For content creators, social media managers, social media analysts, and solopreneurs who do everything in their business themselves: This audit gives you a simple training so that you can audit your Instagram account to see what’s working, what isn’t, and what the next steps are. Completing an audit gets you on track to get better audience growth and gives you direction for your content creation in the months ahead.
This post assumes a few things, so make sure you have these bases covered before you read any further:
#1 You have a business or an account you’re growing
#2 You know what your business goals are. You don’t just have a vague idea and sense about what they are – they’re on a list you can easily access, cross-check and reference. If you don’t have clear business goals, you need to get Treasure Mapping in the Audience Growth category inside The Vault.
#3 You have completed your 3X3 Marketing Map to achieve your business goals.
Great! Now that you have data, you can analyze it so that you know what to do about it.
In Your Online Business Dream Team planning guide (found in The Library section inside The Vault), the person who would complete your audit is The Analyzer. But if you’re playing most of the roles in your business, this role is up to you to complete. If you never analyze, you’ll never improve what you’re doing. And because the analysis can lead to paralysis, you should only spend 10% of your marketing time doing this. Don’t overthink it. The purpose is to simplify what you’re doing by stopping what isn’t working, reusing what is so that you do less, and inspiring you to be even more creative.
I’ve created a visual guide for you to audit your Instagram content based on an old account I had.
Let’s dive in by opening your Instagram account and tapping the Professional Dashboard on your account page. That will give you a quick overview. Then tap Accounts insights and choose between the last 90 days, the last 30 days, the last 14 days, or the last 7 days.
Here you’ll see the overview of how many accounts you reached compared to the previous set time frame you’ve selected.
You’ll see if you’re growing or not. Take these numbers and percentages and track them. However, you do that is up to do: an online spreadsheet, in the notes on your phone, written on paper, whatever. If you train people how to grow their Instagram page, these analytics make great posts too so you could make a post too.
- Accounts reached – REACH
- Accounts engaged – ENGAGEMENT
- Total followers – GROWTH
Based on the total followers, I set my audience growth goal for the next month, for example, a 4% increase. I prefer percentages to numbers.
Here’s an example of what I’ve called the Big Picture Overview of Instagram:
You can tap on the content you shared to see all of it or look specifically at your
- Live Videos
You can sort and filter your content by
The metrics have changed to only 2 to track. They are:
- Accounts reached
Note your top-performing posts.
The Instagram metrics used to be far more detailed, but because the app changes daily, so does our ability to analyze our accounts. Below is an example of what metrics were trackable and which I measured.
Each social media platform you post on needs to be analyzed, and each platform has its own analytics. While the overall goal is growth, you may have some specific metrics you want to track, like website clicks or comments. A highly engaged audience is better than a big one that doesn’t buy.
So you can adapt this Instagram Content Audit to audit your other social media platforms and decide which of their metrics to track. I don’t recommend over 5 because it just takes too long and is too much work. Your goal is to simplify your process and over-analyzing wastes the time you could be using to create and engage online. Remember the 50/40/10 strategy from the 3×3 Marketing Map and stick to it!
Based on the metrics I choose to track, I set my goals or “standards” to aim for and hopefully reach the next month or quarter. Add yours to your audit tracker.
Once you’ve tracked your selected metrics, added the numbers and percentages and set your goals or standards, it’s time for the real analysis to happen. Study your top posts and note down why you think they did better than the rest.
What was the theme of the post? If you had to give the content delivery style a title, what would it be?
Your aim is to condense your findings into a bite size nugget so that you can use it to create more content from.
Use your intuition and best guess. Imagine that the post was an example of a brief that your client wanted you to make more of. What elements would you replicate?
Here’s my example.
Back then (before Instagram became a video sharing platform), carousel posts worked best for a while. So did posting pictures of myself (even though this was a business account). But I noticed that the best performing posts weren’t the pictures I loved to take (me with coffee). The digitally designed posts (made on Canva) were also top performers.
The Digital Design template pack which shows you how to implement your style guide into multiple templates across platforms is available in the Content Gold category of The Vault. So if you want to test those styles of posts, get it here.
Based on the metrics I tracked, which were interactions and reach, profile visits, comments, and saves, I noticed the following post trends I summarized into the following titles:
- How to
- Isn’t / Is
- Before / After
Based on my summary, I listed some ideas to trail:
- Personal – create posts about celebrating milestones and highlights.
- How to – create posts on sales objections and my opinion (like why you don’t need to worry about overcoming sales objections!)
- Isn’t / Is – create posts about the way things seem but aren’t around a particular topic like what business is and isn’t, what success is and isn’t, or what play is and isn’t, etc…
- Before / After – create posts that teach my audience how to shift their perspective by shedding new light on topics related to my business, like content marketing and business growth. These can be carousels (or images repurposed into reels).
Finally, based on my frequency of posting (which is one of the steps in The Ultimate 12-step content plan in the Content Cold category inside The Vault) I broke down how many posts per idea I would test during the next posting experiment (or stage 1 of my 3×3 Marketing Map). My plan was to post 25 times and divide the posts by the main content ideas I’d summarized.
Here’s what I came up with. This is part of a posting prep plan.
The plan was also based on my 80/20 content rule and that is, post 80% of what works best and trail 20% wild card experimental content so that you keep creating exciting and fresh and continually add better content to your plan.
Analyze your data to keep doing 80% of what works and 20% of new creative ideas
Choose the metrics that matter most to you so that you don’t waste time over-analyzing everything.
Combine elements that work into central themes or category titles so that you have a clear direction to take.
Decide your frequency so that your analytics form your new content post plan in a checklist that you can check off when the content is created and posted.
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