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Screenshot of the Instagram analytics screen
Analytics, Instagram

How to Find and Use Instagram Analytics

Instagram is a hugely popular social media network, especially with the Millennials and younger group. Instagram’s analytics aren’t hard to use, and they can help inform your posting strategy. So let’s take a look.

How to Find Instagram Analytics

Instagram analytics are actually really easy to find. Open the Instagram app and go to your profile. Once there, click the button at the top that looks like a series of four vertical lines.

Screenshot of an Instagram profile with the analytics button at the top highlighted in red

And there you are! All of Instagram’s analytics are right there.

You can also view analytics for an individual post by going to your profile, tapping the post, then tapping “View insights” beneath it.

What’s In Instagram Analytics

Instagram analytics has three tabs for you to look through.

Screenshot of the Instagram analytics screen

The first tab is the Activity tab. This tab shows you how many times your posts have been seen, how many unique people have seen your posts, how many people have interacted with your posts – basically all the standard analytics data you would expect to see.

The Content tab lets you see data about your individual posts, your Instagram Stories, and your paid promotions. This is where you can check how well your stories are doing and compare your posts for the past week to see which ones are doing best.

The Audience tab doesn’t have any information unless you have 100 or more followers, but once you have that many followers, it will give you a detailed breakdown of all the demographics of your followers, including age, location, and when they interact with your posts.

How to Use Instagram Analytics

Like all analytics, you can use Instagram analytics to see which of your posts are doing better than others and look for common themes so you can create better content in the future. These analytics are also good for monitoring how well your account is doing (and for reporting to your boss, if that’s part of your job). Looking at when your audience interacts with your posts can also help you determine the best days and times for you to post for maximum reach and engagement.

Analytics, Facebook

How to Find and Use Facebook Analytics

Despite its recent data scandal, Facebook is still a major social network (and one we recommend to everyone who’s just getting started with their social media presence). So it’s only fitting that the first network we dive into specifics of be Facebook.

How to Find Facebook Analytics

Finding Facebook page analytics is actually really easy. Log into Facebook and go to your page. Then click the “Insights” tab at the top.

Screenshot of Facebook page with the "Insights" tab highlighted in red

And there you are! You can now see all the numbers relating to your page and posts.

Using Facebook Analytics

Now that you have the numbers, what do you do with them?

The Page Summary

Screenshot of Facebook analytics

The Page Summary gives you an overview of what’s been happening on your page. The default view is for the previous 7 days, but you can change it by clicking the “Last 7 Days” dropdown and selecting a different range.

The summary shows nine different pieces of information about your page and the numbers associated with each. Each of the categories in the summary can be viewed in more detail using the tabs on the left side.

The most valuable thing you can do on this page, especially when you’re new and don’t have a lot of likes and engagement, is to look for spikes – spots where the numbers are higher than the surrounding days. For example, Ely Social’s page has spikes on May 11 and May 13. Once you’ve identified the spikes, you can scroll down and see what you posted on that day that got such a good reaction and brainstorm more similar things to post.

The Tabs

We’re going to look at a few of the tabs on the left and highlight where you can get some more valuable information. For a more in-depth look at the tabs, see this article from Hootsuite.

On the Posts tab, at the very top, you can see a breakdown of when the people who like your page are usually online. This can help you get an idea of the best times to post.

The Actions on Page tab will let you know how many people clicked on various things on your page, such as your website address or your call to action button. If your goal is to drive people to take action on your page, this tab will tell you how well you’re doing at it.

The Page Likes tab will give you data about how many likes you have, as well as where those likes happened, so you can see what posts or other activities are driving people to like your page.

Explore

There’s a lot you can do with Facebook analytics, and the easiest way to learn about it is to explore it yourself. Take half an hour, click through all the different tabs and options behind the Insights tab, and see what data there is for you to explore. Not all of it will be relevant or helpful for you if you’re new to Facebook, but there is still a lot of valuable information to be found.

Analytics

Why Should You Use Social Media Analytics?

Perhaps the better question is, what is the value of all those numbers?

The answer is that they can be very valuable, you just have to know what to do with them. And the good news is that you don’t have to be a numbers person to be able to use analytics. We’ll be talking more about specifically how to do these things in the next few weeks, but for now, here are just a few of the things analytics can tell you.

What your audience likes

This is pretty obvious – what your audience responds well to on social media is obviously something they like, which can help inform future social media strategies and even future business directions.

How to make posts that get responses

By looking at which posts did well and analyzing them, you can determine what your audience responds best to so you can make posts (and social ads) that get responses.

Where and who your audience is

A lot of analytics gives you demographic data like where your audience lives, their gender, their interests, and sometimes even things like their income and age range.

When to post

A little experimentation and a hard look at analytics can show you what days and times to post to reach as many people as possible.

ROI

This is probably the most important thing you can get from your analytics – the return on investment for your social media efforts. Even if you can’t directly correlate social media with sales, you can still use analytics to show things like how people think of your brand, your share of voice (how many people are talking about you compared to your competitors), and traffic to your website or sales page.

Resources and Tools

6 Great Social Media and Digital Marketing Resources

One of the most important things to do as a social media marketer is to always keep learning. The internet is always changing, and if you want to be successful, you need to make sure you know what the new best practices are and have some way to learn about new tools and strategies.

Here are 6 of the resources we use to keep ourselves educated about social media and digital marketing.

Hootsuite’s Blog

Hootsuite is a social media scheduling tool that we use here at Ely Social, and their blog is great. It covers everything from the “why” of using social media to tools, tips, tricks, suggestions, and advice for successful social media marketing. (They also do amazing webinars.) They explain everything in simple terms, so if you’re looking for a beginner to intermediate resource, this is the blog for you.

Buffer Blog

Buffer is a service similar to Hootsuite, and their blog offers similar things. While Hootsuite focuses more on advice and tips, though, Buffer is a huge fan of lists and step-by-step articles, telling you about all the coolest tools and giving you detailed instructions for doing various social media things. This is another good beginner/intermediate resource to follow.

Social Media Examiner

Social Media Examiner may be one of the most comprehensive social media marketing sites out there. They have detailed guides, extensive reports, and instructions for using features you didn’t even know existed, and none of their posts are shorter than 750 words. They also post a LOT. If you’re looking to dive deep and get advanced information, this is where you want to be.

Digital Marketer

Digital Marketer covers all aspects of business in the digital age, from blogging to social media to traffic and conversion rates to landing pages. You may find not all of their articles are useful to you, but their blog is incredibly comprehensive and you’re sure to find something that you can apply to your business.

SEMrush

This resource is more about digital marketing than social media – SEM stands for Search Engine Marketing, and the SEMrush blog talks about all topics related to search engine marketing, from content marketing to tools and strategies to, of course, search engine optimization (SEO) for your website.

Yoast

Yoast is a SEO plugin for WordPress, but even if you don’t use Yoast itself, the blog is a great resource for all things SEO and website organization.

Those are our favorite resources to keep learning about social media marketing tools and best practices. Did we miss your favorite? Leave it in the comments!

Ephemeral Content

What Kinds of Ephemeral Content to Post

The last few blog posts have talked a lot about how to use ephemeral content (especially Snapchat and Instagram Stories) to your advantage. But we haven’t yet answered the eternal question – what should you post?

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to that question, but here are some ideas:

  1. Flash sales
  2. Limited-time coupons
  3. Behind the scenes of your creative process or business workings
  4. Highlight an employee who did something great
  5. Celebrate an employee’s birthday
  6. Unusual visitors to the office (e.g. if someone brings their dog in)
  7. Post-work drinks or carry-in lunches for the team
  8. Where you are (whether that’s an industry event or a client’s office)
  9. Promote your latest deal, sale, or blog post
  10. A funny event or mistake that happened around the office (e.g. someone forgot to put the coffee pot under the coffee maker before they turned it on)
  11. Give a shoutout to an employee or business partner
  12. Promote other social networks your business is on
  13. Have a member of your team use a face-distorting filter (bonus points if it’s someone high up like a marketing manager)
  14. Do a live video with a Q&A
  15. Partner with an influencer for a Snapchat or Instagram “takeover”

Above all, keep your eyes open for creative opportunities. There’s a lot of ephemeral content-worthy things all around you; the key is training yourself to recognize it. To start, take time every so often to slow down and think, “Is there anything going on right now that would be interesting to post?” A lot of the time, the answer will be no. But sometimes you’ll realize that something happening right in front of you is a great thing to post. Keep your eyes open for those moments, and you’ll never run out of ephemeral content to post.

Ephemeral Content, Instagram

How to Succeed with Instagram Stories

If Snapchat is the network that started the ephemeral content trend, Instagram is the one that perfected it – Instagram stories has more daily users than Snapchat! Companies that do it well make creating a great Instagram story look easy, but it’s harder than it looks. Here are a few tips to help you succeed with your own Instagram stories.

Keep it polished

Even though Instagram stories lift their functionality directly from Snapchat, the two platforms require different strategies. Where Snapchat is perfectly fine with more raw, candid content, Instagram requires a certain level of polish. Don’t be afraid to give people a look into the daily workings of your business, but keep it professional.

Avoid too many hashtags

While putting a block of hashtags at the end of a normal Instagram post isn’t bad, putting too many hashtags in your story just clutters it. At most, choose one hashtag.

Use hashtags and locations

Even though you shouldn’t cram your story full of hashtags, it’s still a good idea to use one and/or include a location! This will get your story more exposure, since it will show up in searches for that tag or location (and could possibly be put in a “featured in this location” story collection for the tagged location).

Share interesting content

This is somewhat obvious, but make sure the content you share in your story is interesting. Chances are nobody cares about the new conference table at the office, but they might find it interesting to know that the C-suite executives all have walking desks. A good litmus test: “If one of the brands I follow posted this, would I be interested?”

Get creative

Good Instagram stories require creativity! The goal is for it to be engaging to your audience, and that requires some creative thinking. The most interesting thing in the world can still be not engaging if it’s presented uncreatively. If you’re not a creative person, it might be worth talking to a creative person about it – if nothing else, look at other brands’ Instagram stories and see what techniques of theirs you can imitate.

Instagram

How to Use Instagram Stories

If you haven’t done anything with Instagram Stories yet, it can seem overwhelming. There’s a lot of features that you can use, but it’s not always intuitive to use them, and seeing other people or companies’ professional-looking stories can be intimidating. So in this post, I’m going to walk you through creating an Instagram story and the tools you can use to make it great.

Let’s get started!

When you open the Instagram app, there are two ways to post a story.

The first is by clicking the camera icon in the top left corner. The second is by clicking on your profile picture labeled “You.” Both will lead you to the same screen where you can create your story.

On that screen, you have multiple options. At the top, you have the gear icon which will let you change the settings (the defaults are usually fine) and an arrow that will take you back to the previous screen. On the bottom left, there is a square Camera Roll button, which will let you post a picture you’ve taken in the last 24 hours to your Instagram story. Next to that is the lightning bolt button that toggles camera flash on and off, the large white record/take picture button, the arrows that switch to front-facing camera and back, and the face icon, which can apply filters to your face.

At the very bottom are options for the type of story you want to create:

  • Type: Text on a background
  • Live: A live video
  • Normal: A standard picture
  • Boomerang: A short video that plays forward and then in reverse
  • Superzoom: A video that zooms in while recording
  • Rewind: A video that plays in reverse
  • Hands-free: A video that doesn’t require you to press and hold the record button, just tap to start and stop

Once you take your picture or video, you get the modification options.

In the top left corner is the X to cancel and go back to the picture-taking screen. On the right, there is a small square face icon, which will let you add features like a location, hashtags, the time or day of the week, and various stickers and emojis. The pen icon will let you doodle on the image, and the Aa icon will let you add text.

Once you have it the way you want it, you can tap the “Send to” button to send it directly to someone, or tap the “Your Story” button to add it to your story.

And that’s it! You’ve just created a great Instagram story!