Instagram (IG) is a social platform that boasts over 1 billion monthly users with high buyer intent. While it’s harder to grow your Instagram profile today than it was five years ago, it’s not impossible and still well worth the effort..
Ultimately, all your growth efforts should lead to sales in such an active environment. But if you’re not seeing the ROI on Instagram that you really want, you might be unintentionally ignoring six key components.
This guide covers the specifics of why you might not be growing as fast as you could on IG. Here’s what you’ll learn:
- How to measure ROI on Instagram
- 6 Reasons why you’re not seeing optimal ROI on Instagram
How to measure ROI on Instagram
Measuring ROI on Instagram isn’t a straightforward task. There are a lot of intangibles that factor into your social media account’s growth, like how well you engage with your audience or your brand’s overall reputation.
There are also different metrics that you can use to measure ROI. Once you calculate a handful of numbers, it’s easier to get a more comprehensive picture of how well your Instagram growth efforts are paying off.
Here are a few critical metrics you can track to determine your ROI on Instagram:
Sales, clicks, or landing page views from IG that are part of your sales funnel
Tools like Google Analytics can help you track landing page sessions as part of your overall sales funnel on Instagram. Tracking actual sales and clicks can also give you a glimpse into where users are dropping off in your sales funnel.
For example, if you see that you’re getting hundreds of visits to your landing page but your “buy” button isn’t getting any clicks, you might want to rethink your funnel structure.
Engagement rate per follower
To find your engagement rate, add the number of likes and comments on a post (or Reel), divide that by the number of followers, and multiply that by 100. This will give you a percentage you can work with.
Say you have a post with 500 likes, 124 comments, and a follower count of 10k. In this scenario, your engagement rate would be 6.24% (500 + 124/ 10,000) * 100 = 6.24).
Followers gained over a period of time
This is one of the easier ways to track ROI on Instagram. Track your number of followers over a set period of time, whether it’s weekly, monthly, or even quarterly. Then, make sure you compare those metrics with the number of hours you spend on creating and posting your content.
For instance, say I spend about five hours a week creating and scheduling content on Instagram and I have an average weekly growth rate of about 250 followers. That means my account has gained an average of 50 followers per hour spent on content (5 hrs/250 followers).
This number can help you decide whether you want to increase or maintain the time you spend growing your Instagram profile—which is especially important if you have a goal number of followers you want to reach by a specific time.
To track click-through rates, simply check out your Instagram Insights. You’ll see how many users are clicking on your bio link during a particular time period.
If your Instagram bio link leads to a landing page, you can use a Google UTM to acquire more specific click-through numbers and learn how many clicks your IG growth efforts earn per hour you spend cultivating a following.
6 Reasons why you’re not seeing ROI on Instagram
If you’re not seeing the growth on Instagram you crave, there’s a chance you might be making one or more of these mistakes.
1. You aren’t taking advantage of video content
Whether it’s your Instagram Stories or Reels, video content on Instagram is critical for greater reach. This means you should be creating more video content (or starting, if you don’t already post it) if you aren’t seeing ROI on Instagram. A video content analysis by Mention found that video posts generated an average of 150 comments—more than image posts or carousel posts combined.
IG creator Khaby00 holds the honor of publishing one of the most-viewed Reels of 2022. With over 12 million likes and over 280 million views, this Reel has a reach that would be virtually impossible to achieve with a less attention-grabbing image post.
Take a note from Gamer IG account GamerUpToDate. Its Reel went viral with over 100 million views and more than 3 million likes.
To get started, learn the IG specs for video to ensure your content is as engaging as possible.
2. You don’t leverage automation
A great way to engage with your IG audience even when you aren’t around is to set up automated responses. For instance, ManyChat’s Instagram DM Automation tools allow you to respond to DM’s with a flowchart-based conversation that you can personalize to deliver an incredibly human-like experience.
You can customize text, media, or the links you send to your audience in any given conversation.
It’s easy to see how time-consuming it would be to take care of all your engagement manually—especially as your following grows. The beauty of automation is that it offers more than just the ability to connect with several followers at once. You can also use it to:
- Increase product sales
- Capture leads
- Educate your potential customers on your product
- Provide all the support your audience needs
Check out our story on Frazer Brookes and how he enjoyed a whopping 40% increase in engagement with ManyChat’s Instagram Automation tools.
3. You aren’t using hashtags and geotags correctly
Using Instagram hashtags and geotags helps you increase both reach and engagement. Influencer Marketing Hub found that brands that used at least one hashtag increased their engagement by an average of over 12%.
Instagram’s @Creators account recently announced that the ideal number of hashtags hovers around the three to five mark. That said, there are social media strategists who swear by using 30 or more hashtags. Additionally, HubSpot found the average IG post contains 10.7 hashtags.
That’s a lot of conflicting information to digest. This can only mean one thing for your IG profile: Experiment until you find a hashtag usage rate that works for your account.
According to Instagram, there are generally nine types of hashtags:
- Hashtags on your product or service
- Hashtags that revolve around your niche
- Hashtags for IG communities within your industry
- Seasonal or special event hashtags
- Geolocation hashtags
- Daily hashtags
- Relevant phrase hashtags that revolve around your brand
- Acronym hashtags
- Hashtags containing emojis
If you aren’t using hashtags in any of these categories, now is the time to start. Considering that people can follow your branded hashtags (which helps with brand exposure), hashtags aren’t a part of your strategy you want to skimp on to see higher ROI on Instagram.
After all, the more effectively you use different types of hashtags, the higher the chances your content will appear on the Instagram Explore page (you know, where your potential audience hangs out).
As you refine your hashtag strategy, don’t forget about geotags (i.e., tagging a geographic location on your Instagram posts). According to HubSpot, posts that include geotags tend to get over 70% higher engagement.
4. You aren’t engaging with your audience in the comments
It feels so good to get a response when you comment on an Instagram post! Don’t ignore your audience if they’ve taken the time to comment on your IG content. The more engagement you create by replying to comments, the higher the chance the Instagram algorithm will expose your content to more people.
While replying, liking, and putting thought into your responses is a long-term growth strategy that requires consistent effort, you don’t have to spend any time manually replying to all the comments on your content if you don’t want to.
Instead, automate the process with ManyChat’s Flow Builder tool. It allows you to create personalized comment replies so you don’t have to spend your whole day responding to your most engaged audience members.
Here are a few reply ideas worth automating:
- General compliments
- A “thank you” for replying
- Relevant emojis
- An initial acknowledgement of a customer support inquiry
Pro Tip: If you really want to supercharge your IG growth and generate higher ROI, check out the ManyChat Intro to Instagram Automation guide.
5. You don’t leverage Instagram takeovers
Instagram takeovers are hands-down one of the best ways to grow on Instagram and expose your brand to new audiences within your niche. Sure, you can invest in pricey influencer marketing campaigns, but Instagram takeovers are a cheaper alternative worth considering.
With Instagram takeovers, you can nurture your existing audience while reaching a new one. For example, Map6collective constantly hosts guest takeovers with photographers who cross-promote the effort to their own audiences. This gives the brand a chance to grow by exposing them to an audience with an interest in photography.
Similarly, you can host takeovers within your niche. The great thing about takeovers is that compensation—whether it comes in the form of mutual exposure or actual payment—can be more flexible than a traditionalinfluencer marketing campaign.
Check out the seven steps you need to take to maximize your Instagram takeover results.
6. You aren’t prioritizing consistency
You’ve probably already heard that consistency is a key part of creating momentum and maintaining sustainable growth on IG. But what cadence is right for your business?
While consistency is important, the actual time between posts can be different for every brand on IG. More established recipe accounts like Beamingbaker post once every few days. (With 123k followers, she might not need to post all that often to keep followers interested.)
Meanwhile, lifestyle newsletter brand SideKick consistently posts two updates a day and a Reel every few days. While you might need to post more (or possibly less) than twice a day, it’s important to experiment to learn how your audience responds to different posting schedules.
But remember, don’t become laser-focused on just the hard numbers. Growing an audience that eventually leads to sales on IG takes both quantitative (the numbers like posting frequency and likes) and qualitative (the intangibles like interacting and comments) effort.
Make sure to take advantage of automation whenever possible. There are plenty of tools out there that can help you automate your IG posting process so you can focus on higher ROI tasks.
Grow your socials with ManyChat
A lot of work goes into growing your Instagram presence. As you experiment with what works for your audience, don’t forget about the power of automation. ManyChat’s messaging Automation features are designed to help you scale and grow your business.
Whether you want to get better at answering questions and providing customer support or growing sales, IG Automation enables you to connect meaningfully with your audience. Never miss a customer DM again!