From increasing brand awareness to hashtag research and displaying social proof at scale, here are 12 ways SMBs can leverage Instagram for marketing.
| Sep 27
Jessica Malnik on December 2, 2020 (last modified on July 28, 2021) • 11 minute read
If you want to get beyond vanity metrics, such as likes and followers, and measure how Instagram correlates to core business metrics, then this post is for you.
Up until about 2 years ago, there was a shortage of high-quality Instagram analytics tools. Social media marketers were forced to use the native Instagram analytics.
Fast forward to today, there are dozens of legitimate analytics tools.
In this post, we’re going to share the most popular third-party Instagram analytics tools, including:
Whether you are looking to increase brand awareness, generate more comments, or get more sales, you need to track your progress – ideally on a weekly basis.
In fact, of the social media marketers we surveyed, 70.6% of them include Instagram performance as part of their regular marketing reports.
And 50% of them use 1 Instagram analytics tool for their reports.
Editor’s Note: Curious to see what is working on Instagram today? 20 social media marketers share their top-performing Instagram posts.
If you are just getting started and don’t have a budget for any extra tools, you can find some analytics within Instagram’s mobile app, assuming it is a business page.
Here is a step-by-step guide for how to see your analytics.
1. Click on the menu on the upper right-hand corner of your profile page.
2. Then, click on Insights.
3. Then, you can see your overview stats.
Another way to view your analytics is through Creator Studio on your laptop, assuming you have synced your Instagram page to your Facebook page.
1. The first step is to go to your Facebook page and click on Publishing Tools.
2. Then, click on Creator Studio.
3. Within Creator Studio, you can see insights, your content library, and various creator tools.
4. To see your Instagram post data, click on Insights in the left-hand sidebar.
5. Within insights, you can also segment by audience or activity.
Editor’s Note: If you are looking for a way to visualize your Instagram stats in a dashboard, use this Instagram Business Overview Dashboard.
Below, we’re looking at the most popular third-party Instagram analytics tools.
“It’s not the most trendy, but I’m currently enjoying using Zoho Social to track Instagram metrics (And others),” says Joe Akers of Pyrpaw Marketing. “I’m able to look at reports in a very uncluttered interface, and it tells me everything I need to know at a glance: Top post, total engagement, impressions, engagement with post types.
I can also drill down into all my past posts to see data for those. Not only that, I can actually schedule posts for Instagram that will auto-post for me – a feature that is lacking in some of the other tools which require you to download an app to notify you when to post. Then you have to manually post to Instagram, which can be frustrating.”
“HubSpot pulls in the metrics you care about,” says Jacob Lundy of Vye. “And arguably, you don’t need all metrics of every social platform. Learn what’s important for your business and run with it.”
Lauren Espach of Spitfire Inbound adds, “I particularly love HubSpot because the reporting analytics are so comprehensive. It goes beyond the normal vanity metrics such as likes and comments and delves deeper into metrics that directly impact our marketing efforts like website sessions from Instagram, number of contacts, and top-performing posts. You can also measure the success of your campaigns through custom URL tracking codes, and you can compare data from different times, e.g., month on month or YOY.”
Editor’s Note: You can use this HubSpot Marketing Dashboard to see your new Instagram followers, reach, and overall performance trends.
“There are many great tools to track and measure Instagram analytics out there, such as Later or Social Blade,” says Jonathan Aufray of Growth Hackers Services. “However, we really like the way Buffer is tracking and measuring Instagram analytics. Why? Because their UX is so simple and intuitive, and it’s very easy to find and visualize what you’re looking for.”
“The best tool would be Iconosquare,” says Catriona Jasica of Discounts Code. “It provides you with a complete guide about where you’re excelling and offers tips on how to improve.”
Valentina Lopez of Happiness Without says, “It lets me keep tabs on my competitors and see what they’re using. It has a lot of features, even in the free version. And the UI is much cleaner and user-friendly than other tools − I’m looking at you, SocialBlade!”
David Morneau of inBeat Agency adds, “Other than it being paid; I see no other downsides to it. Iconosquare is the most efficient, complex, and reliable for Instagram analytics. The features it possesses are engagement rates, follower stats, Stories data, etc.
If you are looking to test it out, you have Iconosquare’s free Instagram audit for business accounts. The assessment is performed over the last 30 days of posts while providing tips on how to improve.”
“HootSuite is great for tracking Instagram results, as it provides information on demographics,” says Alexandra Zamolo of Beekeeper. “This can be imperative when it comes to setting up future campaigns.
Bruce Hogan of Software Pundit says, “Hootsuite is our favorite tool for Instagram analytics. This is because we can see results for the channel, specific campaigns, and specific posts. It also lets us calculate our ROI.”
Zachary Hadlee adds, “For larger profiles that need more data, I’d recommend Hootsuite, which I sometimes use. It can show you historical data of your posts to see how you perform over time. Furthermore, you can see what sentiment of your posts’ reception is – positive, negative, or neutral.”
Martin Seeley of MattressNextDay agrees, “Before switching to Hootsuite Analytics, I used Instagram Insights, but it didn’t completely provide me with the right tools I needed to track and measure my Instagram analytics. The Hootsuite Analytics dashboard can do some tasks that Instagram can’t, such as show past data, compare metrics over certain time periods to get a historical perspective, look at particular posts’ performance using preferred metrics, and monitor your account’s response time in customer service conversations.”
For example, Samiksha Rawool of Yummy Tummy Recipes says, “I love the reporting feature of Hootsuite, which is very intuitive and easy to use.
Using Hootsuite, I am able to monitor multiple accounts and keywords, connect with over 35 social networks, and bulk-schedule social media posts. It surely is an amazing tool.
Muhammad Mateen Khan of PureVPN adds, “While you may know Hootsuite as a scheduling tool, it also offers a robust analytics tool that goes beyond what Instagram’s native data can tell you.
For the record, these are some things that the Hootsuite Analytics dashboard can do that Instagram can’t:
Other advantages: Hootsuite also has social listening and competitive analysis tools. You can use these to contextualize your brand’s social data in the broader landscape.
Finally, because Hootsuite supports every major social media platform, you can collect all of your analytics in one place, and easily see what’s working and where you can improve.”
“Sprout Social is an excellent tool for tracking and measuring Instagram analytics,” says CJ Xia of Boster Biological Technology. “In addition to automating the Instagram scheduling and publishing feature, it also supports engagement through real-time monitoring. With Sprout, users can quickly analyze Instagram data at profile and post level.
I prefer to use Sprout Social because it allows for digging deeper into Instagram data with interactive metrics and graphs. It has a user-friendly interface convenient to use and saves hours weekly on scheduling, posting, analysis, etc. I also like Sprout because it helps to reach a specific audience.”
“One social media tool we use daily is Google Analytics,” says Andrew Ruditser of Maxburst. “Google Analytics is a tool used to help you track important metrics to see whether your business is succeeding or failing on social platforms. This includes your traffic, your followers, your engagements, and many more.
You can use Google Analytics to see how well your social media platforms are driving traffic and what you might need to change to make it better. Did your site gain more viewers after your latest Instagram story? Did you gain more followers from your latest post? Google Analytics allows you to see what strategies work best for you on these platforms.”
“Brandwatch Consumer Research is an all-important tool when you’re interested in tracking the performance of your hashtags,” says Al McMordie of Big Al’s Sports Picks. “This can help you to see new trends and even make a pivot on your strategies when needed.”
Melanie Musson of QuoteCarInsurance.com says, “It helps us to always be relevant and to observe and learn from others.”
Robert Applebaum of Applebaum Beverly Hills adds, ”You can use it to gather information on the following: unique hashtags, owned business accounts, non-owned business accounts, which ensures that you can track and analyze all messages, including the hashtags you decide to use for your content.
You will be able to recognize the latest trends, any big influencers, and figure out what content works best in your account by using the Market Analysis dashboard and map elements.”
“Quintly is an amazing tool that not only shows your own analytics, but you can also view those of your competitors,” says John Barnes of Lamps Plus. “Plus, you can set up your own dashboard with convenient widgets that you utilize on a regular basis.”
William Schumacher of Uprising Food adds, ”It comes with a basic dashboard that can be personalized to suit your needs with widgets and track the metrics that matter to you. The platform provides Instagram analytics with accurate follower data for followers, both of your profile and that of your competitors. You can optimize the content of your Instagram, the interactions created from your pictures and videos, plus it offers filter usage data insights.”
“Socialbakers has a free Instagram analytics software that offers just about anything you need to have a comprehensive idea of how your posts or stories are performing,” says Joey Campbell of Sundae. “You can actually create your own dashboard, where you can easily keep track of your top posts, hashtags, and stats on users.”
“My go-to Instagram Analytics tool is Squarelovin,” says Alejandro Rioja of Authority Daily. “I think it’s one of the best out there because it presents a monthly analysis of the posts and content history by the hour, day, and month and also shows you audience preferences and insight on a single platform. You can even look for the eBay hashtags and filters to use, which is quite convenient when planning content.”
Ekta Swarnkar of Tia Says says, “Panoly is an extremely affordable tool that allows me to use short links (lnk.bio). add as many posts as I want, create hashtags lists for different types of posts, and measure analytics to understand how many people actually visited my site.”
“HypeAuditor shows me in an easy to read way how my posts are performing, compares them to other recent posts, and even splits my audience into niches,” says Mia Clarke of Invertpro. “This platform does all of the basic things I need from an Instagram tracking tool (in an easy way, which is important), but also takes the data to the next level for me to really gauge my channel.”
Regardless of how established your company is on Instagram and your budget, there is an Instagram analytics tool for you.
For example, if you are just getting started, stick with Instagram’s default insights in Creator Studio. As your brand scales, you may want to choose one or more of the 13 third-party analytics tools that we highlighted in this post.
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