How To Measure Your Success on Instagram

Measuring success on Instagram can be a hassle. With Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms, you have plenty of metrics to measure the success of your campaigns. But with Instagram, it’s not quite as simple. Although the company is starting to make the app more friendly for marketers, it’s not quite there yet. Thankfully there are Instagram metrics you can (and definitely should) track to measure your efforts.

1. Followers Gained

What this metric tells you: How much reach your posts have potentially.

One of the most universal metrics in social media is followers. Although it’s more important to have engaged followers than just a huge amount, there is strength in numbers! Ideally, the number of followers you have will grow over time as you build your brand. Whether it’s through shoutouts from influencers, word of mouth between friends, or even paid ads, you want to grow your audience for social proof and to be able to reach more people.

When you view this metric, always be sure to measure it over a period of time. Let’s say  you notice that you’re only earning a handful of new followers each month, you need to ramp up your marketing efforts. However, if you see the number of followers you gained one month and noticed a huge spike on one specific day, then you should look into what you did to achieve that growth so you can duplicate it.

Some people think followers are a vanity metric, and in some ways it can be. However, the benefit of measuring your follower count is to know what your brand’s potential reach is for the content you’re publishing. Pages with more followers have more reach. More followers gives you a better opportunity to get your content seen.

2. Comments Received

What this metric tells you: How engaging your content is.

Usually, most brands measure social media engagement on Instagram solely by the number of likes for their photos. Likes are nice of course, but comments are a stronger indicator. Just think about it: It takes more time to think out and write a comment that it does to like a photo. When your followers are going beyond double tapping your photos and taking the time to leave a comment, it’s because it resonated with them.

If your average number of comments per post starts to increase, it means you’re building a community of loyal followers, which is the goal for most companies. On the flip side, if you’re barely getting any comments or the number of comments you’re getting per post is declining, it could be a sign that your followers aren’t connecting with your content. Head back to the drawing board and think of ways to create better posts.

3. Most Engaged Hashtags

What this metric tells you: Which hashtags you should be using.

Hashtags matter, you may hate them, you may think they’re ugly, but you can’t ignore them. Not only do Instagram posts with hashtags get more engagement, but hashtags also make your posts MUCH more discoverable. There are a few different Instagram metrics you can track when it comes to hashtags, but measuring which hashtags are getting the most engagement is your best bet.

Since Instagram is one of the few social media platforms that encourages the use of multiple hashtags in your posts, you should start putting together a list of the ones that get the most likes and comments. That way you can add them into relevant posts as often as you need to. Remember, hashtags on Instagram function like keywords for search engine optimization. The hashtags with the most engagement are likely your keywords that bring in the most traffic. If you learn what those are, you’ll have success.

Another overlooked benefit of this metric is that it gives you an idea of what type of content you should post. If you find that your posts aren’t getting the amount of engagement you’d like, look over this metric. The problem could be your hashtags.

4. Engagements Per Follower

What this metric tells you: Your engagement relative to your audience size.

Comparing yourself to companies like Vans and Starbucks that get thousands of likes and comments on each post can be a buzzkill. But don’t forget, Nike and Starbucks have millions of followers, so their posts have more reach. The engagements per follower metric is great because it shows you how many likes and comments your posts are getting per individual follower. This way, you don’t get wrapped up in comparing your company’s numbers with larger brands. Sometimes smaller pages get more engagements per follower than larger ones, even if they have less engagement overall.

When this metric is increasing, it shows that your followers are resonating with your content, and that your page is a priority for them since they’re liking and commenting on multiple posts. If this number is low or shrinking, it means users are engaging with your content every once in awhile but probably not checking your page regularly.

In order to boost this number, try posting more exciting content so that people look forward to checking out your page every day. Try to aim for one new post each day. However, if you don’t have the content, don’t post! Fewer good posts is better than lots of bad posts.

5. Referral Traffic

What this metric tells you: How much traffic your website is getting from Instagram.

One of the biggest complaints we hear from businesses is not being able to track the return on investment (ROI) of social media. Although we know it’s possible to track social media ROI, Instagram made it tough for marketers since the app doesn’t allow clickable links within posts. So, what do you do if you want to promote a special on Instagram, and be able to track the results? Use UTM parameters of course!

UTM parameters are tags that you can add onto a URL to give Google Analytics more information about the link. By adding UTM parameters to the links you share on Instagram, you can credit traffic that comes directly from Instagram. Since the URL’s will be very long, you should use a URL shortener like Bitly when you’re including links in your captions. That way, people can open up their browser and type in the URL easily.

However, what’s more convenient for users than adding short URLs inside captions is to use your bio. Instagram allows you to have one clickable link in your profile section. Some brands like to use this link to promote special deals or new content. Whenever you have something new to promote, it’s as simple as changing the link. If you go this route, it’s still a good idea to use UTM parameters.

Get Measuring on Instagram

The thought of dealing with metrics, data and social media analytics might not seem like fun or easy, but don’t get discouraged. As your Instagram account grows, you’ll start to look forward to checking your numbers and watching the progress.

The only way to make improvements and move forward is to know where you started, and where you’re currently standing. Tracking these Instagram metrics will make it easier for you to see what’s working and make the right moves to help you grow.

What metrics do you watch for Instagram? Leave a comment and let us know!