Updated 10.14.2020 This post has been updated to reflect the Instagram's current Insights platform. Even with these changes, this quick 10-minute weekly check-in remains a great way to monitor and optimize your presence.
Is Instagram actually helping your business?
If your organization is using Instagram, this is an essential question to consider. But, it’s one that can be difficult to answer.
The first step is to always know why you are using Instagram and set clear goals for your profile. On the simplest level, you want these goals to be measurable, such as:
Why Evaluate Your Instagram Performance?
Even the most successful Instagram accounts rely on constantly monitoring and finetuning their presence. At first glance, this might seem like just considering what pictures you’re posting or what kind of captions you’re sharing.
But a really good eval is about a lot more. You want to look at:
The Content of Your Pictures
The Color of Your Pictures
The Length of Your Captions
The Use of CTAs Within Your Captions
Your Activity on Stories
The Use of Stickers on Stories
Your Use of Video
Your Use of Reels (a new feature released in August 2020)
How Ofter You’re Tagging Other Accounts
By looking at these different elements, you’re able to see what’s working and what isn’t.
How to Track Your Performance
In particular, most third-party tracking solutions allow you to visually manipulate stats to get a better sense of your performance in relation to a specific measurable. But, even these paid solutions don’t eliminate the need to regularly evaluate your performance. This is why we’re big fans of going more DIY route.
With an Instagram Business Profile, you have access to Instagram’s ‘Insights’ — the Instagram analytics provided for free through the platform. We use Insights as the foundation for our tracking. Use the Following 4 steps to perform your 10-minute weekly Instagram check-in.
1. Pick Your Weekly Check-in Day
Much of Instagram’s Insights only go back seven days, which means if you want to have the most accurate data, you need to update your spreadsheet on a weekly basis. Our go-to is to do this check-in on Friday mornings.
But the key is just to pick a day and time that you can consistently devote 10(ish) minutes to doing a quick check-in.
2. Set Up a Spread Sheet
We like to use Google Sheets, but you could use any program you want. The following are the type of stats we track.
Instagram Posts This Week
Type of Post (Picture, Carousel, Video, Reel)
Posts with People
Posts of Products
Use of CTA
Instagram Stories (total)
Profile Visits (from Stories)
Post Shares (of other users)
Stickers (how many used)
Actions Taken on Your Account
NOTE: Currently Instagram doesn't provide stats about Reels through its Insights. To get any stats related to Reels, you'll need to visit each insidvidual post through your profile.
3. Update Your Spreadsheet
Open your spreadsheet and your Insights through the Instagram app on your phone or tablet. To open Insights, go to the hamburger menu in the top right of your profile and click Insights.
From here, you can inspect different stats. We typically start by looking at the posts for the last seven days. You can see this from your homepage under "Content You Shared." This will allow you to quickly record the types of posts you've shared.
For even more details, click the arrow to the right of "Content You Shared." Just be sure to select the time period of "Last 7 Days," to ensure your stats are accurate..
From here, we can fill in the appropriate columns about our posts to capture important metrics. As you see below, this Freelance Writer + Mom Blogger (also known as me, the author of this post :D) has separated out the content of her posts based on the content of the images.
Because currently all of her posts are long-form, she hasn’t begun tracking long-form verse short-form posts.
To collect stats like “Post Engagement,’ sort by ‘Engagement’ and then use ‘=’ (equals) function to calculate the total number of engagements. You’ll repeat this process with all the stats you want to collect.
You will also repeat this process with any Stories statistics you want to collect.
You’ll also want to collect key stats through "Accounts Reached," "Content Interactions," and "Total Followers."
In addition to seeing fan growth and fan demographics, the Activity and Audience tabs allow you to see a correlation between the kind of content you’re sharing and the overall user engagement.
4. Consider What Your Stats Are Showing
As the stats show, there’s a clear correlation between the total number of weekly posts, especially in Stories, and the number of website clicks. These engagement metrics signal that this account’s fans really gravitate towards stories and this type of content should not be ignored.
By utilizing these valuable insights, @MikaelaCJudd can continue dialing in her Instagram posts to increase engagement rates and drive more traffic to her site.
Bonus Tip: Another element worth considering are your landing pages. This is particularly important if you have a goal like newsletter signups. Because nearly all Instagram website traffic is mobile, you’ll want to look at how user-friendly your mobile landing page is and any ways to improve user flow.
Why Track Instagram Stats Manually
One of the obvious answers to tracking stats manually is that costs less out of pocket cash. But don’t forget, your time is money. And, those 10 minutes a week can sometimes be more than you have.
The more technical, business reason to track these stats manually is that doing so helps you stay connected to your fans and your content. It’s a really good way to do a gut-check of what you’re sharing.
It also helps you keep a schedule for checking in. This can be a really easily overlooked step. But it shouldn’t be. The internet and social media are changing constantly. Regular check-ins and evaluations are the best way to keep your finger on the pulse for what’s working and what’s not.
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