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9 Instagram Metrics You Should Track to Measure Performance

Instagram Metrics You Should Track to Measure Performance

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms, so it's important to make sure your agency is keeping an eye on the right Instagram metrics. That way, you can adjust their social media strategy accordingly and steer them in the right direction.

In this article, we’ll explore 9 key Instagram metrics you should track to help your clients achieve their goals, including:

Does Instagram Still Matter in 2022 and Beyond?

Your client may wonder if Instagram is worth the hassle if they’re just starting to build a social media presence or aren’t yielding the results they hoped for. After all, there are newer and shinier social media platforms such as TikTok. 

Unsurprisingly, the answer is a strong, resounding yes!

Now more than ever, social media users are bombarded with images, ads, and a lot of noise. Your client may feel intimidated by the high number of aesthetically curated feeds on Instagram, which is totally understandable. 

However, with 90% of people following at least one business on Instagram, it’s the place to be for any business looking to build a brand presence and loyal following.

Remarketing also comes into play as 59% of adults in the US use Instagram daily with a further 38% of those users logging into the platform many times during the day. 

This means that a carefully curated Instagram feed has the potential to reach a lot of users while also having a positive impact on your client’s business growth. 

What Are Instagram Metrics?

Simply put, an Instagram metric is a measure of performance that allows you to track key data on how your client’s content is performing.  This way, you decide what type of content generates the most user interest based on your client’s goal. Over time, you’re better able to expand on well-performing content, make recommendations for future campaigns and even discover demographics of untapped markets.

Agency Tip: As part of a monthly social media auditing exercise, track trends of Instagram metrics over time. That way, you can get a better idea of significant growth or decline while exploring ways to improve performance.

Why Are Instagram Metrics Important?

With approximately 1 billion users per month, Instagram is one of the largest social media platforms. It’s also one of the most powerful branding social media platforms for marketers.

Nowadays, social media marketing is an integral part of a digital marketing plan. Tracking the most important Instagram metrics is crucial to growing your clients' accounts and building an engaged following.

Just like any other social media platform, there’s not much point in using Instagram for business if you’re not actively tracking social media analytics and seeing results like click-through rates and conversions.

What Are Instagram Insights?

Think of metrics as data in its raw form. Instagram Insights goes a step further by adding a narrative to your client’s metrics. 

This data-driven tool allows a greater level of interpretation and understanding of what’s happening with your client’s content performance. This includes snapshots of:

  • The number of accounts your client’s content has reached

  • The number of accounts that engaged with your client’s content

  • Changes to the total number of followers on your client’s account

  • A summary of any changes to earnings (if applicable)

  • Detailed breakdowns of performance based on content type (i.e., photos, videos, stories, reels, live videos, and promotions) 

You can also view insights for individual posts on your client’s Instagram feed which gives a breakdown of:

  • Post engagement (number of likes, comments, direct messages, and bookmarks)

  • Reach, impression, and content interaction summaries

  • Whether the post was previously boosted on Instagram

Instagram insights can help you to make informed decisions about well-performing posts and give you ideas for your client’s future social media calendars.

Instagram KPIs vs. Metrics: What’s the Difference?

KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and metrics are terms that are often used interchangeably, but they’re actually distinct items. While Instagram metrics may provide valuable data on how content is performing, an Instagram KPI is a specific target that your client sets. Instagram KPIs help your client make strategic decisions and understand whether their efforts are aligning with their company’s goals. 

Generally speaking, KPIs fall under the umbrella of metrics which means that all KPIs are metrics, but all metrics aren’t necessarily KPIs. 

Metrics and KPIs Graphic

For example, the number of total post views each month might be a nice metric, and it feels really good when a post goes even a little bit viral. But will it really move the needle for a client? If not, then it's not a KPI. Here’s a quick overview of KPIs vs. Metrics that you can keep handy for reference: 

KPIs are focused. 

Metrics are not limited to one result or dimension.

KPIs can be more granular. 

Metrics cover a broader range.  

KPIs can be used over longer periods.

Metrics are usually shorter term.  

KPIs focus on results

Metrics focus on processes and problems. 

 

KPIs are often easier to understand

Needs interpretation

KPIs may be measured in a variety of ways

Metrics are usually tied to specific data.

Agency Tip: Have a one-on-one with your clients to understand their Instagram KPIs. Based on this, you can explain which Instagram metrics most apply to their goals while also understanding their overall, long-term strategy. Keeping an open line of communication will ensure you’re both on the same page to meet or even surpass those Instagram KPIs.

What’s the Most Important Instagram Metric to Track?

While it may be a huge time-saver to have a go-to Instagram metric, there’s no one measure that gives the overall picture of how your client’s content is performing. 

This can be totally subjective depending on what your client wants to achieve. One client may prioritize website clicks on an Instagram ad campaign, while another may see a high level of engagement as success. 

Regardless of your clients’ goals, you can provide valuable data-driven insights when equipped with the right knowledge. 

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Important Instagram Metrics Your Agency Should Use to Track Performance

You probably already understand the difference between reach and impressions. But what about the percentage of Instagram followers who engage with your client's posts? Or the number of website clicks on a call to action? 

While Instagram metrics provide an overview of content performance, they’re all distinct in their own ways. Here are nine important Instagram metrics to measure your client's performance on Instagram:

1. Follower Growth Rate

Instagram follower growth metric bar chart

A high follower count can be an ego boost and add brand credibility, but it doesn’t necessarily say that much about the health of your marketing campaigns and Instagram strategy.

Your follower growth rate, on the other hand, gives you a good idea of whether your business 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 excellent. 

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 marketing is stagnating, and it may be time to try a new strategy.

2. Instagram 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.

This important metric is useful if you're evaluating a partnership with an influencer, as you don't want to pay for a sponsored post on an account without any real engagement. Just like with follower count and growth rate, you don't want to look at just the raw numbers. It’s important to compare the number of likes and comments with the size of the audience demographics.

Agency Tip: Keep in mind that Instagram’s algorithm considers reels, videos, 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 client’s strategy accordingly. That way, you’ll increase the likelihood of getting a favorable response 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.

AgencyAnalytics Instagram dashboard showing posts and analytics.

If you don't want to manually add up your likes and comments for every post on Instagram, try using a tool like AgencyAnalytics to track engagement across your social accounts.

3. Instagram Story Engagement

Tracking an Instagram story’s engagement is as simple as swiping up! 

After you’ve posted a story to your client’s Instagram Business profile, clicking on the eye icon will allow you to see who’s viewed the story. To see how the story is performing, click on the graph icon, which will give you an overview of shares, replies, profile visits, and sticker taps.  

Instagram Story Insights - AgencyAnalytics

Instagram stories, which can be either videos or photos, are a bit different from regular content as they disappear after 24 hours. But have no fear that these Instagram insights will disappear! To access performance analytics of previous stories, go to the ‘Insights’ section on your client’s profile, then under ‘Content You Shared’, click on ‘Stories.’ You’ll see a useful grid of previous stories along with views and analytics for individual posts - even after they’ve expired.

Plus, find insights into your engagement in AgencyAnalytics under the Stories tab:

Instagram stories engagement

There are two important metrics you should pay attention to when it comes to Instagram Stories: views and exits.

Your views tell you how many unique viewers saw your story. In general, the longer you’re on Instagram and the more followers you get, the more your story views should increase.

Your exits tell you which slide people were on when they exited your story. Exits are a good way to determine what holds your audience’s interest and what doesn’t. If you notice a lot of exits on one particular slide, try to figure out why so many people lost interest at that point.

4. Engagement Rate by Followers

This is an important Instagram metric that gives you a clearer picture of how many followers interact with your client’s content. 

To calculate Engagement Rate by Followers, add up the total number of engagements (likes, comments, shares, and reposts) and divide it by the total number of followers. Multiply by 100 to get a percentage rate. This can be tailored if your client wants an engagement rate by followers for a specific type of content.

5. Engagement Rate by Reach

Similar to the previous formula, engagement rate by reach also returns a percentage. This Instagram metric helps you understand engagement from users who may not necessarily follow your client’s business page but still interact with their content in some capacity.

To calculate engagement rate by reach, quantify the total engagement and divide by the total number of followers reached, followed by multiplication by 100 to get a percentage.

In this case, it’s an opportunity to understand the remarketing potential and expand further on wide-reaching content.

6. Website Traffic

Like other social media channels, Instagram can be a powerful driver of traffic to your website. Instagram is more limiting than other social platforms in driving traffic to your site as you can't add clickable links to each post—instead, the platform only allows a link in bio, and brands over 10k followers can add swipe-up links to their stories.

You can track the number of website visitors from Instagram with the help of Google Analytics, which segments your traffic into default channel groupings—one of which is "social."

Navigate to "Acquisition" --> "Channels" and click "Social" in your GA account to see exactly which social channels drive traffic to your site.

Instagram traffic data from google analytics dashboard

And, track "Goals" in Google Analytics to see if your Instagram traffic converts to accurately measure the ROI of your social media efforts.

7. Link Clicks per Post

Now that you know how much traffic Instagram drives to your site, the next step is to determine which specific links and stories were clicked. 

You can take your Instagram analytics to the next level by creating URLs with UTM parameters that tell your analytics platform where particular profile visits came from. UTM parameters are basically informational tags that you append to your normal URL.

UTM URLs can be unwieldy to type out manually, but there are a number of simple tools on the internet that will generate these URLs for you. GA Campaign Builder is a popular (and free!) one.

Below is an example of a simple UTM URL:

An example of a generated campaign URL, as described in the article.

UTM URLs can be a bit clunky, so you may want to shorten your finished URL with bit.ly or a similar tool.

If you want to take it a step further in your reports to really impress clients and demonstrate results from Instagram, you can easily add a Google Analytics dashboard for your social traffic to AgencyAnalytics, including goal completions and goal value.

This report will allow you to measure how well traffic from social channels, like Instagram, converts on your client’s website.

Instagram conversions metrics

Create your Google Analytics Dashboard for your social traffic in minutes. Try AgencyAnalytics free for 14 days!

8. Comments per Post

Likes on Instagram are gratifying, but comments are worth more when it comes to engagement.

It only takes a second to tap the “like” button, but typing out a comment requires time and thought. When someone leaves a comment, it shows that you’ve really caught their interest and connected with them in some way.

That said, the number of comments you get is an important metric to track. Keep an eye on your average, and notice if it goes up or down. If your average number of comments has gone down, try to figure out why your client’s audience is less engaged than they used to be.

It’s also a good idea to take note of which individual posts get the most comments to see if a pattern emerges over time. For instance, if your audience really likes a particular type of product photo, create more posts like that to keep engagement high.

9. Reach

Reach is another Instagram metric that requires you to switch to a Business Account. You can view reach within Instagram Insights.

Instagram insights, showing account analytics.

Reach tells you the total number of people who have seen your client’s post.

This is different from impressions. If the same person sees your post 3 times, that will count as 3 impressions. However, that person only counts as 1 towards reach, making it an important metric to measure brand awareness and how many people are actually seeing your post.

Instagram reach and impressions graphs

Along with total reach, you want to be tracking Reach Rate. This is the percentage of followers that see your post. You can calculate it by dividing the total reach of a post by your total number of followers. For example, if you have 300 reach and 1000 followers, your reach rate is 30%.

instagram dashboard template

One way that you can increase your reach is with the use of hashtags and branded hashtags. However, be sure to use them correctly—check out this guide on how to use Instagram hashtags to get results.

Agency Tip: Similar to SEO keywords, you can routinely monitor hashtag performance to see what gets the most traction. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags which means you have the flexibility to incorporate branded hashtags, wider-reaching hashtags, and ones that are specific to your client’s niche. You should also throw an eye on brand competitors' hashtags and even come up with alternative hashtags that help your client stand out from the crowd.

Track Instagram Metrics With the Click of a Button

There's no question that Instagram can be a great social media channel to market your business. It’s fun, gives you an artistic outlet, and lets you connect with your audience. Social media management is also a service that is in high demand.  Keep in mind that if you want your Instagram marketing to be profitable as well as fun, your marketing efforts should track the right metrics. By focusing on social media analytics instead of vanity metrics, you’ll hit those industry benchmarks each month. 

Whether your client wants to track organic growth, impressions, or Instagram ad performance, AgencyAnalytics can save you time on monthly reporting!

With the click of a button, you can track the performance metrics of your client’s Instagram content and other social media accounts, provide real-time data access and create white-labeled reports social media dashboard– all in one place.

Keep your clients on top of their Instagram game by trying AgencyAnalytics free for 14 days!

Written by

Joe Kindness

Joe started his career as a developer and since has created many internet businesses. He has now moved on to the position of CEO and has enjoyed all the challenges it has brought.

Read more posts by Joe Kindness ›

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