Every great Instagram account has to start somewhere, and once you’ve started, you can build up your Instagram audience over time with the help of Instagram analytics tools to optimize every aspect of your posts.
With Instagram analytics, it’s not just about posting for the sake of joining in, but rather about using Instagram as a tool to meet your goals.
But let’s be honest. Before any goals can be met, you need to completely understand all of the Instagram metrics, choose the ones that match the goal, and then you’re able to optimize Instagram posts to hit those goals.
Your search is over, I have put together a list of some of my favorite free Instagram analytics tools.
So, with that, let’s dive in!
Instagram Insights: With the introduction of Instagram Business accounts, Instagram Insights provides a lot of information at the touch of your hands, whenever you have a free moment. They no longer simply present the likes and comments of a post, but rather numerous audience metrics and individual post metrics that weren’t possible before.
Plus, it’s free!
The only downside to Instagram Insights is that it’s fairly limited in that it has set time frames for metrics: 1 week for most profile analytics and 30 days for top posts.
Simply Measured: SimplyMeasured has a variety of tools, both of which some are paid and some are free, but they do have a free Instagram User Report that you can find here. After going through a couple obstacles of submitting detailed contact info and having to follow them on Twitter, you’ll receive a full report of your Instagram activity, top posts, and optimizations for future scheduling. It’s not necessarily the most gorgeous report, but it definitely has numerous analytics worth tracking.
It’s not necessarily the most gorgeous report, but it definitely has numerous analytics worth tracking.
SquareLovin: SquareLovin has a free account that will send you an email report of your chosen Instagram account. If you’d like, they allow can download the report to Excel or export to PowerPoint. Within SquareLovin, they show your total posts, engagements, and a large chart of your overall activity over time. There’s also a section of Top Posts that is sorted by most engaged post with a nice comparison metric. Lastly, they have a chart that shows which keywords are common in your comments as well as your most active commenters.
Within SquareLovin, they show your total posts, engagements, and a large chart of your overall activity over time. There’s also a section of Top Posts that is sorted by most engaged post with a nice comparison metric.
Lastly, they have a chart that shows which keywords are common in your comments as well as your most active commenters. And…. even more analytics from best time and day to publish, to what cities and filters work best for you. This is definitely a great tool to see extensive analytics for Instagram.
SocialRank: SocialRank is definitely the easiest as far as connecting your account and diving into the data right away. As mentioned above, this is one of the few places you can analyze your top followers by numerous factors, so you can get very specific.You can also compare across accounts to see how they differ, which would come in handy for anyone with multiple accounts for the same business. SocialRank also lets you download the info to a CSV file or PDF to share with others. Definitely recommended!
Create An Instagram Strategy From Your Analytics
What would analytics and data be without the actual application of such insights?
Sure, they’re fun and interesting to look through, but the magic of analytics happens when you have a goal, you measure it with your metrics, and then those results direct you to your next decision.
Here’s a quick checklist to use to create your Instagram strategy:
- Define your goal.For Instagram, that might be growing your following, developing a larger community with higher engagement on Instagram, or maybe it’s increasing your traffic to your website. Choose the goal that defines your business mission best.
- Make your goal specific.At Rising Women Network, we’re big fans of the SMART goals system because it breaks down our lofty goals into something that’s specific, measurable (via analytics), aspirational, relevant, and timely. So, if your goal is to increase your audience engagement on Instagram, your SMART goal might look something like this: In 6 months, I want the Rising Women Network Instagram audience engagement to be 10.0 on average.
- Choose the metrics that match your goal.Now that you have a specific goal in mind, you can narrow down which metrics to track to both save you time from endlessly wandering through data, as well as keeping your focus on the metrics that directly impact your goal. If we follow the engagement goal above, the metrics that best fit this category would be comments, likes, and saves.
- Record your analytics over time.Whether you use a tool above, or a simple DIY chart, choose a consistent time period to record your findings. At Rising Women Network, each morning I check in on the metrics important to us, and then by the end of the week, I know what performed well, and what could be improved. For you, that might be weekly on every Monday, or every two weeks. Whatever period you choose, ensure that it’s consistent so your data is accurately represented.
- This is the fun part (at least for me). Sit back, get a cup of coffee, and really dig into the data you’ve collected. Ask yourself what’s surprising, what’s predictable, what is doing extremely well, and what is doing poor. Better yet, try to find patterns in your data by choosing two metrics and following them through. How do they interact together? Do you see anything?
- This is the final and most important step to having an awesome Instagram strategy. Once you’ve analyzed all of your data, you’ve gained some great insight on what’s working and what needs to be improved. Now, it’d be easy to just continue doing what you have been doing, but instead, now is the time to act! Take your new knowledge of what’s achieving your goals, and do more of that and less of what’s doing poorly. Remember to be agile, keep adjusting and tweaking your Instagram scheduling until you see the results you want.
Just go for it!