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4 Minute Read

How to use Instagram Insights and improve your results

Here’s how social media experts, The Two Lauras, use Instagram's native analytics for ultimate success.

The Two Lauras
25th August 2021

Instagram is unarguably a key social media driver for building brands and increasing revenue, with 70% of its 1 billion users turning to the platform to discover new products. Here’s how social media experts, The Two Lauras, use Instagram's native analytics for ultimate success.

Don’t just live for the likes

As marketers, we are just as likely as any other Instagram user to get sucked into vanity metrics such as ‘likes and follows’ - but it’s important to remember that Instagram also offers more integral analytics that are essential to informing any successful marketing strategy.

Instagram insights are a free resource for all Instagram users (with a following of over 100) and allow you to measure whether your efforts have met your goals. This native tool shows a number of metrics and the importance of each one is dependent on your overall goal.

If your main goal is to get traffic you’ll be keen on looking at website taps, if you’re after brand awareness you’ll be looking at Reach and Profile visits - but in both instances, you’ll also want to look at demographics to ensure you’re reaching the right people.

The Insights also let you see how the bulk of your content is being found i.e. explore, hashtags, profile which is a really great way to understand what is working based on your goals.

When it comes to Instagram Stories, they are an excellent way to test your content with your audience because of their limited time and because you can analyze what stories are engaging your audience and causing them to exit/swipe away.

So what exactly does Instagram Insights show?!

You can access analytics for:

  • Instagram audience
  • Feed insights
  • Reels (although still minimal)
  • Stories
  • IGTV
  • Lives
  • Shopping (minimal in-app but more within commerce manager)

Currently, there are no insights for Guides as it's seen as an underused feature of Instagram.

Although we’d always advocate using Ads manager if you want to invest in paid advertising, sometimes there is a need or want to use Instagram's Promotion option too. You can access some level of detail when you have active promotions running which will give you a breakdown of the results (depending on the options you choose when promoting the post, you could see more website clicks, profile visits, etc). Ads Manager will also show you some results.

Common issues and how to make improvements:

Not enough Reach

Suggested action:

  • Review hashtags
  • Make more shareable content

Not enough sales

Suggested action:

  • Check you are using enough shopping tags
  • Make sure you have clear call to actions
  • Use the link in bio take people to the products with as fewer link clinks as possible

Not enough engagement

Suggested action:

  • Ask more questions in your copy
  • Make content that specific to your audience pain points

Wrong demographics responding

Suggested action:

  • Review hashtags
  • Review content to speak more to your target audience
  • Review visuals to appeal to the correct demographic

Low story engagement

Suggested action:

  • Use stickers and polls
  • Ask questions

High number of story exits

Suggested action:

  • Review content is relevant to your target audience.
  • Do polls on stories to get an idea of what people want to hear.

Low Reels views

Suggested action:

  • Use trending audio where possible
  • Use relevant hashtags

Shopping Tags clicks are low

Suggested action:

  • Use tags as much as possible
  • Don’t use too many on one post
  • Don’t use tags on posts that the product isn’t featured in.
  • Still strive for scroll stopping and relevant content not just product images.

No/Low shares of my content

Suggested action:

  • Review the content: Does the content make your audience look good when sharing it?
  • Is it timely?
  • Have you given them a reason to share?
  • Is it content that would appeal to your audiences audience?

Create the right content, in the right format, for the right people

All of this information helps you establish a better idea of your target audience and inform your content strategy. You can see a breakdown of multiple demographics such as gender, age, location, etc. Even if the results aren’t what you want them to be, they will still add value as it gives you the opportunity to tweak messaging and content to appeal to the right people.

Try to view each form of your Instagram content in isolation, as what works on stories might not work on Reels, look at them separately to learn what works for you or your clients.

Analyze, don’t over analyze

Analytics have to be an integrated part of your marketing strategy for it to be successful, but spending hours of your day logging in and out of varying analytics tools to see how you’re performing will take you away from planning and creating the content you need to succeed - so if at any point it feels like you’re losing the balance between analyzing and over-analyzing, there are agencies and tools, such as ContentCal, that can save you time and still deliver all the information you need.

The Two Lauras are experienced social media marketers who lead one of the industry's most supportive membership bodies, The Inner Hub. The Inner Hub is designed to help freelance social media managers launch, grow and scale their business.

The social media managers hub is a community for freelance social media managers looking for more support to grow their business.


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