Many of us are looking to grow our Instagram accounts. We’ve read all the articles and know what we should be looking for: best times to post, what type of content our audience likes best, and how to replicate that for the future and test, test, test.
So how do you easily keep track of “the best”?
What’s this secret, magical “best time to post”?
Lucky for us, Iconosquare easily provides all that, plus more.
If you’re working on actively growing your Instagram account and want to get more likes and followers, I can’t recommend reviewing your analytics enough. We need to know what we’re testing against, how we’re tracking, and make adjustments based on actual data. (Plus let’s be honest, everything’s more fun in a graph.)
I’ve been using Iconosquare for the past few years and love all the options, tracking, and graphs it provides. And I’ve also seen the improvements they’ve made over the years and know they are committed to helping us find success on Instagram.
If you’re new to Iconosquare, I wanted to share my favorite areas to check out and what I review on a weekly basis. I’m putting it all out there, showing you behind the scenes!!
You can follow along with your account by signing up for your free 14-day trial here. Then if you decide to purchase, you’ll receive 20% off by using my referral link (making the Plus plan just $43.20 for the entire year)!
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Iconosquare Review: My 4 Favorite Features
1 | Know When Your Customers are On Instagram
Analytics > Engagement > Best Time to Post – Engagement Rate
This section shows your best times to post by day based on when you receive the highest engagement. With the new algorithm on Instagram, engagement is THE new number that matters.
Keep in mind that these times are based off of when you’ve posted in the past. So you’ll need to test some different times to really get an understanding of what works best each day.
You can review a variety of timeframes, I prefer to look at the past 3 months to capture a good range of post times while still taking recent trends into account.
Here’s a look at my current best times. The darker shading of the square, means higher engagement; you can also hover over each square for exact engagement rates and to see how many posts are in each time bucket.
2 | Identify the “Lifespan” of Your Posts
Analytics > Overview > Media Lifespan – Likes
This section shows how quickly you get engagement on individual posts and when the likes “drop off” and slow down. Can be helpful to scroll through past posts and look for ones that got a larger spike early on. Look for similarities – was it timing, the type of content shared, caption shared, hashtags used, etc.
It’s also really eye-opening to realize just how much action comes in the first 30 or 60 minutes. Which is why when we say timing is important, we really mean TIMING IS IMPORTANT!
On average, I receive 40-50% of likes on a post in the first 30 minutes. So yeah, timing’s important.
Here’s one example. The red lines are the current media, while the blue lines are the previous post. You can see here this post received much better interaction than the prior, so I could look into what the post was about and draw conclusions about the post content, the timing, or the subject of the caption.
3 | Discover Your MOST Engaged Content (So you can share more of that)
On the same Overview page > Top Posts
Here you can see your “most liked”, “most commented” , and “most engaging” posts (default to last 30 days, but can change that timeframe too). This can again be helpful to see what type of content is resonating the most with your audience to try and replicate that success.
Now this last section you have to promise not to obsess over. Like legit pinky swear me.
It isn’t worth getting caught up in these numbers, but it can be really helpful to motivate yourself to post consistently, as well as test posting 2-3 times a day and see if it pays off.
4 | Look for Trends in How You’re Gaining (and Losing) Followers
Overview > Gained & Lost Followers
I like to review this section in a chart, instead of graph format (just toggle drop down on right hand side).
So first up, what do we see? Yes, everyone’s followers fluctuate daily. You’re going to lose some people and honestly, it’s usually people I never understood why they followed me in the first place (aka people just blindly following accounts and doing the follow/unfollow method. No big deal, just let ’em go.)
But I’m more interested in the fact that while my Lost followers remains fairly steady, my Gained followers are directly related to whether or not I posted that day.
So what the hell Kate!! Post every.single.day!!!!
Iconosquare offers a lot more features than what I highlighted here, so I encourage you to try out the free trial and explore it yourself. It’s been really helpful to monitor my progress – the follower growth is really fun to track, and yep! it’s in a graph – and overall I’ve learned so much about what works and what my audience likes that it seems like a no brainer to continue using it.
If you decide to purchase, you’ll receive 20% off by using my referral link (making the Plus plan just $43.20 for the entire year)!
If you take away one game-changer feature today, I hope it’s understanding how crucial timing is. For most of us, it’s really a 30-60 minute window, so maximize your engagement just by identifying that right time. When you start out testing new times, I’d recommend using the same hashtags to help keep other factors neutral (hello old science fair days). But as you test, you’ll quickly see when a post is falling flat on its face because the timing wasn’t right… and then you won’t beat yourself up for a crappy post — instead you’ll know to cross that time slot off and try again.