Getting the most out of your Instagram data

Instagram now has more than 400 million monthly users and these users engage in content on average 3.5 billion times a day.
The aim of this post is to offer useful tips on how to use the platform’s data to gain insight around;

  • finding moments in time
  • distributing your Instagram content
  • finding influencers
  • content engagement and planning ahead

By combining this data with a sprinkling of creativity, you should be in good shape to implement more effective marketing strategies.
More and more brands from a wide breadth of industries are waking up to the unquestionable capability of Instagram to drive brand awareness, loyalty and of course sales.  Last month Marketing Week published an article which examined how fashion brands have moved the platform from a “gimmick” to a key component in their social strategy.
In the first section of this post we’ll look at Instagram data around hashtag variations of #wimbledon2015.
Volume trend from 2015-06-30 to 2015-07-14
Words from 2015-06-29 to 2015-07-28
Researching moments in time
When a person takes a photo or video, they are capturing a moment in time.  By analysing Instagram data around specific hashtags you can gain a better understanding of how your brand too could be part of this moment – dare I say even own this moment?
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By gathering in the Instagram data around variations of #wimbledon2015, the analyst can begin to pick apart the data and discover the moments that fans share during the tennis tournament on the social platform.  As the user hjwestle asks above – “What does Wimbledon mean to you?
Distributing your Instagram Content
Hashtags have a lot to do with how your products and services get discovered on Instagram.  You can use the top hashtags tab to give insight around other hashtags to include in posts.  Using the correct hashtag will give your content a better chance of getting in front of the correct eyes.
from 2015-06-26 to 2015-07-25
Optimising hashtags based on geo-locations
Wimbledon is of course a global event so you should consider segmenting your data by country, region or city.  A hashtag popular in London may not be being used in other European cities.  If you are looking to target an audience in a specific geo-location, filter the results by that location to discover its top hashtags.
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Running an Influencer campaign on Instagram
Using influencers to reach an audience that is specifically targeted to your products and services can be an effective way of growing brand awareness and increasing sales.
The first step is to identify potential Instagram influencers to reach out to.
A lot of influencers will operate on various social channels.  If you identify an influencer on a different social network – say one where there is more data available like a Twitter influencer or influential blogger – you should analyse their Instagram account too as they may well be an influencer here too.
In a search looking for organic conversation around Wimbledon on Twitter, Facebook, blogs and forums, Kevin McHale was identified as a potential influencer.  With an interest in Wimbledon, and  over 778,000 followers on Instagram, we were confident that he is a good fit.
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It’s good to compile a list of potential influencers who your brand could reach out to.  Before making any final decisions, you can track their Instagram accounts to evaluate engagement rates – which we’ll come onto now…
Content engagement and planning ahead
For this section, let’s look at a brand that is a real powerhouse in the Instagram world – GoPro.
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In this age of data analytics, tracking the engagement – likes and comments – around your content can allow you to evaluate the success of your content and that of your competitors with your target audience.
Engagement per follower
Engagements are relative however.  A multi-national, multi-million dollar clothing label is likely to receive more Likes and Comments that your local, independent boutique.  Having said that, if the smaller Instagram account knows what its audience wants
to see and has a killer strategy, it’s possible they will receive higher engagement rates per follower than their international counterpart.  Higher engagement of your brand by an individual will increase the chances of your brand being considered by the consumer when they enter their intent to purchase stage.
Engagement per media type
In terms of planning future content, a useful metric can be to calculate the engagement per media type. Is your Instagram community interacting more with a certain type of photo or video?  Gleaning this insight can shed some light into what types of media you should post more frequently, as well as when they should be posted.
I’m going to end this post exactly how I started it – “Instagram now has more than 400 million monthly users and these users engage in content on average 3.5 billion times a day”.  Leverage the data to get the most out of the platform for your brand.

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