While Instagram might not be for everyone, there are countless businesses getting started on Instagram. However, what if you need a quick glance into some Instagram user data? Sure, there might be some tools out there that can give you more detailed data…but I needed something quick and easy that would let me copy and paste a list of Instagram usernames into it and then give me some basic stats for the users.
My choice of tool for this job was Microsoft Excel. I’ve had great success with my Twitter Dashboard for Microsoft Excel, and it only made sense to make one for Instagram.
To do this, you will only need two things:
- Microsoft Excel
- Niels Bosma’s SEO Tools Excel Plugin
Setting Up Microsoft Excel To Scrape Instagram Data
In order to get the Instagram data to magically appear in Excel, we first need to install the SEO Tools Excel Plugin. Niels’ site provides the installation instructions which are pretty easy.
When installed, this plugin will allow us to gather data from URLs and instantly pull external data into Excel. Please note that this MUST be installed in order for the steps I provide below to work.
Once you have downloaded it and activated it in your Microsoft Excel add-ins menu, you should see the SEO Tools tab in the top navigation ribbon.
If you have never used this in Excel, I highly suggest exploring all you can do with it. You will be amazed at what is possible!
Let’s Get Instagram Data into Microsoft Excel
Now that you have installed Niels’ SEO plugin, we can start creating some formulas that will get the data we are looking for.
Initially, I was going to use Instagram’s site to get the data; but I decided to go another route. To get the data I decided to use a site called Iconosquare.com – which provides various Instagram data for your account.
Sure you can easily see stats of your own account. But what if you could easily view these same stats for others in Microsoft Excel?
Before I lay out the process for setting up your Excel file to get this data, I want to quickly explain the process of how Excel is able to get the data.
You will be using a feature of the SEO Tools plugin called “XPathOnUrl” which will allow you to get the data from the Xpath of a page.
What is Xpath you ask?
Xpath is a query language for selecting nodes from an XML document. It basically allows you to get values from a XML document. In other words, we are using this to scrape data from a website.
Setting Up The Excel File
You will need to start with a blank Excel sheet and add the formulas below where noted. Before we get to the formulas, we need to label our columns and create a table. Label the following cells as noted:
- A1 – Instagram ID
- B1 – Iconosquare
- C1 – Username
- D1 – Full Name
- E1 – Bio
- F1 – Personal URL
- G1 – Followers
- H1 – Following
- I1 – Media Raw Data
- J1 – Media/Posts
After the column headings are created, you will need to create a table. Simply highlight each of the cells you just created and then click “Ctrl+T” on your keyboard. You will then get a pop up asking you about the table, simply be sure to check the box that says “My Table Has Headers” and click “OK.”
Now let’s move on to the formulas!
Instagram ID (A1)
In cell A2, we will enter the Instagram username of the profile we want to gather data for. Simply leave this cell blank or enter a profile name you would like to get the data of.
For cell B2, we are going to populate the Iconosquare URL needed to pull up the profile you want the data for. Therefore, we will use the following formula:
What this formula is basically saying is that if it returns an error (IFERROR), then the cell should render blank. If there is no error, then it will merge (CONCATENATE) the URL with the Instagram profile ID. You will notice that I use “IFERROR” on most of the formulas below.
You will be pulling the username displayed on the webpage for cell C2. To do this, use the following formula:
This formula is the first use of “XPathOnURL” which means we are now getting data from the website. It is essentially visiting the URL created in B2 and then looking for the value of the H2 tag with the class “username.”
Full Name (D1)
Up next you will be creating a formula to bring in the full name that is being displayed on Instagram. In order to do this, use this formula:
In this formula, it works similarly to the Username formula. The only difference is that we are looking for the H1 tag with the class of “fullname.”
To grab the Instagram user bio data, in cell E2 use this formula:
This formula visits the profile page and looks for the content in the class “clear bio-user” which is where the profile bio information is.
Personal URL (F1)
Some Instagram users enter a URL in their profile. Sometimes it is a personal URL, while others it is for a business. To pull this URL from Instagram into Excel, use this formula in cell F2:
With this formula, it visits the profile page and gathers data from the anchor class “website-link.”
One of the more notable social vanity metrics, this column will gather the number of followers for an Instagram account. In cell G2, use the following formula:
In this formula, it will gather the follower count from the span class “chiffre.”
To see how many users an Instagram account is following, we will collect that data in column H. In cell H2 enter this formula:
Using this formula, Excel will display the number of users an account is following.
Media Raw Data (I1)
This column is going to pull in the number of media posts (images/videos) an Instagram user has uploaded. So in cell I2 use this formula:
=IFERROR(XPathOnUrl([@Iconosquare],”//span[@class=’photos user-action-btn user-action-btn-selected’]”),””)
The result will show the number of uploads with the word “media” after it. In the next column we will remove the “media” text so it shows just a number.
In order to remove the “media” text from cell I2, we will need to use the following formula in cell J2:
With this formula, the column will show only the number of uploads a user has made to Instagram.
Utilizing Your Instagram Data
Now that you have successfully created your Excel file (you got it working, right?), in what ways can you use this data to your advantage?
Here are a few ways to get you started:
- Identify users with specific keywords in their bio
- Find users who do or do not have URLs listed in their profile
- Determine which users post frequently and would be worth engaging with
- Build reports on competitors
In what ways do you plan on using this data to your advantage? Be sure to let me know in the comments below.