Instagram, a photo and video sharing platform owned by Facebook, has more than 500 million monthly active users. As more businesses join the network because of its marketing potential, we’re starting to see tools to help measure marketing efforts and ROI. If you want to dig deeply into your Instagram audience and activity, take a look at these free tools.
1. Instagram Insights
This is the built-in analytics tool available to you through the Instagram app, if you have an Instagram for Business account. With this, you’ll get basic statistics for analyzing your Instagram marketing. Learn more about your followers, when they’re on Instagram, and what your most popular posts are so you can focus your efforts specifically on content you know will resonate with your audience.
Though the information is there, you’ll have to navigate a bit to get to it since it’s embedded in the app. At this time, there’s no way to view the information on your desktop, or export your results, which would certainly make your life as a marketer a bit easier.
To get to your Instagram Insights:
Tap the bar graph icon on the top right corner of the app. You’ll see high level insights from the last week, along with comparison stats to show how you did compared to the week before. You’ll see: total impressions, reach, profile views, and website clicks. You’ll see the top posts and stats for Instagram Stories from the last 24 hours.
Swipe right to get information about your reach, and swipe right a second time to see more about your profile views. Swipe right a third time to see website clicks information. If you want to view your top posts insights, tap the “see more” link next to Top Posts. You’ll be able to see the top six posts from the past week, sorted by impressions. You can get information on your followers by going back to the main Insights page, and scrolling down to the followers chart.
Crowdfire is a free analytics tool for Instagram and Twitter, that can be used online and via mobile apps for both iPhone and Android devices. This tool is aimed at helping you manage your relationships with your followers. You can see your most recent followers for engagement purposes, find out who recently unfollowed you for feedback purposes. You can see who you follow that isn’t following you back, and easily unfollow people to build a better targeted audience. You can also use the app to find new follower opportunities and locate relevant followers based on your current following habits and hashtag usage.
If you take photos and forget to post them on Instagram you can get reminders from the Crowdfire app to ensure you remain active on the network.
The free plan lets you unfollow up to 100 people per day, copy followers of other accounts, find followers based on keyword searches, and more. Unlock unlimited follow and unfollow limits with paid accounts starting at $9.99 per month. If you want to be able to remove Crowdfire attribution, you’ll need to invest in the $19.99/month plan.
3. Simply Measured
Simply Measured offers a free Instagram user report to help you get a better idea of how well your Instagram marketing is working. In the report, you can see how effectively your brand is engaging followers, which photos are working, and how your performance is trending. You can use this service if you have an Instagram account with up to 25,000 followers.
If you’d like, you can view or download a sample report before connecting your Instagram account to the service, so you know what you’re getting before you get it.
If you want more analatyics data, Simply Measured offers paid plans for social marketers, content marketers, and digital agencies. These plans allow you to listen to your audience to see what kind of topics they care about, get more in-depth social analytics information about how your audience is engaging withy our content, track how they are sharing your content, and track your conversions. Pricing information is not available publicly, as you must first schedule a demo with sales.
Squarelovin is a platform for collecting and managing all your user generated content (UGC) in one place. As a bonus to their paid platform, they have a free tool similar to the one from Simply Measured.
After you create a free account with Squarelovin, you can connect your Instagram account, and then get access to metrics for your most recent posts and growth. You’ll also get a history of hour posts broken down by year, month, day, and even the hour. You’ll get all this plus a monthly analysis, so you can learn more about your audience’s preferences and interests, and see what drives them to engage. You’ll even see the best and worst times to post – not at a general scale, but specific to your audience.
InstaFollow is a mobile app available for both iPhone and Android devices. This tool is targeted specifically at your follower base, as it allows you to track new followers and unfollowers. You can track the users who do not follow you back, and follow and unfollow users by tapping within the app.
With this kind of information so easily available, you can learn more about you Instagram following and use the insights to grow your following in a targeted manner. It’s a great way to clean up your audience if you notice a lot of followers that aren’t engaged, or followers that don’t fit your target audience profile.
Socialbakers is a social media suite that includes analytics and management tools. It works with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest, and YouTube. Plans start at $20/month per profile, and include up to five users and six months of data history and include analytics, reporting, and publishing. Plans with a flexible amount of profiles, up to 20 users, and 12-month history require speaking with a sales rep for pricing information. Business and Enterprise plans include additional features such as competitive ad insights and data integration, and predictive intelligence and recommendations.
You can get a free report that will tell you the most popular photos, filters, and hashtags on your profile. You’ll also see all of your interactions with your followers. Though the report is visually appealing, it can be somewhat of a challenge to navigate. You can get the most value from the sections that show you your most liked and most commented posts, since you can use it to identify patterns in the content your audience responds to the best.
To get the free report, go to the Free Instagram Analytics Tool and login with Instagram.
7. Union Metrics
Union Metrics is a social intelligence dashboard that includes features such as social listening, campaign reporting, competitive analysis, owned media analysis, and research capabilities. Pricing starts at $99/month for up two to trackers, 100,000 monthly posts, 50,000 profile followers, and unlimited user logins. It works with Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
If you’re not ready to pay for social media analytics information, there’s a free Instagram account checkup that lets you see how you’re doing on the platform. Though the report isn’t as comprehensive compared to some of the other free tools available, you can still get valuable information from it. With it, you can determine the best time to post for your audience, the hashtags you can use, and what content you should be posting more of, and what content you should be posting less of. You’ll also see who your top followers are so you can focus more of your engagement on them directly. Union Metrics also offers a free Twitter checkup tool.
Iconosquare is a desktop app that helps users see high level analytics, but also allows you to dig deeper underneath the surface. You’ll see your total number of likes received, your most liked photos for the life of the account, the average number of likes and comments per photo, as well as growth charts and more.
Iconosquare takes things one step further by allowing users to add a custom Instagram tab to their Facebook pages, making it easier to increase cross channel engagement. The social tool also allows you to embed your Instagram content into a gallery to display on your website.
If you’ve got the budget to invest in some tools, you can use the content function to build contest and other promotions to help you build a larger follower base and increase engagement with your audience.
Can Instagram Really Make a Difference in Your Social Strategy?
As marketers, there’s the idea that you have to be everywhere in order to be successful. Instagram can be a valuable platform for you, if your customers are there. If you’re not sure of the value Instagram brings you, or you know you need to strengthen your presence to really get the most of it, these analytics tools can help guide you.