Using Instagram for marketing purposes is rapidly growing in popularity, with over 70% of companies using the platform in 2017, compared to less than 50% in 2016.
It's important that you leverage Instagram for your own business, but once you start, it can be difficult to discern whether you're truly successful. Without the right metrics, you'll never know if you could be doing more to engage your audience or grow your following.
There are plenty of Instagram analytics apps to help you keep track of your progress and discover areas for improvement. Here, we'll focus on the best free Instagram analytics apps, so you can focus your money and efforts on the Instagram content itself.
Free Instagram Analytics Tools
- Instagram Insights
- Union Metrics
- Social Status
1. Instagram Insights
Key specialty: Followers and mentions
Image via Later.com
If you have a business account on Instagram, you automatically have access to their free analytics tool, Instagram Insights. The Insights tool can show you when your audience is on Instagram, which of your posts are most popular, and your account's impressions and reach.
Additionally, you can compare your original post with a promoted version of the post to figure out if your paid efforts are working. Unfortunately, you can only use the tool within the app (there's no desktop version), and it's not the most user-friendly, but it provides a good basic overview of your Instagram analytics for both individual posts, and your account as a whole.
Key specialty: Social monitoring
Iconosquare is a three-in-one Instagram solution for social media marketing. The platform allows you to schedule new posts, monitor what people are saying about the industry (or your brand), and of course track your Instagram analytics. These analytics show you trends related to engagement, impressions, your posts' reach, and even how your Instagram Stories are performing.
Iconosquare also includes hashtag and competitor tracking, allowing marketers to compare themselves against the people and topics they care about. The platform comes with a two-week free trial, as well as a variety of free tools such as a full Instagram Audit.
Key specialty: Follower insights
Squarelovin's free Instagram Insights tool provides most of the information you'd need to conduct an analysis on your progress over the year — for instance, you can obtain a monthly analysis on your posts, or a history of your posts broken down by month, day, or even hour.
Additionally, the tool offers insights into your followers' interests, and how to drive further engagement to your posts. You can even figure out the best time to post, depending on when your followers are most likely on the app.
Key specialty: Content curation
Crowdfire allows marketers to schedule posts, measure their performance, and track mentions of their brand, as well as curate content related to their industry from all over the internet. The product delivers article and image recommendations from other websites, helping marketers expand their visibility when considering what content to include in their Instagram strategy.
Crowdfire's analytics tools visualize your Instagram data in several user-friendly charts. They also drill down into a number of advanced metrics that show you how you're performing over long periods of time.
Key specialty: Social reports
Used by Kenneth Cole, Sonos, and plenty of other big brands, Pixlee offers an impressive free tool. It allows you to create shareable reports that you can distribute to your entire marketing team, and analyze metrics to figure out how to drive more engagement and attract new followers.
Additionally, the tool helps you find influencers or brand advocates promoting your products, so you can create more effective influencer campaigns.
6. Union Metrics
Key specialty: Hashtag analytics
While it doesn't provide its Instagram Analytics tool for free, Union Metrics does offer a free monthly Instagram checkup. The checkup tells you which hashtags will increase your engagement, which posts resonate best with your audience, and what time your followers use the app.
While the tool can't give you analytics beyond 30 days, it's a useful option for taking a look at short-term themes and patterns, and learning how you can quickly improve your metrics.
Key specialty: Competitive analysis
Image via Socialbakers Support
While admittedly not the most visually appealing tool in the list, Socialbakers still offers critical information, including your most liked and most commented on posts, and your top performing filters.
Additionally, Socialbakers offers an Instagram Report, which compares your own Instagram account to your competitors', to see where you fall in the industry and what you can do to improve.
8. Social Status
Key specialty: Paid and organic reporting
Social Status is a dedicated social media analytics and reporting tool for Instagram. Social Status supports full-funnel analytics for Instagram posts and Instagram Stories including impressions, reach, video views, engagements, and follower demographics. This tool is ideal for marketers who schedule their content with Creator Studio or other management tools. When you connect your Facebook Ad Account, Social Status provides analytics for all your paid campaigns on Instagram.
For agencies, Social Status provides white-label analytics which allows you to add branding and customization when exported to CSV, PDF, PowerPoint, and Google Slides. The tool also supports competitive analysis and influencer analysis allowing you to bring all your Instagram analytics into one dashboard for analysis and reporting. Social Status is one of the few analytics tools that offer a free forever plan.
Price: Free; $29/month for the starter plan
Paid Instagram Analytics Tools
- HubSpot Social Inbox
- Sprout Social
1. HubSpot Social Inbox
Key specialty: Post scheduling and social analytics
Using HubSpot's Social Inbox, you can easily build out campaigns and publish to multiple social platforms at once. You can also integrate your social inbox tool with your blog, enabling you to automatically share new content to your LinkedIn, Twitter, or other social channels the minute it gets published.
Additionally, you can create custom keyword monitoring streams to keep track of conversations regarding your brand, to ensure you're consistently communicating with your prospects and customers wherever they are.
Best of all, HubSpot's Social Inbox tool enables you to report on the success of your social strategy across every channel from one centralized location to clearly identify how your social team impacts the company's bottom line. This helps you keep track of the platforms that perform best for your brand, and tailor future campaigns for optimal ROI.
Price: Included with Marketing Hub Professional
2. Sprout Social
Key specialty: Post scheduling and hashtag analytics
Sprout Social’s suite of Instagram analytics tools you can use to grow and manage your Instagram presence. Sprout Social’s platform allows you to analyze your key Instagram metrics, including:
- Instagram Story performance
- Instagram audience growth
- Instagram post performance
- Instagram hashtag performance
- And more
You can also use Sprout to analyze how your competition performs on Instagram to ensure that you’re always ahead of the curve.
You can start analyzing your Instagram performance today with a free 30-day trial of Sprout Social here.
Price: 30-day free trial; Standard is $99 per user per month
Key specialty: Post scheduling and team collaboration
You can use Hootsuite to create a customized dashboard that enables you to monitor analytics for multiple channels, including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and more. Additionally, you can use the tool to schedule hundreds of social media posts simultaneously across various platforms.
With Hootsuite, you can collaborate with your entire team on social media campaigns and scale across the organization. For instance, Hootsuite offers features that enable you to assign tasks to various team members, create reports to share key metrics and insights with the team, and even track which employees or departments are posting the content with the highest ROI.
Price: 30-day free trial; "professional" plan is $29 per month after that (which allows you to manage 10 different social media profiles)
Key specialty: Organic and paid analytics
As a business, it's important to collect your organic and paid KPIs seamlessly. Sotrender is a great tool to help you monitor your engagement, top content, user behavior, demographics, as well as ad-related metrics (CPC, CPM, audience share, sentiment).
On top of that, you can easily analyze your competitors' social media performance and get invaluable insights into their strategy and communication. You can use this knowledge to craft the most robust social media strategy for your business and promote your brand.
Last but not least, reporting is an essential element in your life as a social media manager. Sotrender can help streamline the process of preparing your monthly reports by sending them automatically into your inbox on a selected day.
Price: 14-day free trial, $59 for Starter
Key specialty: Hashtag analytics
This is a great tool for tracking the performance of individual hashtags on your social posts to ensure you're using the right hashtags for highest ROI. Used by over 5,000 agencies and marketers, Keyhole can provide critical metrics like your top Instagram hashtags by engagement, competitor activity, and your follower activity. Best of all, you can create customized hashtag reports for clients' to demonstrate the value of your social media campaigns.
Additionally, if your brand regularly hires influencers to increase brand awareness and sales, you can use Keyhole to keep track of which influencers are most successful. This can help you tailor future influencer marketing campaigns to your needs.
Price: 7-day free trial; $99 per month (it's typically $199/month but it's 50% off right now) for three keyword and account trackers, plus 20,000 posts per month.
Key specialty: Influencer metrics
If you're planning any sort of influencer marketing campaign, this is a good tool to check out. HypeAuditor's Instagram Reports allows you to analyze the quality of an influencer's audience, engagement rate, and audience insights including location, age, gender, and interests. These metrics can help you find influencers who engage most with your target audience, allowing you to create more powerful and effective influencer marketing campaigns.
Additionally, the tool provides you with critical insights to ensure you choose the right influencer for your brand — for instance, you can use HypeAuditor to figure out other brands an influencer has worked with, and analyze sponsored post performance. Additionally, HypeAuditor provides an Audience Quality Score to ensure you're choosing authentic, engaging influencers for your upcoming campaigns.
Price: $299/month for starter
Key specialty: Hashtag analytics
This is one of the cheaper tools in the list that offers hashtag analytics, so if you don't have a huge budget for Instagram, it's a good one to check out. Command can show you which hashtags deliver the most engagement for your brand, as well as average likes and comments you get from different hashtags.
Ultimately, this is a great tool for figuring out which hashtags drive the highest engagement for your brand. This can give you critical insights into your target audience's interests. For instance, if you notice #remotework is a hashtag that performs exceptionally well, you might consider using that insight to produce more remote content on your blog or other social channels to attract higher engagement across the board.
Price: Free to download; $9.99/month for premium version