Understanding the best methods to measure the impact of Instagram accounts is a dilemma for even the most seasoned social media managers. Though not as outwardly “marketer friendly” as other social media sites, there are a few Instagram metrics you can track to measure your efforts.
To start, Instagram profiles possessing higher followings have more reach, period. Though some consider the number of followers as the essential (if not “end all be all”) metric, the real benefits come through the evaluation of the potential reach of the Instagram profile’s brand and content.
This can be done in several key ways.
The metric most brands look for on Instagram is the number of likes for their photos. Likes are all fine and good, but comments actually give an even stronger level of engagement. Commenting takes more time and effort to than to simply hit the heart button. Comments, whether positive or negative, indicate people are pushing aside whatever they have to do to offer feedback to a profile’s content.
An increase in the average number of comments could mean a brand is truly building a community and loyal following, which is THE goal for most companies. On the flip side, a lack of or a decline in the number of comments could be a sign that a brand’s content isn’t relating with their followers–a revised Instagram strategy or even brand rehaul may be in order.
Engagement Per Follower
The engagements per follower metric is perfect in that it shows how many likes and comments posts receive per individual follower. This way, companies can effectively compare their numbers with competing brands that might have more reach. A smaller page might have higher engagement levels despite relatively lower reach or following.
Higher engagement indicates followers are connecting with posted content, and as such the profile is a priority for them. A lower or shrinking number, means users engage with content only intermittently. In this case it’s recommended that brands post more exciting or new content so that people visit your page frequently. And, of course, maintaining a clear brand identity is always key to resonance.
Not only do Instagram posts with hashtags get more engagement, but hashtags also make posts more discoverable. Hashtags on Instagram function like keywords for search engine optimization. Identifying which hashtags are generating the most engagement is the best measure. Instagram is one of the few social media platforms that encourages the use of multiple hashtags in posts. It’s okay to get a little hashtag crazy on Instagram.
Searching for the most relevant hashtags for one’s brand prior to posting is a terrific strategy to increase engagement and to attract the RIGHT following to posts.
Tracking the return on investment (ROI) is one the biggest (and often neglected) challenges businesses face with social media marketing. Instagram hinders this further by not allowing clickable links within posts.
Luckily, there are ways around this. Adding UTM tags onto Instagram links to give Google Analytics more information about the link helps to more accurately track campaigns and compute the levels of traffic that comes directly from Instagram.
Another convenient option is to make use of the bio feature. Instagram permits one clickable link in the profile section. Some brands use this link to promote special deals or new content. Whenever brands have something new, update the link. It’s a good idea to use this with UTM parameters.
The above metrics make tracking engagement Instagram not only achievable but transparent. Don’t get frustrated with slow progress. As your Instagram account grows, you’ll start looking forward to checking your numbers and measuring the progress.
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