Top 7 Instagram Metrics You’d Wish You Knew Earlier

How to access Instagram’s metrics?


Michiel Mulders

3 years ago | 7 min read

With one-seventh of the human population using Instagram every month and half a billion people viewing Instagram stories every day, it has emerged as the biggest social media platform!

Every large corporation, influencer, and company is on Instagram and looking for ways to grow their presence and reach on the platform.

There is a lot to social media than what meets the eye, and understanding the algorithm behind the platforms can help you master them. Instagram looks like a puzzle initially but after knowing key metrics and how to make changes according to them, you will be tired of receiving notifications of new followers every second.

This post is all about giving you that knowledge and equipping you with all the tools so that you can start owning your Instagram account and niche from this day. We are covering the top 7 metrics, which will help you visualize account performance and provide insights. Furthermore, we’ll provide you with tips to improve those metrics.

Stay tuned and keep reading as I have a bonus for you. In the end, I will be talking of a secret hack that you can use to plan the content for your Instagram account.

How to access Instagram’s metrics?

Before I start talking about the metrics, let’s understand where you can access these. First things first, metrics are only available in the Instagram business accounts. If you have a business account already, skip to the next heading, and for those who do not have a business account, simply follow these steps -

  • Go to settings on Instagram and click on “Account”
  • Click on Switch to “professional account”

After switching to the professional account, you can access the insights by clicking on the hamburger icon above where you see the number of followers. Clicking on it will take you to the screen with insights. Here, you’ll find all stats for your Instagram account.

Now, let’s discuss 7 important Instagram metrics!

1. Reach

What is your goal for your Instagram account?

  • Finding new customers?
  • Building a loyal fan base?
  • Create a community of like-minded people?

If it is one or something related to this, you need to reach the maximum number of people with your content. For businesses, you cannot expect sales to happen directly after posting content on Instagram, so how do you track the efforts that you are putting?

The best and most significant metric is reach. Reach is defined as the number of accounts to which your post was shown. Increasing reach is a direct indication of quality content as Instagram will push your content to new accounts.

There are many tools that can help you export the data of your posts, and you can add that data to a chart to analyze trends. Reach is again dependant on a variety of factors including:

  • Time a post is posted
  • Interactions with the post
  • Type of hashtags you are using
  • Pitch and curiosity factor in the post
  • CTA for engagement
  • Tone of voice

2. Impressions

Next in line are the impressions. Before I talk about impressions, let’s understand the difference between reach and impressions.

Reach is the total number of unique accounts that have viewed your post, whereas impressions are the number of times your post has been viewed.

To give an example, if five people saw your post and one of the five persons saw your post 5 times, your reach will be 5 and the impressions will be 9.

Your target should be increasing the reach, but an increasing number of impressions means that people are interested in the content and are returning to it again and again. This will also increase the reach because Instagram will start pushing your content.

3. Engagement rate

Increasing the reach is the prime goal, and the way to increase your reach is by increasing the engagement rate. Instagram works on an algorithm that pushes content based on the engagement that it gets. A higher engagement rate will often lead to an increase in Instagram followers.

Some of the main engagement factors to look out for are:

  • The total engagement is the sum of the likes and comments that you have received for your account
  • The average engagement is the average of the engagement that you have received in proportion to your audience
  • Last but not least, the average engagement rate is the average engagement per post divided by the number of followers multiplied by 100 to get the percentage. This percentage is a clear indication of the engagement your page is receiving

Do you want to write more engaging captions? Read this post to increase click-through rate for Instagram posts.

4. Saves

Do you often save content by clicking on the bookmark option below engaging posts on Instagram?

You have no idea about the amount of help you are lending to the pages whose content you are saving. Saving is the hottest engagement metric on Instagram, and saving a post gives a far more significant indication to Instagram to boost the content than likes or comments.

You should have a proper strategy to create content that is highly likely to be saved. Posts like motivational and information are likely to be saved as people will come back to it for reference in their niche of business.

(Source: Screenshot personal Instagram account)
(Source: Screenshot personal Instagram account)

5. Instagram Story Engagement Rate

Instagram stories form a large part of your growth and reach. Stories increase the engagement of your posts. The main thing about stories is that they and their data are only valid for 24 hours, and unlike posts, you cannot go back in time and track the performance.

Some of the essential story metrics are:

  • The number of unique views you have on a video or photo
  • The story completion rate — You can calculate the completion rate by dividing the number of people who saw your last story by the number who saw the first one and multiply the number by 100 to get a percentage
  • The number of direct messages you get from a story
  • The number of actions taken for your call to action including swipe up for accounts with more than 10k followers
  • Redirection to other accounts when you mention them

To be ahead of your data, make sure to save it and analyze the trends over time which will help you to predict the future. For example, you might notice that funny content such as memes about your niche resonates very well with your audience.

These are important insights you can take into account for further growing your Instagram account and boosting your story engagement rate. In the end, it’s a matter of experimentation combined with measuring data.

6. Hashtags

Hashtags have been the focus of growth from the very beginning, which has also given birth to thousands of Instagram hashtag generator tools over the internet.

Clicking on insights of any posts will give you the idea of the number of unique visits from hashtags that you get. You need to track this metric for every post and make sure that this grows over time.

  • The best way to experiment with hashtags is to divide them into three sections; low volume, medium volume, and high volume hashtags. You will get most of the engagement from the low and medium-volume hashtags. Make sure to include only the hashtags which are related to the content and understand the intent of the person searching for a particular hashtag
(Source: Post by @studyingdigital)
(Source: Post by @studyingdigital)

7. Mentions

Mentions are one of the most critical metrics for big businesses. The data from mentions is extracted and analyzed on complex charts with tools like Microsoft Power BI, which is how big brands analyze their social media growth.

Many tools can help you calculate the mentions you are getting and draw conclusions. Mentions can be both good and bad, and it will help you to track the sentiments and engagement for your products or services.


Now, let’s talk about how you can increase these metrics for your brand?

I would like to keep it short and straightforward as this is how you can actually achieve your goals. The first thing is your mindset, and you have to treat your Instagram page as any other business.

Copywriting is a large part of it, and every post on your page should incite some emotion which can be a curiosity for something in your niche, fear of missing out some information, or helpful hacks just like this post.

Instagram should be given the same importance as a blog section on a website, and leading blogs in your niche will provide you with a lot of content ideas that are engaging and will stop people from scrolling.

The first 30 mins of engagement are very crucial, and the way to track everything is by first showing your content to 10% of your audience.

If your content is liked, commented, or shared by the top 10% of your followers, it will then be pushed to people in your niche who are not following you through the explore page and other ways. Getting on the explore page for medium volume keywords should be your target initially as it will skyrocket your growth from there.

Once you understand the things which your audience likes and engages, you will be able to create a chain of engaging posts, and Instagram will also acknowledge that pattern.

Start now by looking for content ideas on competitor blogs and making posts (preferably carousel posts) and follow everything mentioned in this post. Have fun tracking your Instagram growth!


Created by

Michiel Mulders

Backend developer and technical writer who also likes other stuff: marketing, endurance sports, UI/UX, and developer experience. Happy to talk about Developer Experience and Documentation Strategy!







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