With the number of Instagram users rising by the day, brands – whether B2C or B2B, are drifting towards the platform and trying to find ways to leverage from it. But even as new marketing tactics come into place, the rising competition makes the going even more challenging.
But what’s worse is the fact that this sudden drift towards the platform has everyone a bit overwhelmed. We see the most interesting campaigns being run across the channel and some which are so bad that it has people wondering why the brand even exists. As marketers struggle to make a mark on the platform for their business, analytics are being completely ignored.
If you have been running advertisements on other social channels, you would know how important analytics are for optimizing the campaigns for better results. But it is also important that from those data points, you’re able to identify the metrics that actually define the effectiveness of your campaign.
Having run multiple Instagram advertisements – some successful and some not so much, we played around with all the metrics that Adalyz fetched us for the campaigns. While some of them did gave us a clear path to follow ahead, there were those that had a very miniscule part to play in the campaign’s effectiveness.
So before you end up wasting your time trying to figure which numbers represent your growth (or downfall), here is a list of 7 metrics that every marketer must monitor while running Instagram ads:
1. Follower growth rate
As on other social media platforms, the number of likes or followers that you gain (or buy) isn’t really going to have an effect on your business. But the rate at which you grow your fans organically is the metric that lets you know how well you’re faring on the platform.
Set a deadline for yourself for regular reviews and analyse the rise or fall of your following in sync with your posting frequency. Also take into consideration other factors like paid promotions, quality of the photos you’re posting, number of videos and their views, and the interaction rate you maintained with other users.
2. Engagement rate
Once your follower base on Instagram has grown by a modest level, it is important to keep a close eye on the engagement – likes, comments and reposts. Just like Facebook, the more your followers engage with your posts, the more likely are they to appear in their circle’s search feed as well.
But it is important that this engagement is measured against the total number of followers you have gained. Take the average number of likes, comments or reposts you have gained over a period of time and divide it by the total number of followers to achieve your engagement rate.
Also compare the engagement rate with the kind of posts that you’re making. This will help you understand what your audience is willing to engage with actively or has a heightened interest in.
Note: Because of hashtags, your posts will also be visible to the other Instagram users. This might result in some engagement from their end as well. But the most effective number to compare with is your own follower count.
3. Engagement per post
Continuing on the note above, it is also important to understand the average engagement you are getting on your posts. This can simply be done by identifying your the top 7 posts in terms of engagement in a week.
Calculate the overall likes and comments you have received, combine the number and divide it by the total number of posts – this will give you the average engagement you receive per post. This metric is also useful in understanding what kind of posts do well in your target audience.
The one challenge that most businesses face while using Instagram is that they can insert the link only in the bio. If you drop a general link to your website, measuring the results you get from your campaigns would become extremely difficult.
So use a trackable URL in your bio instead to calculate the clickthroughs from your Instagram profile. This is an important metric as the idea behind any digital presence is to drive people towards conversion – on your business website.
Follow the same approach when setting up your Instagram ads as well – the CTA you choose should be campaign specific and should be measurable. No two campaign data points must be clashed, as this may result in not being able to optimize them effectively.
For instance, Reebok makes use of trackable URLs in their bio based on the campaign they are running:
The higher the clickthroughs, the greater are the chances of a conversion!
5. Hashtag growth rate
While running campaigns, it is a given that you would make use of the already popular hashtags alongside a few branded ones. It is important to know how far those branded hashtags have grown as it determines the reach of your brand.
When you’re measuring the effective or use of this branded hashtag, also remember to keep an eye out on the performance of your brand name as a hashtag. There are many users who use the brand name in the hashtags while posting and it is an important aspect to keep in mind.
For instance, here are the search results for the brand Rebook – or the hashtag #reebok :
6. Best time and day to post
Every social platform comes with its own set of pros, cons and features. To be able to leverage from each of them, it is important to understand these and the user behavior on them. There is definitely going to be a certain time that the users are at their peak levels of activity and those where in the activity on the platform is just about moderate.
Take a look at your follower growth, the kind of content you’re posting and what time/day, the engagement on the post. You will realise that a few days and timings work better for you than the others.
There are a lot many influencers and bloggers who vouch for the weekends for maximum engagement. According to them, their engagement as well as follower growth rate is a lot more on the weekends, but they also need to maintain a higher frequency of posts on those dates.
7. Top hashtags for growth
Apart from the branded hashtag and your brand name hashtag, it is important to identify those hashtags from the ones you’re using that get you maximum exposure. This is important because Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags in a post and if you want to leverage from them, you would need to keep changing and experimenting them.
Identifying those that get you maximum traction, will let you know which ones are ineffective and need to optimized for better results.
Tip: It is also advisable to keep a tab on your competitor’s hashtags as well. This allows you understand what they’re doing better, who is engaging with them and how you can use it for your own benefit.
Now manually calculating your Instagram metrics and maintaining them on a regular basis can be time consuming and prone to human errors. Another challenge that most marketers may face is keeping their Instagram efforts in sync with those on other channels. This is where a unified analytics dashboard offered by tools like Adalyz come into play.
Adalyz enables you to monitor all your campaigns – across multiple social channels via a unified dashboard. This makes comparing data points, analysing performance and optimizing them for better results a lot more easier.