Every Instagram metric you need to track

June 4, 2019
Photo by Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash

Do you know what percentage of your followers are engaging with your content? Or how many profile views you’re getting for each post? 


If you don’t know the answers to these questions, now is the time to start looking into analytics. One of the most popular social media platforms of our generation, Instagram has over 1 billion users — and that number continues to grow every day. As Instagram continues to lead the way for brand building in the digital sphere, it is imperative that users actively track their performance using a variety of data metrics. 


Whether you're reviewing your own statistics or auditing your post performance, Instagram analytics provide key insights that can help you grow your following and better engage with audiences. Here are seven essential Instagram metrics to track when doing your social media analytics report: 


1. Engagement rate

Your Instagram engagement rate is a major indicator of how well your followers are responding to posted content. It is calculated by combining your total likes and comments divided by follower count. Fortunately, you do not have to crunch the numbers yourself — free analytics tools like  Squarelovin, Simply Measured and Socialbakers automatically calculate engagement rate so you don't have to. 


Understanding your engagement rate is useful for discovering what content your followers typically respond best to, and from there you can building on your content strategy.


2. Reach

Here’s the difference between impressions and reach: While impressions tell you how many times your post was shown, reach is the total number of accounts your post reached — this also includes accounts that aren’t following you! 


Your can find your reach rate on Instagram’s built-in analytics tool if you have a business account, whether it be for individual posts or for a certain time period. Tracking your reach over time is particularly important; if you don’t see an improvement in reach over time, you can think of ways to optimize your content to expand reach, such as using certain hashtags and adding location tags. 

3. Audience breakdown
The Audience tab on Instagram’s built-in Insights gives you all the information you need about your followers. First, you can identify where your followers are located according to cities and countries; Instagram lists the top five for both. In addition, Insights also breaks down age and gender distribution. The final section of the Audience tab also features bar charts on your followers’ most active times by hours and days. Taking advantage of the Audience tab will allow you to augment and specifically tailor your content strategy based on your existing follower base.


4. Posting time

One of the unspoken rules of Instagram is that there is always a right and wrong time to make a post. Best posting time is not a one-solution-for-all thing — it’s different for every account based on where you and your followers are and what brand you have. Using Instagram Insights, you can discover where your key audiences are, as well as which hours and days your followers are most active on Instagram. From there, you can determine your golden hour is (in terms of posting). 

5. Instagram Stories engagement

Instagram Stories is a major component of the brand building ecology. Whether it’s a Boomerang, video or photo, every slide is crucial in determining how well your audiences are engaging with your 24-hour content. For IG Stories, there are several key metrics that you should always look out for using Instagram’s story insights function.


First is interactions. Interactions quantifies the actions that people take when they view your story. Interactions comprises replies, profile visits, website clicks, as well as swipe-ups (if you have over 10,000 followers). 


Second is discovery. Under the Discovery section, you can view the number of impressions, follows and navigation actions taken from each specific slide in your overall story. While impressions are important, it is important to determine your drop-off rate. This is calculated by taking the reach rate of your first slide, subtracting the reach rate of your last slide and dividing it by the reach rate of the first slide. This will tell you the percentage of users who stopped watching your story before the end of it. 


You can also figure out your IG Stories completion rate. The completion rate is calculated by taking the reach of your last slide and dividing it with reach of your first slide, and is a helpful number because it tells you how many users stayed engaged with your content from start to end. 


Did you post too much? Too little? Having a performance benchmark on IG Stories is crucial for improving your posting strategy. 

6. Follower growth rate

While having a large number of followers from the get-go is great, increasing your following is one of the most important components for expanding your digital reach. Tracking your follower growth rate is critical because it is a sign of whether or not your account is reaching new users and networks. 


A note about Instagram’s algorithm 

There are three facts that you need to know about Instagram’s algorithm in relation to how well your content performs. First, because the algorithm automatically breaks up posts (posts Instagram’s feed no longer show up in reverse-chronological order), different posts can be sent to multiple audiences. That means that you can post more frequently — that is, if you can guarantee that the posts will be quality and on-brand. Second, pay attention to when your audiences are most active on Instagram using the Audience tab on Insights. Timing is everything for increasing reach, as you should always adapt your posting strategy to according to your followers’ app activity. And finally, engage with your followers as much as possible! Instagram’s algorithm tracks these interactions and as a result, your posts will show up more often on the feeds of users with whom you interact.


Overall, understanding all the facets of social media analytics can boost your business’ or brand’s presence digitally, and determining the health of your Instagram performance can give you a better idea of how to optimize your content strategy and engagement tactics so that your account can continue growing. 

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