Is your business ready for Instagram’s new algorithm? Everyone can calm down just a little. Instead of getting nervous about audiences finding your content, let’s focus on ways to analyze your Instagram engagement. Tracking engagement will help you execute quality content that keeps you at the top of the Instagram feed.
Here I’ll outline three tools to track and evaluate how people respond to your content on Instagram. A couple weeks ago, Instagram announced that they’ll be releasing an algorithm that will prioritize what’s shown in users’ feeds. This algorithm will determine what content Instagram believes people will be most interested in and then show the most relevant posts at the top of the feed, regardless of how many accounts users follow or what time zone they’re in.
If you use Facebook for content marketing, you know how important it is to make sure you’re ranked highly within a social media platform’s algorithm. Algorithms that prioritize content in a user’s feed can (and will) inevitably affect your business on those platforms.
When the Instagram algorithm kicks in, maintaining high levels of engagement will help keep your content on top, whether you’re a small company or a large one.
Your focus should instead be Instagram Analytics Tools.
As the algorithm launch approaches, it’s important to use analytics tools to see which portion of your Instagram audience is interacting with what content, what content is performing best, and which audience segments you may be missing. As you learn from these analytics, you can create stronger and more relevant content that your audience will be more receptive to.
Though Instagram shares the same ad platform as Facebook, the platform does not yet have an analytics tool like Facebook’s Insights and Audience Insights. But, we’re in luck! There are a number of third-party Instagram analytics tools available for businesses and marketers to measure their marketing efforts.
The following three tools will help you to track and evaluate the success of your content & strategy around it on Instagram.
Simply Measured offers a variety of reports and analyses, some of which are free and some are available only with a paid plan.
Simply Measured’s free user report offers detailed analysis for a single Instagram account, including metrics on top posts, best times for engagement, and the amount and types of engagement.
When you first visit the site, you can get a free user report on any Instagram account (with up to 25,000 followers) in exchange for following the company on Twitter. This user report provides an in-depth analysis of the past two months, including your top post, best days and hours for engagement, top photo tags, top filters, and the amount and types of engagement you’ve received on your posts.
Knowing what days and times are best to post content can help you increase your engagement on any platform.
Additional analytics tools come with pricing plans starting at $500 a month, and include features like cross-platform analysis, social brand and hashtag monitoring, and the ability to add unlimited users to the account at no additional charge.
Iconosquare is my go-to tool for anything Instagram, including contests, management tools, and so on. It’s also decent for analytics.
Iconosquare evaluates metrics you don’t see as often, such as spread rates and talk rates.
Iconosquare’s analytics allow you to track important metrics like follower growth and losses, best times to post for maximum engagement, engagement rates, and engagement growth. It also shows your best performing content, both in terms of likes and comments.
Being able to evaluate your Instagram growth history over long periods of time can help you continue to grow your presence on the platform.
Iconosquare offers a 7-day free trial, during which you can access the analytics information to see if the tool is right for you and for your business’s needs. The plus plan is currently $28.80 a year and includes features like daily email reports, comment trackers, and analytics on the key Instagram metrics discussed above.
Sprout Social is a popular tool that many businesses already use, and it offers detailed reporting on a profile’s Instagram activity.
You can find analytics under the Reports section. You can see detailed information on daily growth in followers (and how much that number increased or decreased in the past month), the number of posts you’re sharing, your most used hashtags, your most engaged hashtags, and the number of engagements (both in total and the rate of engagement per medium).
Being able to evaluate your Instagram audience growth by day makes it easier for you to spot growth trends.
The only downside to Sprout Social compared to the two analytics platforms above is that it only accumulates Instagram data for the analytics once your profile is connected – no past data is provided, which is a bummer.
Sprout Social provides stats not only on the total amount of engagement received, but also the rate of engagement per medium or post.
Sprout Social offers a 30-day free trial, and the comprehensive reporting is available with the Deluxe plan, starting at $59 per user per month.
So, just the use of a few tools can be very important to your long-term success with Instagram marketing, as they continue to tweak the service and their algorithms. This is especially true with the upcoming news feed algorithm. The three analytics tools in this article can give you great insights that you need to create higher-performing content, both immediately and in the long run.
Yes, Instagram has changed its timeline algorithm, but no, it is not the end of the world for businesses.
My additional tips:
- Create great content that’s valuable
- Throw some money in the mix to create additional brand awareness and grow followers using all the amazing targeting options available
- Change up your content with video
- Get on the #hashtag #bandwagon – but DO NOT OVERDUE IT.
If you’re a brand that does not care about your followers, or if you don’t care if your followers find value in your content, Instagram may be dead for you. But, if you are like most business owners, you do care about your customers and want to provide value to them. After all, if there is not value in your brand, your product, your service, and ultimately your content marketing strategy, why would anyone care anyway?
In conclusion, fear not. Instagram is definitely not dead. In fact, this is an opportunity for you to fine-tune your content strategy when it matters most.
What do you think? How do you feel about the upcoming Instagram algorithm? Do you use any of these Instagram analytics tools? Share your experience. Do you use one that I didn’t mention here? Share your thoughts, experience, and knowledge in the comments below.