If you’re new to Instagram Insights, it might seem confusing to break it all down (like what’s the difference between reach and impressions?) but analyzing these metrics are crucial to understanding how you can optimize your account. You’ll find the answer to which days your profile gets the most views, what times your audience are most active, what they like, don’t like, and more. Your Instagram metrics are the clues you need to improve your account.
To help you optimize your strategy (and make this whole task simpler), I’ve listed the top three Instagram metrics you should keep track of. Note that you do need to convert your Instagram into a business account to have access to the native Insights and other features mentioned in this article such as scheduling posts.
#1 Best Times To Post
With so many people posting to Instagram and an algorithm controlling what others’ see, this helps you take advantage of that highly coveted organic reach. What’s the point of posting if no one sees it, right? As your followers grow, you need to keep an eye on this so you can post when the bulk of your followers are most active. If your followers are most active at odd hours or when you might be sleeping, consider using a third party tool like Planoly to schedule your posts in advance.
This Instagram metric measures how many unique views your posts and Stories get and is the one to monitor to determine if your posts are reaching new people. (Not to be confused with Impressions which are how many times your post has been seen. For example, if the same person sees your same piece of content two different times, it would count as 1 reach and 2 Impressions.)
View the reach for all your posts over a specified period of time by going to the Insights in your settings, clicking the “content” tab and then clicking the “See All” button next to Feed Posts. It should take you to a page like this below where you can adjust the filters to see different metrics over time. You should notice your reach increasing with each post. If not, it may be time to make some adjustments.
You can also view the reach for each post by clicking “View Insights” under your posted image which can provide you with more clues on how to optimize.
For the post on the left, we can see that the majority of traffic came from one or multiple hashtags used in that post so we might consider using those tags again for a similar, upcoming post to see if we can replicate its success.
In the image to the right, we can see that this post garnered only 168 likes while reaching 1768 people, meaning people are seeing the post but not engaging with it. For future posts, I might consider working on the captions so they sound more engaging. We can do this by asking our followers a question, inserting a call-to-action, or evoking an emotional response by writing something funny or telling a story.
#3 Comments Received
If you think about it, comments are a strong indicator of engagement. A post could easily generate hundreds or thousands of likes, but if users are taking the time to leave you a comment (assuming it is not an automated one), it shows that what you posted resonated with them enough that they couldn’t just double tap and keep scrolling. In addition to being better indicators for how well your audience is responding to your content, it’s the perfect opening you need to begin building a genuine relationship with users. When you reply and connect with your commenters, the relationship could likely evolve into the loyal following other brands look for when they search for influencers to collaborate with.
If the comments are coming from a pod or engagement group, I wouldn’t discount that as inauthentic. Those are still real people eyeing your content and reading your captions. It has been widely reported that pod members, who start out as simply completing a task to increase their engagement, interact with each other’s content so often that they eventually become genuine followers and friends.