Instagram isn't a black hole

Instagram can often feel like a black hole when you’re trying to track performance. You’re constrained to posting from the phone (usability on the computer is limited) and links are only clickable in the bio. How do you measure value when it comes to raising awareness and engagement? It’s especially challenging for nonprofits looking to fundraise with a smart budget. But it's possible to track engagement beyond likes - you can use a number of tools to measure your Instagram performance with hard data.

Here are some of our favorite ways to track Instagram analytics:

Where are my users going?

Tag your links using Google’s URL builder tool to track how much referral traffic Instagram is bringing in. Simply paste in your URL and use these three fields to append a tracker on: Campaign Source, Campaign Medium and Campaign Name. Campaign Source tells Google which source drove traffic, which for our intents and purposes can be labeled “Instagram”, the same as the Campaign Medium. Campaign Medium is the channel (email, Twitter, Facebook etc.), which in this case would be Instagram. Campaign Name helps you identify the specific piece of content you’re promoting, in which case we would use “Instagram_blackhole”.

Back on your dashboard, go to the Behaviors section on the left-hand panel and find the Site Content section to display all of your landing pages.

Then, filter these landing pages to find how much traffic Instagram or other social channels drove to each site over a defined time period. Right below the graph, you’ll find a drop down menu called “Secondary Dimension”. Click Acquisition and then Medium and then the channels you’ve previously defined will display in a column next to your pages.

Screen Shot 2015-08-07 at 3.52.32 PM.png

These results won’t be in order, so if you want to see how much traffic Instagram has been bringing in across all of your content, be sure to click on the Medium header at the top of the column (you’ll know it’s sorted correctly when you see an arrow pointing down). You’ll see that all of the content that Instagram drove traffic to will be grouped together.

Best times to post

Another one of our go-to tools is Iconosquare. It’s an easy tool to use and a great solution for anyone who might not be as experienced with data analysis. Simply sign up and login with your Instagram account and start optimizing your content!

Under the Statistics tab, you’ll find a variety of fun tools, one of which is an “Optimization” tab where you can find the best times to post. Using this tab, we found that the Gramforacause community is most active at 11 am and 6 pm.

Find your VIPs

On the Content tab, you’ll find your most engaged users. You can consider rewarding these users to turn them into super advocates for your brand. We mailed some of our early storyteller sign ups with a handwritten thank you note and Gramforacause sticker. It can be a great treat to invite these engaged followers to a special workshop to teach them more about your mission or to include them in an upcoming volunteer event.

What are some other ways you’ve been tracking your Instagram performance? Drop us a message at if you want to talk more about analytics!

Member Login
Welcome, (First Name)!

Forgot? Show
Log In
Enter Member Area
My Profile Not a member? Sign up. Log Out