21 min read
Jared Silitonga - Nov 5, 2021

The Complete Guide to Social Listening for Instagram

Instagram has become somewhat a search engine in its own right for the new generation of internet users.

Instagram has been undeniably one of the world’s top social media applications for little more than a decade since its inception in 2010, with almost 1.38 billion active users as of July 21, 2021. With the global number of active social media users tallying 4.33 billion as recently as April 21, 2021, Instagram currently has a healthy 31% chunk of the social media pie.


Before we get into why social listening can help revolutionize the game for digital marketers looking to stamp their social authority on Instagram, you will first need to understand why Instagram makes sense for your marketing in the first place. How can you be sure that Instagram will solve your marketing problems?


For businesses out there who have yet to master the art of social media marketing, Instagram is a good start. To be precise, it may be the perfect platform to build your marketing or branding foundations upon. You do not need a large budget nor a sleuth of resources to bootstrap your Instagram strategy.


However, the kind of Instagram prowess you and your team might require, is having the genuine capacity to connect with your audience with a clear, consistent brand message.


Unsure of who your audience is or how you can bridge unmet customer needs? Discover why social listening can pave the way as your next market research solution.




Develop Meaningful, Brand Storytelling 📖

If your Instagram strategy development begins with your team compiling all the viral social media and industry trends you can possibly think of, let me stop you there. 


While memes and TikTok hashtag challenges could emanate your brand as being playful and edgy, will most of your audience appreciate this content? Possibly, if your targeted audience has a makeup of Gen Zs—but more important to your stakeholders, will it be enough to drive conversion in the long run?


As a brand marketer relying on social media, what is not always observable to your business is ultimately driving your bottom-line objectives. With already enough on your plate to bring results, you would want to ensure that you have a core audience group that loves your brand.


Storytelling, be it offline or online, is ingrained in human nature. On Instagram, it is a compelling force of influence from the moment someone stumbles upon your social page. In a mere blink of an eye, a potential customer can tell if they like what they are seeing.


Forget what people say; your Instagram feed matters. Sharing a story is one thing, but how you communicate it, especially via Instagram, makes your Instagram account page even more enticing to follow. It does not matter if you have a solid story if you do not have an audience to tell it to.


The idea about centering storytelling as a mode for enriching the customer experience on Instagram is to get your brand on an emotional level with your audience. Brands who do well in this aspect strike a chord with their customers by selling feelings, inspirations, and a lifestyle. It is more important to your customers to discover other, like-minded people who already have and still want to experience what your brand is offering.



A well-conceptualized campaign featuring customer testimonials and user-generated content can help win potential customers faster, drive greater confidence, and propagate advocates who can go on to promote your brand organically.


Using Social Listening for Consumer Insights 

A robust social listening tool will enable you to collect far greater data about your audience as compared to traditional forms of market research. While consumers use different social media platforms for various reasons, Instagram stands out among the rest for its content-oriented display.


Instagram allows brands to build a consistent brand image front and center, without the noise and clutter present in other social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter. For consumers, it means receiving a richer experience that could directly impact a brand’s social engagement.


Social listening helps collect consumer data automatically on Instagram that befits several business solutions, from monitoring brand reputation and identifying influencers to gathering consumer insights daily.

Digimind - Picture Wall - Feature

Digimind’s Picture Wall feature helps you to identify highly relevant user-generated content meaningfully.


Having an all-rounded social listening tool is software you cannot compromise when adding to your marketing stack. Its key benefits in automated data collection have a tangible impact on churning out data reports both regularly and sustainably.


With direct access to qualitative, actionable insights online in real time, there is a shorter turnaround in consumer research, a significant consideration against traditional mediums of market research where time is often a determinant.


Consumer insights reporting via social listening is holistic enough to cover a wide range of key social metrics at a glance. Digging deeper into your data, you can discover common threads in online discussions that explain the spikes and dips in the volume of mentions across a period.


Digimind - Evolution of Mentions

Digimind Social’s robust monitoring feature easily tracks the evolution of social mentions.



Influence Beyond Measure 🚀

In this day and age, information is cyclical on social media. Meaning that if you hit all the right boxes, you would be expecting lesser resistance to brand reach down the road. Brand and digital marketers want to reach a brand awareness stage on Instagram where their brand would speak for themselves.


Understanding the content cycle and knowing which stage your brand is on is crucial at this point. For marketers, there are three primary tenets of social media marketing to live by: owned, earned, and paid media.


  • On owned media: this is your building block for your Instagram content strategy, content you are in direct control of on your brand’s social pages. It is your shopfront on the social media domain, where potential customers often make their first touchpoint with your brand via search or simply through tagging. It is also, without doubt, the source in which customers gain the most valuable insights on your brand’s offerings and sieve out brand values that match their own.

  • On earned media: it is imperative for brands to get to this stage as soon as possible, as it is akin to having brand reputation virtually from any source possible: from review sites to media mentions, down to your customers’ Instagram posts. It forms the least bias because the control is taken away from the brand, where anyone could make an impression through sharing, reposting, and recommending.

  • On paid media: Once you have nailed down the basics of both owned and earned media, brands can straddle down towards the realm of paid advertising. With data-powered insights fueling your Instagram gameplan, you can enable highly-resonant targeting, which will allow you to create incisive, compelling content around your customers’ needs. In addition, this effect is augmented by potentially retargeting leads who had previously explored your owned media—effectively keeping your brand in their sights.


On Instagram, while circulating highly visual, resonant content is centric to extending the reach of your influence, bear in mind it also has to be paired with a tremendous organic presence beyond the initial stages of your social media strategy. If done correctly, your brand may be able to reap the benefits by balancing the three content stages, which can continually self-propagate regardless of whether paid media is implemented.


Detecting Unlinked Brand Mentions Seamlessly

For marketers concerned with their brand’s health in the Instagram landscape and want to quickly identify mentions that do not always include your brand handle or tag, doing so without a social listening tool could be a real pain.


What’s more, being in an era where accountability is valued strongly, a study by Convince and Convert revealed that 47% of social media users are finding it increasingly convenient to reach brands on social media to complain and for brands to resolve it within 24 hours. Social media teams are made to bear the brunt of these issues while keeping response time to a minimum.  Report building is no easy task either, where you may not even be able to guarantee to your stakeholders that you covered the innumerous log of individual posts. 


However, with a social intelligence tool supplementing your existing marketing stack, data collection can be a breeze with little to no work needed for what could have been the heaviest part of the work involved. From monitoring branded keywords and hashtags on your earned media to keeping watch of competitor activities, most social listening tools are furnished with dashboards that could quickly provide multiple stakeholders access to these data instantaneously.


Instagram’s rich trove of consumer data is a valuable source to simply ignore. Brands that want to thrive in the digital age of social media need to be empowered with data-driven technologies to stay ahead—giving you the ability and agility to respond to critical information about customer behavior, brand sentiment and even be alerted to newfound crises surfacing.


Digimind - Segment Media and Social Channels

Online mentions segmentation by media and web channels.


Extracting the correct information effectively results from knowing where conversations are taking place and where the hot spot is amassing. If you want to dive deeper into where your consumer conversations are or engage directly with the majority of your audience for maximum impact, being able to glance through key information about your media channels is vital to your communication strategy.



Engage Where The Heart Is 💖

Brand engagement is excellent on Instagram. In fact, it has one of the highest brand engagement rates across all social media platforms. Your target audience probably loves Instagram, and more so because they enjoy the type of content that revolves around the nature of your brand.


Brands looking to dip their toes into the Instagram game ideally want to stretch their roots to the very center of Instagram communities. Being at the heart of why your brand is important to everyday life is congenial to your audience’s interest. To get there, sometimes, all you need to do is get the most out of your community.


Community is about giving, and engagement is at the center of what brands measure for their social media KPI. A sense of affinity and rapport develops with each heart and comment by your brand that goes out in response to mentions of your brand. 


Stuck on the fence about deciding when the right time is to establish influencers as key ambassadors of your brand? A data study by Repustate shows that the projected marketing spend on Instagram influencer-led marketing programs is estimated at US$8.08 billion. With all your competitors hopping on this trend, so should you!


Be on Constant Lookout for Opportunities

Suppose you have already decided on utilizing influencers for your next marketing campaign. In that case, the more challenging question is how you will identify influencers not only efficiently but with certainty.


Like strings connected to an intricate web, your community might be made up of thousands of smaller networks, in which key opinion leaders of varying profile levels can be found at the core of those groups. From identifying celebrities, micro-influencers to emerging influencers, social listening can quickly enable you to find the personality with the right fit for your brand.


Digimind - Social Network Mapping

Monitoring your influencer network through Digimind’s advanced social listening features


Social listening can enable you to streamline your influencer identification process by providing you with a top view of your entire Instagram community. But more than that, it can also offer you accessible dashboards on select individuals that you may have discovered. 


Digimind - Influencers identification feature


Digimind - Identifying Influencers in community

Influencer identification effectively cuts through the clutter of social profiles to detect people of high relevance to your topic of interest.


Bonus: If you are in the mindset of finding an easier way to identify influencers, download this handy guide on setting essential metrics for evaluating micro-influencers!



Revolutionize Your Instagram Strategy With Clear, All-Rounded Insights 💬

Given the sheer amount of consumer content posted online, the kind of data you want to receive when building an understanding of your brand environment is not information you already know exists but rather consumer insights you don’t know.


Your consumers have similar benefits when receiving content and offerings that become more aligned to their needs and expectations. You will never need to second-guess your next move!


Acquiring an Instagram social listening tool like Digimind Social can provide a safety net of gathering invaluable conversations for your business growth. It is a leg-up to modern approaches to tracking consumer needs and understanding customer journeys. It is about having a pulse on your Instagram community.


Be reminded that one of the ways you can control your brand presence on Instagram is by transforming data into action. Using consumer insights purposefully can be extended to a countless number of business units, such as:

  • Alerts to prioritize customer service
  • Channel information for new product innovation
  • Drive content marketing strategies


With social listening doing all the legwork for you, this ultimately factors with you spending less time searching for the golden nugget of data and more time strategizing based on data you never even expected.

Discover Digimind Social with a complimentary demo and experience what it is like to listen powerfully.

Digimind Social Media Listening Demo 2021

Written by Jared Silitonga

Jared is a member of the APAC marketing team at Digimind. Besides hashing insights into content, he loves a good ol' sit-down of board gaming and film rhetoric. Catch him diving in other shenanigans on Instagram @jarrds