On Instagram, just as on any other social media channel, there are myriad different metrics you could be measuring to determine if your marketing efforts are successful. To help you save time and resources, here are our recommended Instagram metrics – the ones that really matter to helping you understand the impact of your Instagram strategy.
On Instagram, yes, you need to count likes. It’s a dead simple counting metric, but it is still important. Don’t worry too much about total likes per month. Instead, focus on likes per post. Figure out what content is resonating by seeing which posts get the most likes, and how quickly those likes accumulate. Do you ever have one of those posts that gets tons of likes in the first 5 minutes? Pay attention to that – you’ve hit on a very good time to post, when your desired audience is paying attention.
Comments can be indicative of a number of things on Instagram, but they’re often the best way for an Instagram user to share your photo with someone else. Are most of your comments @mentions of other accounts? If so, those comments are almost like regrams or shares. That’s valuable!
Top post engagement
How does your top post perform relative to your average post? Get to know which posts perform the best, especially those that get far more engagement than your typical post. What did you do differently? Consider the subject of your post, whether it was a photo or video, the hashtags you used, the users and location you tagged, and the time and day you posted. Over time, you’ll start to identify patterns. Use those patterns to post more content like this.
The raw number of likes and comments are important, but what’s more important is the rate of engagement you’re receiving. What percentage of your followers are engaging with your content? If you have 500 followers, and only 10 of them engage with your post, that’s low. A more ideal engagement rate would be 10% or higher, but you can typically expect something in the 5% range. So if you have 500 followers, a typical post would get 25 or so likes and comments, but a great post would get 50 or more.
Follower growth rate
How quickly are you gaining new followers? Don’t worry so much about the raw number of new followers you gain every day, but instead think about your percentage increase. And try not to look at it on a daily basis, but pay attention to it over a longer time period, like a month. If you’re getting 4% or more new followers a month, that’s a healthy growth rate.
How many different people are engaging with your content? Are you reaching a broad, diverse audience? If you get a lot of likes, but they’re consistently from the same set of dedicated fans, you’re not reaching a very wide audience. The more unique fans you have, the better. You can use hashtags in your posts to spread your content to a wider audience.