Social Media

Top 10 Instagram Metrics You Need To Know

If you really want to make an impact on social media, and you're struggling to grow your brands or make sales, then listen up, because you're focussing on the wrong things. Check out the essential analytics you need to focus on, on Instagram.

Emma Smallwood
August 31, 2022
10 min

Social media is one of the most rapidly evolving industries in the world, which means it can be a little tricky to keep up with the ever-changing glossary of it. There’s a whole load of jargon in the marketing industry as a whole, and the social media niche is jam-packed with its own dizzying buzzwords.

If your aim as a creator is to grow your Instagram, then you need to understand the terms and metrics that float around and know which are important for growth and engagement.

Here are 10 social media metrics you need to know for a stronger strategy on Instagram:

  1. Reach
  2. Impressions
  3. Engagement Rate
  4. Instagram Reels Engagement
  5. Engagement per Follower
  6. Saves
  7. Profile Activity
  8. Follower Growth
  9. Traffic
  10. Instagram Story Metrics

#1 Reach

Creators, social media mavens, entrepreneurs - everyone needs the know the reach of their posts.

Reach refers to the total number of people who have seen your ad or content. If 100 total people have seen your content, that means your content's reach is 100.

Reach is important when monitoring your performance on Instagram, it is one of the most important metrics to take into account. It shows how many unique accounts have seen your post, and therefore how much awareness and value you’re gaining.

Looking at reach from an analytical viewpoint can help you when creating posts. For example, if a post receives higher (or lower) reach than usual, you can use those results as insight for future posts and stories.

You don't need fancy third-party tools to keep track of your reach – and all other metrics – just jump into your Instagram Insights to check the reach of your account over a specified period or a particular post.

#2 Impressions

There's common confusion between the definitions of “reach” vs. “impressions”? Which one should you be paying attention to? And what do these terms mean for your marketing operation and creators? Don't panic, we have the answers.

Impressions refer to the number of times your ad or content has been displayed on a screen. If your piece of content popped up on screens a total of 300 times. That means the number of impressions for that content is 300.

#3 Engagement Rate

When you look at your Instagram engagement, whether on a specific post or on your profile, the number should be pretty high. That’s because it covers every interaction that post or page has received within a specified timeframe.

The engagement rate, however, may occasionally look a little lower. That’s because it’s based on the percentage of your followers who have interacted with your content. By interacting, we’re talking likes and comments, and in some cases shares, saves, and impressions.

If you're looking to understand engagement rate on Instagram more, check out our blog post on, How to calculate your engagement rate on Instagram.

#4 Instagram Reels Engagement

Instagram Reels are a surefire way for brands and creators to increase their reach. They're fun and engaging pieces of content that are great for increasing brand awareness and discovery.

Instagram recently expanded its API capabilities, so users are now able to access Reels analytics in the Insights tab. You can view important metrics such as Comments, Likes, Saves, Reach, Plays, and Interactions.

If you’ve been taking advantage of Reels, you can calculate your Instagram Reels engagement rate.

To calculate this, you’ll have to do a little bit of math: Reels Engagement Rate = # of Reels interactions / Reels Plays x 100

#5 Engagement per Follower

An incredible 70% of Instagram posts aren’t seen by anyone.

All the followers in the world won't drive any new business if your followers don't see and engage with your posts.

With Instagram's constantly updated algorithm, engagement is more important than ever to ensure your posts are seen.

Tracking your engagement per follower lets you monitor just how interested your Instagram audience is.

Keep in mind that Instagram’s algorithm considers reels, and other content that a user has engaged with in some way. It then determines what is most applicable to that user and shows relevant content. Keep an eye on what content generates the most engagement and tweak your strategy or content plan accordingly. That way, you’ll increase the likelihood of getting more engagement from the ever-changing Instagram algorithm!

Calculate your engagement metrics on a monthly or weekly basis. Don’t try to track it on a daily basis, since normal day-to-day fluctuations will likely throw off the data

To calculate your engagement per follower, look at the total number of likes and comments you get during a specific period and divide that number by the total number of followers you had during that period.

For example, if you got 78 likes and comments last week and had 600 followers, your follower engagement rate was 13% for the week.

#6 Saves

Gone are the days of relying on likes to know whether your audience likes your content.  Instagram Saves are hugely beneficial if you are specifically trying to provide value in your posts, say with a tutorial or educational piece of content.

Instagram's Saves option was released in 2017. Now, it has become a popular metric among creators and brands. The purpose of Instagram Saves is to bookmark the posts users like to look back on later. You can also categorize Saves in folders within Instagram.

But as a creator, you can get an idea of how valuable your audience is finding your content. And with the emergence of the hiding "Likes" feature, saves have found their due prominence.

To see posts you've saved and the collections you've created:Instagram app for Android and iPhone,

  1. Tap Profile Picture in the bottom right to go to your profile
  2. Tap the top right menu option , then tap the Saved option

Only you can see the posts you've saved. When you save someone's post, they're not able to tell that you've saved it.

To see how many Saves a piece of your content has received, click on the insights of a specific post and you'll see the number of Saves in the top menu.

#7 Profile Activity

Profile Activity shows you a number of unique users who have visited and your profile, and tapped on your website or email links.

Profile visits are important because they indicate how many people are checking out your profile and are interested in seeing more of what you offer. You can easily find this metric in the Accounts Engaged segment of the Instagram Insights, directly within the app.

When a user reaches your profile for the first time after searching a certain hashtag, chances are this user can become your follower if they think the content and aesthetics are appealing enough.

To check out the profile activity data on your Instagram page, head to Instagram Insights on you profile, above the highlight bubbles and tap the Accounts Reached option. Then scroll down to Profile Activity to view, Profile Visits, Website Taps and Email Button Taps.

#8 Follower Growth

A high follower count can be a great ego boost and add credibility when it comes to brand partnerships or launching your own brand, but it doesn’t necessarily say that much about the health of your Instagram strategy, and it definitely doesn't show the full picture when it comes to your engagement.

Your follower growth rate, on the other hand, gives you a good idea of whether your page is expanding its reach and catching new people’s attention.

In other words, the way your follower count changes is often more important than the actual number of followers when evaluating your Instagram performance. For instance, suppose you get 50 new followers in a month. If you started out with 500 followers, that means your growth rate was 10%—which is great.

However, if you started out with 5000 followers and got 50 new followers that month, your follower growth rate would be only 1%. This Instagram metric indicates that your content performance is stagnating, and it may be time to try a new approach.

Remember that follower count is also known as a vanity metric, follower growth should not be your top-of-mind objective when creating your content.

Of course, every creator's dream is that their audience shows interest in their personality and content. But you should always focus on quality over quantity.

In the end, a massive following is not so valuable if the users don’t actually engage with the creator's posts.

#9 Traffic

Every creator should have an end goal of launching their own business, because at the end the day, ownership is the way forward for creators.

There's no better time for creators to start their own business. The creator Marketing Industry will Reach $16.4B in 2022. And one way to track the success of your brand's social media, is through traffic.

Ultimately, most brand’s main objective is to get conversions.

And since you want to know which ways can help get more leads, which channels are the most powerful to use, so that you increase your revenue and what it’s worth investing into, you have to always monitor your traffic.

When analysing traffic on Instagram, you're essentially measuring the number of people who visit your website from Instagram.

Monitoring the flow of traffic from Instagram to your website is key if you want to increase your Instagram ROI.

There are two easy ways to measure website traffic from Instagram:

  1. Track the number of people clicking the link in your bio;
  2. Track the number of people tapping on links in Instagram Stories.

#10 Instagram Story Metrics

Instagram Story metrics and analytics are often ignored in favor of the "bigger" players in the content game; actual posts. But it's time to stop with that mentality and understand just how important your Instagram Stories are for growth and overall goals.

Similar to the analytics for your Instagram posts and account, your Instagram Stories analytics can be found by tapping the Insights button at the top of your profile.

How to view Instagram Story analytics in Instagram Insights

  1. From the Instagram app, go to your profile.
  2. Tap the Insights button above your Story Highlights.
  3. Scroll down to Content you shared and tap the arrow next to Stories.

Here, you will see all of the Stories you’ve recently posted. The default time frame is Last 7 or 14Days. Tap on it, to adjust the time period. You can choose from several options, ranging from Yesterday to the Last 2 Years.
Then, tap the dropdown menu in the top left corner of the screen to select the metric you would like to access.

Available Instagram Stories metrics include:

  • Back
  • Call Button Taps
  • Email button taps
  • Exited
  • Follows
  • Next Story
  • Business Address Taps
  • Impressions
  • Link Clicks
  • Forward
  • Profile Visits
  • Reach
  • Replies
  • Shares
  • Text Button Taps
  • Website Taps

Once you select your time period and metric, you can scroll through all Stories to see how many interactions each individual Story collected.

You can also tap on any Story and swipe up to view its detailed analytics.

Understanding Instagram Story metrics you should track (and what they mean) Instagram Stories metrics are split into three categories: Discovery, Navigation, and Interactions.

Instagram Story analytics: Discovery metrics

  • Reach: The amount of accounts that saw your story. This figure is an estimate.
  • Impressions: The total number of times your story was viewed (including repeat views).

Why discovery stats matter: People use Instagram to discover brands. And 62% of people surveyed by Facebook say they’re more interested in a brand or product after seeing it in Stories.

Compare reach and impression numbers to your follower count to gauge how much of your audience is watching your Stories.

Tip: Add stickers to boost the discoverability of your Stories. When you use a hashtag or location sticker, your story is more likely to appear in Explore larger story.

Instagram Story analytics: Navigation metrics

  • Forward Taps: Number of times someone tapped to the next story.
  • Back Taps: The number of times someone tapped back to see the previous story.
  • Next Story Swipes: The number of times someone swiped to the next story.
  • Exit Story Taps: The number of times someone exited your story.
  • Navigation: The overall total of Back, Forward, Next Story, and Exited actions taken with your story.

Why navigation stats matter: Navigation metrics show you what’s working and what isn’t. If a lot of viewers exit or skip to the next story, it’s a good sign your content isn’t capturing attention. Back taps, on the other hand, suggest your story shared content or info people wanted to see twice. This may also be a good one to save to your Instagram Story highlights.

Tip: Keep Stories short and sweet. People aren’t looking for long-form content here. A 2018 study by Facebook IQ found that Story ads performed best at 2.8 seconds per scene.

Instagram Story analytics: Interactions metrics

  • Profile Visits: The number of times your profile was viewed by someone who viewed your story.
  • Replies: The tally of people who responded to your story.
  • Follows: Number of accounts that followed you after viewing your story.
  • Shares: The number of times your story was shared.
  • Website visits: The number of people who clicked the link in your profile after watching your story.
  • Sticker Taps: The number of taps on the location, hashtag, mention or product stickers in your story.
  • Calls, Texts, Emails, Get Directions: Tallies the number of people who took one of these actions after viewing your story.
  • Product Page Views: Number of views your product pages received via the product tags on your story.
  • Product Page Views per Product Tag: The number of views of a product page for each product tag in your story.
  • Interactions: The total count of actions people took after viewing your story.

Why interaction stats matter: If your goals include engagement or other actions, interaction stats help you measure your success in achieving them. If your goal is to get more followers, compare Profile Visits with Follows. Did you want your story to drive traffic to your website? Website visits will show you how it fared.

Tip: Stick with one, clear call-to-action that aligns with your goals. Emphasize your CTA with branded stickers, or creative that emphasizes it. Facebook data found that highlighting CTAs drives significantly more conversions for 89% of studies tested.

It's simple. Analyzing your content's performance will help you grow more.

✅ Better understanding of your audience, leading to a strong community.
✅ Massive help with content ideas.
✅ You can see which posts might be slowing down your growth.

You need to understand each metric to reap the benefits they can offer. And these go beyond the vanity numbers that everyone can see.