The 4 Most Important Instagram Analytics to Monitor

39% of marketers claim that social media is the best lead generation advertising channel.

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And some people might think that this information is just smoke and mirrors, but you know it isn’t.

After all, you’ve clicked on something like this before, right?

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These posts don’t seem particularly invasive to you, and you even appreciate many of them.

But it isn’t just the ads that are driving leads. It’s the organic reach.

And when it comes to organic reach, Instagram is even beating Facebook.

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Instagram is the best social media platform to spread your brand’s message and engage with your ideal clients.

While people on other social media platforms tend to shy away from brand interactions, Instagram’s image-based system personalizes otherwise impersonal businesses.

But you don’t have to take my word for it.

After optimizing their Instagram account, Native Union increased their website traffic from Instagram by 2,662%.

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And Magnolia Boutique also experienced this when they increased their revenue on Instagram by 20%.

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All over the marketing sphere, businesses are benefiting from Instagram’s traffic, lead, and revenue potential.

But how can your Instagram account do the same thing?

Well, it all comes down to the analytics you use to measure success.

Here are the four you need to monitor, how you can calculate them, and how you can improve them.

1. Top-Performing Posts

The first metric you need to track is which posts are performing the best on your Instagram account.

Which ones are receiving a massive amount of engagement, and which ones aren’t?

Whenever you post something, think of “likes” and comments as votes

Anyone who interacts with your post is telling you that they enjoy the content. People who don’t are telling you they didn’t enjoy it.

Then, adjust accordingly.

There’s a big difference, for instance, between a post that gets 37,000 “likes”…

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And one that only gets 13,000.

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And both of those posts are from the same account.

13,000 might seem like a lot of “likes,” but if you compare that number to 37,000, the discrepancy becomes obvious.

Followers engaged with the first post almost three times more than the second one.

The question you need to answer is, “Why?”

Why did people love one of your posts and ignore another? There’s a reason. You simply have to find it.

How To Calculate This Metric

Calculating this metric is simple.

If you can even call it “calculating.”

All you need to do is go to your account and browse through your posts. Gather up all of the posts that have an exceptional amount of “likes” or comments. Ideally, these posts will have around 50% to 100% more “likes” and comments than your overall average.

To determine your average number of “likes” and comments per post, gather up the last 20 posts you’ve published.

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Then, count up the total number of “likes” and comments you received across all of those posts. Divide by 20, and you have your average.

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Then, find posts that are exceptional in regards to your average number of “likes” and comments.

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Put all of those posts side by side and ask yourself this question: Why are people engaging with these posts more than the others. What makes them so compelling?

How To Improve This Metric

As you gather all of your most popular posts and place them side by side, you’ll start to notice similarities between them.

Take the example that I mentioned earlier, for instance, where the profile received 37,000 “likes” on one post and 13,000 on another.

Here’s another one of their posts that received 31,000 “likes.”

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It’s probably safe to say that this post falls into the category of 50% to 100% above the account’s average amount of engagement.

Thus we can place it next to the post with 37,000 “likes” and determine where the similarity lies.

If you scroll back up and look at both of these posts, do you see the similarity?

Here’s what it is. In both posts, they told their followers to “tag someone.”

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And it seems that this CTA made a big difference in the engagement this profile received on certain posts.

You can find your own nuggets of engagement gold by seeking out posts that work best, finding the similarities, and then mimicking those strategies in your future content.

2. Follower Growth Rate

Follower growth rate is one of the most important Instagram metrics you can measure.

After all, if you don’t have followers, you’re going to struggle to become an influencer or grow your business.

Your followers are what your entire strategy revolves around. If you’re not gaining followers, then stop or change what you’re doing. Because that’s one of the end goals.

Nathan Chan, the founder of Foundr Magazine, did a great job of growing his follower base quickly on Instagram.

Here’s a graph of what his growth looked like in 2015.

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But imagine if he hadn’t been paying attention to that growth?

What would have happened?

Well, Nathan wouldn’t have known that his Instagram account was doing so well, and he probably would have had a lot of trouble replicating his success.

This is just a small illustration of why tracking your follower growth rate is so important.

You need to know your follower growth rate to determine what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong.

How To Calculate This Metric

When you’re calculating your follower growth rate, keep this in mind: You don’t just want to calculate how many followers you’re gaining, but how many you’re losing as well.

You then want to compare those numbers to pull out a meaningful percentage.

Here’s a formula you can use.

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Let’s imagine I have 10,000 followers and last month I had 5,000 followers. Here’s what this math would look like.

((10,000 – 5,000) / 5,000) x 100%

In this case, my growth rate would, of course, be 100%. You can plug in your own numbers to determine your growth rate month over month.

How To Improve This Metric

I don’t want to sound like a broken record with all of the other Instagram tip-givers out there on the internet, but the best way to increase your follower growth rate is to post great content.

If you don’t post great content, then no one will have any interest in following you.

Great content means a few things.

  • The content itself should be interesting or unusual.
  • You need a CTA at the end of every post (e.g., Tag Someone, Rate 1-10, Real or Fake?).
  • Include the appropriate hashtags.

Consider Instagram influencer Desi Perkins who has a unique fashion style that she sticks to.

Here’s one of her posts…

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And another…

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If you were to browse through her account, you’d notice that much of her content is practically impossible to find on any other Instagram account. Plus, it’s unusual and interesting, making people very interested in it.

You have to post exceptional content if you want to gain an exceptional following.

3. Engagement Ratio

Of course you want to gain followers. And you’re right to want to.

But here’s what’s even more valuable: followers that listen to you.

What you don’t want is a massive followership that ignores your content. Not only is that a sign that your content isn’t living up to people’s expectations, but you’re also probably going to start losing a lot of those followers.

Engagement is to Instagram what customer retention is to ecommerce. It’s a measurement of how effective your content is and how much people like your brand.

The two types of engagement you want to measure on Instagram are “likes” and comments.

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Measure them separately, though, so as not to muddy the specificity of your data.

How To Calculate This Metric

You only need two factors to calculate your Instagram engagement ratio.

You need your number of followers and the number of people who engaged with your post.

To crunch the numbers, gather up your last 20 posts. Then, count up the number of comments across all of these posts and total them. Do the same with “likes.”

Find the averages for each of those numbers by dividing by 20.

This formula will do the rest. Just plug in your follower number for the “people reached” section.

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Here’s an example. If I have 10,000 followers and I got an average of 2,000 likes and 200 comments over my last 20 posts, here’s what the math would look like.

Comment Rate = 200 / 10,000

Like Rate = 2,000 / 10,000

In this case, my comment rate would be 2%, and my “like” rate would be 20%.

How To Improve This Metric

Instagram is just as versatile as any other social media platform, which means that there are lots of different ways to improve your strategy for engagement.

Here’s a list of some of the methods you can try.

  • Ask a compelling question.
  • Tell followers to tag one of their friends in the comments.
  • Host a competition.
  • Run a giveaway.

Poster Gully, for instance, used giveaways to grow their Instagram following. For a while, they were giving away as much as $1,000 in merchandise every single week.

Here’s one of their posts during that time period.

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And this helped grow Postergully to a $1 million market.

In a similar story, Sunny Co Clothing gained 750,000 Instagram followers overnight by giving away a single swimsuit.

However, the same giveaway strategy might not engage your Instagram followers.

The best way to find out which methods work and which ones don’t is to test different methods, measure the results, and then leverage the strategies that work for you.

4. Click-Through Rate

Regardless of what marketing channel you’re using, click-through rate is almost always a critical metric to measure.

After all, you’re not just running an Instagram account for fun. You’re running it to drive traffic, leads, and revenue for your business.

And that means you eventually want to take people from  Instagram to your landing page.

As you’ve probably already figured out, Instagram doesn’t allow users to place links into the image caption, which means you’ll need to get a little creative.

The most common workaround is to put the updated link somewhere in your bio and then write something to the effect of “link in bio” in your post’s image caption.

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Now here’s how you can calculate how many people are actually going to your website from Instagram.

How To Calculate This Metric

Finding your click-through rate is dead simple.

All you need to do is, again, gather up your last 20 posts with a link-in-bio CTA.

Using an analytics dashboard — such as Google Analytics, Instagram Insights, a spreadsheet, or a bit of all three — determine how many clicks each post delivered. Then, add those numbers up to get a collective amount and divide by 20 to get an average.

The only other number you need is your total number of followers.

Just plug those numbers into this equation, and you’ll get your click-through rate.

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If, after gathering up my last 20 posts with a click-this-link CTA, I have an average of 50 clicks per post and I have a total of 10,000 followers, then here’s what that would look like in this formula.

50 / 10,000

This means I have a .5% CTR.

Once you calculate your own CTR, you’ll probably wonder, “But what’s a good click-through rate?”

To answer that question, I pulled the averages across four social media platforms.

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How To Improve This Metric

As I already mentioned, one of the best ways to increase your click-through rate is to include a “link in bio” CTA in your post captions.

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If you’re not already doing that, then you’re missing out on a lot of click-through potential.

Remember: Instagram won’t allow you to include a hyperlink in your image caption.

So, to increase your overall click-through rate, you might want to consider just upping the number of posts you include a “link in bio” CTA on.

Also, be sure to use a service like Bitly to track clicks rather than just plugging in your blog post URL.

The more posts you ask for a click in, the more clicks you’ll receive. So long as you don’t overdo it and annoy your followers.

Conclusion

It’s no secret that social media presents one of the best opportunities in the history of humanity for you to advertise your business.

But Instagram offers the best place, by far, to grow an audience and gain a following that will actually listen to what you have to say.

There’s a big difference between gaining followers and gaining followers who care.

You want the latter. But to do so, you have to track the correct metrics and improve each as needed.

The four most critical ones are your top-performing posts, your follower growth rate, your engagement ratio, and your click-through rate.

Measure those, and you’ll be able to determine what’s working on your Instagram account, what isn’t, and how you can improve.

Which means more followers, better engagement, and bigger business.

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