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.
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.
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.
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
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: 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
Key specialty: Post scheduling and hashtag analytics
Sprout Social is a comprehensive social media management tool that enables you to schedule, publish, and track analytics for multiple Instagram accounts; source user-generated content to monitor and respond to comments; and simplify your editing process by using a centralized Asset Library to ensure all posts stay on-brand with your overall theme and Instagram Feed aesthetic.
Additionally, you can use Sprout Social to measure frequently used hashtags and deliver reports on which hashtags achieve highest engagement for your brand. This can help you figure out an effective social strategy as you experiment with hashtags, and increase brand awareness by continuing to use the hashtags that garner highest ROI.
Price: 30-day free trial; Standard is $99 per user per month (which allows for five social profiles)