them.
In this article, we will deep dive into the top three Instagram metrics you should track and shed light on how to improve them.
Instagram Metric #1: Audience – Who are you talking to?
Just like any other marketing strategy, the first step is to identify who you are speaking to – in detail. You don’t need to be a stalker. Identify details to help you create an audience persona (e.g., age, gender, location, and interests).
Why is audience important?
Creating and tracking an audience metric will not only help you devise a content strategy, but it will also help you modify and tailor your content to suits the needs of your target.
Tracking audience demographics and psychographics will also help you understand if your content reaches your target gender, age, and region. For example, if your Instagram account features a blog targeted to single moms and your audience demographic says you reach 80% of men on your profile, something is wrong and needs to be fixed.
The audience metric is also important to track to learn if your audience has changed or remained constant. To view your Instagram demographics data, go to Instagram Insights > Audience tab. This section will confirm top cities, countries, and gender information.
How can I improve my Instagram audience targeting?
If your audience metric shows that the audience you reach is not your target group, you can fix it gradually. Here’s how to start:
- Start using relevant hashtags, in a separate comment, with each post to lead your target audience to your profile.
- Conduct a competitor analysis to see which hashtags other brands, businesses, or influencers use and start using those to drive your target audience to your profile.
- While boosting, create a specific target audience and A/B test the engagement.
- Re-evaluate your content and caption to see if it is well-targeted to your audience and if it needs customization to help it perform better.
Instagram Metric #2: Engagement – Are they responsive?
In a social world, if you talk to your audience and they don’t engage with you, it’s no different than a real-life scenario where you are at a cocktail party sharing travel stories, and no one nods, laughs or comments.
“Engagement is a significant metric, and yet 70% of Instagram posts on the platform are never seen.”
Low or no engagement means you are not driving a conversation or in the language of social media, a “buzz.” Engagement is a significant metric, and yet 70% of Instagram posts on the platform are never seen. It is the only metric that determines your success or failure – no matter how many followers you have.
Why is Instagram engagement essential?
Instagram engagement is essential, especially if you are tracking the success of paid partnerships in your influencer marketing campaigns. Meanwhile, as an influencer, you cannot quote an adequate price for a sponsored post if you do not have a strong engagement rate. PR and social media agencies don’t want to pay for a sponsored post on an account with historically low engagement.
To calculate the engagement rate on a post, divide the total number of likes and comments by total follower count, and then multiply by 100 to get a percentage.
For example, if there are 243 likes on the post and the total follower count is 1,700 that results in a 14% engagement rate – which is excellent.
How to improve Instagram post engagement
- Be mindful of the best time to post content on your profile. Every region has a different time that works best for social media activities. To check your best time, visit the Audience tab, and you’ll find a breakdown of when your followers are most active online segmented by days of the week and time of the day. Follow their activity pattern to get the most engagement.
- Schedule your posts for events that are time-sensitive and to stay consistent with your ideal posting time.
- Start talking to people instead of talking at people. Include questions and call to actions in your captions, so people are encouraged to respond.
Instagram Metric #3: Reach & Impressions – Can they hear you?
In an ideal world, these two metrics are separate, which is correct – reach and impressions are different metrics.
Reach is the actual number of people who have viewed your post. In contrast, impressions are the number of times your post, stories, or profile has been viewed.
For example, if 3 people view your post 9 times, this will be counted as 3 reach and 9 impressions. To find these stats for your Instagram posts, visit “Insights” from your profile page, click on the “Content” tab, and select “See All.”
Why are Instagram reach and impressions important?
Experiencing low or declining reach lately? If so, you aren’t alone. The culprit? “The answer is simple: The makers and owners of Instagram (and Facebook, for that matter) want your organic reach to be zero. They don’t want you to be able to reach your target market without paying to reach it.”
“In reality, social media websites are in the business of advertising. And if you can easily grow an organic following, then you won’t pay them to advertise your business and products.”
Measuring reach and impressions data allow you to measure how many eyeballs your posts have been exposed to during any given period. These two metrics can be used to analyze the overall performance of your account.
If you want to calculate your reach rate, take the total number of views per post, and divide it by the total number of your followers.
How to improve Instagram reach and impressions
Your Instagram reach and impressions are linked to consistency, hashtags, and location (and yes, the algorithm).
Here are a few changes you can make to improve both:
- Review your hashtags, search for top hashtags related to your post, and add them.
- Optimize your captions and add location tags to reach more people.
- Find accounts that allow tagging for cross-promotion reposts, tag those accounts in your posts to improve reach.
Improve your ‘Insta game’ and express your creativity
Instagram is designed for everyone – brands, and individuals, alike. It is one of the best social media platforms out there to express yourself creatively.
Given its popularity, the need (read: pressure) to stand out from the rest is real. If you want your Insta-game to be profitable, you have to track the right metrics regularly and create small goals to achieve success.
By focusing on the right metrics and small attainable goals, you will be more focused on daily improvement and get a bigger picture of how your strategy performs over time.
Good luck! Now go and kill it!
Vincze Kalnoky is a co-founder of IGBlade.com, a leading Instagram analytics platforms on the web. Longtime social media specialist and entrepreneur, he specializes in all things Instagram. Kalnoky also co-founded Followplanner.com, a popular Instagram growth platform.
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