Instagram marketing must bring results. To track them and see if the strategy and tactics help achieve social media marketing objectives, marketers use KPIs (key performance indicators).
In this article, we'll define which KPIs and metrics are crucial for Instagram marketing, how to track the effectiveness of your Instagram strategy and discuss ways to jump-start your metrics with Combin Growth.
💡Suggested read: Instagram analytics easily explained.
Signs of Efficient Instagram Marketing
Before we proceed to the specific KPIs and metrics, let's firstly touch on what defines an efficient and healthy Instagram marketing strategy.
These signs we listed apply to SMM strategies on all platforms, but in this piece, we'll talk specifically about Instagram.
- Each content piece can be measured: No matter if this is a post, a short story slide or a Reel – you need to know how to track its performance. If you can answer 'Has this piece worked?' by looking at your current content efforts, you're doing something right.
- Each content piece serves a certain goal of your strategy: When creating content, you should always ask yourself why exactly you do this. If you can clearly answer that question, the content will work for your goals and business objectives.
You might say you create Instagram content for sales. However, not all Instagram posts should inevitably lead to sales. As a matter of fact, it's on the contrary: Instagram content pieces should be diverse and serve multiple goals: some of them are to engage (get likes, comments, shares, and saves), invite your audience to go to the next step of your marketing funnel, lead them to your website (to collect leads, motivate them to read your blog), or to obtain UGC.
💡Suggested read: How to create Insta posts with different objectives.
Types and amounts of goals that content should serve are different from business to business and depend on your strategy and what matters to you most (KPIs).
- Each content piece is made specifically for the channel you publish it on: No one asks you to create content specifically for Instagram, then make posts just for TikTok or Twitter – this would be too time-consuming and pointless.
What we mean here is that you should consider the peculiarities of each social media platform when posting content from your other channels and diversify/resize it just for this platform: mind sizes and specs of visuals, bear in mind the audience that is on this platform, and stay on top of trends and new features the platform launches.
To sum up this last point, cross-posting is dead; repurpose your content instead.
At the end of the day, if every social channel you manage will have the same content, why would anyone want to follow you on more than one platform?
- Your KPIs and metrics are changing the way you want them to. We'll talk about this a bit more specifically below but before that, let's revise how different KPIs and metrics are.
Difference Between KPIs and Metrics
Here’s a quick tip on how to tell these two things apart:
A metric merely shows you a piece of data about your marketing campaign.
A KPI shows you how well a specific part of this campaign is performing when you correlate a metric with a certain goal.
So if you have 100,000 views of your latest Reel, that’s a metric. This number is neither good nor bad without a context.
But if you create a goal to grow your Reels views by 1.5% each month, then your 100,000 views is a KPI (because you’re tracking if it reached that 1.5% growth from the last month).
Metrics are data you and your marketing team find interesting. KPIs are data the rest of your company finds important.
💡The problem is that many SMM managers and small business owners pay attention to Instagram metrics, not KPIs.
Crucial Instagram Marketing KPIs and Metrics to Track Them
First off, let's touch on the KPIs you should bear in mind when coming up with a detailed Instagram marketing strategy.
Not to be confused with impressions. Your reach tells you how many people view your content piece or campaign. Your impressions tell how many times your campaign or content piece has been viewed. Simply put, if the same user saw your Reel twice, you would have 2 impressions but a reach of 1.
Reach gives you a precise idea of how many people discover your Instagram content, so you should focus on the specific KPI: growth of your reach.
How? To put it briefly, post content at the time your audience is active, collaborate with influencers and other brands with your relevant audience, engage with your target audience that is not yet your followers, and create insightful content that people would love to share.
On Instagram, there's specific metric that is called Reach that allows you to track its upward or downward trends. By comparing the data month by month, you will see if your Instagram marketing strategy is efficient.
Although Instagram followers number is a vanity metric and you shouldn't really focus on your current number, you should cohesively work on the constant growth of your followership, the so-called follower growth rate.
Your follower growth rate is easy to calculate:
Follower growth rate = number of followers you gained within a month / number of followers you had at the beginning of that month x 100
Say you gained 80 new followers during the previous month, starting with 4,000 followers at the beginning of the month. Thus, your follower growth rate is 2% (which is fine).
💡Suggested read: Gain more followers if you're an influencer.
You should also pay attention to the speed of your account's growth. Here's how you can calculate it:
Growth's tempo = number of new followers / number of total followers x 100
The quicker your account grows organically, the healthier and more efficient your current strategy is.
Unfollows on Instagram are not always bad, unless this is your target audience who unfollow you. If these are bots, mass followers, and other irrelevant accounts unfollow you, there's nothing to worry about – it's even great that your account is getting rid of such dead weight. But if your target personas decide to leave, there's something should be done about it.
There is no legit tool that would allow you to show your unfollowers and estimate their relevance to your account.
Reels Views & Engagement Growth
Reels are a relatively new and scaling-up feature that is engaging, amusing, and useful to serve your business goals.
Instagram Reels analytics allow you to view essential engagement metrics, such as Comments, Likes, Saves, Reach, and Plays.
To calculate Reels engagement rate based on the metrics above, use this formula:
Reels ER = number of Reels interactions / Reels Plays x 100
Stories View Growth
Each slide of your story has its own metrics — interactions, navigation, and activity.
⚡️Tip: Easily post Instagram stories automatically with Combin Scheduler. The tool doesn't send you notifications to manually check and post your story; instead, it actually shares them for you!
Here are other ways to track how well your stories perform:
1) Watch-through rate
This metric tells you the percentage of people who watched your stories from beginning to end.
❗️Note that this applies only if you have two or more story slides.
To calculate this metric:
Watch through rate = number of all story slides views / first story slide views x 100
2) Story slide completion rate
This metric tells you the percentage of viewers who watch the entire length of the slide.
Slide completion rate = number of impressions – number of exits / impressions
Your engagement metrics are what you should turn into a specific KPI. There are two the most actionable ways to calculate your engagement on Instagram.
ER= number of comments, likes and saves / number of followers
The average engagement rate for most companies is somewhere between 3-6%.
Another vital, and even more crucial metric to estimate your engagement is engagement rate by reach.
💡Suggested read: Organically Increase Instagram Engagement Rate in 2022
With this method, you take the number of likes, comments, shares, and saves divided by your overall reach. This calculation is more accurate since not everyone who engages with your content is your follower.
ERR = reactions (likes + comments + shares + saves) / reach x 100
Your engagement rate by reach can give you a better idea of content's general performance.
Other representative metrics when it comes to your engagement are:
Love rate tells you how attractive or loved your account is and is calculated as follows:
Love Rate = (likes from one post / number of followers) x 100
Thus you'll get the percentage of love for your account 😊
Talk rate is the so-called sociability rate; in other words, these are comments in a recalculation of the audience's size. This is how you find it:
Talk Rate = (all comments / number of followers) x 100
The higher percentage you get, the better.
Other vital metrics to track your engagement are Savings (tell you how loyal your audience is and how valuable your content is) and Shares (tell you how viral your content is).
To tell if your Instagram account brings you any site visitors, you should track the website traffic that comes directly from Instagram. To do so, you can use Google Analytics.
- Open the Google Analytics' dashboard and go to Acquisition.
- Find Overview on the left-hand side menu.
- Then scroll down to the table and click Social.
- Click Instagram.
That will show you an overview of users, new users, and sessions on your site that came from Instagram.
Alternatively, you can track the traffic coming to your website from Instagram with UTMs in the source/medium tab in Google Analytics.
How to Skyrocket Instagram Marketing KPIs with the Combin Tools
Combin Growth, a free Instagram marketing tool, can help you increase some of the KPIs we named above, namely, followers growth, engagement, and reach.
Combin Growth allows you to search for relevant audiences with narrow targeting criteria, such as likes and comments count, language and gender of users, recent profile activity, and run searches by hashtags, location, followings, followers, likers and commenters of a certain Instagram user, as well as bio keywords.
By interacting with the users you found on Combin with these criteria, you will increase your ER and reach.
The tool enables you to find and engage with your Instagram competitors’ audience by interacting with competitors' Followers, Followings, Commenters, and Likers, thus contributing to grow your followership.
When you find the audience, sort the search results by a variety of filters to get the most relevant results.
After interacting with users within the Combin Growth app, you can then track how it worked for you in the Analytics tab.
With Combin Scheduler, you can increase your website traffic.
Since Instagram doesn’t let its users add clickable links in captions, you can add a custom link in your bio right when you plan your next publication using Combin Scheduler.
With this feature, you don’t need to waste your time adding the link manually after the publication. Just type the link in the field under your caption, and it will appear in your bio automatically upon the post appears on Instagram. Changing the link in bio manually each time when you want to lead the traffic to a specific website page may be daunting, so this function will assist you a lot.
To do so, open Combin Scheduler, tap on the Posts tab and start the planning process. Select an image, choose a location, set date and time, write an engaging caption with a CTA and add a link to the landing page.
The Bottom Line
There are surely many more metrics that you and your marketing team might find relevant in terms of your business goals, and that's normal. We just wanted to give you the basics of Instagram analytics and performance tracking. Marketing is the game of numbers, but with a bit of creativity and assisting tools, you can quickly master Instagram marketing and bring your KPIs to the next level.