Instagram is famous for its engagement rates, but that's not how the site reports success. Instead, Instagram encourages marketers to measure to business and digital metrics.
More than 90% of top brands use Instagram, in large part because it delivers more engagement than other social networks. But like its sister network Facebook, Instagram's measurement strategy has moved beyond engagement.
My latest report studies how Instagram describes marketing success. I recorded the results featured in 50 Instagram-published case studies and classified them into three categories: social metrics like engagement and followers, digital metrics like reach and site traffic, and business metrics like awareness and sales.
How does Instagram measure marketing? Instagram:
- Spotlights business outcomes above all else. Nearly three-quarters of Instagram's case studies emphasize business data. Caesars Resorts and Rock 'n' Roll Marathon are two of the 46% that highlight return-on-ad-spend. More than one third, including Levi's, feature sales results.
- Emphasize digital metrics 68% of the time. Nearly one-third of Instagram case studies spotlight reach and impressions, including Harley-Davidson and Lancome. Another 16% highlight site traffic generated.
- Rarely feature social metrics. Less than 10% of Instagram's case studies emphasize engagement data or number of followers. Those that do spotlight social data always include business or digital outcomes as well.
If you want to measure social media the way Instagram does, prioritize business and digital metrics over engagement data.
Want to learn more about how Instagram (and Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat) measure marketing success? Simply Measured is offering free copies of my report "Measure Like The Social Networks Do."