Instagram is a platform that holds a lot of potential for growing businesses. Similar to Facebook or even Google, Instagram is host to a massive audience. No matter who your target audience is, it’s possible to reach them through Instagram.
That said, there are a lot of things to consider as you try to capitalize on the platform. It’s likely that other businesses in your niche have a presence on Instagram and are trying to reach the same audiences you are.
There are ways that you can out-perform your competition, though. The first thing to do is to get acquainted with Instagram Analytics. We’re going to explore that aspect of Instagram in this article, giving you some insight into how Analytics works and what you can do to improve.
Let’s get started:
Understanding Instagram Analytics: What It Is and How to Use It
If you’re a true beginner to the process, there are some things we should cover right off of the bat.
Instagram Analytics is a function of the platform that allows you to take a close look at how you’re doing overall. Things like followers, likes, engagements, reach, and more are all viewable. We’ll take a look at the particulars throughout the article, but the first thing to understand is that these metrics are important and manageable.
Looking at how your profile is doing overall can help give you an idea of what you’re doing right and what you could be doing better.
As you start to implement some changes to your campaigns, you’ll begin to notice how those changes affect your metrics. Additionally, you’ll notice what isn’t changing and this will give you insight into other opportunities you could take to improve those numbers.
Goals to Achieve Through Analytics
You’re given so much information through Instagram that it can be difficult to remember or identify what you’re trying to get from all of it. It’s important to understand your goals and use the tools to achieve them.
This may seem obvious, but keep in mind that Instagram Analytics provides you with a wide range of numerical data that can get overwhelming at times.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common goals that Instagram users have and how to achieve them through understanding the data.
- Gaining Exposure
A primary goal for a lot of businesses is to get the word out about their brand. This is an excellent place to start for anyone who’s new to Instagram.
As we mentioned, Instagram is home to millions of users that have a wide range of interests. This means that, in all likelihood, there’s a substantial niche of people who are ready and willing to engage with your brand.
The difficulty is exposing your content to those individuals in a meaningful way. Your bread and butter is always going to be your follower base.
Your followers are users who will be exposed to every piece of content that you produce. Whenever you post something, it will show up on their feeds. This is because they’ve subscribed to your page and have taken action to get involved with you.
Naturally, the goal is for these users to follow your bio back to your site and make purchases, subscriptions, or downloads that boost your bottom line in one way or another. Let’s take a look at ways that you can optimize your page to cultivate more brand awareness and get followers:
Examine Your Existing Following
Instagram will provide you with a look at your total follower count as well as the number of people that followed you in the last week. Additionally, they’ll give you a breakdown of your followers and who they are.
In other words, you’ll see age ranges, locations, gender, and times spent online.
These factors can help you in a few ways. First, they give you a look at your results so you can make sure you’re on track to finding your target demographic. If the users that are following you aren’t the people you’re trying to reach, your page might need to be adjusted.
It’s important to have a target demographic in mind before you make any substantial push on your Instagram page. With that group in mind, examine your existing followers and see if they match the description, no matter if you have a pretty small follower base at this time.
On the other hand, looking at your followers might show you who you’re reaching and tell you something about your brand. Maybe your target audience research was a little off, and the group of people who are best suited to make purchases are presenting themselves to you.
When this happens, you can double down on what you’re currently doing to reach those people even more.
Finally, your follower information can give you insights into your ad campaign. Instagram provides an excellent, simple advertising platform that you should use to reach out. We’ll discuss that next.
If exposure is one of your goals, paid advertisements should be at the center of your Instagram push.
Users of Instagram know a sponsored post when they see one. Sponsored posts are those that show up in your feed but don’t come from pages that you’re following. They even say “sponsored” to let you know that they’re advertisements.
That said, they’re typically posts that users are actually interested in. While they might be selling something or promoting a brand, that product or brand is probably something that the user has expressed interest in.
You can use Instagram Analytics to target users for your sponsored posts. Take a look at the demographics that are already following you and create advertisements in response to this.
You can either post ads to users that are similar to the ones you already have or create a target audience specifically for the ad. That means you can target people of a certain age, location, or gender. You can even try to locate people with specific interests.
These factors come together to ensure that a good deal of people that you reach are ones that are already interested in what you have to say.
- Increase Sales Through Instagram
Boosting your sales through Instagram is a natural development of gaining followers and increasing exposure. If you’re lucky, you might be able to boost sales with an exceptional ad and a sizeable budget.
You don’t have to be lucky to see sales jump after you’ve laid the groundwork with your following, though. The difficulty of making a sale on Instagram is that you have to motivate the user to leave the platform and enter your site.
Unless the individual entered Instagram to try and make purchases, this requires a little extra work on your part.
That work comes in the form of establishing a relationship, a healthy brand image, and creating content that people want to engage with. Engaging content is the name of the game. There are a million different ways to try and create content that people want, and a full examination of that would take us too far off track.
We’ll leave the brand and content imagination up to you, but we will suggest a few ways for you to see if your efforts are working in the first place.
User reaction can be measured in a couple of ways through Instagram Analytics. If you’re seeing success in the following categories, you can be sure that you’re on your way to increased sales.
Engagement comes when a user interacts with your post in a meaningful way. In other words, if they like, click, or comment on your post, it counts as engagement.
In order to see how well you’re doing on specific posts, you can open the post and click the bottom left corner where it says “view insights.”
This will open you up to all of the data for that post. You can view larger-scale data on your home page when you open up Analytics and select for the information you’re looking for.
That said, you’ll be able to see how well your posts are doing in terms of likes, comments, and clicks. Take a look at your overall profile and see which posts are doing the best.
Try to imagine why some posts aren’t doing as well as others. Did you do something different with the caption? Was the content substantially different than the rest of your page?
Did two of the posts you sponsored come up with vastly different results? All of these questions have answers that can open you up to ways that could potentially increase your success.
Reach and Impressions
Reach and impression count are connected, but separate from your engagements. The wider your reach, the more engagements you’ll get. The more impressions, the more engagements.
These two terms are also pretty similar, but there’s an important distinction. Your reach refers to the total number of people that have seen the post. Let’s say you sponsor an Instagram story with $20 and reach 2,000 people.
Regardless of whether or not those people interacted or read your post, your reach will be 2,000. Just because those engagement numbers aren’t holding up isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes people need to see something a few times before they engage.
Your impressions are the total number of times that a post has appeared on a screen. Some people might be exposed to your content a few times over the span of your campaign and this needs to be accounted for.
The efficacy of your content is often conveyed through your reach-to-engagement ratio.
If you reach 1,000 people and get 500 engagements you would have a 2/1 ratio, for example. This would be an exceptional ratio.
As you get more impressions, this number should go up because people are being exposed to the content multiple times. We’ve all seen a post that we didn’t like at first, only to find that we’re exploring that site a few weeks later.
Generally, the better your ratio, the more sales you’ll generate. If you find that you have an exceptional ratio but that post isn’t bringing in any business, this is an opportunity to explore what works.
The post may not have any indication that you even sell a product. It could be a quality piece of content without any actionable suggestions. It’s important to let the user know that your brand is providing a product or service in addition to the content.
It could also be the case that you have a call to action in the post but people aren’t following it. That means that it’s time to try something new. Different wording, a different angle, or another way of suggesting that people should follow the link.
A Framework to Keep in Mind
When you’re working on social media marketing, there are a few things to keep in mind that can guide your campaign. Whether you’re working on Instagram or Facebook, the same ideas can broadly apply.
Try and construct your page in a way that leads gradually back to your sales pages. When you’re creating SEO optimized content, for example, you want your smaller pages to link back to your larger pages, which then bring the user to a point of sale.
Everything you do to tweak your page or posts should have the end goal in mind. You could craft a wonderful post that gets thousands of likes and comments but find that no one is visiting your actual website.
This doesn’t do very much for your business other than getting a follower or two. Tune your posts to incentivize clicks that work back toward your products.
It’s easy to lose sight of this goal when you’re sifting through all of the numbers and using social media tools, but it’s important. If you can keep the goal in mind, you’ll find that your long-term success comes a lot quicker.
Want to Learn More?
Social media is tricky to navigate sometimes. Whether you’re using Instagram Analytics or Facebook advertising, it’s important to get a little help here and there.
Explore our site for more insight into social media and how to make it work for you.