Are you making the most of Instagram for marketing?

Meltwater's Heidi Myers explains why Instagram is a marketing goldmine yet to be uncovered by most businesses.

One of the world’s best-loved social media channels, Instagram, recently announced that its advertising base had more than doubled over the last six months, now exceeding 500,000.

Following its launch earlier this year, Instagram has seen 1.5 million users switch to its ‘Business Tools’ programme. Through Instagram Insights, business users are also able to gain information on what resonates well with their customers and see the impact that their posts have in terms of impressions.

As a business, you want to add value, generate awareness and increase revenue. So, with the 500 million-user app firmly on the radar, what can marketers do to measure the success it’s bringing to their brand?

Value comments over clicks

One of the very first metrics marketing teams can look at is the level of engagement being achieved. When it comes to Instagram, some believe it’s all about the number of likes you get for photos. However, a like is easy, but a comment is more valuable. Almost 99 per cent of interactions come in the form of likes, with comments only accounting for roughly 1.1 per cent.

Comments take longer to write and require some thought, meaning whatever you have posted has sparked a reaction from those it’s reaching. Think about the content you’re posting and how best to get a response from people. It might be that you run an Instagram-based competition, asking users to comment and re-share content, or that you move beyond posting just images, capturing video too. Moving images are an even more engaging way to grab the attention of your audience and Instagram’s introduction of video app Boomerang enables users to bring everyday moments to life.

If you notice that the number of comments on your content begins to increase, you’ve successfully boosted your engagement.

Watch the clock

An Instagram post typically has a lifetime of around four hours before it’s buried on a persons feed, making them a lot less likely to see it at all. For brands, this means choosing the time you know the majority of those you’re trying to reach will most likely have eyes on their feed.

The average Instagram user is likely to interact with a brand either first thing in the morning between 8.00 and 9.00 am (checking their phone before or on the way to work), during lunch at 1.00 pm, or in the evening at 5.00 pm (just as they finish work).

By keeping track of your most engaged posts and the times they were published, you will begin to see a clear pattern of activity and pinpoint your audiences optimum time.

Start tracking traffic

One of the most important things for marketers is knowing just how effective Instagram is at driving leads to their site. This is where the platform’s new ‘Business Tools’ offering comes in handy, as brands can choose exactly how they want people to get in touch with them, with the addition of the ‘contact’ button. This makes it simple for marketers to monitor just how many people are reaching out to them.

The only way to make improvements to your Instagram offering, is to know what works for your business, which can only be achieved by tracking, monitoring and benchmarking. Learning more about the people that follow and engage enables you to create more relevant and relatable content for your audiences.

The platform has some of the highest engagement rates and lowest bounce rates across social media, meaning the traffic produced is extremely valuable for any business. So, if you’re not measuring your engagement on Instagram and ploughing the learnings back into your overall marcomms strategy, you’re missing out on this touchpoint with key audiences.

Heidi Myers is the director of marketing EMEA at Meltwater

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for from 2016 to 2018.

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