Measure Your Success on Instagram with a New Metric: Volatility

Are you going viral? On Instagram, it can be difficult to track your rate of change: whether your account is blowing up or slowing down. You might have more likes and comments than normal, but it’s difficult to measure the size of the change.

Engagement rate, meaning the likes and comments your content receives relative to your number of followers, is an important metric. The amount your engagement rate has changed might be even more important. For brand managers, volatility — how much your engagement rate has changed — is essential. It puts your engagement rate in context, giving marketers key information about whether their Instagram engagement is improving or in decline.

Definition: Volatility

In Crowdbabble’s new app for Hootsuite, volatility is measured using engagement rate over two time periods. In the Now view of the app, volatility refers to the rate of change over the past 48 hours. In the 30 Day view, volatility is measured over the past 30 days—comparing it to the 30 days before that.

Both metrics are based on engagement rate: the number of likes and comments your content on Instagram receives relative to your number of followers, calculated as a percentage.

Track Volatility in Hootsuite

To find your volatility rate, add Crowdbabble to your Hootsuite dashboard through the Applications panel. Once you’ve added Crowdbabble, log into the stream. Then, select either the Now view or 30 Day view. The third statistic on display in the stream is volatility.


A negative volatility number means that your engagement rate has declined. A positive number means that your engagement rate has risen. The percentage itself indicates the rate of change: the higher the number, the bigger the change.

The 11.71% volatility rate for the user in the above example indicates a sizeable increase in engagement rate over the past 48 hours. The Now view is a great way to track virality: if you notice an increase of more than 50%, the likes and comments you’re getting have more than doubled.

Putting Engagement Rate in Context

To take a longer view of your engagement rate, use volatility in the 30 day view of the Crowdbabble app in Hootsuite.


In the 30 day view, you can compare the overall change in engagement rate (your volatility) to the engagement rate graph below it. The grey line on the graph displays likes and comments every day, while volatility indicates the overall change in engagement rate for the past 30 days.

In the example above, the shows engagement rate over the past 30 days that has clear peaks, valleys, and plateaus. Aside from a few high points, engagement rate for the user stayed low due to a long period with no posts (indicated by the lack of bars). Volatility indicates that overall, engagement rate is down 8.33%.

Between the graph and the volatility metric, the user can get a clear picture of their performance on Instagram over the past month. The Now view for the same users shows improvement: 11.71% volatility indicates a strong increase over the past 48 hours, which may mean progress after a rough month.

The More You Know

With the volatility metric in Crowdbabble for Hootsuite, measuring follower engagement is easy. You don’t have to compare your engagement rates over the past few days, or month over month: volatility does that for you.

Volatility puts engagement rate in context so you can understand your progress on Instagram. To quickly see whether your performance is up or down, check volatility for a positive or negative number.

If you ever forget how the new metric is calculated, just tap volatility in either view for a definition. Happy analyzing!