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Social media marketing is still a relatively new practice in the grand scheme of all things marketing; social networks are constantly evolving and introducing new ways for brands and businesses to utilise their respective platforms. Instagram’s recent update introducing ‘Stories’ into the app is a great example of social networks creating new avenues for brands to communicate with their customer base. And, as new features are introduced, industry experts, academics and businesses continue to explore new methods and practices around their social marketing strategy.
Instagram is one of the biggest social media networks out now, with more than 600 million users, the photo sharing platform is one to be rivalled. Relative to the growth of social networks, like Instagram was the growth of the SMM industry and with that came the demand for data! Yes data, up until very recently there wasn’t much available in terms of real time valuable data surrounding social media activity, but the demand was ever increasing. Attacking your social strategy ‘blindly’ was just not efficient enough; we needed to know more about our followers and the best way to reach them.
Add ‘Instagram Analytics’ into your social marketing strategy
There’s a hidden feature built inside Instagram not many are aware of. Instagram Analytics is the company’s native analytics tool built directly into the app, but it’s not automatically accessible. The analytics tool provides incredibly valuable data, all to do with the activity of your Instagram posts and followers; such analytics are crucial in developing a strong Instagram marketing strategy.
To ‘activate’ the analytics function on your Instagram account, there are steps you need to take:
- Switch to a business profile – if your Instagram account isn’t already set up like this, scroll through settings, click ‘Switch to Business Profile’ and follow the onscreen instructions
- This should then connect your Instagram account with your Facebook page, if you haven’t got one set up already, now is the time to do so.
- Once set up, an analytics icon should appear in the top right corner of the Instagram app
Now you should have your analytics set up, let’s delve into how to utilise the data.
Essentially, there are two types of data sets within Instagram analytics, insights on followers and activity on your posts.
The analytics surrounding your followers will give you great insight and allow you to segment your followers into separate demographics in order to better target them on Instagram. To provide you with an example of Instagram’s analytics, I’ve sourced some data from a popular fashion blogger based in Italy.
A percentile breakdown of your followers based on location, this can be segmented by country or city. NB: This list is not absolute and only includes the top five cities/countries. This will be particularly useful when scheduling Instagram posts to target specific time zones.
A pie chart displaying a gender breakdown of your followers. Key question to ask: Am I attracting my target audience with my content? Alternatively, is my content catering to my followers?
- Age Range
Here you can see the age range of your followers, which can also be specified by gender. Again, key questions regarding content will be raised.
- Activity Time
Perhaps the most insightful set of data found in Analytics. Here you can see the times in which your followers are most active, in a weekly or daily format. Cross referencing this with follower location will provide you with a better indication of when to post content. (Based on the time zone set on your device.)
Putting it all together what can we conclude? Well we can start to build a profile of the followers on this particular Instagram account. According to the data we can draw these facts:
- 26 % of followers are primarily based in Europe (London, Rome & Brussels)
- Almost even split between men and women 60/40
- 53% of followers are aged between 18-24
- The most active times of followers is on a Thursday, between 6pm & 9pm. (Based on the time zone set on your device)
Gathering data to be able to profile your followers is advantageous in many ways, specifically when it comes down to planning and scheduling your Instagram content. Knowing the location and activity hours of your followers, you can schedule your content ahead of time. Instagram Scheduling tools like Hopper can streamline your Instagram efforts, by offering a fully automated scheduling service. This means you won’t have to wake up at 3am to post a photo you had planned for the folks across The Pond!
Now the second type of data found on Instagram Analytics is data regarding the content of your posts. Let’s take a look:
- Top Posts
This section of analytics allows you to see how your Instagram posts have performed over a set period of time, sorted by impressions. As you can see the top posts from the past 30 days, gaining hundreds of impressions, providing you with an indication of what works well.
- Individual Post Statistics
Here, each post can be views individually with deeper analytics. Values for impressions, Reach and Engagement can all be viewed.
Using the analytics found surrounding your Instagram posts you can measure and compare the content you’re uploading. Evaluating the type of content that performs best can help you plan and create future content. As they say, content is king and producing content your followers want to see will give you the best results. Analysing the statistics given in each individual post will also help you to keep track and measure the performance of your Instagram uploads. Combining both types of analytics; Follower & Content will have major influence over your Instagram marketing strategy. For some, it may be back to the drawing board, for others refining and finessing the execution of said strategy.
Instagram Analytics is a must for those who wish to use Instagram as a marketing tool to its fullest capability. The data social media marketers have been demanding is finally with us and has been with us for a while; it’s simply a case of unlocking the data to grasp the huge potential Instagram has to offer. The superiority of social media marketing over traditional marketing is still a topic for debate. However, there is one fact not to be ignored and that is the effectiveness of social networks like Instagram for marketing purposes.
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