It’s debatable whether Instagram has outstripped Twitter in terms of active users, but what’s certain is that brands and individuals love the photo-sharing social network.
What many of them don’t love is the lack of useful tools for understanding more about their followers. That’s where SocialRank comes in.
We’ve written about the company’s Twitter tool before and got 100 lucky TNW readers early access to the beta release of its Instagram analytics solution back in March. From today, that product’s opening up to everyone.
Building a big following on Instagram is only the first step. SocialRank is trying to help you understand who those people are and what interests them. According to the startup’s CEO Alex Taub, it’s “working to put the ‘people’ piece of the puzzle back into the marketing stack.”
In the case of Instagram, that means allowing you to sort and filter followers by location, keyword, most engaged, most valued, and a range of other criteria.
What’s even more handy is that SocialRank for Instagram flags up each follower’s top three posts and shows you the captions they chose to add.
While I joined Instagram back in 2010, I’ve only just started using it again in earnest, so I spoke to the owners of some big accounts to find out how they’re using it, and what they make of SocialRank’s analytics tool.
Loni Edwards, owner and human spokesperson for Chloe the Mini Frenchie – a dog with over 28,600 Instagram followers, says:
The best part of building her Instagram following has been the fun partnerships. Earlier this month Chloe did a collaboration with [department store] Barney’s which was written about in Women’s Wear Daily. It was so much fun! The hardest part is that it takes up time! I initially made Chloe an Instagram account because I didn’t want to annoy my friends by posting dog photos every day. I didn’t expect it to become so big!
Edwards has been using SocialRank’s tools to target brands to work with:
We’re starting to host more charity events and do more brand partnerships. Having this tool available makes it significantly easier to figure out who to reach out to. For example, we’re hosting a charity bash for the Humane Society of New York on May 5 and SocialRank helped us figure out which brands to reach out to for the silent auction donations.
Ryan Chisholm, who manages American singer/songwriter Christina Perri, says what makes Instagram so compelling is also one of its flaws:
What makes Instagram great – a simple and clean platform – is what also makes it challenging as a marketer. There are limitations to easily creating call-to-action campaigns which allows fans to purchase things like tickets, merch and music.
Perri has over 720,000 followers on Instagram, so Chisholm desperately needs tools to understand them:
SocialRank makes it easier for us to show fans that we appreciate their posts, comments and likes. At the end of the day, our fans are the best marketers, and we’re thankful to have the best fans!
They all say that, don’t they?
Even if you’re not in charge of a pop star’s social media presence or the guardian of a peculiarly popular pup, SocialRank’s new tool could still be very useful.
It makes it very easy to see who your biggest followers are, what interests them (through their most used hashtags), and which of their photos get the most attention.
If you’re interested in getting to know the people who connect with you on Instagram better, rather than simply building you numbers, tools like this are crucial. Especially if you’re using the social network for business and not just searching for cute cat pics.
➤ SocialRank for Instagram
Read next: SocialRank’s Tech Startup Index reveals the social secrets of the world’s biggest startups