Hey everybody! Jonathan Payne here from MySocialGamePlan.com. Welcome back to The Social Locker Room. We’re going to be finishing up our two-part series on Instagram analytics today, so we’ll be touching on post engagement, Instagram stories, and website traffic metrics, which are all really really important for determining if your presence is actually paying off. But first, if you missed part one of this series on Instagram analytics, I highly recommend you go check out that first video. There hould be a link popping up somewhere right about there, and you can go watch that. The order doesn’t matter, but the information within part one is equally as important, cause you’ll learn a lot about your audience looking at those engagement metrics. So go check that out when you get a chance. With that said let’s get moving into part two. The first topic we’re hitting in this episode is post engagement. Post engagement on Instagram boils down to how many people take some action on your post…in this case leaving a like or comment. On Instagram, you have pretty standard digital metrics for measuring post engagement. The first is reach, which is the total number of unique views of your post. impressions is the total number of views over all that your post receives. And technically impressions could be higher than reach, if one person sees your post more than once. Engagement is the total number of likes and comments your post receives. Saves is the total number of people who have saved your post. Instagram has this feature where you can save any post you come across that you really like and it goes into us sort of secret folder on your account that only you can see. And you can look back at those posts that you saved. And then views is just how many people have watched your video. Here’s a view of the back-end of Instagram’s engagement analytics just to show you how Instagram presents this data. You see the filter at the bottom that let’s you kind of scroll through and arrange the data in a few different ways. This will be really useful in a second when we get into some of these post engagement calculations. But first, just looking at the amount of engagement on posts doesn’t do much for us. You might be able to eyeball things a little bit and see if there’s something going horribly well or bad, but what you should be most interested in is measuring the trends and continuously improving your strategy. So using the engagement data that Instagram provides, we can do a couple of simple calculations to get useful insight into how our presence is growing. One metric is the average monthly engagement per post so on average how many people engage our posts per month. And the other is engagement as a percentage of followers. As we get more followers, are those followers sticking around and interacting with our posts. Obviously the higher these two numbers are and the more we can keep this trend positive, the better. Let’s take a look at how we calculate some of these numbers. First, we calculate the average monthly engagement per post by taking the total engagement in a 30-day period and dividing that by the total number of posts in that same 30-day period. If we look back at the analytics tool from earlier, what we’ll do is we’ll filter all posts by engagement, and then select the 30 days filter in the last column. And I know it’s on three months here, but you know use your imagination 🙂 If you look at the numbers at the bottom of each post, just above the filter tool, you’ll see 186, 184, 180, and so on. Those are the total engagement on each post. So we’ll add all of those numbers up first for each post in that 30-day period, then we’ll count the total number of posts made within the 30-day period and divide the engagement by the number of posts. And that will give you the average monthly engagement per post. Here’s the thing though…you can’t tell if that number is good or bad just by looking at it. It doesn’t do you much good just to do that once and then say, “hey we’re doing really good / we’re doing really bad.” You need some kind of benchmark to compare it to, whether that’s internally set by you based on certain business goals, or an industry standard. Or it’s based on historical data. So this is the most important step… if you do this calculation and record the result at the beginning or end of each month, you’ll have a fairly apples to apples comparison between these chunks of data. You can keep track of this average engagement every 30 days in an Excel spreadsheet or on a piece of paper if that’s easier for you and generate a simple line chart to see if your engagement is trending up or down or staying the same. From there you can decide, “Is our content performing well? Have we made any changes to our content strategy in the past three or six months that had a positive or negative impact?” Now obviously this isn’t a hundred percent accurate on a pure monthly basis since some months don’t have 30 days, but it gives you a close enough estimate to make some broad assessment of your content effectiveness. And as we talked about in part one of this series, it gives you an opportunity to ask important questions about your content and your overall strategy, and it keeps you from just blindly hoping you’re successful. That’s what we’re all about here with looking at these analytics…we’re looking for ways to a pinpoint what we’re doing right and wrong, and continuously improve upon the good parts. So the next metric we can build out of this data that Instagram provides is engagement as a percentage of followers. And we calculate that by taking the total engagements in a 30-day period again and divide that by the total number of followers that you have. And then we’ll multiply that by a hundred to turn it into a percentage. So just like we did previously, you’ll use the filter to get total engagement for a 30-day period. If you already did this for the previous metric you can just use that same number. Then divide that total engagement by the total number of followers you have. And again, you should note this engagement percentage at the beginning or end of every month so that you can track performance over time. And you have these historical benchmarks to say, “Look, something we changed at this point in time made our data go down and so maybe we need to rethink that strategy or that approach.” If you’re getting followers at a decent rate, but your engagement rate as a percentage of those followers isn’t trending in the same direction, that means maybe you’re attracting new followers somehow, but you aren’t activating those followers to take action on your post. Which means they’re not really actively engaged in your presence even if they followed you. So you know what can we do to fix that? Maybe you need to ask more questions in your posts and in your captions just to get people to comment. Really encourage people to start discussions. Maybe your content needs to be even a little bit more compelling or passionate to get people inspired to leave a comment or to leave a like. So those are the two major post engagement metrics that I keep an eye on. Instagram’s analytics aren’t nearly as detailed as Facebook’s yet, so there’s not a ton that you can do, but there’s still valuable information in there. And the only way to really know how you’re performing is to measure these metrics over time and strive to continuously improve the numbers. Of course in a sensible way. Don’t just improve the numbers for the sake of it…you should be improving the numbers by attracting and engaging more people in your target audience. The next thing we’ll take a look at his website traffic…basically how much traffic is Instagram driving to your website? Aside from building brand awareness and relationships with customers, a really good reason for using social media is often to drive traffic to your website. And the reasons for that are two-fold. One, you control the full experience on your website. You’re not constrained to the functionalities of Instagram and, if in five years Instagram starts to die off and your audience starts to leave the platform, you’re not left scrambling because you built your entire brand presence on one platform that you don’t really control the future of. And two, your website gives you far more opportunities to offer opt-ins for email or purchases or additional information and overall generate conversions. Which is what we’re all here for as businesses. So my general philosophy is that you should be making every attempt to get people to your website where you have them opt-in to something — either an email list or they subscribe to your blog feed…they subscribe to browser notifications. Whatever as long as you have one hundred percent control over it. Now Instagram does track web site visits based on how many people click the link in your Instagram profile, but in my experience, this number updates at weird times and it’s really hard to see any trends or keep an accurate recording of it. So personally I prefer to use Google Analytics for measuring website traffic. If you have Google Analytics setup already this is really easy…if you don’t have Google Analytics setup you definitely need to get on that. It’s one of the best free resources out there to track what’s going on with your website But if you go into Google Analytics on the left you’ll select Acquisition, Social, and then Overview and you’ll see Instagram on the right. You can manipulate this data however you want within Google Analytics to see the trends over time. If you’re seeing really low traffic numbers, one thing two try is maybe including stronger calls to action in your post captions asking people to click the link in your bio. For me, Instagram isn’t currently a huge driver of traffic. The lack of ability to include links directly within posts is a big factor with that, but it’s still good to keep an eye on this metric and I expect to see traffic levels increase as the platform matures and some features like linking within stories rolls out to all users. The last thing I want to talk about our Instagram Stories. Instagram Stories are those twenty-four hour disappearing posts that you see it at the top of the app in circles. These are used to give and more live feel to your account and also allow you to post content that you think warrants attention, but may not warrant a permanent post on your profile. Just like with posts, Instagram provides some analytics for these stories. Reach and impressions are the same…basically how many people are viewing your stories. Replies is the number of direct message your story receives. People can hit reply while watching one of your stories and they can privately message you about that story. You’ll receive their message with a screenshot of exactly what they’re replying to. And last are exits which is the number of people closing your story. So let’s say you make five posts to your story in a day and someone closes your story on the third post…that’s considered an exit on the third post. It’s kind of way to see where people are dropping out of your story and allowing you to see where they stopped being engaged, so maybe you can improve upon that and determine what content isn’t necessarily engaging people. Again Instagram allows you to filter data for these stories, so we’re back to the scrolling analytics filter. I don’t really go in depth with stories analytics because I’m still personally working out my strategy for using stories. I’m a little bit more focused on the initial content strategy than on the experimenting and testing side, when metrics would be a good thing to focus on. But you could theoretically record this data on a periodic basis and pull similar insights like we discussed earlier with regular posts You can also break this down to determine whether static images or videos perform better in stories. Or ask people to reply directly to your stories and see what level of engagement you get back. That could be a good way to connect with your followers and customers, and you won’t know until you actually test it. That wraps up this series on Instagram analytics If you haven’t watched part one yet, again i highly recommend you go check that out. There’s a lot of really good info about understanding your Instagram audience, which is critical for success. Like I talked about in part one and mentioned earlier, these analytics don’t give you some kind of silver bullet for being successful on Instagram, but they do give you the data to start asking the right questions and provide some guidance so that you’re not just blindly posting and hoping things go well. That’s the real takeaway from all of this. If you found this video helpful, leave a comment below that says plainly “This was helpful!” I’d really appreciate that and be sure to subscribe, so you don’t miss any videos in the future. Again I’m Jonathan Payne from MySocialGamePlan.com and you’ve been watching The Social Locker Room. Thank you all so much for watching and until next time…SEE YA!