Undoubtedly, Instagram is one of the main superpowers among its rival social networks like LinkedIn, Twitter and even IG’s own parent company, Facebook. As of April 2017, Instagram has 700 million monthly active users.
If we put this in perspective, it’s more than twice as many active monthly users of Twitter, and three times as many as monthly active users of WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger:
Instagram is a network that works best if you share beautiful photos and visual resources. But even “boring” B2B marketing businesses can create beautiful images and videos to attract the attention of their audience. It’s just a little harder to build the strategy.
If you have trouble determining where your business should focus your social networking efforts, these Instagram statistics could help you solve that problem.
1. How to measure follower growth on Instagram
As in other social networks, the number of followers is not the most important metric. But the rate at which Instagram users follow you can be an indication of how interesting and influential your content is on this platform. The more growth of followers you have more significant your content is.
SumAll is a great tool to help measure this. Once you’ve set it up for your Instagram account, SumAll sends you a monthly Excel file showing your growth rate.
Try to find a relationship proportional to your posting frequency, the number of interactions you make in other photos/videos, promotions you post, or the quality of the photos and videos you uploaded in a certain period. You want to see what led to major follower growth, so you can repeat this.
If you are keen to grow your audience at rapid and increasing pace, don’t overload your audience with unwanted content. You’ll avoid this by finding the right balance between posts, frequency of interactions on other accounts, and other activities.
2. Engagement (based on total followers)
While you grow your Instagram following, the next thing to do is measure the engagement (likes and comments) against the number of followers you have. (This is where your number of followers matters more than the growth rate).
The math here is simple. Just take the number of likes and comments in a given month, and divide by your number of followers. That’s the engagement percentage for the total followers.
The purpose is to increase this percentage over time. Find out what the engagement rate was last month or six months ago, and monitor your progress. Then, audit your account to find out why the number of comments you received increased (or decreased).
Important note: people who don’t follow you can still engage with your photos or videos. However, until Instagram publishes its analytics metrics, your followers are most likely to influence your engagement rate.
3. CTR (click-through rate) in links
As with your website and other social media, click-through rate is important for Instagram. CTR is basically the clicks on a link divided by the reach of the post. So if 1,000 people see your post, and 100 click on a link, you have a 10% CTR.
This is essential because you want your followers to do an action (convert). Maybe that means visiting your website or buying a product. If they don’t click, they can’t convert. So you need a good CTR.
The simplest way to measure this is with a URL shortener (like bit.ly) which will show you how many Instagram users click a particular link.
Another option is Google Analytics, which measures the traffic coming to your site from all sources, including Instagram.
4. Monitor your hashtags
Simply put, monitoring hashtags can show you how many people are talking about your brand. Assuming it’s a unique, branded tag, of course.
Create and consistently use a unique hashtag, then monitor how others use it too. Simple.
Tagboard is an excellent tool to monitor your Instagram promotions. It allows you to filter hashtags by social network to have a better measurement of your promotion.
You can also use Mention to track hashtags and any other keywords you like. This is valuable because may be talking about you on Instagram, but not mentioning or tagging you directly.
By monitoring specific tags and keywords related to your brand, you’ll know whether awareness is growing, and more people talk about on Instagram.
5. Interactions per hashtag
If you use hashtags regularly to complement your photos and videos, have you seen any impact on your likes and comments? If so, which one attracts the most interaction?
Measuring this shows which hashtags work best for you, and help you reach more people. That’s what engagement is all about, after all.
The goal is to find the best hashtags for your brand to ensure you continue to see high engagement. And if you don’t measure it, you’ll never know.
6. Competitor hashtags
If you’re using specific hashtags for your business, maybe your competition is too. Check their profiles, at least monthly, to see which hashtags they use. More importantly, identify their best-performing Instagram content, and the hashtags used.
Again, Tagboard can help you find these hashtags. Mention too can help you find high performing content, and compare your own Instagram performance with your competitors.
Perform these checks regularly to make sure your strategy is up to date.
7. Best day and time to post
Maybe you’re happy with the number of followers you have and the content you post, but you’re still a little disappointed with the engagement rate. One factor that can impact your content performance is when you post.
Find out when the best time and day of the week for your content is, based on engagements. Check your content, look for the best performing posts, and see when they were posted.
For some quick insights, Union Metrics suggests Thursday at 2pm as the best time. But this best time for you will depend on your industry and your followers, so it’s best to find tools to do this for you. Union Metrics and Quintly are two such tools.
Knowing and understanding each of these Instagram statistics is helpful, but what you do with the information is what really makes the difference. So instead of just looking at the data and moving on, take the time to determine how each statistic on Instagram could help you improve your business.
Any change you make to your strategy does not mean anything unless you’re prepared to follow through. Plus, you’ll have more and better information thanks to this analysis to make smarter decisions moving forward.
This article originally appeared in The Mention Blog.