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Top 10 Instagram Metrics Marketers Should Be Tracking in 2021

Instagram Analytics

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Top 10 Instagram Metrics Marketers Should Be Tracking in 2021

Ask anyone about successful ways of promoting a business and most of your answers (if not all of them) will be: try using social media.

Brands are investing a lot of time and money in promoting themselves online, and with this much resources put into it, you gotta make sure the results are paying off.

Here is where social media metrics come to the rescue.

Among all the social platforms out there, there’s one that rules them all when it comes to engagement, and that’s the almighty Instagram.

To make sure you evaluate your brand’s performance correctly, you must turn to Instagram data, this being the powerful guide that will lead your future communication directions.

As a marketer, it is very important to know what Instagram metrics you should be looking at.

That's why I’ve put together a list of the top 10 Instagram metrics that will give you powerful insights for shaping your future marketing strategy.

10 Instagram metrics important to monitor

  1. Reach
  2. Engagement rate by followers
  3. Engagement rate by reach
  4. Saves
  5. Traffic
  6. Sales
  7. Instagram story views
  1. Followers growth
  2. Best time to post
  3. Tags on branded hashtags

1. Reach


When talking about Instagram metrics, if we mention reach, we also have to bring up impressions, since there’s a fine line between these two, as they both refer to views.

That’s why a brief highlight of the difference between reach and impressions is absolutely necessary.

In a nutshell, we can say this Instagram metric tells you how many people have seen your content, counting only the unique views.

Furthermore, we’ll define impressions as that Instagram metric that shows the total number of views a piece of content has had. Which means, impressions count also those repeated views of a single user.

Going back to people reached, rather than counting every person that your content was delivered to, you can check your average reach rate, which will display a percentage that will be much easier to analyse in correlation with your fan count.

This is how you can monitor your Instagram reach metric by using Socialinsider.

This is a particularly important Instagram metric you’ll need to track especially for those campaigns whose main objective is to generate brand awareness.

Also, if you’re looking for ways of getting your content viral, constantly monitoring your reach and adjusting your strategy accordingly is a must do.

NOTE: all this and more in-depth Instagram metrics can be analyzed using Socialinsider. Sign up for a free trial!

2. Engagement rate by followers

From those many Instagram metrics, this is one of the most powerful, that every business should monitor frequently.

While engagement represents the total number of likes and comments you’ve earned, the Instagram engagement rate shows what percentage of your followers resonate with your messages, and have taken an action to show it.

The engagement rate is a much helpful Instagram metric to analyse than purely the raw engagement number because it’s correlated with your following count, helping you to evaluate your performance more accurately, just like in the case of reach.

Permanently keeping an eye on your Instagram engagement rate per post by followers, as it indicates to you what type of content is closer to your user’s hearts, and to what they resonate to.

3. Engagement rate by reach

The reason why social media managers usually raport engagement by followers is that the engagement rate by reach is an Instagram metric available only for owned accounts.

Since a brand can compare its performance with its competitors only through the engagement rate by followers, it is only understanded why that Instagram metric is usually reported when it comes to engagement on Instagram.

And benchmarking with your competitors it’s actually highly recommended.

But, if you want a more in-depth look into your performance, you can always take a look at your engagement rate by reach.

Here’s how you can calculate it:

This picture shows you the formula to calculate your engagement by reach for Instagram.

4. Saves

Most referred by marketers as being “the new like”, this is the hottest, newest Instagram metric that brands are impacted by.

Through the pressing of the save button, people show you they really appreciate what you have to say, that they find your information useful, which is a win-win situation.

This is how you can analyse Instagram saves metric in Socialsinsider.

By including saves into the list of Instagram metrics that you need to track you’ll get a hinch of the type of content that your audience resonates to, and adjust your content planning accordingly.

5. Traffic

Well, communication campaigns may have a lot of goals, but ultimately every 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.

For Instagram there are not so many options of including your website’s links, except for the link in bio and those in stories (if you have more than 10K followers).

By injecting some code pieces, which are called UTM parameters, you can link your Google Analytics account to your Instagram and observe how many people land on your page from it.

6. Sales

When Instagram introduced the shop feature, it made a gigantic step in both e-commerce’s world, as we all in social media’s, revolutionising the regular selling process.

With the many action options available on the platform, it’s no wonder how it makes its way to the top into becoming the most beloved social media network.

Now, just because someone has arrived on your landing page, it doesn’t necessarily mean they will automatically buy something.

And by including sales in your Instagram metrics list, when doing your social media reporting and analysis, you can actually understand what type of content is more likely to convert.

Which is great.

That’s why, besides traffic, sales are another helpful and great Instagram metric to track.

You want to make sure that going down the funnel, your target consumers do more than just snoop around a couple of pages and actually buy something, since this is the engine that keeps any business floating.

7. Instagram story views

Initially released on Snapchat, Instagram has seen the user’s growing attractiveness to stories and soon introduced this feature on the platform as well.

After this incorporation, Instagram stories started to steal the spotlight, and became one of the user’s preferred ways of interacting with brands.

Given the audience’s interest and investment in a brand’s Instagram stories, it becomes undeniable that a couple of insights about this Instagram feature should be analysed before conducting any social media campaign.

Story analytics from Socialinsider

Here’s what you should consider when analyzing the performance of your Instagram stories:

Retention rate

Keeping your followers engaged enough to view all the stories you’ve posted is not an easy job. It requires excellent content, tailored to your audience’s preferences.

But the good news is that you can actually draw powerful insights about what type of content stirs your audience’s interest by looking at your click through rate.

The click through rate is an Instagram metric that displays, under percentage form, how many people have watched your stories from the beginning to the very end.

Here's the formula to calculate the Instagram story retention rate metric.

Exists rate

In case a big amount of people abandon watching after the first story, this is a huge warning sign that something fails at delivering people what they expect from your brand.

And here’s where the story's drop off rate steps in. Thanks to this Instagram metric you can calculate how many people are quitting after seeing your first Instagram story (in case there’s more than one, of course).

If you’re lucky and that percentage indicates a low number, congrats! It means you’re doing something good.

But, in the opposite situation, you should start taking another angle on your Instagram stories, because the current approach is clearly not working.

Here's the formula to calculate the Instagram story exits rate metric.

The good thing is that you can always count on data to help you improve your social media presence.

If you understand how to properly analyse it and adapt your efforts based on that, the results surely won’t take long to appear.

Completion rate

This Instagram metric is important to analyse in order to discover how many people from your audience are your loyal fans, show interest and listen to everything you have to say.

The story completion rate is an Instagram metric that measures what percentage of viewers watch the entire length of your story slide, without clicking away, in fast-forward mode till the end.

It is calculated by taking out the number of exits from the number of impressions and then divided by the impressions number.

8. Followers growth

Also known as a vanity metric, follower’s growth should not be your top-of-mind objective when creating your marketing strategy.

Of course, every businesses’ dream is that its audience shows interest in the personality and products of the brand. But you should always focus on quality over quantity.

How to calculate followers growth on Instagram

A massive following is not so valuable if the users don’t actually engage with the brand’s posts, as we’ll see moving forward with explaining essential Instagram metrics.

Sometimes, business accounts with smaller audiences are the ones that can benefit the most out of their social media efforts.

For being smaller and more niched, the audiences are more likely to purchase the brand’s products, give useful feedback, mention the brand, and become brand’s advocacies.

For the times when you need to create a social media report with noteworthy Instagram metrics to showcase different results, you can check the native app for helpful insights.

This is how the follower's growth Instagram metric is displayed in Socialinsider's dashboard.

Or, for a more in-depth analysis of your account, you can rely on a social media analytics tool, like Socialinsider.

Either way, data is the number one ally in evaluating your Instagram performance.

9. Best time to post

Well, in order for you to deliver your messages to your audiences, you must first find them when they’re online.

Check when your followers are online

And social media analytics tools are your best friend when it comes to establishing what’s the best time to post on Instagram in order to maximize your social media efforts.

This is the best time to post Instagram metric displayed in Socialinsider's dashboard.

With Socialinsider you can analyze your current and optimal time schedule alongside all the other important Instagram metrics to improve your social media strategy. Isn’t it great?

10. Tags on branded hashtags

Since hashtags are one of the topics that interest people the most when talking about Instagram, I thought they deserve a special spot in this list of top Instagram metrics.

Because, it is, after all, a way of measuring your business’ success, right?

That hashtag discussion can be taken into a lot of directions, but for now I’ll just cover the topic of branded hashtags.

Using a branded hashtag is a good strategy for raising awareness for your brand, especially when conducting a user generated content campaign.

The great benefit of having branded hashtags is that you can see what people are saying about your business.

Every time someone posts something on Instagram and includes your hashtags, you’ll be able to see those posts and the results they generate.

A very important thing to know is that you can get Instagram insights about hashtag’s performance only through an Instagram analytics tool.

Instagram hashtags performance

For example, with Socialinsider, you can get an overview of the total posts that use the hashtags, the engagement and impressions received, posts evolution, and other top hashtags used together with your hashtag and their average engagement.

After discovering all this information, isn’t it that you’ll be paying more attention to hashtags analytics?

Final thoughts

Like it or not, nowadays social media has turned into something more than just a place where you throw in a couple of likes where they’ll be forever forgotten.

Now, with Instagram being the platform that has won people's hearts, a closer look over what works and what it doesn't is a gold mine.

Analysing the right Instagram metrics and gathering all the important data helps you be prepared and adapt to whatever may come, so now what’s left to do is start looking at what the numbers have to say.

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Elena Cucu

Elena Cucu

Content Writer @ Socialinsider

Mixing the words with the data is how a digital marketer should play the game of brands. And that’s me, a driven-born digital storyteller!

Top 10 Instagram Metrics Marketers Should Be Tracking in 2021