Measuring Success On Instagram
At the start of every good marketing strategy is a goal or goals that you are reaching towards. But how do you know if the content you're putting out is actually helping you meet those goals? Today on the podcast we talk about how you can use Instagram Insights and Analytics to determine whether or not your content is working for you OR if you're going to need to course correct!
Tracking your Insights and Analytics is the best way to understand what content your audience wants to see more of by paying attention to what they are engaging with the most and what is bringing more of them in. Over time, you will begin to notice patterns and will then be able to adjust your strategy to better serve your audience and ultimately meet the goals you are setting for yourself.
You can find your insights in a few different places.
- For a general overview of your profile, just click on the insights button that lives on your profile. You can also select the little sandwich button in the upper right-hand corner of your profile and select "insights" from the menu.
- For the insights of specific posts, just go to the post in question and tap the blue "View Insights" button underneath the photo or video.
- If you're looking for insights of an IGTV video, you'll tap the three dots at the bottom of the video and then select view insights
- For stories, just swipe up on the story you want insights for.
- Unfortunately, as of this recording, there aren't deep insights available for Reels other than the easily viewable likes, comments, and total views. Fingers crossed that Instagram makes those available soon!
Now that you know where to find your Insights, let's go over what metrics are available to you:
Some basics are Reach, Impressions, Audience Growth, Post Interactions or Engagements, Engagement Rate, and Reach Rate.
- Reach refers to the number of individual people who have seen your post or page.
- Impressions however, refer to how many total times your post or page has been viewed. This number will always be higher than your reach because some people will come back to your post multiple times (especially if it's really good!)
- Post Interactions refers to how many likes, comments, saves, and shares a post has. This is also referred to as Engagement.
- Now, there are two different types of Engagement Rate you can track:
- Audience Engagement Rate is the most popular way to measure how well a post is performing. In this method you would divide the number of interactions a post has by the number of followers you have, and then multiply the result by 100. For example if a post you make has 100 total likes, comments, saves, and shares and you have 1000 followers, your Follower Engagement Rate is 10%. The average audience engagement rate in the food & beverage industry is about 4%
- Reach Engagement Rate: Another way to measure your engagement rate is to measure by REACH. I personally think this is a more accurate number to track than audience engagement rate, because not every person who is following you will even see your post. To measure Reach ER, you would divide the number of post interactions by the reach that post has and multiply the result by 100. The average engagement on reach is about 10% in the food and beverage industry.
- Reach Rate: the number of people who have seen your post divided by the number of your followers. This can indicate how active your audience is and can help you determine if your audience needs a little bit of a refresh. The average reach rate is between 30-40%
Some other metrics you may want to pay attention to include profile visits, website clicks, video views, and how many post impressions are coming from hashtags; and on stories, you'll want to pay attention to views, Impressions, replies (how many DMs you got on a story), sticker taps, and profile visits.
Now that you know what metrics you can track, let's talk about which ones you might focus on based on a few examples of goals and what you might do if your metrics indicate that you aren't meeting those goals.
If your goal is to drive more online sales, you'll want to pay the most attention to impressions, profile visits, and link clicks. Your impressions can help you determine how attention-grabbing the post was and profile visits and link clicks can tell you how enticing your call-to-action was.
If your impressions were low, then next time you might try finding a more captivating visual. If your profile visits were low, then you might need to make the offer and call-to-action more enticing. If your website clicks were low in comparison to your profile visits, then perhaps you had the wrong link in your bio or you made it too hard for your audience to know if they were going to click on the right link.
Or perhaps your goal is to increase brand awareness. In that case, you'll likely focus on audience growth, reach, impressions from hashtags, and shares.
Rapid audience growth is one of the best ways to measure brand awareness but if you are seeing your audience growth slow or stagnate and yet your reach is still fairly high, then that might indicate that either the content isn't converting OR it's not getting in front of NEW audiences. If it's the former, then you could try making the content more valuable, if it's the latter, then you'll maybe need to restrategize what hashtags you're using or try encouraging your current audience to share the content more.
If your goal is to increase engagement then you would of course pay the most attention to engagement rate (either by audience or by reach), as well as sticker interactions and replies on your Instagram stories.
If you have a low engagement rate, then you'll want to look into which posts have performed well for you in the past and course correct from there. Or you may need to create more engaging stories by using question and poll stickers, or encouraging people to DM you.
Paying attention to your insights over time can help you course-correct quickly and easily and like I mentioned earlier, you will begin to notice patterns of what kind of content your audience really enjoys, or what types of posts drive the most link clicks. For myself, I found my audience really enjoys posts that feature photos of women in wine. For one of my clients, we found that photos of their tasting room's architecture got the most post interactions, and posts with the most link clicks had strong, clear calls-to-action. I make it a point to track my analytics monthly using a simple Google Sheet, which helps me notice these patterns over time.
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