This post was originally written for and published by the Social Media Marketing Institute.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, Instagram isn’t just a social network for bathroom selfies or avo on toast.
In Australia, Instagram is our 5th most popular social network and growing rapidly with over 5,000,000 users a month.
Instagram offers us marketers, a way to visually represent our brands (#nofilter) and win the attention of an extremely active audience.
So you’re posting regularly and engaged with social media. But how is your business performing? Are you improving?
Here, we highlight five of the most important Instagram marketing metrics you should be tracking – and they’re not just followers and likes.
Perhaps the easiest to measure and the most universally used Instagram metric is your follower count.
Your follower count is an indication of your profile’s reach and audience size.
How to measure: Your profile page puts your follower count front and centre, highlighted in red on the screenshot below.
It’s important to keep in mind that it’s more important to have engaged followers who are willing to engage, share and ultimately buy from you.
This Australian swimwear company has grown a large Instagram following. Source:@triangl
2. Follower Growth Rate
As more Australians flock to Instagram, now our 5th most popular social network, you need to ensure your audience continues to tick over. Ideally, the number of followers you have will grow over time as you build your brand.
How to measure: Keep track of your follower count at the same time every month and make the following calculation:
((This Month’s Followers – Last Month’s Followers)/Last Month’s Followers)*100
So If I had 4,500 followers last month and 5,000 this month my follower growth rate would be 11.11%.
Have a look at your closest competitors to benchmark where you sit. If you’re not keeping up it might be time to revisit your audience acquisition strategy. Paid ads (#ad), influencer shout-outs and better promotion offline can all contribute to growing your audience.
3. Engagement Rate
Likes and comments are easy to keep track of right? But is your entire audience as engaged as they should be?
An engaged Instagram following is your best bet to for higher sales and brand advocacy.
How to measure: For a set period of time (I use a week or month):
((Likes + Comments)/No. Of Posts)/Total Followers
For example if my total likes and comments from last week’s 21 posts totalled 2,842 and I had 3,782 followers my engagement rate would be 3.57%.
As a general rule, you should be aiming to exceed a 2% engagement rate while top Instagram accounts sit above 5%.
If you’re engagement rate is trending in the wrong direction, make sure you’re asking yourself why. Has your content or posting frequency changed? Are you asking users to double-tap or tag a friend?
An engaged following can help open you up to a new audience through word of mouth. Source: @jpshealth_fitness
Source: Google Analytics
Are people clicking through the link on your Instagram page once they find you? Your Google Analytics profile, Bit.ly tracking or website platform may have the answer.
While Instagram doesn’t allow you to link to your website within posts your bio and story can open up your audience to your content or products.
How to measure: For Google Analytics refer to Acquisition > All Traffic > Referrals and filter for ‘Instagram’.
Update your offer regularly and invite your users to read more, shop now or sign up via your Instagram bio.
If you’re interested in tracking more of your social media data – this guide from Loves Data is a great start.
5. Sales & Leads
Do your followers on Instagram ever buy from you? It’s probably one of the core reasons
you’re on Instagram in the first place!
While a lot of traditional marketers don’t quite see the value of social media – one of the biggest benefits of digital marketing is the ability to measure and track return on investment (ROI).
Armed with our Google Analytics account not only can we tell who clicked through from Instagram but also who is hitting the buy button.
How to measure: Similarly to clicks, refer to your Google Analytics Acquisition report > All Traffic > Referrals and filter for ‘Instagram’. From there you can view your transactions, conversion rate and other key conversion metrics.
Source: Google Analytics
If you’re an offline business, this gets a little harder. You could offer an Instagram only discount or off-menu item to better understand how your followers are engaging with your business.
A quick word of advice, while it’s definitely a positive that people are buying directly from Instagram, this shouldn’t be your only measure of success. Your customers may be using Instagram purely as a discovery and engagement platform which wouldn’t show up in these types of reports.
With these reporting tools under your belt it’s time to dive in, get tracking and take control of your Instagram account.
Have I missed any metrics that you like to focus on? Let me know in the comments.