In this day and age, in order to be successful online, your small business has to be on social media!
Yes, this theory applies even if you only own a brick and mortar store and all your customers have to physically visit your store to make a purchase. You still have to use your social presence to get them to walk into your store.
Now, say you are already using social media, posting your updates at regular hours, engaging with your customers, letting them know about the occasional discount or special offer and they are all happy and your world is beautiful.
“Ah! I’ve managed to attain perfection in the social media world.” You think.
Unfortunately (I think you knew this was coming :)), the time and energy you put into all the tasks I mentioned above, doesn’t just end there. You still need more info to keep growing and benefiting from your social presence.
Why? Because after you’ve accomplished all of the above, you need to continue growing your online presence, so that even more people can get to know about your business, visit your social pages and engage with you.
All the time and effort you put towards your social media channels – you should be able to measure them in some way, right?
That is exactly what an analytics tool enables you to do. It basically tells you how you are performing on the subject social channel, what is working, what is not working, how many followers you are gaining or losing and what are the best times for you to post on the channel so that your posts can be seen by most of your followers.
Now Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest offer you this info in-house. But Instagram doesn’t (at least not at the time of writing this post).
Therefore, if you are marketing your business on Instagram you can measure your analytics using a third-party tool called Iconosquare, which is pretty amazing by the way because of the depth of info it provides. So, today we are going to get into Iconosquare and take a look at all of the info it provides and how you can use it to track your Instagram analytics.
By the way, this is a pretty long post (it covers all of Iconosquare’s key features available in the Plus plan). You can also download it as a pdf guide for your future reference. Click on the image below to download your free guide.
Just one more thing before I begin, Iconosquare is a paid tool (it used to be free once upon a time). But they do offer a 7-day free trial. If Instagram is one of the major players in your social media sphere, I’d suggest making the annual investment (for the Plus plan). It is definitely worth it. And no this isn’t an affiliate link, I honestly think that the tool is worth your time and investment.
Okay, so let’s go ahead and look at how you can track your Instagram analytics using Iconosquare’s Plus plan.
If you’ve never used Iconosquare before, you will need to create an account with them and hook up your Instagram account. Once you’re in, this is the screen that you will see.
As you can see, the display is pretty much the same as your Instagram profile. It displays all your posts in chronological order, the number of likes and comments on each post, the total number of your posts and the number of your followers and followings.
In short the dashboard displays a snapshot of your Instagram account. A few things you can do on this page are:
- Change the number of images to display per line.
- Filter your images using various options.
- Go through your followers and followings lists.
- Sort your followers and followings.
In the followers and followings screen, if you hover your cursor over a follower or a following, you can get a quick snapshot of their Instagram bio along with an option to add the user to your custom feed. (We will cover custom feeds in greater detail in the “Manage” section).
You can also click on each username to view their complete profile plus like and comment on their posts from within the tool – which is a pretty awesome feature!
Now you can change this display if you like. In order to change the home page display follow the steps below.
- Click on the gear icon on the top right corner of the page and click “Platform Options”.
- Select your option from the “Homepage” drop-down and click save.
Your home page will now display your selected option.
I’d say “Analyze – Overview” would be the best option to choose because it displays all the key info on your dashboard for you to track as soon as you log in. But you can select anything you like according to your needs.
Now let’s move ahead and take a look at all the data you can view and track by looking at each option towards the left of your home screen. You will notice the following options available.
The first option available under “Analyze” is “Overview”. Now this is the same as the “Analyze – Overview” home page display we spoke about above. The Overview option gives you a detailed overview of your Instagram account broken into separate sections. Specifically here is all the info you can find in your Overview screen.
- Total followers – The total number of your followers.
- Total followings – The total number of the people you follow.
- Total likes received – The grand total of the number of likes on all your posts.
- Total comments received – The grand total of the number of comments on all your posts.
- Most recent – A snapshot of your most recent posts along with their total number of likes and comments. You can use the filter option to display your media by most liked, most commented on, most engaging etc. You can also pick a date range to view your media.
- Follower and Followings growth – You can view your follower and followings growth either as a chart or a table. You can also select a date range for more specific info.
- Gained and lost followers – The number of followers you gained and lost per day. Once again you can view this data in a chart or a tabular form and select your date range.
- Gained followers, Lost followers and Follower growth – The number of followers you gained, lost and the follower growth in the last 7 days.
- Latest followers, Latest followers lost and Top followers – The followers you gained most recently, the followers you lost most recently and your most influential followers.
- Media posted, Likes received and Comments received – The number of times you posted on Instagram, the number of likes and comments your posts received in the last 7 days.
- Media lifespan – This data displays your current and previous post’s performance (likes and comments) during the first 24 hours. Using this data you can check how your current post is performing when compared to your previous post. You can filter the data by likes or comments and view it either as a chart or a table.
- Like history and Comment history – The volume of likes and comments your posts receive by date. It also displays your average likes and comments per post and how your posts compare to the average on specific days. You can view this data as either a chart or a table and select a date range.
- Love rate, Talk rate and Engagement rate – The number of likes, comments, and likes plus comments (engagement) by your followers divided by the total number of followers at the time of the post. All three rates are displayed as a percentage figure and displays the data from the last 7 days.
- Most liked, Most commented and Most engaging – Displays the most liked, most commented on and the most engaging post ever.
As you can see, the Overview dashboard itself displays a ton of useful info that can help you track your performance on Instagram. You can keep a check on your follower count, track and measure how each of your posts is performing and learn what your followers want to see more of by taking a look at your engagement rate.
The “Community” dashboard is all about your followers. As with any social media platform out there, if you are using Instagram as a marketing tool, you need to learn more about your followers so that you can make better-informed decisions about your marketing strategy.
Let’s take a look at all the info the Community dashboard provides us with. Follower and Followings growth, Gained and Lost followers, Latest followers, Latest followers lost and Top followers were also present in your Overview dashboard so I’m not going to get into the details here once again. Here’s a list of the extra info this screen provides us with.
- Top followers lost – This helps you identify the most influential followers you’ve lost recently.
- Followers location – Helps you identify where in the world your followers are located. You can view the info like a map or a table. However, this data may not be all accurate because Iconosquare can provide this info only for those followers who have geo-located themselves on Instagram.
- Community structure – The composition of your Instagram community. This data gives you a breakdown of how influential your followers are. And how many of them have public accounts versus private ones.
- Followings that don’t follow me back – This data tells you which of your followings don’t follow you back.
- Followers I don’t follow back – This lists the followers you don’t follow back.
- Followers I follow back – This lists all the followers you follow back.
The “Content” dashboard gives you a detailed breakdown of the content you post on Instagram – your posting frequency, your usage of Instagram photo filters, your hashtags, media you’ve geotagged, etc. Let’s take a look at the specifics.
- Post history – Displays your latest post and a graph showing your post history on Instagram. You can also view your post history in a tabular form. If you click on “See all of your media” it will take you to the media dashboard where you will be able to see all your posts in one place.
- Post distribution – Post distribution displays the number of your Instagram posts by month or by week. You can view the data as a chart or a table.
- Filter usage – Filter usage displays the average number of posts for each Instagram photo filter. Once again can be viewed as a table or a chart. Since I don’t use any of Instagram’s photo filters, all my posts have the normal filter as you can see in the chart below.
- Post density – Post density displays the average number of your posts per day or per hour.
- Tag repartition – Displays a pie chart of your posts that have 0 to at least one hashtag.
- Geolocation – Displays a pie chart of your geotagged vs non-geotagged posts.
The “Engagement” dashboard provides a detailed breakdown of your audience engagement rates. Some of the info you see here is a repetition of what you saw in the “Overview” screen. However, this is the dashboard that will give you more info on what are the best times for you to post on Instagram – one of the most important factors in analytics tracking. So let’s go ahead and look at the specifics on this screen one by one.
- Likes received, Average likes received, Comments received and Average comments received – Pretty self-explanatory. Gives you the data for all of the above for the last 30 days.
- Like history and Comment history – The volume of likes and comments your posts receive by date. It also displays your average likes and comments per post and how your posts compared to the average on specific days. You can view this data either as a chart or a table and select a date range. You can also get this info from your “Overview” page.
- Best time to post – The best times for you to post on Instagram based on the number of likes, comments and engagement rate. You can also track your posting habits – the days and times when you post the most and adjust it according to your engagement rate depending on the chart data. This is probably one of the most useful metrics for you to track!
- Filter impact (Likes and Comments) – This chart tells you about the Instagram photo filters which trigger the most likes and comments. Once again I do not use any of the Instagram photo filters to retouch the images I post so the chart just displays the data for the normal mode.
- Tag usage – Displays a word cloud of your most used hashtags. You can also view the data as a table.
- Love rate, Talk rate and Engagement rate – These metrics are the same as you see on your “Overview” dashboard so I will not get into the details here once again.
- Most liked, Most commented and Most engaging – Once again, these metrics are the same as you see on your “Overview” dashboard.
The next 2 options, Competitors and Hashtags are not available for the Plus version, therefore I haven’t had a chance to use them. But judging from what Iconosquare has to say about them, they seem to be very useful features for competitor and hashtag tracking.
The “Competitor” dashboard enables you to track up to 5 of your competitors on Instagram and view insights such as
- The number of media posted, followers and followings.
- Latest 10 media with likes and comments received.
- Posting habits and average post frequency.
- Filters and hashtags’ usage.
- Love, talk and engagement rates.
- Most liked, commented and engaging media ever.
The “Hashtag” dashboard enables you to choose up to 3 hashtags and get access to deep insights for each of them for the current and past months. You can view insights such as
- Total media posted with split photo vs. video.
- Hashtag growth and daily posts on the hashtag.
- Most engaging media.
- Post location and percentage of geolocated media.
- Total likes and comments received average per media.
- Daily likes and comments per type of media (photo/video).
- Most influential users.
Exports and reports
The “Exports and reports” dashboard allows you to create and export your account reports to your email. You can create either an Instagram account report or a hashtag report (available only for Elite and above users) and schedule it to be sent over to your email.
This is a rather useful feature if you do not have the time to log into your Iconosquare each day. Quite possible keeping in mind that you have a business to take care of! You can set up and schedule your reports and they will be delivered to your email.
The “Manage” option allows you to manage your Instagram account from within Iconosquare.
So, what exactly can you accomplish with this feature? Quite a lot actually even without upgrading! This option allows you to manage and track your feed and your comments.
The “My Feeds” dashboard displays your media and the images you have liked by default.
But here is where things get really interesting. You can create custom feeds to monitor specific users and hashtags. So yeah, this is the place to add in your competitor’s feed!
Or an account that you want to follow and never miss out on an update from.
Or an influencer in your niche. There are many possibilities.
Plus the feature allows you to add 50 users and 20 hashtags. That is honestly a lot of info right within your dashboard :).
To create a custom feed, click on “Create a feed”, type in a name, add users and hashtags you want to monitor and that’s it! All you gotta do is click on your custom feed name when you log in the next time and you will have all the info you need at your fingertips.
The comment tracker allows you track and respond to your comments from within Iconosquare. Again, very handy because you can manage all your comments in one place. You don’t need to keep checking your phone notifications.
This feature is only available if you upgrade to the Corporate plan.
4. Instagram feed tab
The Instagram feed tab for Facebook Pages enables you to add your Instagram feed to your Facebook page as an app. The free option allows you to add your Instagram feed and one hashtag feed.
Follow the steps below to add your Instagram feed to your Facebook business page.
- Click on “Install on my Facebook page”.
- Log into your Facebook, select the page for which you want to install the tab and click on the “Add Instagram feed tab”.
- Now, log into your Instagram. And that’s pretty much it!
Your Instagram feed will display on your Facebook page.
The “Discover” feature is useful for monitoring and tracking top brands and influencers on Instagram based on categories.
The “Brands Index” allows you to keep a close eye on a brand’s presence on Instagram and monitor its overall performance. This is a useful feature if you want to keep track of the best practices of the top brands on Instagram.
You can identify brands doing their very best at sparking conversation and interest with the ER (Engagement Rate) ranking, sort them by the number of followers and hashtag popularity and get a detailed analysis on each brand’s profile page.
The “Influencers Index” allows you to keep a close eye on an influencer’s presence on Instagram and monitor his/her performance. You can also sort the influencers by the numbers of followers, ER (Engagement Rate) and media posted.
So, for example, I share quotes on my Instagram page from time to time. Using the Influencers Index I can take a look at what the influencers in the quotes category are sharing across the platform. And if I like what I see, then, possibly add the influencer in my custom feed (in the Manage section) to get more ideas for my quotes! Once again quite the handy feature.
With that, we come to the end of this guide!
Tracking your social media analytics at regular intervals (I’d say once a month is good enough for a small business or a solopreneur) is a good practice because the numbers can tell you whether the time and effort you are putting into things are actually paying off.
That being said, don’t break your head over your analytics – track ’em but don’t go crazy over ’em!
Things are in constant flux over social media and something which works one day might not work as well on another day. Your focus should always be on sharing quality content with your followers and believe me your numbers will grow over time. Be consistent, focus on quality, engage with those who engage with you and you’ll see positive results.