Instagram Success

Key Metrics to Use to Measure Your Success on Instagram

Instagram is growing, changing and dramatically improving its relevancy. Brands are finding successful ways to grow their audience on a platform which continues to offer new and exciting results for marketers. Instagram offers the potential of 58 times more engagement per follower than Facebook, and 120 times more engagement per follower than Twitter. With Facebook organic reach dropping, and Twitter participation still in its infancy, it’s a great time to think about not only how to use Instagram but how to measure its success.

So how do you measure success on Instagram?

Followers are an obvious determinant of success for your brand. These are people who have opted into your branded content and want to hear from you. With your Facebook feed you can see friends’ likes, what photos they are tagged in and who they follow. This is not possible in Instagram. You must work harder for followers and once you have them you need to entertain and excite them!

Just as with Facebook, the amount of users who engage with you and who Like and Comment on your posts show how active your audience is and, more importantly, how attractive your content is.

Set yourself Engagement per post targets. Look at how many users you have and set achievable targets to reach with follower likes and comments.

Engagement per post is the number of likes and comments combined, while engagement as a % of followers can give an idea of how much of your audience are actively involved with your brand.

Total Engagement is the sum of likes and comments over a period of time. It helps to determine how effective a strategy is over pre-determined dates and can help you to schedule posts for maximum benefit.

Why are these important?

Dublin Airport Instagram

Compare the two Dublin Airport Instagram posts. The airplane photo has 331 likes with 14 comments in comparison to their artistic photo with 169 likes with 3 comments. If over time there is consistent reach with similar messaging, they can easily see which posts are most engaging with their audience (in this case plane imagery over contemporary shots).

You wouldn’t place a newspaper ad without knowing the readership, and you wouldn’t update your site content without looking at the analytics. Use the same rationale for Instagram, know why you’re posting, who you’re targeting and set indications for success and failure.

Can you answer these questions with your Instagram strategy?

  • What category of posts has the highest user engagement?
  • Which times of the year/month/day are users most active?
  • What % of my followers is engaged and who are they?

If you can answer these, then you can plan your future strategy around what you know works, engaging with your most active users to give broad reach for your campaigns.

Written by: Adam Baker

Bio: Adam is a Digital Marketing student in Smurfit and loves brands with the courage do things differently.

Find Adam on Twitter @adambak3r and Linkedin

Match Metrics To Your Strategy – A Focus On Facebook

We have looked at the main success factors in great digital marketing last week, so today we’re going to laser in on one of the social media giants: Facebook.

Besides your own website, Facebook is arguably your online shopfront.  With this in mind, using Facebook to build customer satisfaction is key but monitoring your performance is just as vital.


Facebook – Made to Measure

Okay, so you have built up a healthy following and you feel you are engaging your fans well.  Regular updates and the odd cat meme?  Excellent, but remember that every aspect of your Facebook interaction with fans can be measured to hone your efforts further.   One point to note however, is to link these metrics with your Facebook strategy.

The basic (and the most popular) metrics to note are fan count, likes & comments.  As these grow, they provide many a marketer with a warm and fuzzy feeling of success!  Simply speaking, a rise here is a positive step but if not allied to your objectives they mean surprisingly little.

Measure Against Your Goals – An Example

A brief example that this humble writer can recount was from time spent working with a local visual arts festival.  One early objective was a campaign for artistic submissions launched worldwide to give the festival an international flavour.   The net was spread wide to forums, Facebook & Twitter communities etc to attract them.  After this big push, the event’s Facebook friend count increased by 400% in three weeks!   Cue the celebrations, until the next phase of marketing began.  This was centered upon promoting ticket sales and attendance, where local fans are the obvious target.   The discovery was sobering – our hyper-inflated friend count revealed that most of these new fans were international, from Asia, South America, even Australia…  None exactly in a position to attend a festival in Dublin!

Ready, Take Aim, Measure

What to take from here is that while basic Facebook metrics often highlight positive trends, they may not be the right ones for your aims.

Looking to spread great content?  – Look for number of shares of your links, or its ‘viral’ spread

Promoting an event? – Measure if fans are primarily in your area, promote posts to local users only

Increasing leads & referrals? – Check Google Analytics, are clicks from Facebook to your website growing?

If you want to use social media to improve your business, you’re in for the long game.  Returns may not be rapid, or easy to pinpoint at first but keep your objectives in mind and stay the course.  Growing your Facebook presence must be a means, not an end.  Whatever your business is looking to achieve, use Facebook to assist these goals and measure to suit.


In the social media fitness centre, are you fitter or fatter than your competitors?

In the digital age, marketeers have the power to measure their performance more effectively than ever before. Well defined and measured KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) are the key to measuring your performance in your own marketplace.  Did you know that you can look at your competitors KPI’s and compare them against your own?   Here are 3 ways you can gauge your social media fitness against the competition using freely available data.

The Basics:  Followers & Visibilitylike

  • Follower/fan count
  • Post/tweet totals
  • Reach/exposure

These are the easiest to find and compare.  They provide a general overview of competitor performance.  But beware!  They can be misleading…  A company could be gung-ho to gain thousands of followers through Facebook ads, but have no meaningful interaction with any of these fans.  That’s why you have to go deeper…

Advanced: Interaction

  • Retweets
  • Shares
  • Replies/comments
  • Mentions
  • Contributors (who is retweeting you, and how many impressions they created)

Now we’re getting somewhere. Social media is about interaction, you need to know how your conversations and content stack up against your competitors. If they are gaining more retweets, shares etc, look into their style of interacting with their audience.  Maybe they are the kings of clever #hashtagging?   They turn everything into a question that simply must be answered?  If there are lessons to learn here,  incorporate their strengths into your own model. Don’t worry, all they can do is shake their fist at you as you make up the lost ground!  If they are trailing in your wake, don’t ease up as there is no finish line in social media…

social-media-analysisExpert:  Content style – Frequency and Source

  • Facebook updates
  • Tweets
  • Blog posts
  • eBooks
  • White Papers
  • Video

Quite simply, look at their content.  Check for times when your competitors channels were most active.  Did this result in spikes in engagement?   Were they posting their own, original content, or mainly links to outside material?  Look at what content worked best with their customers.  This will inform your own social media team on what works best for your particular market.


As you know, using relevant KPI’s to measure your social media fitness is vitally important.  The real edge though, is using the same criteria to spy on your competition.   This practice, taken regularly, will ensure you don’t fall behind or get into bad habits when dealing with your customer base through social media.

If you’d like to learn more about competitor analysis, then please contact us at

Irish Bank Sector – Social Media Analysis #BOTB

Continuing our ‘Battle of the Brands’ social media analysis, this week we’re looking at the Irish Bank Sector.

We’ve compared the biggest Irish banks across Facebook and Twitter. We then analysed their data and highlighted some interesting insights, have a look below to see what we found.

Facebook Analysis



What we discovered

  • Only 2 banks are actually on Facebook, RaboDirect and Bank Of Ireland while AIB have a GAA site
  • BOI posts about sponsored popular culture like Leinster Rugby & Dragons’ Den
  • Rabo posts financial tips & advice, which engages fans and helps build trust
  • Posting is often inconsistent, a week will frequently pass without content

Key Insight

For banks, Facebook is an effective channel for creating a human connection with customers.

RaboDirect is very adept at creating that connection. Their posts are engaging  and helpful to their members. They don’t push promotions or products, instead they educate their fans in the area of finance, offering tips and tricks. This helps to build trust with their fans.

Bank of Ireland uses Facebook to promote what they do, trying to engage with fans via sponsored popular culture. While this is good for brand awareness,  perhaps fans will view them as a source of popular culture, not as a trusted financial institution?

Twitter Analysis



What we discovered

  • The most retweeted message was from Ulster Bank, regarding their technical problems
  • Twitter accounts are mostly used to field complaints and questions
  • Most successful accounts educate with news and advice (RaboDirect, Danske Bank)
  • Least successful accounts only tweet when things go wrong (Ulster Bank)

Key Insight

Twitter makes a great channel for educating or talking. Most banks use their Twitter account as a customer service desk, ie. talking. However, a lot of customer tweets sent to the banks are complaints.

Ulster Bank is currently receiving the most complaints due to their recent technical problems. Our sample indicates that there is a lot of negative sentiment around the brand on Twitter. Followers are annoyed that the service was down, but they are more annoyed that Ulster Bank is not giving them any information on what’s happening, why it’s happening and/or when it will be fixed.

It appears that banks are treating Twitter like a public announcement desk. They keep their messages clean, cold and lacking in information, the same kind of messages they give to newspapers and reporters. They aren’t engaging in the group conversation which is what Twitter does best. In essence, they don’t seem to “get” Twitter or are nervous about being too open to customer complaints on Twitter.

The exceptions to this are RaboDirect and Danske Bank. They use Twitter to educate and their content is frequently redistributed, leading to a high engagement rate. Other banks could learn a lot from these these two banks use of Twitter.

More to come soon!

That’s it for this week. Next week we’ll be looking at Irish politics, looking at who’s doing the best and who needs some work.

If you’re interested in learning more about market analysis, or you’d like a analysis performed for your sector, click here to contact us.

Irish Mobile Sector – Social Media Analysis #BOTB

Want to know how Meteor, O2, Vodafone and Three compare to each other in Social Media? Well we did.

At the Digital Summit Event on the 7th of March, the team at launched our “Battle of the Brands” campaign. We looked at the Mobile Sector and compared the four big Irish mobile networks across Facebook and Twitter. We then analysed this data and came up with some interesting insights which you can see below.



Mobile Mkt - stories

What we discovered

  • Meteor has the highest engagement rate across their fan base at 8.4% PTAT/Fans
  • Competitions are the most effective way to engage customers
  • Posts are erratic, posts are made at random times each day with no schedule
  • They all average at roughly 1 post per day, which is too low (we would recommend 2-4)

Key Insight

Facebook is primarily used by the four networks to promote their brand and engage in fun activities with fans. They don’t talk to their fans however, they post content and let the fans do the talking. If we were to categorise their Facebook style (which we have), we would call them broadcasters.


Mobile Mkt - twitterMobile Mkt - t stories

What we discovered

  • The Top story on Twitter was that SMS is down (O2)
  • O2, Meteor and Vodafone use a single Twitter account for both customer service & news/offers
  • Three uses separate accounts for customer service & news/offers
  • The majority of messages sent out are Customer service related

Key Insight

Twitter is used primarily as a customer service desk. Customers tweet their grievences and the network would then strive to solve their problems. However, they also use their accounts for promotional purposes. In our opinion, this is bad practice. By combining the two in one channel, you make it less likely that people will retweet your promotional material.We believe this happens because the followers that want to complain are different to the followers that will promote the brand. By making them both connect to the same channel, you dilute your message.

The exception to this is Three, they use two separate channels. We noticed that their offers had a much higher retweet ratio. Their follower’s only received tweets about offers, exactly the content they signed up for.

More to come soon!

This is the first in a series of blog posts we’re going to make on Market Analysis, so stay tuned for more insights into the social media practices of the big brands/organisations from a variety of sectors.

If you’re interested in learning more about market analysis, or you’d like a analysis performed for your sector, click here to contact us.

These slides are taken from our presentation at the Digital Summit, you can follow this link and get full access to our slides here: Mobile Marketing Slides's Competitor Analysis Facebook App

As some of you already know, this week is Social Media Week and to celebrate we are launching our own Competitor Analysis Facebook App. You can use this free app to analyse your Facebook activity against your competitor’s.

  • Do you want to know how your competitors are performing on Facebook?
  • Do you want to see what activities are succeeding for them?
  • Do you want to connect better with existing customers?

Then use our app

  • Compare your performance in key areas with up to three of your market competitors.
  • Identify top performing posts and types of post.
  • See who has the most fans, how frequently they post and how much their fans engage with them.

Competitor Analysis   App Center

Get the competitive edge with’s Competitor Analysis – Facebook App.

7 Key Metrics to help understand your customers’ behaviour online

After nearly 80% of businesses across the globe rushed to mark their spot on social media platforms over the last five years (Harvard Business Review), many are left scratching their heads as to why their efforts have not been financially rewarded. Reports from a Harvard Business Review survey indicated that only the 12% of businesses that are reviewing the responses to their social media efforts through metric applications felt that they had optimised their social media usage and were benefiting from the results. Concluding that ‘if you don’t measure it, you can’t manage it’!

In the past Marketers and Business owners used arbitrary ways to measure the success of their advertising efforts; quantifying revenue, customer acquisition, frequency and volume of sales, but remaining clueless as to which advertising streams were successful and which were blindly draining their budget. Now, thanks to the evolution of WEB 2.0, marketing has become both a science and an art. With most marketing efforts now being conducted online, responses can be measured, collated and analysed to illustrate precise information about the effectiveness and efficiency of your actions.   A metric is a measurement system that can be used to measure an organization’s performance on activities.

A measurement can only be made in reference to a predetermined target; a key performance indicator (KPI). Marketing Performance Measurement (MPM) specifically analyses the efficiency and effectiveness of strategic marketing activities against the organisations goals and targets.   Customer engagement with a company’s website, social media and online advertising provides vital data on the behaviour, opinions and lifestyles of target customer segments. With insight into the journey a customer takes online; trends can be identified and translated into information about the performance of marketing actions. The diagnosis enables you to create a marketing strategy that adheres to the organisational goals and targets and build on customer relationships. Here are a few examples of metrics used to illustrate customer online activity:

  •  Bounce rate: the percentage of customers who leave a website without spending time on the landing or continuing to another page.

The reasons for this may be that the keywords they have used in a search engine have brought them there but it is not what they are looking for, or the sites they were previously on led them here, but again; it is not what they are looking for. Or, finally, they have been directed to your site because you provide the service they are looking for but they do not like the look of your site and choose to abort the process. Analytical reports can provide information regarding keywords and traffic sources therefore narrowing down to how many people are not warming to the site despite it sufficing their needs. If this is a high number then you may need to look at the aesthetic features of your site; what appears on the landing pages? Does it look professional? Is the navigation clear? Is the information about the products/services concise? However, if the reports show that there are a high number of visitors being directed to your site based on a keyword search that is unrelated to your products/ services then it is important to flex the content and remove the confusion. Each site page will have its own report of bounce rate so it will be clear what is working and what is not.

  • Conversion rate: the percentage of people who make a desired action on a particular page.

If the conversion rate is low there are a number of issues that could be causing the problem. Is the site easy to navigate? How many steps must be taken/ pages to click through to make a transaction? If the conversion involves a purchase then: Have you clearly displayed a security certificate? Is there concise information about the product/service (availability, location, quantity, returns and warranty)? Can they contact you? If the goal is to fill out a form or make an inquiry then: Have you provided an incentive for this action? (For example: a free subscription to a newsletter, or membership with customer benefits, expert advice). Overall, does the customer have an enjoyable experience transacting on your site which will encourage them to be a loyal customer? This can be measured by having a feedback or review application.

  • Traffic sources: which site the customer was previously on that led them to your site.

This may be a direct referral from a search engine, a referral from another site or a direct URL entry (implying referral from an off-line source). Understanding which sources are driving your traffic enables you to optimise your relationship with them. Similarly, understanding which keyword is driving traffic to each page can help you guide the right traffic to the right place.

  • Keywords: analysing which are the most popular keywords that are leading people to your site from search engines.

It is also of equal importance to be aware of keywords that are driving traffic to your site but result in ‘bouncing’. Keywords can be bought on search engines such as Google’s ‘Adwords’ but there is no reason why you can’t be as successful with an organic approach if you put a bit of time into it.

  • Click path: this analysis gives you a real insight into the customers’ behavior when visiting your site, such as: the sequence of hyperlinks one or more website visitors follows on a given site.

Click path reports can reveal a lot about why customers exit your site. If they were in the process of engaging with the desired goal but aborted the process then it is vital you investigate what is happening at that point (for example: pages taking too long to load, form is too long to fill in, payment does not allow for certain bank cards etc…). You can also analyse what content people are engaging with most, therefore verifying the quality and relevance of the topics.

  • Visitors: the number of new visitors and repeat visitors.

Content should be kept current so that visitors have an incentive to revisit the site. However, if visits are mainly repeat visitors then you may not be penetrating any new markets or communities. Being aware of this ratio encourages certain actions to take place.

  • Time spent on a page or ‘active’ time spent on a page: average amount of time that visitors spend actually interacting with content on a web page, based on mouse moves, clicks, hovers and scrolls; indicating areas of interest and irrelevant site clutter.

Metric programs will graphically display this information on a dashboard so it can be easily understood and communicated with Senior Management and team members. The real time metrics can be compared with other companies in the same field to measure the position of your company in the market. The potential that can be achieved by using metrics is; improved effectiveness and efficiency of a marketing strategy that results in increased revenue and market share. See how your company can benefit from a better understanding of online customer behavior with a BOSS Metrics 14 day free trial @

Annelli Nealon


8 Tips for Success with Social Media Monitoring and Measurement



A 2011 Awareness report identified ‘monitoring social media’ as one of the main challenges facing businesses in 2012. At the same time, social media budgets are expanding with 75% of marketers planning to increase their social media budget this year.

No one can afford risk in a trembling economy. To achieve success you need to measure and monitor your social media efforts efficiently. Here are some tips to de-mystify measuring, monitoring and metrics and help you achieve success:


1. Plan to succeed


Establish a strategic social media plan by setting measurable goals that correspond directly with the goals and objectives of your business. The best way to set effective, measurable goals is to establish a series of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

There is no fixed set of KPIs that any one business should measure. However, important KPIs may include: the number of unique visits to the website, customer lifetime value, the number of comments and shares per post, engagement durations, conversion rates, number of downloads, traffic driven etc.

Focus on SMART objectives ensuring that your KPIs are specific to your business, measurable, achievable, realistic and time bound.

2. Listen to the conversation


Are you listening to what is being said about your business? Are you monitoring both positive and negative mentions? Listening consistently allows you to respond to comments and questions in a timely manner as well as enabling you to foresee and fend off crisis.

A 2012 AMAS report found that Irish consumers like to write about brands. Of the 51% of those who write about products, 44% post for advice, 15% post to praise and 12% post to complain. Be there to listen, reply and help or risk losing customers and credibility.

Also listen to what people are saying about your competitors. What do customers respond well to? Find out and use the information to improve upon your own strategy.


3. Analyse competitor activity


Examine competitor activity to assess how you are performing in relation to others in your field. To do so you need to understand competitor strengths and weaknesses . How long does it take them to respond to comments? How often do they write blog posts or update their Facebook status? Find the answers to these questions. Then make every effort to perform equally or better.

Take lessons from both stories of sucess and failure.  Remain vigilent, research and seek out creative ideas to improve upon your own strategy.


4. Monitor engagements

Not all engagements are equal. Your KPIs will help you determine the most important engagements to track for achieving your business objectives. Are you engaging your audience effectively? Are people commenting, sharing, bookmarking, re-tweeting, endorsing or downloading your content?

If people are not engaging you need to find out why. Are you not producing content regularly? Are potential customers unable to find your content through search? Find the problem and address it immediately.

Clarify the engagements that most often result in leads. Cultivate them with your time and resources.


5. Learn from leads and sales

Keep track of the number of purchases made online and where these purchases stem from. For example, how many purchases were made from clicking on a Facebook ad or a Twitter link? To measure leads that result in sales you can track URLs, analyse your social media traffic or simply ask people by email or survey how they found your website/deal. You can then determine the platforms and methods that generate sales and those that prove a waste of time.


6. Keep an eye on ROI

According to Awareness 58% of digital marketers and their staff have concerns over measuring Return on Investment (ROI) in 2012. There are many ways to calculate ROI so I would recommend searching for the formula that best reflects the goals and KPIs you wish to achieve. For example if the main goal of your business is to increase customer engagement, you may be interested in the following equation:

ROI = (revenue-investment) +customer engagement and idea generation /investment *100.

However, if the mere site of a maths equation makes you break out in fever, the new Social Reports tool on Google Analytics claims to be able to measure your ROI for you.


7. Revise and re-examine

Measuring your social media allows you to re- assess your priorities. Don’t feel defeated if you learn that an idea has not brought the results you hoped for. Take the opportunity to learn what works best and what doesn’t. Eliminate strategies that don’t work and focus on those that foster results.

Revisit your goals and KPIs. Are they still realistic? Social media plans should be iterative rather than fixed. Don’t be afraid to change direction.


8. Measure from the one platform


Save time and eliminate frustration by measuring all your social media from the one platform. Boss Metrics measures all your bought, owned and shared social media from the one dashboard. No more fumbling around for different tools.

As well as providing reports on key web analytics, Boss Metrics allows you to compare your performance against your competitors. The planning tool provides personalised reports, actions and advice to help you improve your strategy. Click here to register for a free beta trial now.