The last couple of years have brought on some turbulent changes in the way that data can be collected from social networks. While these changes are out of the hands of Social Media Intelligence providers, their approaches to dealing with the changes vary, and greatly impact your social intelligence programs. Most recently, Instagram changed the way tech companies access their API to gather Instagram analytics for business.
To summarize simply, Instagram changed two things:
- Change 1: Third-party companies, like Social Media Intelligence providers, can no longer crawl Instagram personal profiles. Crawling is now confined to Instagram business profiles.
- Change 2: Hashtag searches are limited to 30 different hashtags per customer per week, and the posts returned via this API are anonymous.
At first glance, these changes sound limiting, and to some brands, crippling. Not surprising since Instagram analytics for business are critical for influencer marketing and marketing campaigns. It makes sense then that tracking the success of these campaigns is an essential part of a successful Social Media Intelligence program. Luckily, things are not always what they seem. At Synthesio, we are leveraging this new API to provide you insights that bring as much, if not more, value as before.
Let’s get into how.
Instagram Analytics for Business
The first thing we did, months before the changes went into effect, was started sourcing business profiles. Influencer marketing is an incredibly powerful tool available to brands today, and Synthesio’s strategy since the beginning has been to ensure that our customers don’t lose influencer tracking capabilities.
That’s why we’ve sourced millions of Instagram business profiles, more than any other Social Media Intelligence provider.
It’s also why we’re sourcing tens-of-thousands of new business profiles every day. Finally, it’s why we’ve enabled our customers to easily authorize owned and influencer profiles, ensuring that our customers aren’t missing any data.
In fact, we believe that understanding influencers is so essential, that we’ve surpassed the volume of Instagram posts we had before the API changes took place.
While we’re really excited about all of this, we understand that it only solves for half of the challenge. Influencer marketing and tracking are important, but so is campaign tracking.
Enter Instagram’s new hashtag API, providing greater Instagram analytics for business.
We have been piloting the new hashtag API with users in our beta environment. In our next general availability release, all customers will be able to track up to 30 different hashtags per week. The feeds are all anonymous, as per Instagram’s platform policy, addressing any compliance concerns.
As always, Synthesio has metrics, widgets, and features to ensure that our customers get the most important insights about the performance of their campaigns.
That’s what’s happening currently, but what about the future?
Paid Influencers vs. Brand Advocates
Recently, the practice of influencer marketing has come under scrutiny with the full story of the Fyre Festival coming to light in two explosive documentaries. Many followers of the scandal have taken a firm stance in calling for ethical boundaries when using powerful influencers to promote products.
Of course, Instagram is a valuable platform for influencer marketing. In fact, it was the platform of choice for influencers promoting the Fyre Festival. So how can you, as a brand, avoid crossing ethical boundaries with your influencer marketing campaigns?
At Synthesio, we have always been and will continue to be, compliant with government and social network regulations. We take our responsibility seriously and try to operate at the highest ethical standard. That’s why our new Publishers section helps companies find brand advocates — not just paid influencers — who are helping their brands naturally and entirely voluntarily, enabling even greater Instagram analytics for business.
Unlike some influencers, brand advocates are not paid for their endorsements. Instead, they are just true believers in the brands and products they choose to publicly support on social media.
Are brand advocates a cornerstone for ethical influencer marketing campaigns? We believe so, and are helping brands tackle this evolution, and navigate future social network changes.