​How to Use Instagram for Business: Measuring Your Strategy for Instagram

Desireé Duffy  |

Businesses still struggle with the limitations of measuring and monitoring Instagram. If you find it cumbersome, you’re not alone. While many marketers are comfortable using all-encompassing social media channels like Facebook and LinkedIn to connect and engage with their audience, Instagram is different because of its purpose and functionality.

Facebook is used primarily to start worldwide conversation and give insight into an individual’s everyday life. LinkedIn is a helpful tool to educate followers on what a business is doing, but is more centered on building working relationships. It is where people to go to seek new opportunities and talent.

Twitter a great way to get a message out to the masses (using the appropriate hashtags, of course), but most messages have a short lifespan. Since tweets are constantly piling up on each other, it can be hard for businesses to maintain their visibility.

Instagram, on the other hand, was designed to be a visual portfolio for businesses. It is a way for companies to tell their own stories by using pictures and short videos. Users of social media have short attention spans, and it is challenging for businesses to create content that will engage and retain their followers. It is becoming more apparent every day that people prefer seeing over reading.

The good news? Using Instagram for business is fairly straightforward once you learn how to mine information from it. Let’s look at ways you can successfully measure results and obtain data on Instagram!

Track Your Instagram Success

When you create a business account on Instagram, you are also given the tools you need to monitor your company’s social impact. Unfortunately, the platform hasn’t been as intuitive as Facebook and Twitter for marketing professionals.

As of now, there is no easy way to insert a hyperlink into the caption of your Instagram post. That makes it difficult to drive traffic elsewhere, like your company website, once you manage to grab their attention. Instagram also isn’t user-friendly on a PC or laptop, meaning that companies have to keep up with the platform on a handheld device. This is great when you’re doing an actual post, because the process is immediate and seamless, but less helpful when you’re trying to pull custom reports for a staff meeting.

To access analytics on a mobile device:

1. Open the Instagram app and navigate to your company’s page. You’ll see your logo or profile picture on the far right of the menu bar.
2. Once you are on your company’s profile page, find the bar graph icon located in the upper-right corner of the screen:

Here, Instagram will tell you how many followers, posts, and impressions you have gotten in the last 7 days. You can also dig further into the demographics of your audience, including their gender, age, and geographic location.

Unfortunately, you aren’t given insight on the past 28 days like you are on Facebook and Twitter. That being said, you have to plan ahead of time to pull these reports at the end of each week. Make sure you wait until the 1st of the month to pull data from the final week.

3. Add the totals from each week together to get your cumulative total of followers, posts, and impressions for the month.

Keep Tabs on Your Top-Performing Instagram Posts

There is a very easy way to see which of your posts perform the best for your company.

On the same Insights page, scroll past the demographical information and find the “Posts” section. Click on “See More” to the right. The top of your screen should now read: Showing All posted items in the past 1 year sorted by Impressions.

For those of you not well-versed in social media, impressions are the amount of times your post is delivered to an individual on their computer, mobile device, or tablet. This number doesn’t take into account whether or not they actually engaged with it.

Click on a specific photo or video to get more information about engagement. Underneath of the photo, click on “View Insights” right above the caption.

Now you can see how your followers interacted with an individual photo or story. What hashtags did you use? Did you use an image or a short video? What was its purpose – business, education, or entertainment? Dig deeper into all of this information to start creating a mold for your target audience.

Watching how your company performs over a month or a year is crucial to building out a digital media strategy. Sometimes impulsive posting works, as we see with viral videos, but it is a much better bet to have proven results from the past driving your current plan of action.

Marketers, Fear Not Instagram!

While it is easy to shy away from Instagram, smart marketers find creative ways to use it. Just remember that monitoring and measuring results, just like with any social platform, is necessary. While it might not be easy to get the data, doing so will help you in ways you may not yet realize.

DISCLOSURE: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors, and do not represent the views of equities.com. Readers should not consider statements made by the author as formal recommendations and should consult their financial advisor before making any investment decisions. To read our full disclosure, please go to: http://www.equities.com/disclaimer


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