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Instagram: Dissecting the Mobile Social Network

The Complete Guide to Instagram Analytics

To understand any social network, you need to know its parameters: what it does, which actions users can take, and which metrics count toward your success. You can’t analyze what you don’t know, so we’ll start by defining the different ways of measuring Instagram.

Armed with the proper metrics, you’re able to research, measure, and optimize your Instagram programs.

The Major Metrics 

Total Engagement: The sum of Likes and comments on your Instagram posts during an established time period.

Total Number of Followers: Your total number of followers on Instagram during a given time period.

Engagement as % of Followers: This metric is an invaluable tool for benchmarking. It is generated by dividing your total engagement during a given time period by your number of followers during that time period.

Hashtag Volume: The total number of hashtag mentions during an established period of time. If you’re more interested in how viral a campaign hashtag is rather than how your Instagram account is being interacted with, you’ll want to pay attention to hashtag volume, the number of times a hashtag has been used in any given period.

Potential Hashtag Impressions: The amount of times that photos and videos using your hashtag are displayed in a user’s feed. Just like reach, this is a “potential” metric.

Benchmarking Account Performance

Take a look at your brand’s engagement for a specific period or campaign and compare it to similar timeframes.

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By benchmarking period-over-period, you can develop a predictive model for future content and campaigns, gaining valuable insight into tactics that moved the needle.

Look for anomalies in your engagement and identify the tactics that caused them. This kind of analysis tells you what your strongest and weakest engagement levels look like, and helps you put together more ambitious goals for the future.

Leveraging Ancillary Apps

We’ve reported on this quite a bit in the past, but the important cannot be overstated when thinking about Instagram as a network and means of connecting to your brand’s fans.

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The latest Instagram app, Boomerang

Instagram has built a comprehensive suite of apps — Hyperlapse, Boomerang, and Layout — to improve your ability to engage your audience in an entertaining way.

Want a Deeper Dissection of Instagram?

Download our just-updated 2nd Edition Instagram eBook to receive: 

  • An updated glossary of Instagram metrics and what they *really* mean
  • How to fully analyze your brand’s activity and influence on Instagram
  • Crucial tactics that will guide your Instagram strategy

…and much more. Click the button below to download the eBook!

Get everything you need to analyze the metrics that matter

The Complete Guide to Instagram Analytics


Lucy Hitz

I’m the Head of Marketing Communications here at Simply Measured, where I'm responsible for our content program, social media marketing, PR, and comarketing ventures. I love yoga, The X-Files, peaty scotch, hiking, and poetry. If I were a social media channel, I’d want to be Instagram, but I think I’m Twitter.

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