A few months ago we shared that Instagram began to roll out some pretty powerful analytic tools called "Insights," though as many of you might have gathered it's not available to the masses just yet. Select users have their hands on the tools currently and they are able to track things like impressions, total reach, clicks to the link in your bio, and even what percentage of your followers are male or female. The tools expand further down into regions of the world your followers are from, including the exact city. Here is how to get them right now, for free.
The overall power of being able to track analytics is very important in the digital world. As many of you might have gathered, being able to show value and importance using photos can be tough at times with many client types. This type of thing helps boost that with actual numbers associated with your work as well as show you can bring far more value than a great photo; you can show story, growth, and even virality with some series of posts over a span of time.
Starting off, below is what I see when I open Instagram today. I find at the top of the page a small little added tab of status bars. This is where I can access my insights. Now, my account doesn't have the "contact" call-to-action (CTA), but for this example I wanted to make sure you saw exactly what I see when I go through the process of activating the feature.
First, you want to go to your profile and click the gear in the top right corner. This will bring you to settings. Then finding yourself down just a few tabs is "Switch to Business Profile." From there you are asked to link this to a Facebook Business Page. This is a must and can only be done with a Facebook business account so be sure to have one created if you don't already. You then want to link the appropriate account as seen below.
Once set up, you will then be able to go back to your profile and see the icon for Insights in the top right. As seen below you will then have access to this main screen which is filled with some very helpful tools including impressions, reach, and website clicks in your profile.
You will then notice "See More," which is where you can begin to dig a bit deeper into the types of photos people like and also the type of followers you have and where they are from.
Another great addition is the ability to see the more important Insights at a glance within each photo posted, as indicated below.
One last piece to this switch into a business page is that you are forced to add a "Contact" CTA to your profile page. This can be assigned to either a phone number, email address, or even a location. I seem to be within a beta test of users that only see analytics and aren't forced to switch to a business profile at the moment, but I went ahead and switched to show you what that CTA can look like below.
For months I have been wondering how exactly Instagram, or Facebook, will go about separating or knowing who is a business account or a personal account. Like Facebook, over time they allowed people the freedom to make their own business pages and then cut the engagement on those pages until they paid the premium that was attached to it to allow the very users they built to see their content. This seems to answer that question very clearly, but with the option to turn it on and off and simply opt-in from the start it makes me think it won't limit your engagement like they do with business pages on Facebook. So far I have not seen a bit of loss in engagement since switching to a business profile and back again, which is incredible.
Long ago when Instagram first started, I found ways to create social campaigns with friends in my city that had great talent and solid followers on the platform, and literally added up the number of likes, comments, and followers the brand received over a specific period of time we did promotions. This worked very well for me but it was incredibly small amounts of information and didn't quite show the scale of the actual reach. With new analytic tools and even being a beta tester on certain platforms like Statigram (now called Iconosquare). Then came along another great tool called Nitrogram, which also fizzled and pivoted to another plan. All these places were great, until they began monthly charges. So to have Instagram build analytics into the app is outstanding. The power you are able to provide clients when talking social media is very important in today's market. As a photographer you can sell to a local restaurant, for example, that you can take great photos and also share them to a follower base that is centralized to them for added value.
The only disclaimer I give you is beware of becoming a business account. Even though switching to a business page gives you some powerful tools like Insights and also the option to create a CTA for clients and collaborators to reach out to you directly, it also marks you as a business page. That could later turn out similar to the Facebook fiasco where they drastically limit the reach of your organic posts.
In the case you are like me and have the tools but are not a business page, let me know in the comments below. I would love to see how many people they are allowing this access without connecting to a separate Facebook account. Either way, let me know in the comments below what you think of the new tools and if you plan on using them from a personal or business page standpoint.