Instagram analytics can help you target the right audience, improve your content strategy, and reach new audiences, but what should we, as freelancers, be paying the most attention to?
What are analytics and why are they important?
Instagram analytics are the best way to understand who your audience is, when they’re most active, and what type of content they engage with the most. For business and large companies this is key because oftentimes the followers are the consumers. For freelancers however, this is where the line may blur. For some freelancers, especially independent musicians or fashion designers for example, their following is also their consumer – the consumer follows the freelance artist because they consume their content and their products (music or clothes in this case).
For a freelance stylist however, this may not be the case. A stylist’s following may comprise 20% consumers of service and content but 80% may follow the stylist simply as a source of visual and/or artistic inspiration.
For this instance, having a clear idea of what your Instagram goals are for your freelance services is crucial so that you are able to decide which metrics are most relevant to help you achieve them.
How to look at the analytics on Instagram
If you already have an Instagram business or creator profile, you can easily access your analytics through the Insights tab in the Instagram app.
Start by tapping on the menu icon in the top right corner of your profile, and then click on the Insights tab, which will open the analytics for your business or creator profile. Alternatively, you can tap the Insights button on your profile page.
Alongside Instagram’s native analytics, they also provide Later, a free platform which gives you a visual overview of how your posts and stories are performing – all in an easy-to-use dashboard.
The demographic can be determined by the following metrics:
The demographic of your audience can also give hints about how many of your followers are clients or potential clients.
How to use the Active Times Metrics:
Digging into your audience’s most active times is one of the best ways to optimize your Instagram posting strategy.
By posting when your audience is most active, you’ll give your posts the best chance for success — as your followers are more likely to comment, like, or share your posts.
The more engagement your posts receive, the better they’ll perform with the Instagram algorithm — which means greater reach for your business or brand.
How to Know What to Post in Your Feed:
Keeping your eye on your feed analytics is great to know what posts your audience likes and therefore what you should continue to create and share.
Look at the following:
Likes, comments, and send metrics are a great way to learn what posts encourage engagement from your community.
Saves often show what content resonates deeply with your audience, provides inspiration, or has lasting value.
Impressions show how well your post is performing with the Instagram algorithm. For high performing posts, take note of where your impressions came from, the time and day of posting, and whether there are any thematic content trends worth noting.
How to Know What to Post on Your Stories:
Much like with Instagram feed posts, you can discover Instagram Stories analytics through the Insights tab, or by swiping up on a live Instagram story.
On the Insights tab, scroll down to “Content You Shared” and tap the arrow alongside your recent stories.
For a more detailed performance overview, swipe up on a live story and select the insights icon on the left-hand side of the screen.
Here, you can see:
Interactions (Profile visits)
Navigation (Back, Forwards, Next story, and Exited)
Pay close attention to the Exited metric, as it can be indicative of where your audience lost interest in your content — and something to avoid in future.
Overall, having a clear view of your brand goals, and the key Instagram metrics that will help achieve them, is often a more efficient approach. Once you’ve clarified your goals, it’s worthwhile creating a social media report to track your progress in a visually powerful and digestible way.
Regardless of whether or not your following is made up of current and potential clientele, it is always worth investing in your online presence. One of the first things a client will do is Google you and having a strong online presence that showcases your best work is sure to make a good impression. So happy analytics!