I used to think that just posting to social media was enough. I created some content, and I shared it. That should build my following and grow my business, right? I'm sorry to say, that's not even close.
The trick to marketing and building your social platforms isn't just posting content but posting high-quality, valuable content. Your customer has to be the first thing you have in mind whenever you post something to any of your social channels. How do you know if you're doing this? Analytics.
Yes, my friends, we come back to the game of numbers. You're in luck though, because analytics are nothing like your high school calculus class (seeing as mine was non-existent). The numbers behind your posts will tell you everything you need to know about how your content is doing. For today, I'm just going to start you off small with tracking your Instagram numbers.
The magical trick up my sleeve for you is the site Squarelovin. It's a free analytics website that tracks your Instagram engagement, posts and growth so that you can see what you need to change or keep the same.
The central dashboard gives you an overview of your account. Highlighted are your last four posts, and shown in the graph is your 7-day growth. You can see from my line graph that I'm slowly growing (with some ups and downs) in my account. This tells me I'm doing something right. The numbers in your top squares are your all-time number of posts, likes, comments, etc. This overview page gives you a general feel for how things are doing on your Instagram.
The monthly analytics dashboard is where you can start learning some new things. Here you'll see your last few posts and the general likes and comments for the month. Most importantly you'll see the most liked and most commented images at the bottom of this dashboard. With this, you can start to find trends in what people are engaging with. Look back at the captions you wrote for these posts and see if they help your audience interact with them or if they have any other on-going themes. Trends are what you are always looking for. Find them in your images, your captions, the times you post, etc.
Just like on your monthly analytics dashboard, the engagement dashboard will show you the most post with the all-time most engagement. Once again you are looking for themes in these images, captions and times of posting. Something to keep in mind is when you posted these. If you view my "Most commented media, ever" section, there are two things I know about all the ocean images. First I was participating in comment pods during this time, so that same eight people were commenting on every image I posted. Second, this was right before an algorithm change. I know this because a couple of weeks later my like average dropped dramatically and hadn't ever quite gotten back to the same place. These are two things I know will sway these results and therefore need to be kept in mind.
From my most liked media, I can see trends of outdoor images, portraits and the Fall season. Even the most commented images are all outdoorsy with a few portrait shots in the mix. These are the things I need to be thinking about when I'm posting new images to my account. Of course, it's still good to mix in some new content now and then and see how your audience reacts.
A/B testing is the most beneficial thing you can do in trying to grow your social platforms. Which leads me to my last note, inside your Instagram app are your insights. This also breaks down some of your analytics specifically your link clicks, impression, followers - by gender and age, and your top posts. Under the follower's section If you click on "see more" you can also see your best time to post by day. Testing your time of posting will show a real change in engagement since you'll be posting when your current audience is on the app. Test new content and be sure to try posting at different times of day to see what works best for your audience.