9 Clouds Automotive Marketing Blog
Where automotive meets digital marketing.
So you’ve set up a new Instagram account for your dealership, and you've been posting a healthy mixture of photos and videos. Now you need to see if the fruits of your labor have paid off — literally.
Unlike other social media channels like Twitter and Facebook, Instagram does not have its own analytics tool for businesses. Say hello to third-party analytics tools. Don’t worry, some are free, and all will provide plenty of information for your dealership.
Before we dive into the various analytics tools for Instagram, let’s get one thing straight. Like other organically posted social media material, you will not likely be able to answer one valuable question: “How many sales did Instagram generate?”
There is (and always will be) a disconnect between lead sources and actual Internet sales. Even though dealership websites are set up like e-commerce sites, they are not the same. You cannot enter a credit card number and purchase an SUV online.
There are only two ways you will be able to know if Instagram led to a sale:
- A prospect saw your post, navigated to your profile, clicked on your website link, found an interesting page with a form, filled out the form, and eventually bought a vehicle.
- A customer verbally tells you that an Instagram post was the reason they stepped on the lot and purchased a car.
For scenario #1 to occur, your website and CRM need to be in prime condition, providing crystal-clear data. For scenario #2 to occur, you need a sales consultant to ask the customer how they found the dealership and/or vehicle, and you also need the customer to honestly tell the sales consultant the right answer.
Can either of these scenarios actually happen? Sure, but realistically those moments will be few and far between.
4 Ways to Calculate Instagram ROI
Now that we’ve gotten that god-awful question out of the way, let’s talk about how you can determine value from Instagram without being able to track direct sales.
1. Sheer Volume
Use Google Analytics to look at referral traffic generated from Instagram to your website. It takes time to build an audience on Instagram, but keep track of the amount of people visiting your website from Instagram to determine if your time is better spent on other social media channels.
2. Traffic Quality
Once again looking at your Google Analytics referral traffic, take note of how long those visitors are staying on your website and how many pages they are visiting.
3. Most Valuable Pages
Taking those metrics a step further, look at which pages those visitors are looking at. If they are only looking at your homepage and the search results page (SRP), they are probably not a valuable visitor. However, if they are visiting the homepage, SRP, and then six or more vehicle detail pages (VDPs), they could be a potential lead.
4. Instagram Ads
Facebook launched Instagram ads (yep, Facebook) in 2015, so you can now easily place ads on both social channels.
With Instagram ads, you can set up a link directly in your post, rather than making people navigate back to your profile and then click a generic link. This is extremely valuable, especially for dealerships that want to generate traffic to specific landing pages or VDPs.
Our 3 Favorite Instagram Analytics Tools
On top of looking at referral traffic in Google Analytics, you can use Instagram-specific reporting tools to capture more data. Here’s a list of popular Instagram analytics tools.
One of our favorites to use is Iconosquare. It’s fast and easy to set up, providing essential Instagram data without getting stuck in the weeds.
There’s a good chance you already use Hootsuite for Twitter and Facebook posts. If that’s the case, implementing Instagram will be as simple as authorizing the app. Hootsuite's free tool has basic analytics, while its professional plans offer more information (for a price, of course).
3. Simply Measured
Simply Measured is one of the most strategy-focused analytics tools for social media. Whereas Hootsuite is optimized for posting content, Simply Measured provides some of the most detailed data available for Instagram.
More Instagram Resources for Dealerships
For a more in-depth look at how to use Instagram, download our free eBook on how to craft the best Instagram strategy for your dealership.