Instagram Gets a Business Suit
Last week we covered the changes taking place in the Twittersphere, but Twitter is not the only social media giant to be experiencing modifications.
Instagram is getting a makeover, and it is sure to have a serious impact on marketers.
In a move far less controversial than the icon switch, Instagram is posed to deliver what marketers have been hoping for in future usage of the app: analytics.
Instagram announced earlier in the year that it would be adding business profiles (similar to Facebook Pages). Owners of these business profiles will now have access to valuable data. Whereas presently one can only measure success on the app based on follows, likes and comments, these analytics will tell more about who one’s followers are, when they’re online, and how many people have viewed any particular post. (source)
Let’s take a deeper look.
A.k.a. follower demographics analytics. Instagram will give businesses a breakdown of the age, gender and location of their followers. Charts of gender ratios, age ranges, and top location lists will be available under follower analytics.
Got a national or international audience? You’ll finally be able to plan posts according to the different times your audience will be awake and scrolling. A “Follow Activity” module will let you know when, hourly or daily, your posts are most likely to be viewed, making scheduling posts easier and more efficient.
The “How Many”
Similarly to Facebook Insights, the “Insights” section in Instagram analytics will show data not only on the number of times people have seen your posts (or impressions), but also the reach of your posts (number of accounts to have seen your posts), and amount of website clicks (number of accounts to have used the link in your bio).
Instagram will also sort your “top posts” for each data category. Here, for example, are the top posts under the “impressions” category for a 7-day period on Makaia’s account:
After looking through your top posts, you could then take an existing post that has shown success and, after adding a CTA, promote it–with or without the help of Instagram’s targeting–turning that popular post into an ad.
As it turns out, analytics may not even be the end of it.
According to Elliott Murray, head of innovation at The Social Chain, Instagram’s code has four hidden features which have not yet been put to use and may well be activated in the future. Those four features are (laid out as Boolean variables set to true or false):
This variable could make it possible to boost posts in order to improve visibility.
Similarly to what Twitter and YouTube already provide, this variable could make it so that regular accounts, not just business accounts, will be privy to detailed analytics.
This variable could likely give “certain types of accounts access to detailed data such as reach, impressions, views, engagement rate, comments and more along those lines” (source).
This variable could crack down on business profiles masquerading as personal Instagram accounts. Instagram may be able to force regular accounts to make the switch.
What It Could All Mean
With all of these biz-positive changes to the app, it’s worth mentioning that Instagram’s recent algorithm change may have turned the aforementioned additions into a lifeline for businesses on Instagram.
This is in reference to Instagram’s feed no longer being chronological. Its algorithm will now work to display posts that it deems you will want to see the most, such as posts by close friends and family, or bands you love. And let’s just say that not everybody is all that happy about it.
Could it be that with this change, organic impressions will no longer be possible for companies on Instagram? Perhaps the ability to promote posts will soon be the only way to get any kind of audience.
Still, it’s looking like Instagram is really cracking down on serious blind spots marketers have been putting up with. The new data will give accounts the information they need to improve their strategy and potentially raise conversions. Either way, you know we’ll be covering the situation when business profiles become available in the coming months.
What do you guys think about these changes? What, in your opinion, do they mean for the future of Instagram and social media marketing in general? Leave your comments below.