How to Use Iconosquare to grow your Instagram

Last week we focused on the benefits of hashtags and how they can help us grow our Instagram following and increase engagement.

Now how do we know if the techniques we incorporate are actually working? If we decided to use a different set of hashtags or post at night instead of early evening, how do we know if it's actually working better than before? We need to have a way to be able to track and analyze our data.

That's where Iconosqaure comes in:

Using Iconosquare

Iconosquare was created to help users have complete control over their Instagram along with:

– Promotion
– Manage and engage their community
– Analyze activity and provide informative statistics

There used to be a free version, but they recently switched it to a 7-day free trial. Paid version is $28.80/year, which is small investment considering how much I use it weekly.

I really want to dive into Iconosquare and the various sections on how to collect and use the data to help grow our Instagram following.

How to interpret your Analytics

Here is where all the fun starts, what good is the data if we don't know how to interpret and use it to our advantage?

On the top of the page click Analytics and you will be taken to the Overview page.

Overview: This provides a basic overview of your Instagram account along with the Last 7 Days follower growth and Engagement stats for your latest post.

iconosquare engagment

One thing to keep in mind when reviewing this section: the larger number is what you received on your last post, the smaller number is an average of the last 15 posts. My Love Rate and Spread Rate was slightly lower on my latest post based on the average of the last 15.

A hidden gem within this section that is very revealing is…under the Love Rate box there is a link titled “View all media sorted by likes.” Click it and you will be taken to your posts sorted by the number of likes.

most liked pictures

Notice anything trending? Full body alert! My most liked content by far are my full body outfit shots. This tells me that my audience responds well to this type of content and why I try to make it a point to post one full body photo a day.

Rolling monthly analysis: This will provide me data for the last rolling month…meaning since I pulled this data on Feb 9th, it will provide me data from Jan 10th-Feb 9th.

iconosqaure engagement rolling month

This tells me that my engagement rate has increased from the previous month, which is great! It's a way for me to track if the content I'm posting is resonating more with my followers.

If you notice engagement rate decreasing, I would suggest to go back to the most liked photos and try to incorporate those more within your content. But remember to do it in moderation, not every one of my posts is a full body… I aim for a well rounded feed.

follower count

Before Iconosquare, I would manually track the amount of followers I gained daily on an excel sheet. I wanted to make sure I was posting content others liked and wanted to follow. This report has saved me tons of time. As you can see, I increased my follower rate by +45.5%. This provides more indication that I'm on the right track with my audience regarding the content I'm posting.

Also, I believe the increased engagement rate we saw earlier correlates to the amount of followers I gain.

Content: Truthfully, I don't really use this section. I post consistently 3-4 times a day everyday. This section shows how much content you've posted throughout the years, daily density, most used filter and hashtag.

I can see it beneficial for someone who is having a hard time posting throughout the day and would like to improve on it, this data would show your posting habits.

Engagement: Provides an average like/comment per media growth history bar chart. Also your top liked and commented photos.

instagram likes received
instagram comments received

If you were ever skeptical about my post last week on using hashtags, look at the data above. Almost half my likes and comments are from people who don't follow me! I understand that there's other ways to get likes/comments from non-followers, like being in the explorer page, but I would have to think a good majority is based on the hashtags I use.

Optimization: My favorite section. Provides data on best posting times, filter impact and top hashtags.

Best times to post on instagram

I believe that by really honing in on my most optimal posting time has stepped up my IG game. I have seen major improvements on engagement and follower rates based on hitting those key optimal times.

My most popular posting times:
Mon-Fri: 9-10am, 2:00-4:00pm, 7:45pm
Sat โ€“ 12pm, 7pm
Sun โ€“ 10am, 1pm, 7:45pm

The times above seem to work best for my audience, but may not fit yours. You donโ€™t want to become too analytical as trends/habits tend to change over time. As you can see, these times have changed from the last time I spoke about posting habits.

Trial and error is the best approach to really finding out which days/times work best.

There you goooo, that's how I use Iconosquare weekly and I would suggest you check it out and see how it works for you as well- comment below with any cool trends you noticed from analyzing your data :)

I'm off for NYFW fittings before shows start tomorrow!

xx Brittany

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15 Comments

  1. Malu February 10, 2016 at 7:49 am

    This is a very helpful post on Iconosquare! I actually starting using it when you initially posted about it, and I found it very helpful for myself and my IG feed. I love all of the features it has, and the optimization chart is also one of my favorites, because it is pretty accurate on my posting habits and when my followers are on. The hashtag section is also really cool because you can see which ones are trending at the time to attract more users for photos. I must say that I have trouble posting so much a day. I feel like I run out of things to post about, or maybe my life is not that interesting. Do you have any advice on how to increase posting habits? Great post, very helpful as usual!
    http://www.musebymalu.com

    Reply
  2. Meg February 10, 2016 at 8:07 am

    This was helpful. looked into this before based on your recommendation but honestly was a bit skeptical. My blog is not that popular right now and I am bit worried about investing too much money to it if I do not get much return. I would love your opinion on when you started more monetary investments in your blog.

    http://mymonochromaticlife.com

    Reply
  3. Rhea February 10, 2016 at 11:33 am

    I always thought the free version was too good to be true! I find Iconosquare extremely useful. Also props to you for being so analytical! In this industry to get ahead you’ve got to be way more than a pretty face ;) You nailed it!

    XX,

    Rhea | http://www.cateyechronicles.com

    Reply
  4. Abbey February 10, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    I love the analytics piece of Iconosquare! It’s so helpful and I find it really interesting! Great post! 😌

    Abbey
    Eliza Van
    http://www.elizavanstyle.com

    Reply
  5. Elizabeth T. February 10, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    I’m always amazed at how Instagram isn’t just a form of social media anymore :) Haha it’s so fun to try to learn about all of these ways we can be more engaged with our audience and create content that they enjoy. Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful post! Iconosquare seems like the perfect way to get ahold of the data analysis behind Instagram <3

    XO, Elizabeth
    http://clothestoyouuu.com/

    Reply
  6. Dannon February 11, 2016 at 6:27 am

    Brittany, you are such an inspiration! Seriously. I wanted to tell you that I remember following you before I even started a blog and I’ve always loved your strive and consistency. I’ve finally realized that it takes work and that I need to post content daily. And not just any content. Things that motivate people, since they are usually following us for inspiration. I, myself, realized that I needed to post at least 1 outfit look a day and 2-4 post daily. I wish I knew this when I had the amazing opportunity to be included with you as a breakthrough fashion blogger of the year! I know that it was just luck for me and I didn’t completely earn my place there, but I definitely want to work harder and produce more content for my followers. You inspire me so much and your willingness to help others..it takes time, effort and commitment and I truly underestimated the work of a blogger. I wanted to believe it was as easy as it looked and just do the bare minimum :(

    I’ve especially loved your helpful tips as to building an Instagram following and all the blogging tips in general. Please know that your work is very much appreciated, even if it’s not said!! I hope one day I will be able to hit the runway shows with you and your posse! lol (I just love you, Michelle and Lisa!)

    Also, can I make a request?! :D I would love to see a post about how you reach out to brands, get invited to runway shows, how the hotels and flights are taken care of, etc. Charleston is pretty small compared to L.A. so the connections and brand collaborations/events are very limited. I’m sure you probably have a schedule for these post and don’t want to jump ahead so I understand if I need to wait-patience is not my best trait, but I’m working on it! haha And of course, my main goal is to reach 100K first!! lol

    I hope you have a wonderful time at NYFW though and I can’t wait to see all your fabulous looks!!

    Dannon, Like The Yogurt
    <a
    fashion. beauty. DIY

    Reply
  7. Theoni February 11, 2016 at 6:40 am

    very helpfull post for once again!

    Reply
  8. Tiffany Cameron February 11, 2016 at 9:05 am

    Extremely helpful post! Thank you, Brittany.

    Reply
  9. Wafa February 15, 2016 at 10:01 am

    This was really helpul, i read all ur posts about building urself as a brand and i love it! I couldn’t believe that u commented one time on my post:) i use iconosquare but not regularly i think i should be focusing more on it! Thanks alot

    Reply
  10. Jessica March 11, 2016 at 10:03 am

    Thank you SO much. I have just devoured these posts and made changes on my blog. Thank goodness I read it as I’ve been doing a lot wrong. Thanks for sharing with others and giving a helping hand to those of us with no idea about SEO!

    Reply
  11. Pingback: Do's and Don'ts of Growing Your Instagram Following | Thrifts and Threads

  12. Kristin @ Camels & Chocolate November 17, 2016 at 7:53 am

    I just signed up for Iconosquare (paid) after using the free version for awhile. What I’m most interested in is how you can create lists of people to follow on Icono that you don’t necessarily follow on your own IG account. Have you tapped into this area of the software, and has it proven effective?

    Reply
  13. Rin February 10, 2017 at 6:42 am

    Thank you for the helpful post. Are you still using iconosquare? I’m looking for somebody to refer me :).

    Reply

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