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Instagram social media marketing: Measurement

You might have heard us waffle on about measurement and social media marketing for business once or twice. Well, get ready for some more.

Instagram is now considered an essential tool in the social media marketing kit by many. However, many brand users are still failing to fully exploit the network’s overall potential because they simply don’t have suitable measurement processes in place.

Instagram made significant changes around three years ago which made it easier than ever to understand the impact of posts.

The idea behind Insights, the network’s analytics offering, was to give pro users the power to drill down into audience demographics like never before, and track their performance among followers. Sadly, though, the reality of the data provided was rather limited.

Introducing some of Instagram’s (many) third party analysis tools

The result was predictable. Suddenly, a number of analytics options, built by third party developers, hit the market.

Social media marketing managers finally had a chance to go well beyond the restricted data of Insights. Here are some of the key names in the game.


Iconosquare proved one of the most popular analysis tools because it gathers data, presents reports and offers advice on optimisation and improvement.

Those looking to work out which photographic filters to target particular types of followers with love Using multiple data points, engagement and performance rates are delivered in formats that are easy to understand.


A relatively new addition to the market, Combin is a desktop application that can reveal organic growth details. It offers advanced audience and content search options, smart action task scheduling and core account statistics.

Helpfully, it provides information about the last week, current month, previous month and each individual day within those timeframes. Up to 15 accounts can be connected to the app.

A fool proof plan?

Needless to say, anyone who read our post on 6 Essential (and not-so-essential) social media marketing measurement metrics will understand that sadly there is no one size fits all model here.

What data social media marketing managers look for will really depend on what their overall goal is, as different metrics can be used to judge whether a brand is meeting different targets.

So-called ‘vanity metrics’ are a problem not because the number of likes or followers is irrelevant. We all know that’s not entirely true. But they can paint a misleading picture of how successful social media marketing output is.

A company with millions in its Instagram army, for example, may actually not be as successful as another with significantly fewer legions, but significantly higher levels of engagement therein.

To understand what metrics you should be including in your social media marketing mix therefore requires managers to understand that only a combination of them all can truly help you understand how close the business’ output is to achieving the goals they have set.

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