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November 1, 2017 Last updated on August 14th, 2018
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By now, you’ve probably got to grips with native Instagram analytics, and have found yourself looking for something more. You want to dig a little deeper into your analytics to really understand the performance of your Instagram metrics and track your growth.  

Am I right?

But the truth is, apart from tell you which analytics platform is better than another, no one actually ever tells you how to use analytics for Instagram, so that your business can get the most added value.

That’s why, in this guide, I’m going to walk you through Iconosquare’s Instagram Analytics solution, to show you what comes in the package and help you see how it can take your social media marketing game to the next level.

Iconosquare’s Instagram Analytics:
A Step-by-Step Guide

First thing first, though, let me briefly introduce you to native Instagram Insights. On its own platform, Instagram provides statistics regarding your account (note: it must be converted to business). Natively, Instagram provides the following Insights about your profile:

  1. Your profile activity: profile visits, website clicks, reach & impressions.
  2. Your content performance: stats on the posts published (comments, impressions, likes, saves, etc).
  3. Stats of your audience: top locations, age range, gender, and when followers are online.

As useful as this information is for any Instagram marketer, it is, however, limited. The graphs and charts provided by Insights are, unfortunately, not that detailed. You can’t get the exact number for each bar on the ‘followers online chart’, for example, or the breakdown of your posts’ engagement hour by hour.

Also, Instagram only provides stats for the last 7 days, which makes it hard to rely on when you need to get a more extensive overview for your Instagram strategy. Finally, the fact that these Insights are only available on mobile can be somewhat limiting in terms of data visualization.

“So what to do, Emily, what to do?”

Well, if you’re interested to know how to get Instagram insights on desktop, it might make sense for you to check out Iconosquare.

Iconosquare offers an array of analytics and marketing insights into your Instagram account, building on the data provided by native IG analytics. Such stats can help you make your Instagram strategy more data-driven, backed by metrics you cannot deny.

Curious to know more? Then check out what kind of Instagram analytics Iconosquare can offer.

Understanding Instagram analytics with Iconosquare

1. Instagram analytics

1.1. Follower growth

Everyone loves seeing their number of followers grow! With Iconosquare, you can see that evolution at the drop of a hat. This kind of data is really useful for understanding if your Instagram content strategy has been successful. Maybe you’re losing followers because your audience isn’t interested in your content? Or, maybe your follower count has dropped after changing the tone of your captions? If so, you’ve got some actionable data to work with.

If you go to Community → Analytics → Followers growth, you can find the stats you need. This data is updated approximately every hour. Note, however, that Iconosquare will only start tracking your followers’ growth on the day you signed up to the platform. The volume of followers before this date can only be estimated. What’s handy, though, is that you can not only see the number of your followers, but also your followings (i.e. the number of people you follow), view the stats either as a graph or as a table, and, finally, export them in 4 different formats:

Instagram follower stats

In the same Community category, you can also get valuable demographic insights into your Instagram audience, such as age and gender, languages spoken by your followers, and, of course, your followers’ location. This could be particularly important if you need to breakdown your followers for location-targeted campaigns.  

1.2. Engagement

Admittedly, engagement is the second most talked about Instagram stat after followers’ growth. Monitoring your engagement rates per types of posts is essential if you want to understand your community better and figure out what is it that they really prefer seeing in their feeds. If you go to Analytics → Engagement, you’ll get a massive overview of your likes, comments, saves, views (in case you ever post videos), average engagement rate history, impact of Instagram filters on engagement, average love rate and talk rate per post (i.e. number of likes OR comments divided by the number of followers at the time of the post).

1.3. Reach & Impressions

How many people do you reach with your posts? What’s the number of impressions you make per user? What type of content gets you more reach, and which particular posts are most successful at it?

All those questions answered in one tab: Analytics → Reach.

It’s also there when you can find when your followers are online, broken down hour by hour, follower by follower. This is an extremely valuable follower stat in Instagram analytics, if you want to start posting at the right time (more on that later).

When are your Instagram followers online

1.4. Instagram Stories analytics

With Stories being huge, Instagram Stories analytics is truly the holy grail of all IG-related metrics. Currently, Iconosquare is THE only platform that offers analytics on Stories, so you might want to check our the Analytics → Stories tab. From the traditional stats on impressions and reach, you’ll also get such metrics as taps back/forward, number of exits, number of replies, and a completion rate on each and every individual Story. What’s more, you’ll also get an overview of what’s the best time to post Stories for you, in order to get maximum reach, impression, or completion rate.

Best time to post Stories on Instagram

2. Benchmarking

2.1. Hashtag tracking

Tracking hashtags can help you see how well a hashtag is faring on Instagram. You will find out the evolution in number of posts, the most liked media, the location where the hashtag is used the most, the average engagement that posts with this hashtag receive, etc. This statistic is gold when you need to monitor the performance of your brand hashtag — or, if you need to monitor the performance of your competitors’ hashtags. You can track anywhere from 3 to 10 hashtags, depending on your plan, and compare them with one another over a selected period of time.

Track hashtags on Instagram

2.2. Competitor tracking

Much like the tracking of hashtags, the Competitors tracking feature will allow you to monitor other accounts of interest to you. Get insights on your competitors and any other account you’d like to get a deeper understanding of (note: they need to have Instagram Business profiles).

When you set up a competitor to track, Iconosquare will dig out essential insights into your competitors’ Instagram strategy over the last 30 days, such as posting times, tag use, followers’ growth, engagement rate per post, etc. The next thing you can do is benchmark your own account against them and see where you stand. You know what they say, “keep your friends close…”.

3. Content management

3.1. Comment tracker

If you manage a huge account — or if you manage multiple accounts — staying in touch with your community can be overwhelming. When you’re dealing with heaps of comments, it’s easy to overlook one, which can become unfortunate if you’re running a customer-centric business.

Enter: Iconosquare Comment Tracker.

When logged in into your dashboard, simply go to the Comment tracker tab. There, you’ll be able to find each and every unread comment you have over the last 6 months. The comments are updated every 5 to 10 minutes, so you can be sure you’re never going to miss out on anything. There, you can choose to reply on the comment, mark it as read, and even translate it if it was written in a foreign language. I know, right?!

Instagram comment tracker from Iconosquare

The perk of it all is that you can also easily manage communities for multiple Instagram accounts from desktop and don’t have to be on the phone all the time. #Efficiency 👌

3.2. Media library

As we all know, the key to a successful content strategy is having a killer mix of content that can be easily rotated over time. Media library is the perfect place to keep all your media files and label them according to different themes/categories that you cover on your Instagram account. This way, when you know it’s time to post a product picture after, say, 5 posts from now, you can easily find one in your library.

What’s more, you can also add a caption to that media and later on, schedule directly when it’s ready for the world to see. You can upload photos to up to 15MB in your Media Library, while the max file size for videos is 150MB.

3.3. Mentions

To get a detailed picture of your brand’s presence on Instagram, you need to listen to what people have to say about you. Or whether they have to say anything about you at all. This is where social media listening comes in oh so handy.

If you go to Media → My feeds → My tags/mentions, you’ll be able to see each and every post you’ve ever been tagged in (either on the media or in the caption). And of course, you’ll also be able to reply on those posts right away, keeping the momentum going.

4. Instagram Scheduler

4.1. Automatic Instagram scheduling

I don’t know if you knew, but if you didn’t, now you do: in addition to Instagram analytics, Iconosquare also allows you to schedule your Instagram posts for automatic publishing. What does it mean? It means that all you have to do is prepare your post, write a caption, choose hashtags, set the time, and forget about it. No muss, no fuss. Simply go to your DashboardScheduler → and click New post to have your content scheduled automatically.

To learn how to schedule your posts, read this guide:
How to Schedule Instagram Posts w/ Iconosquare’s Instagram Scheduler

4.2. Best time to post

While the automatic Instagram Scheduler can also save you heaps of time on content publishing, it can also help you optimize your strategy by suggesting the best posting times. If you’re curious what your best time to post on Instagram is, ask Iconosquare. Our Best Time to Post feature is the perfect tool for you to find the optimal posting time for your media to get most engagement on Instagram. You can find your best time to post if you go to Analytics → Engagement section, where you can also filter your results by engagement, likes, comment, and compare it to your actual posting habits.

Inside the Scheduler itself, you’ll be able to see yellow stars at certain slots in the calendar. Those stars will indicate your best times to post, and are taken from your top 5 best times to post based on engagement your posts received over the last 3 months.

Best time to post on Instagram

Note, however, that Iconosquare gathers data from your Instagram activity to tell you on which days and times you’re getting the most engagement. So while you no longer need to keep track of it manually, you still need to experiment with different posting times for Iconosquare to collect enough data.

4.3. Caption/Hashtag library

People always ask: “Where can I save hashtags?” “How can I insert my saved hashtags?” These questions make sense. A true Instagram marketer researches hashtags in advance, to ensure they’re the right volume, attract the right audience from the right location, etc. That’s why the Saved Captions feature can be sooooo very useful! It allows you to save and insert your pre-researched hashtags to your to-be-scheduled posts.

You can find the feature within the Scheduler, where you can save your hashtags into different categories. Once you saved your hashtag group, it only takes two seconds to select it and add it to your post. All you need to do is just click “Insert”:

Saved Captions in the Instagram Scheduler

Finally, when you plan and schedule your posts, you can also use the Preview tool to see how your Instagram feed will look in advance and decide if it needs a bit of rearranging. If it does, you can easily drag and drop your media around, for the optimal look.Instagram preview tool from Iconosquare allows you to preview your Instagram feed in advance

5. Exports/Imports

Last but not least: Instagram analytics exports. If you’re needing to create Instagram analytics reports for your boss or client, these can come in very handy! You can set up monthly, weekly, or even daily reports which will land directly in your inbox, with a personalized overview of your performance.

BONUS: Free Instagram tools

Check out our free Instagram tools, that will help you take actionable steps based on your analytics stats:

Audit tool (FREE): Audit your Instagram and discover what you could improve upon
SMMartbox (FREE): Find ALL social media tools out there (currently, over 300 tools listed).

Try Iconosquare FOR FREE. Sign up for a 2-week trial and improve
your account with actionable Instagram analytics.

Last updated: 8 August, 2018

About the author
Emily Lydon

Emily Lydon

Emily is an Inbound Marketer for Iconosquare, based in the Limoges office. She loves all things social and revels in keeping on top of the social media marketing game by writing for the blog. She’s also a bit obsessed with sushi, gin and Netflix.

More posts by Emily Lydon

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