With Iconosquare analytics moving to a paid version next week (December 1, 2015), I thought I would take some time to evaluate some other free options out there for you. The basic Iconosquare analytics package will be a measly $2.40 a month, which I think is an incredible value, and well worth your investment as a serious Instagrammer… but I do understand the bootstrapping tendencies of a lot of small businesses.
When I logged in, my initial impression was that Squarelovin was very similar to Iconosquare in the reports it offers. This is a screenshot of your menu options upon login.
I noticed that there was a little bit of data missing. For instance, the initial dashboard (Analytics > Overview) shows you the engagement rate of your last four posts (it measures your likes comments against your number of followers). In this dashboard, three of my last four posts showed an engagement rate of 0%, which definitely wasn’t true. I’m wondering if it’s because this was the very first time I logged in, and moving forward as I log in and refresh my stats, it will have more points of reference. (I’m hopeful).
Under the Monthly Analysis tab (Analytics > Monthly Analysis), there was data for my “Most Liked” and “Most Commented” posts. This was one of my favorite parts of Iconosquare, so I was glad to see it in Squarelovin. Although I was questioning the integrity of the data, these looked accurate, just based on my own informal observations of the activity on my account. This dashboard basically told me that people love my quotes, and they are liked more than other images I post. I agree with that assessment!
Under Optimization (Analytics > Optimization), it shows you when the best time to post is. It looks like this information is presented in the local time zone of the developers (they are in Germany), but if you can do a little math, you can figure out what it means in your OWN time zone.
When I first logged in to Locowise, I thought that the dashboard was very attractive and clean. However, I was disappointed by the lack of actionable data. At it’s core, it compares YOUR Instagram account against other accounts of your size. There is a drop down to change the size of Instagram accounts you are benchmarking against, but I personally don’t find this super actionable.
Locowise will show how you compare to other, similarly-sized accounts in number of likes, comments, and account growth… however, I’m not sure what to do with that information? How can I be better? What are those other accounts doing that I’m not? I left feeling bad about myself… and I don’t know what time of day to post or what types of content is performing the best on my account. I also question the accuracy of the data. There was an “average daily engagement” graph that showed I had ZERO engagement (meaning no likes or comments for 4 days), which isn’t true. (Although as I’m typing is, I realize that Squarelovin had the same issue… so maybe there was an issue with the Instagram API here).
While I didn’t find the benchmarking style very actionable, it is interesting. I think it’s something to tuck in the back of your mind, but again, I don’t know how to take the information and turn it into something to make my account better.
I love Simply Measured. I think they do an awesome job of sharing actionable social media advice with the world, and I was definitely NOT disappointed by their free Instagram User Analysis. To get there, go to the Simply Measured website and click on Free Tools.
The Simply Measured report offers some standard things like average engagements per post, your top posts, and who your top fans are, but two of my favorite things are features that I found unique to Simply Measured.
The first is that you can actually analyze ANY Instagram account, not just your own. If you want to see what is working for a competitor, you can. I’m not usually one to obsess over what other people are doing… I like to keep myself focused on my own stuff, but this is definitely a useful feature. You can teach yourself a lot about Instagram by digging in to what is working for other people.
The second is that it shows you your engagements OFF of Instagram. If you push your Instagram post out to Twitter and Facebook, it shows you if you got any tweets, likes, comments or shares.
The Union Metrics Instagram Account Checkup is short and sweet, and pretty perfect for beginners that are overwhelmed by tons of data. To get there, go to the Union Metrics website, and then click on Free Tools. The data provided is for a one month period. This simple report the best time to post (day of the week and hour of the day), who your top fans are, and what your best and “worst” posts for the month were. If you are just getting started with analytics, I would use Union Metrics.
The bottom line is that I will be using Squarelovin for my Instagram analytics, as it is the most like Iconosquare, but if you are overwhelmed by data and numbers, start with Union Metrics! If you need a place to keep track of your month over month stats, be sure to download my free Instagram Growth Tracker.