Measuring the return on investment for your Instagram campaigns is not as easy as you may think, but there are many useful ways you can figure out whether your Instagram posts are working for your brand.
When using traditional social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter for digital marketing purposes, there are plenty of metrics which you can use to measure your campaign’s success. With Instagram, it is not so straightforward. Instagram, unlike Facebook, was not built with marketing in mind and, as a result, it is harder to measure your advertising campaign’s success.
The good news is that Facebook – the company which owns Instagram – is taking proactive steps to make the app easier for digital marketing professionals to use. But, there are still plenty of metrics you can use to measure your ROI and produce some meaningful figures.
Over time, your number of followers should steadily increase as you build up your brand and establish your business within its industry. If you have recently run an Instagram campaign, though, you should be seeing a lot more followers being gained whilst the campaign is active. If you have a campaign which money is being spent on, and you are not gaining more followers, it could be a sign it is not working.
Looking at these figures over time can help you to better understand what posts were hitting the right mark on specific days, and use this information to tailor future posts on your Instagram page. The ultimate goal on Instagram is to build as big a following as possible, because this enables your content to reach a wider audience.
Likes and comments are a great way to tell you how engaging and emotive your content is. Most brands on Instagram will look straight at the likes on their posts to measure engagement, but it is comments which are the strongest indicator of this. Although likes are nice to see, comments actually take time to write and demonstrate that someone really liked the post. Also, people often tag friends in comments and this is a great way by which your post can reach a wider audience and appear in more peoples’ feeds.
When your page’s followers decide to comment rather than just like, it is because they found the post relatable and emotive; both positive and negative comments amplify emotion.
If you notice comments on your post starting to increase, it is a sign that you are building a community around your brand who want to connect and engage with your brand or business.
Current Instagram insights do not cover the performance of posts you make in stories, but you can see one key stat when you swipe up whilst watching your own story: number of views. This alone does not tell you much, but what you can do with this figure is work out the percentage of your followers who are watching your Instagram stories. To do this, we need to do some basic mathematics (it’s easy, honest!). To figure out the percentage of your followers who are viewing your stories, take the number of people who have viewed it, divide that number by the total number of followers your page has and then multiply that by 100.
This is a much more meaningful figure than just seeing how many people have viewed your story, and this gives you a proper insight into your story’s ROI. If you are willing to do a little bit more mathematics, you can work out the percentage of people who watched your story from start-to-finish. Whilst it is normal to see a slight drop, a large one can signify that your stories are not engaging.
To figure out the completion rate, divide the number of people who viewed the last post in your story by the number of people who viewed the first post in your story and then multiply that by 100.
Per Follower Engagements
This metric is possibly one of the best currently available on the Instagram platform, and tells you how your follower engagement is relative to the size of your audience. It shows you how many likes and comments your Instagram posts are getting per individual follower. When you notice this metric increasing, it is showing that your followers are relating with your content and are engaging with it, and that your page is important to them because they are liking and commenting on lots of your posts.
On the other hand, if this number is shrinking then that demonstrates that your followers are only occasionally engaging with your posts. A great way to boost this number is to post lots of engaging content which is relatable and provokes an emotive reaction from your followers – try to post once or twice a day for the best results.
Social Media Monitoring Tools
Another way you can measure the ROI of your Instagram posts is by using some of the best social media monitoring tools, which is incredibly handy given the lack of insight the Instagram platform currently provides.
The best way to make Instagram work for you – and figure out your ROI – is to monitor the behaviour of your audience and see how they are engaging with your posts, products, services and competitors. When you have all the right data, you can use this information to make commercially-viable decisions about how to best maximize returns from social media marketing strategies.
You can do this by using social media monitoring tools, which keep an eye on everything related to the behaviour of your followers and the behaviour of social media users in general, such as their engagement with you and other brands, keywords and hashtags.
There are a lot of these monitoring tools to choose from, and many of them are free and allow you to see data and analytics in real-time.
Michael Deane is the editor of Qeedle, a small business magazine, and work as a marketing executive where he focuses on conversion rate optimisation.