Instagram Reach

We've all been there, if you use Instagram, how often do you post what you think is a killer shot only to find it just nose dives and doesn't get the reaction you expected? It's disappointing to say the least! Now I'm not really as fussed about the likes as I may have once been, it's more about the quality of those likes than a numbers game but it's hard not to feel a bit shit about it when it happens. The new algorithm doesn't help, we all know that change sucks but just posting at the wrong time of the day can have a huge impact on how many people see your posts and there doesn't seem to be a best time that's consistent, trust me I've tried and it remains a very hit and miss affair.

Last month I was getting to the point where I even considered maybe not deleting my profile but scaling back my use, a bit like I have with facebook, which as a marketing tool has become almost a non starter, just pointless. Was Instagram going to become the same pointless waste of my time, posting an image that reaches 25 people? I started researching and didn't really uncover anything new but I did remember that the business profile gives you Insights, data on your reach that can help decide if it's a maxed out platform or still worth the time you put into it.

So I decided to try a switch to a business profile and the Insights have opened my eyes to what the actual reach of my posts are! Likes are an indication of how popular a post is but it's far from the whole story, people may not be hitting the like icon but that doesn't mean you're not reaching anyone and Insights goes far further than just how many people are seeing your posts. I now know how many actually go to view my profile from a specific post, how many accounts I reached, how many new followers are based on that one post, even who visited my website.

Look at this post as an example, 96 likes, not too bad I'm generally happy with anything over 70.

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Now look at the expanded Insights and see the real story, this post reached 1,737 accounts in reality, it prompted 4 people to look at my profile and I gained a new follower from it. 

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Ok so now let's look at one that I thought was a bit of a disaster at first glance. For whatever reason it only got 48 likes, pretty disappointing from a numbers point of view.

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But then we open the Insights and that tells a better story and prompted more profile visits that the previous post. OK I didn't gain any followers from it but it didn't fail in it's reach in a disaster fashion like facebook does. It didn't perform as well as the other post in some ways but in others it kind of worked better because more people looked at my profile. 

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So there you go, if you have Insights it gives you a much better idea of how your posts on Instagram are really doing. Likes aren't everything, reach is a far better piece of data to know and if you're not reaching anyone then what's the point? Now I know this information I feel much better about using Instagram again instead of finding it a bit demoralising at times. Hopefully this will help someone do the same.