My father went his whole life without having a social media account, yet he was still on social media all of the time. What he would do is log into my mother’s Facebook account and, while scrolling through her News Feed, complain to her about all the annoying things their mutual real world friends were posting. At no point would he publicly Like or Comment on anyone’s content, but he was still there, super engaged.
For brands, a huge challenge in understanding their social media performance is that there are a lot more social media lurkers like my father, than Likers who will publicly engage with social media content. For example, the ListenFirst Content Benchmarking feature, which looks at anonymized private data from ListenFirst’s brand partners, found that in Q3 2019 only 4.7% of the time did an impression on an Instagram brand post result in a Like. Brands need to find ways other than just vanity metrics such as Likes and Followers to quantify interest in their social media content given that most of the audience isn’t going to publicly announce what brand content they’re interested in.
There are a number of ways to better identify audience engagement around social media — in the past we’ve discussed the importance of tracking social media clicks. However, today we’re going to focus on a little known but important Instagram analytics metric: Profile Views.
Here are three reasons why Instagram Profile Views is a social media benchmark your brand should be paying closer attention to.
Reason #1: Sometimes Lurkers Fear Overly Aggressive Ads
Retargeting is a great marketing tool for brands, but when it doesn’t work for a consumer, it really doesn’t work. A 2018 Accenture survey found 35% of consumers thought that seeing social media ads for products they’ve browsed online is creepy, and some consumers may be avoiding Liking or Following brands on social media out of a fear of being bombarded with retargeted ads. However, many of those same consumers are still interested in social media content by their favorite brands, they’d just prefer to return to the brand’s social media profile page to browse at their own pace, rather than have the content pop up in their Instagram feed. The Instagram Profile Views metric is the ideal way track interest from this type of consumer.
Reason #2: Profile Views Says More About Engagement Than Followers
Looking at a cross section of TV, beauty, retail, magazine, and luxury brands, ListenFirst found that in October 2019, brands on average generated 12.4X more Instagram Profile Views than new Instagram Followers. The problem with becoming too fixated on tracking Followers is that following a brand on Instagram is one time interaction, while consumers can visit a brand’s Instagram profile multiple times. Profile Views gives a much clearer picture of long term engagement around a brand on social media.
Reason #3: Profile Views Matter More Because Of Links
Similarly to how the NBA was turned upside down when analytics proved that three point shots are worth more per possession than most two points shots, location is a factor in how valuable different areas of Instagram are. For example, while Instagram has recently loosened the rules somewhat for brands around where they can place active links, traditionally the bio of your Instagram profile page is where an active link is allowed. Meaning that if you want to use Instagram to help drive traffic to your website or landing page, optimizing your profile page to maximize traffic is essential for improving Instagram ROI.
Instagram lurkers might be quiet, but with the right social media listening tool they’re far from invisible. With ListenFirst’s advanced Instagram analytics, including the Profile Views metric, brands can gain a better understanding of when the silent majority of their fans is most engaged on Instagram, and how to best leverage that stealth interest.