The Consumer Intelligence Blog - Infegy

Why Instagram analytics on audiences are so crucial


Three years ago, 60% of adults were on Instagram, making it one of the most influential spaces for finding audience insights for marketing and customer experience strategies. 

However, it's 2022 and social platforms have changed; with them, prime advertising strategies and targets have as well.

This prompts a big question: Is Instagram still a valuable site for audience interests and marketing analytics?

The short answer: yes!

Social media intelligence from Infegy Atlas point to a few fundamental changes that have impacted Instagram's user base:

  1. Attempted changes within the platform have frustrated current users who prefer image sharing over video sharing. See our Insight Brief, Make Instagram Instagram Again for Infegy consumer intelligence on this topic.
  2. In the last few years, competitor platforms like TikTok have attracted social users, especially younger users, taking them away from Instagram (Figure 1 and Figure 2).

Age Comparision (2016-2019)
Figure 1: 2016 - 2019 Age distribution of post volume around Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok; Infegy Atlas data.

Age Comparision (2019-2022)
Figure 2: 2019-2022 Age distribution of post volume around Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok; Infegy Atlas data.

Instagram is still a valuable source for audience interests and audience intelligence

Despite the change in user base, Instagram remains a platform where users share personal content, preferences, showcase branded content, and discuss passions. This means it remains a source for discovering audience segments, customer interests and consumer passions.

Infegy consumer intelligence suggests that if you are marketing to the 25- 55-year-old age group, keeping Instagram social media analytics within your research matrix is crucial.

Request a custom demo of Infegy Atlas to learn more about using historical data and social media analytics for strategy, marketing and business development.

Read the original article below to learn all the ways social listening to audiences on Instagram offered value in 2019, and compare for yourself whether Instagram analytics and social intelligence could still be helpful for your business and planning needs!

Original article from June 2019:

Buffer notes in their “State Of” social media report for 2019, that Instagram is among the top marketing channels for brands and businesses.

Social media channels for marketing

Businesses recognize the value of using Instagram in some way. 71% of business entities are on Instagram. That amounts to 25 million business accounts on the channel. But many marketers, advertisers and analysts miss out on the full value the channel offers.

Whether your team is actively using or analyzing Instagram, mining its massive user base for insights using social listening can help you learn essential details about audiences everywhere.

Understanding who Instagram audiences are and how they use the platform is essential for brands and businesses. You can only reach audiences and participate in the right conversations with the right people. By conducting the proper analysis, you can get into the mindset of consumers to learn what their needs, pain points, interests and passions are.

So, who are Instagram audiences and what do they expect?

Taylor Loren, marketing director at Later, an Instagram scheduling app, says that people are changing what they expect from brands on the channel.

“As Instagram becomes more saturated with brands, influencers, and branded content, Instagram users are set to make a shift in who they’re choosing to follow,” Loren said. People are craving more personalized, targeted content.”

There’s your opportunity: reach or research the right people for better targeting and a more personalized experience. The first step: getting to know Instagram’s audiences.

Analyzing Instagram audiences will provide you clues to their demographics, how they interact and what their favorite brands and products are. Here are some major things we’ve learned from our research on Instagram and the people who make it go:

  • Instagram users share stories and moments of their lives (so you can get to know them)
  • Active Instagrammers are more affluent and ready to buy (and Instagram is ready-made for the buyer’s journey)
  • Instagram is popular for all age groups
  • Instagram has a highly engaged user base
  • Instagram users express trust in brands

Let’s dive into the most important elements of Instagram and how your brand or business can leverage the platform for insights. Here’s why analyzing Instagram audiences is so crucial to your business efforts:

Instagram Users Share Stories and Moments of Their Lives (So You Can Get to Know Them)

The top reason for leveraging Instagram audiences is the user experience the channel offers. The functionality and main purpose of the IG platform make it conducive for finding out how people live their lives.

These qualities and attributes make it an ideal platform for business insight:

  • Instagrammers offer authentic, unsolicited details of their life experiences
  • Instagrammers come from all demographics and backgrounds, including those in your target audience
  • Instagrammers engage in conversation that your brand can be a part of or research
  • Instagrammers visually show you their life, products they love, and what they love

This means you can research the most important topics to consumers in your target audience to get to know them better and make key predictions about their expectations, habits and behaviors.

For instance, if you analyze Instagram users’ top interests, you can better understand the topics and categories that drive their behaviors.

Social listening analysis can identify categorical interests of online authors based on the way they talk or present themselves online.

Say you’d like to know what else fitness junkies are interested in other than fitness.

If someone posts a photo and uses the hashtag “fitness”, we could see what else that person is interested in by analyzing their other commentary online, as well as things like their online bio.

Instagram audience example with social listening

By using our advanced taxonomy and channel filter within a social listening query, we’re able to pinpoint the top interests of typical Instagram users:

Instagram audiences top interests Instagram social listening

Active Instagrammers are More Affluent and Ready to Buy (And Instagram is Ready-Made for the Buyer’s Journey)

All parts of the buyer’s journey can be experienced on Instagram.

Advertising and word-of-mouth sharing grow awareness of your brand or product.

Engaging audiences, participating in conversations and listening to what that audience wants provides a quality brand-consumer relationship that makes people more apt to consider you.

And smart product marketing and targeted shopping ads can encourage people to decide to buy on the spot, phone-in-hand.

Even if you don’t have a product that is directly sellable through social, you can still engage audiences, analyze them, and understand what their needs, pain points and interests are.

That’s true because:

  • Instagram users are typically more affluent
  • They’re “clicky” (as in, they click on posts that resonate with them)
  • They express buying indicators more than any other social channel user

Indeed, 80% of Instagram users follow brands on the network. And 60% of Instagrammers have made a purchase directly through the app.

Further research shows that 55% of Instagram users make between $70-80K in income. Meanwhile, 60% of those who make over $100K are active Instagram users.

Social listening analysis of buying behaviors and recent purchase indicators provides even further proof.

When we analyze global Instagram engagements in our listening tool, Infegy Atlas, you see that the theme of acquisition is expressed in 6.3% of all posts which leads all other networks. This means people are discussing a newly acquired product or experience they’ve participated in.

Instagram buying behaviors with social listening

Instagram audiences love to exclaim their excitement over new products. Here's an actual Instagram post expressing acquisition we discovered when we filtered our search for the theme of acquisition in our social listening tool:

Instagram audience example with social listening

Instagram is also among the top for purchase intent and other consideration metrics, meaning that you cannot sleep on its massive user base of buyers or the buying behaviors they express in their content.

Instagram Has a Highly Engaged User Base

You’re probably aware of the importance of garnering engagement on social channels.

Revisiting the “state of social” report we looked at earlier, it’s precise engagement is important to marketers:

Social media ROI engagement

There may be no better indication of the business value of Instagram users than looking at their engagement. As you’ll see later, users of all ages are using Instagram to share stories of their lives and connect with others. Brands can participate in this conversation with real results.

According to Instagram, 4.2 billion likes occur on their platform every day!

The potential reach of the social channel is huge, with tens of billions of interactions and impressions on the network.

And brands can leverage this virality of Instagram’s users at virtually any time, as Instagram users are engaged at all times of the day.

Instagram engagement time of day metrics

Knowing this, you can find and understand your target audiences and how they communicate and determine how to best reach this audience when and wherever they are.

Instagram is Popular For All Age Groups

The rapid rise in Instagram users indicates a true market saturation of the channel. And while younger users like millennials and Gen Z dominate the platform, they certainly aren’t the only ones hanging out there.

Take a look at the age distribution of engagement on Instagram, compared to the rest of the online sources:

Social media analytics age distribution by channel

While younger users lead the way on Instagram, there's a more even age distribution than you'd expect.

A notable statistic emerges in this social listening analysis: The 35-44 age group makes up 23% of engagements on Instagram.

Even though according to most estimates, that age segment only accounts for 15% of Instagram members, it’s interesting here that this group appears to be more engaged. They interact at a similar rate as the youngest age group.

What's more, we found IG is second only to Facebook in engagements from the 45-54 age group.

This underscores that it’s possible to reach and analyze audiences in all age groups, including whomever your target audience is.

You can learn more about the Instagram demographics breakdown by downloading the report.

Instagram Users Express Brand Trust and Exude Positivity

Want to know if audiences trust your brand?

Instagram is a great place to find out.

According to our social listening analysis, content by Instagram users has a high trust score. This means a large percentage of Instagram content, from posts to comments and replies, expresses the emotion of trust. 28% of IG posts contain the emotion of trust:

Top Emotions on Instagram with social listening

This could be related to the fact that overall content on Instagram tends to be more positive.

Overwhelmingly, Instagram is a positive place to hang out. As our Instagram audiences report observes, sentiment analysis of global content shows that 48% of all posts on IG are positive. That number jumps to 87% when you remove instances of neutral (or no sentiment) posts.

But aside from that, people love to show their love, passion, loyalty, and yes, trust in the brands they mention on Instagram.

Typically, emotions analysis will show about 5-10% of posts express the trust emotion. But as you see in the image above, when we analyze Instagram with social listening, the channel has 28% of user content expressing trust. Wow!

Developing trust from your online audiences and customers is vital. Trust leads all other emotions in correlation to consumer purchase intent. As you see here, it’s nearly perfectly correlated.

Trust vs. purchase intent social listening

Instagram leads all other channels in the trust emotion. So, you can find out if you’ve generated that brand trust from your audiences by looking at Instagram.

This is a great article on how to build a trusting audience online (if your trust score turns out to be lower than you’d like).

Once you’ve garnered trust from your audiences, you can build upon that trust and nurture better relationships with the right people on Instagram.

Instagram is a great place to develop those relationships because of the reasons listed in this article-- Instagrammers share stories of their lives, they are highly engaged, they transcend ages and backgrounds, and they’re trusting.

If you’re looking for quality Instagram insights for your brands or business, look into the industry-leading social listening tool, Infegy Atlas, today!