Instagram analytics:

What brands are missing

Selin Varol Research Manager Social Insights By Selin Varol,
Research Manager Social Insights


Brands are increasingly aware of the consumer insights that they can glean from analyzing their social media accounts. Such data can highlight how well their campaigns are performing in terms of awareness, reach and engagement. However, the chances are that most brands are missing out on crucial information. Our research shows that, while important, analyzing brand-owned social media channels provides only a partial picture of campaign success.

Analyzing your own Instagram account
won’t provide a complete picture

Analyzing your own Instagram account provides only half the picture

Many brands are using engagement statistics to evaluate their own social media activities. They measure engagement levels, for example, by the number of likes/comments that their Instagram posts generate. By doing so, they can understand consumers’ interests and how engaged they are with their marketing activities. This in turn helps brands to evaluate how well their marketing is perceived. They can more easily identify which posts generate more engagement, when to post and which hashtags to use. They can also determine how well their campaign is progressing.

However, your brand’s Instagram account won’t provide a complete picture of consumers’ engagement with your brand. It also won’t provide full details on how they perceive your brand. So, how can you obtain this?

Examine user-generated content for the bigger picture

To better understand the occasions your brand features on social media platforms like Instagram, you must examine user-generated (UGC) content. This will enable you to determine whether the pictures posted by consumers fit with your brand position and creative. You’ll also be able to assess your brand positioning versus that of your competitors. This information combined with the intelligence gleaned from your brand-owned channels will help you to enhance your marketing communication. In addition, it will empower you to identify those all-important opportunities that will provide you with a competitive edge.

Examining user-generated content will help you to enhance your marketing communication, which is exactly what we do for our clients.

We help our clients to do precisely this: we examine what consumers post on Instagram to identify brand occasions. We identify the age appearance and gender of the consumers posting pictures. We look at when they consume the brand and who with. We also examine the other brands that appear in the pictures posted.

Case story: Whiskey in the world of Instagram

Case story: Whiskey in the world of InstagramFor our client, a leading drinks manufacturer, we searched Instagram for pictures posted in relation to whiskey. We identified more than 1,000 pictures for further analysis by our team. They ensured only UGC content was included in the analysis. They also classified posts according to sentiment to ensure this was done with an exceptionally high degree of accuracy (95%).

Our client has the advantage of a brand that is highly visible owing to its distinctive packaging. We discovered that consumers readily share images of their bottle, which comes in various sizes and contains different flavors. We also identified that the sharing of such pictures peaks around special festivities such as Christmas and other public holidays.

These learnings highlight how our client could use their packaging to generate even higher levels of engagement. Perhaps by bringing out limited edition bottles to tie in with seasonal, celebratory and sporting events. Of course, the chosen events will need to align with the brand’s values.

Our analysis of the pictures also showed that people are more likely to consume the brand indoors. Knowing this, our client has the opportunity to use indoor moments – like eating in with friends – in their campaigns. These are more likely to resonate with consumers than showing the brand being consumed outside, e.g., on the beach.

Case story: Corona keyword search

As part of looking at UGC on Instagram, you need to consider the hashtags/comments published alongside relevant posts. These provide an additional layer of understanding. Particularly regarding the topics that drive brand engagement and commonly used words. You will also be able to see what associations people are making in response to content. With this type of information, you can uncover trends and find opportunities to act upon.

We examined pictures produced with the #Corona hashtag. We identified the words used – such as beach, sunset, enjoying life, friends and relax – in relation to these. By isolating the words consumers use and quantifying them, it’s possible to spot marketing opportunities for brands. For example, Corona could run a photo contest that involves consumers sharing with Corona how they #enjoylife. In contrast to the aforementioned whiskey brand, Corona could also gain more by being positioned as an outdoor brand.

Examining UGC helps you to see the broader trends and opportunities, which enables you to make better marketing decisions.

Creating relevant content that is aligned with your audience and brand is a challenge. To do this, you need to know more than how many likes/comments your Instagram account is generating. By examining UGC too, and classifying this by topic and sentiment, you can better understand what content will work. You’ll be able to see the broader trends and opportunities available to you. This will enable you to make better marketing decisions.

Don’t miss out on vital social media analytics.
Ensure you are seeing the bigger picture and contact us.

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