Instagram has been dabbling with the idea of hiding likes for quite a while now, and I’d lie if I said that, as a marketer, I am not secretly pleased by that.
Likes and followers are vanity metrics. As a refresh, vanity metrics include any sort of catchy analytics that may be satisfying on paper, but cannot be attached to clear business goals. They may look good on a report, but no context for future marketing decisions – something actionable metrics can do.
Basically, every good marketer’s nightmare. Why you may ask?
Because these are the analytics virtually every listicle on marketing analytics you should track suggests you track, so every client I have worked with in my 10 years of experience has asked me to focus on.
This also leads to a whole host of conversations on why and how clients and students can reframe their marketing tracking efforts.
Today, I wanted to discuss one of my favourite networks: Instagram. I find that, when it comes to Instagram, most marketers still focus on vanity metrics like followers and likes. Yet, the way users interact with the platform changed so much, it is key to look at better ways to track our own Instagram goals.
Instead of likes, focus on…saves
I love saves (aka the ability for followers to save Instagram posts they love for later), as it gives a whole new host of insights in the mind of our followers.
It allows us as creatives to get to know much more efficiently what our audience loves. “Saving” content is a strong sign that our audience finds our content useful.
If you use my breakdown of ways to create viral content, it means your post may fall under one of these key purposes:
Saves can be a metric you are looking to grow, as well as a metric you want to analyse to find patterns in your content. Head to your analytics and look for patterns in your saves.
Ask yourself: what are the saves telling you about your content? Can you spot any patterns within them?
Metric perfect for goals like… converting followers into paying clients for future products by providing useful content they can put into action
Instead of followers focus on…shares
Shares are a great way to improve discoverability, which in return will also grow your following – score! Seriously, shares are a great way to boost your reach in a variety of ways, so I would not underestimate them in any way.
These work incredibly well to show that your content is inspiring enough for people to share it and expose you to a whole new audience. The fact that your analytics are now allowing you to get a full spectrum of data from the last 30 days to a year, is a powerful asset not to be underestimated.
Perfect for goals like… getting my followers to click through my content and read through my work
Instead of reach focus on…stickers
It’s no secret I am a big fan of stickers. Instagram has been adding a series of stickers to support small businesses recently, which is sign users respond very well to them.
In order to engage with your audience, you can share poll stickers and emoji sliders to your Instagram Stories, question stickers, music stickers, countdown stickers, and even shopping stickers. Not only can stickers add a ton of personality to your Instagram Stories, but when used properly, they can also help increase the amount of engagement you get.
Perfect for goals like…getting followers to provide feedback about my products and services. Use poll stickers to ask for feedback, test your follower’s knowledge with a quiz about your brand or even ask them a question to give them better insights on your products.
Instagram vanity metrics are slowly fading because they have proven not to be helping users truly reach their business goals. Instead of treating Instagram as a one-trick-pony, focus on aligning your efforts with the overall growth of your business.
By focusing on the right Instagram metrics, you’ll be able to adapt your content, convert more customers and overall create better relationships with your audience.
Looking for more ideas to up your Instagram today? Learn how to monetise your Instagram in 4 unique ways.