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Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Blogger's Corner: Instagram Insights

Instagram Insights to Turn Your Creativity Into a Big Success!

When we think of Instagram, we all think of beautiful photos that give us that inspirational feeling. But did you know that Instagram can provide you with a whole lot more that just pretty pictures?

In this edition of Blogger's Corner, I'm going to show you the benefits of upgrading your account to Instagram for Business, as well as making the best use of Iconosquare's free 14 day trial...

First up, I'll lay it to rest - there is NO tool currently on the market that can schedule to Instagram. A lot say they can, but they can't. End of. 

What they do offer is for you to construct your Instagram post, complete with description, hashtags, location and tagging of other accounts, and save it to which ever app or tool you're using with a time & date. Sounds like scheduling, right? Not quite. 

At that time & date, the tool will then send you a notification to hit post, almost like a calendar memo. As Instagram now has the ability to create & save drafts, I'm not so sure these tools now have a function (unless you're super forgetful) - just use your calendar if you are. Plus, from my experience of hitting post within these apps & tools, some of the image quality is also lost through posting from them... Never a great start to a beautiful pic!

Instagram for Business - upgrade your account today!

OK, some accounts report a drop in engagement, but I have in no way found this since upgrading to Instagram for Business earlier this year (beginning of April). However, as one of my blogging goals in 2017 was to increase my Instagram engagement, following, and traffic to my blog from the channel, I was prepared to sacrifice a little, knowing I'd benefit more in the long run with the insight it could give me.

So what insight does Instagram for Business really offer?

In my opinion, A LOT! Most of which, you can action right away too!

From the point of upgrading, you'll be able to click on any image in your profile feed and quickly see:
  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Saves
  • Impressions
  • Reach
  • Engagement

Why is this important? Well, you can begin to see how different hashtags that you use can affect how many people that you can reach, balanced with what that does to engagement.

Top tip: if you want to boost engagement, go for very niche, highly related hashtags to make sure those seeing your content will want content exactly like it. You will sacrifice how many people you can reach, but you should ultimately get a better quality of engagement on that individual piece of content.

What else does a business account offer in terms of insight? Quite a lot.

There's also an abundance of insight about your overall profile - just click the little bar chart in the top right of your profile!

In here, you can very quickly see some headline stats for your profile over the last 7 days, compared to the 7 days prior to that! You'll easily be able to understand if your content is keeping up momentum by seeing your total impressions, reach, profile views and website clicks.

You can then start to really drill down into your individual content's performance, filtering by a given time period, and by the post metrics listed above.

I often use this to find what content has worked for me in the past to boost a particular metric, and then consider similar content that I can create, including what hashtags were used to ensure that I can continuously build my Instagram account... & all without losing quality! (Engagement bait is the worst on Instagram!!)

If you use Instagram Stories (who doesn't?), you'll be familiar with the frustration of no knowing the end performance of how many people saw it. Once it's gone, it's gone... Wrong!

On a business profile, you can review your stories' performance as far back as 14 days ago... PLUS you'll get many more stats than just who has viewed it!

  • Impressions - the physical number of times the image in the story was shown
  • Reach - the number of individuals that saw it (so you can tell if someone is watching your story multiple times)
  • Taps forward - useful to figure out if people don't naturally let your image flick to the next, i.e. videos are too long, or not enough to process in the image and they choose to move on
  • Taps back - the reverse. If you've got too much going on, and people viewing the story have to go back to figure out what it was
  • Exits - how many people left your story, and crucially, on which photo
  • Replies - anyone who sent you a message directly from seeing your story
If you want to make sure your story is being enjoyed and consumed as you intended, this insight is crucial. So pay attention to it, and think about how you can optimise your Instagram Story content going forward.

Instagram for Business insights offer something that I have found completely invaluable as I am building my account - follower insight. There's the obvious new follower count in the last 7 days, as well as the splits of gender, ages and locations. But the most interesting is the Follower charts by day & hour.

  • Followers - Hours
    This allows me to see at what time each day my followers are active on the platform. I can flick through each day of the week to see how it varies and then use this insight to consider when is best to put my posts live
  • Followers - Days
    From this metric, I can see which days my followers are most active, which I've used to know which days I should post my content on, especially if I'm short on time or photos to use...
Both of these can also be a great indicator as to when to build stories for maximum reach and impressions.

Beyond the insight with Instagram for Business

Outside of the insights that an upgrade to Instagram for Business account can give you, your profile can also see some big benefits. 

Firstly, you can add a really easy contact button - whether it is phone or email - users viewing your profile will find it easy to get in touch with you. There's also a Directions option for your physical location. I do have this enabled, but it's just our generic location.

Business accounts will also have the ability to promote your profile and/or content to an audience that you select. You can hook your account up to your Facebook page and cross-pollinate your audiences, as well as being able to seed and share content from one platform to another, paid and organically.

Don't forget, Instagram is of course owned by Facebook...

If you've not already got an Instagram for Business profile, I'd recommend upgrading as soon as you can. There's a simple walk through of how to do it over on the Facebook help pages. Remember, it's completely FREE!

Iconosquare & making the most from a free 14-day trial

Iconosquare's Analytics
Click to expand

Iconosquare used to be a lot better. It used to give you really useful and actionable insights about your following and who you are following - things like who you follow but doesn't follow you back, which accounts that follow you who have a good authority/are influential, and who follows you but you don't follow.

Unfortunately, Instagram removed the function that allowed ANY tool to give you this insight. I say unfortunately, but really it's a good thing as it was getting abused with follow for follow schemes and users targeting accounts because of their level of influence but on a grand scale.

Today, it still has a use, but personally I don't think it is worth paying for - you can now get what the Pro version offers pretty much through Instagram for Business.

Iconosquare's Best Time to Post
Click to expand

There are a couple of perks that you can learn about your account in the 14-day window though.

  • Most used hashtags
    Match this up to your content insight from Instagram, and you'll be able to understand which ones work best for you, when and where. Head to the Engagement section, and you'll be able to see which hashtags are also gathering you the most engagement (as a percentage)
  • Filter use
    Discover which filters you use most often. Within the Engagement section of the tool, you'll also be able to see how they influence the volume of likes and comments on your content too!
  • Best time to post
    Cross reference this with your follower insight on Instagram and you'll be able to see very obvious times and days that you should focus your content to - maybe you'll be able to increase your content to a few times a day. It can also help with timing your stories
  • Competitor and hashtag monitoring
    While this will stop as soon as your 14-day trial is over, it's a good way to monitor the added value hashtags or other accounts get, particularly for collaboration efforts and working with others within the platform

Click to expand

Keep learning - Instagram is still growing, learning & developing

There's heap and heaps of independent blogs out there that will talk about Instagram, how to be better and how to get the most from it. Listen to them - they usually know what they are talking about AND they are likely to be talking from experience.

Instagram also have their own blog, as well as Iconosquare also having a blog of their own. 

To be the best and cut through the noise of this ever busy landscape, you need to keep learning!


Found this post useful? Please pin it to share it for others to enjoy!

Instagram Insights & Iconosquare


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