With 400 million users, Instagram is the second most used social network and is wildly popular with millennials. Part of why they like the network is because of it’s simplicity. It’s primary features are restricted to simply likes, comments, and direct messages between users. This limited functionality also means Instagram delivers limited analytics, but they are enough to let you know what content users of this network respond to. One of the interesting things about Instagram is that usage is almost entirely mobile. That means these users are active and dynamically updating their feed while they are out and about. Capture that energy and funnel it into your business by being part of the conversation in real time.

Instagram Activity

Browse around on Instagram accounts by similar businesses to see who has strong followership and which posts get the most engagements. The most successful Instagram accounts often act as mood boards for your brand. Be artful and focus on the visual values of your business. Give users visual hints of the unique aspects of your customer experience.

Good #iger Content

  • Food pics
  • Images of cool architectural elements or interior design features
  • Rare or historic photographs
  • People enjoying the space

Content Suggestions

Steer clear of couponing or promotional language as Instagram users are reticent to share anything they see as advertisements. Tap the more creative or witty members of your team to help you post relevant, endearing, stylish or humorous posts. Short videos that quickly show a signature cocktail being assembled or people celebrating in your location are also highly effective.

Instagram Metrics

  • Total Followers – The total number of followers of your business' Instagram profile
  • Engagements – How many times your posts have been liked or commented on
  • New Followers – The number of followers you've gained within the selected date range

Followership and Engagement Metrics

Engagements are defined as likes, comments, or how many times a video has been viewed. In the top right corner, select the time period and Instagram account you want to review. See your total number of followers and how many times they’ve engaged with your content. Analyze followership and engagement by time of day and by day of the week to identify trends and help you shape your content strategy.

Optimizing Social Engagement

When an image or video gets a lot of engagement, create a theme from it and see if you can expand the popular image into a series. When you identify days of the week that regularly get more activity, try to assess why. Is it a particular group that comes to your location regularly? How can you expand that? Can you reward them when they are in the location for their engagement? Can you tag them in in posts while they are there?

Negative Posts on Instagram

The great thing for Instagram users is that because it is image-based, people can quickly create content with their smart phones and can check into your location (location information for Instagram is maintained on Facebook). The downside is that if the user has a negative experience, they can take a picture of the service provider or product that offends them and immediately ascribe it to your business.

Ways to Address Negative Feedback

  • Set your smartphone to get notifications from Instagram. When someone posts a complaint, you can respond in real-time and address their complaint. This will often lead to a commented update, inclusion in their online conversations, or sometimes even a delete of the post.
  • Comment on the situation within the comment thread of the post to join the conversation and evince your interest in resolving their issue.
  • If there is a common or widespread complaint, introduce a themed series that shows how a persistent complaint is being addressed. This endears the offended and turns negative sentiment into positive content and restores reputation.