First, a huge thank you to everyone who made it to our webinar on how to Plan a killer 2019 Instagram strategy! If you missed it, you can catch the replay at that link.
We had so many great questions come up during the webinar that we didn’t have time to get them all— and as we started answering them we realized we had enough for more than just one blog post like we had planned.
So to start we’re highlighting some of our favorite questions on Instagram basics and measurement, with more to come soon.
Got a question we don’t cover here? Find us on Twitter @UnionMetrics.
On Instagram basics
Q: Where would you send someone who has zero Instagram presence to learn the best way to begin?
We suggest checking out the Instagram tag on the blog for tips and best practices for the platform. We also offer a free tool called the Instagram account checkup, which analyzes your account and provides recommendations for how you can improve.
Q: What do you mean with using hashtags for listening?
With Facebook’s changes to the Instagram API, brands are no longer able to pull audience and user data around hashtags. This means looking at the specific users that are posting with certain hashtags. While you can still use hashtags to research trends and identify new audiences, we don’t recommend using hashtags for contests and campaigns where you want to monitor the conversation and pinpoint specific users or contributors.
The deprecation of the old Instagram API and introduction of the Graph API was to reduce the amount of personally identifiable information available from user accounts without their explicit opt-in. For example, brands can still run a contest utilizing tagging and mentions.
Q: What is the best way to gain organic growth?
We’re glad you asked! We never recommend that anyone buys followers. Instead, grow your followers organically by doing some research about your target audiences. Monitor the hashtags relevant to your brand and industry and follow and engage with the accounts who are posting the most relevant content. Influencer marketing is another great way to get exposure. We compiled our tips for growing your followers organically on every platform in this blog post.
Q: Can only business accounts set shopping tags?
Yes, your Instagram must be converted to a business profile and approved for shopping by Instagram. Read more about the approval process here.
Q: How do you do a 2018 research on best performing posts?
Do an audit of all your posts from over the year. Which ones got the most likes and comments? Were they video posts or image posts? You can either do this manually by going through each of your posts and recording numbers, or you can use analytics that can spot which posts were your top performers. Just be sure to find an analytics provider that works for your brand’s resources, but that’s also built on reliable data.
Q: Which social media analytics do you recommend for Instagram?
We’re biased, but we recommend you check out Union Metrics for Instagram analytics! Our Instagram analytics uncover insights to help you make more data-driven decisions, such as when is your audience most active on Instagram so you know the best time to post. We also have Story analytics that allow you to track and measure your performance over time.
Q: There have been quite drastic changes on the Instagram API this year; how has that affected your analytics?
In response to Facebook’s API updates, we made some changes to our Instagram analytics. You can read up on everything here.
As for the recently announced API, Facebook has made significant changes to the way that it allows access to Instagram hashtag data. The complete coverage we (and all other companies) could provide earlier this year no longer exists.
We’re really excited that Facebook is now planning to support the hashtag use case moving forward, and we’re working to update our social listening and analytics functionality to use the new Instagram Graph API Hashtag Search.