Instagram has become a powerful marketing tool for clients of all sizes. Across its staggering base of over 1.3 billion active users, an impressive 90% follow at least one brand account, underscoring the platform's immense potential for growth and customer outreach.
Yet, navigating the Instagram landscape isn't just about raw user numbers. For marketing agencies worldwide, the real challenge lies in converting this vast user base into meaningful engagement and conversions for their clients. This is where Instagram metrics come into play, the compass by which you navigate the Instagram marketing sea, turning data into strategy, and potential into results.
But which Instagram metrics are the most telling? How can they be leveraged to bolster your clients' marketing efforts and drive success on a scalable level?
By monitoring the right Instagram metrics, you gain insights into your client’s audiences, measure content effectiveness, and find opportunities to optimize social media strategies to hit their marketing goals.
In this article, we will delve deep into the world of Instagram metrics, unearthing nine key measures every marketing agency should have on its radar. These metrics are your secret weapon–with them, you'll gauge your clients' audience insights, evaluate content effectiveness, and seize opportunities to optimize their Instagram strategies.
Prepare to supercharge your clients' Instagram marketing strategies and set new standards for success in the social media landscape.
Does Instagram Still Matter in 2023 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.
And Instagram takes the lead in 2023 with 127.2 million monthly active users in the US compared to 89.5 million on Snapchat and 89.7 on TikTok.
Image: Number of Instagram users in the United States from 2020 to 2023 (in millions)
Remarketing also comes into play as 40% of American adults use Instagram weekly and spend at least 30 minutes a day on the app.
This means that a carefully curated Instagram feed has the potential to reach a lot of unique Instagram 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 use your Instagram analytics tools to decide what type of content generates the most user interest based on your clients' goals. Over time, you’re better able to expand on well-performing content, make recommendations for future Instagram 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 better understand significant growth or decline while exploring ways to improve performance.
Why Are Instagram Metrics Important?
With approximately 2 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 grow 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 data-based narrative to your client’s metrics.
This data-driven digital analytics 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 Instagram 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)
Also viewing insights for individual posts on your client’s Instagram feed 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 help you make informed decisions about well-performing posts and give ideas for your client’s future social media calendars.
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Instagram KPIs vs. Metrics: What’s the Difference?
KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and metrics are often used interchangeably but are actually distinct items. While key Instagram metrics may provide valuable data points on how content is performing, an Instagram KPI is a specific target that your client sets. Instagram KPIs help clients make strategic decisions and understand whether their efforts align with their company’s goals.
Generally speaking, KPIs fall under the umbrella of metrics, meaning that all KPIs are metrics, but all metrics aren’t necessarily KPIs.
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 bit viral. But will it really move the needle for a client? If not, then it's not a critical social media 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
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. Explain which Instagram metrics apply to their goals the most while also understanding their overall, long-term strategy. Keeping an open line of communication ensures 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 has the potential to be 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, providing valuable data-driven insights helps everyone make more informed decisions with the right knowledge.
Most Important Instagram Metrics Your Agency Should Use to Track Performance
When it comes to which Instagram metrics to track, 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 important Instagram metrics provide an overview of content performance, they’re all distinct in their own ways.
Here are nine most important Instagram metrics to measure your client's post performance on Instagram:
1. Follower Growth Rate
A high Instagram follower count builds brand credibility, but it doesn’t necessarily say that much about the health of your client’s marketing campaigns and Instagram strategy.
On the other hand, Follower Growth Rate gives you a good idea of whether your client’s business is expanding its reach and catching new people’s attention.
In other words, when evaluating follower performance, the way follower count changes is often more important than the actual number of Instagram followers. For instance, suppose you get 50 new followers in a month. If your client started out with 500 followers, that’s a 10% growth rate–which is excellent. However, if you started out with 5000 followers and got 50 new followers that month, follower growth rate would be only 1%. This Instagram metric indicates that your marketing efforts are stagnating, and it may be time to try a new strategy.
2. Instagram Engagement per Follower
Only 10% of your clients’ followers will actually see their organic content.
All the followers in the world won't drive any new business if your clients’ followers don't see and engage with their Instagram profile, posts, or reels. That's where engagement rate metrics come into the picture.
With Instagram's constantly updated algorithm, engagement is more important than ever to ensure their posts are seen.
Tracking your client’s engagement per follower helps you monitor just how interested their Instagram audience is, which helps inform your agency's overall social media marketing strategy.
For example, this important Instagram 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 influencer’s Instagram account that doesn’t have any real engagement.
Just like with follower count and follower growth rate, you don't want to look at just the raw Instagram performance numbers. It’s important to compare the number of likes and comments with the size of the target 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 their engagement metrics on a monthly or weekly basis. Don’t try to track it daily since normal day-to-day fluctuations will likely throw off the data.
To calculate engagement per follower, look at the total number of likes and comments your client gets during a specific period and divide that number by the total number of followers they had during that period.
For example, if they got 78 likes and comments last week and had 600 followers, their follower engagement rate was 13% for the week.
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3. Instagram Story Engagement
Tracking an Instagram story’s engagement is as simple as swiping up!
After posting a story to your client’s Instagram Business profile, clicking on the eye icon shows who’s viewed the story.
To see how the story is performing, click on the graph icon, which shows an overview of shares, replies, profile visits, and sticker taps.
Instagram stories, which can be either videos or photos, differ 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 Instagram stories, go to the ‘Insights’ section on your client’s profile, then under ‘Content You Shared,’ click ‘Stories.’ You’ll see a useful grid of previous stories, views, and analytics for individual posts - even after they’ve expired.
Plus, find insights into your engagement in AgencyAnalytics under the Stories tab:
You should pay attention to two important metrics when it comes to Instagram Stories: views and exits.
Views tell you how many unique viewers saw your client’s story. In general, the longer your client has an account on Instagram and the more followers they get, the more their story views should increase.
Exits tell you which slide people were on when they exited their story. Exits are a good way to determine what holds their 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 important Instagram metric gives you a clearer picture of how many followers interact with your client’s content.
To calculate the Engagement Rate by Followers, add 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
Like 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.
For a Marketing Agency, closely monitoring the engagement rate trends for a client's Instagram account provides valuable insights into the effectiveness of their content strategy, helping to identify what resonates with the audience, and informing data-driven decisions for future campaigns to boost performance and maximize return on investment.
6. Website Traffic
Like other social media channels, Instagram is a powerful driver of traffic to your clients’ websites.
Instagram is more limiting than other social platforms in driving traffic to their site as you can't add clickable links to each post. Instead, the platform only allows a link in bio, and brands with over 10k followers can add swipe-up links to their Instagram stories.
Track the number of website visitors from Instagram with the help of Google Analytics, which segments your client’s 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.
Accurately measure the ROI of your social media efforts. Track "Goals" in Google Analytics to see if your client’s Instagram traffic converts. Try AgencyAnalytics free for 14 days!
7. Link Clicks per Post
Now that you know how much traffic Instagram drives to their site, the next step is determining which specific links and Instagram stories were clicked.
Take your client’s 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 a client’s normal URL.
UTM URLs can be unwieldy to type out manually, but many simple tools on the internet will generate these URLs for you. GA Campaign Builder is a popular (and free!) one.
Below is an example of a simple UTM URL:
UTM URLs are known to be a bit clunky, so it helps to shorten your finished URL with bit.ly or a similar tool.
Take it a step further in your reports to impress clients and demonstrate results from Instagram by adding a Google Analytics dashboard for your social traffic to AgencyAnalytics, including goal completions and goal value.
This report measures how well traffic from social channels, like Instagram, converts on your client’s website.
Create your Google Analytics Dashboard for your social traffic in minutes. Try AgencyAnalytics free for 14 days!
Likes on Instagram are gratifying, but comments are worth more when it comes to engagement.
Tapping the “like” button only takes a second, but typing 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 your client gets is an important metric to track. Monitor their average, and notice if it goes up or down. If the average number of comments has decreased, try to figure out why your client’s audience is less engaged than they used to be.
It’s also good to note which individual posts get the most comments to see if a pattern emerges over time. For instance, if their audience really likes a particular type of product photo, create more posts like that to keep engagement high.
Reach is another Instagram metric that requires you to switch to a Business Account to create an Instagram Business Profile. View your client’s Instagram reach within Instagram Insights.
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 their post three times, it will count as three impressions. However, that person only counts as one towards reach, making it an important metric to measure brand awareness and how many people are actually seeing their post.
Along with total reach, you want to be tracking Reach Rate. This is the percentage of followers that see your client’s post. Calculate it by dividing the total reach of a post by their total number of followers. For example, if your client has 300 reach and 1000 followers, their reach rate is 30%.
One way to increase your client’s reach is by using 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, routinely monitor hashtag performance to see what gets the most traction. Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags, giving you 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.
10. Audience Demographics
When executing powerful Instagram marketing campaigns, understanding your target taudience demographics is the key to unlocking success. These demographic details provide a wealth of information that you can use to tailor content, optimize posts, and maximize engagement. But what exactly should you be focusing on?
Knowing the age range of the audience is crucial. Different age groups have distinct preferences and behaviors on social media. For instance, younger audiences may be more engaged with Instagram Reels, while older audiences might prefer traditional Instagram posts. An Instagram analytics tool provides this vital information, ensuring your content resonates with your target audience.
Identifying the gender breakdown of the audience also help shapes a social media marketing strategy. Certain products, services, or content themes might be more appealing to one gender over another. Knowing this, you craft Instagram posts that effectively connect your client with the right people.
Country and City
Geographical location plays a significant role in Instagram marketing campaigns. Users in different countries and cities may respond differently to your content due to cultural, societal, or economic factors. A detailed location analysis helps you better understand these nuances and fine-tune your strategies accordingly.
Language is another vital demographic factor to consider. If your Instagram followers predominantly speak a particular language, it's worth creating content that caters to this language group. "¿Hablas español?"
This approach not only enhances the accessibility of the content but also promotes a sense of inclusivity among the target audience.
Create more personalized, engaging, and successful Instagram marketing campaigns by leveraging an Instagram analytics tool to understand these key audience demographics. Remember, successful social media marketing is not just about reaching as many people as possible—it's about reaching the right people with the right message.
Keep your fingers on the pulse of your client's Instagram demographics with just a few clicks. Try AgencyAnalytics free for 14 days.
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Turning Instagram Data into Actionable Insights
As an agency, it's not enough to simply collect data and report on Instagram metrics; you need to turn that data into actionable insights that can drive real results for your clients.
Here's how to do it:
Set clear goals: Before diving into the data, it's important to set clear goals for what you want to achieve on Instagram. Whether it's increasing engagement, growing your client's follower count, or driving traffic to their website, having a clear goal will help you focus your analysis and make actionable recommendations.
Identify key metrics: Once you've confirmed your agency's goals, you'll need to identify the key metrics that will help you measure progress toward those goals. Depending on your objectives, these metrics will change. For example, a client trying to increase brand recognition may look at metrics like engagement rate, while a client focused on transactions will be more interested in website clicks.
Analyze trends: With your key metrics in hand, it's time to start analyzing trends over time. Are certain posts or types of content performing better than others? Is engagement increasing or decreasing? By identifying trends, you can start to understand what's working and what's not, and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Benchmark against competitors: To truly understand how your client's Instagram account is performing, you'll need to benchmark against their competitors. By analyzing how their Instagram account compares to others in their industry, you can identify opportunities for improvement and areas where they're already excelling.
Use insights to drive strategy: Finally, it's time to turn your data and analysis into actionable recommendations. Based on your analysis, you might recommend changes to their content strategy, suggest new types of posts to try, or recommend changes to their targeting or ad spend.
By following these steps, you can turn Instagram metrics and insights into actionable recommendations that drive real results for your agency clients.
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 clients’ businesses. It’s fun, it’s an artistic outlet, and it lets you connect with their audiences. Social media management is also a service that is in high demand.
Keep in mind that if you want your agency’s Instagram marketing to be profitable and fun, you want to track the right metrics to showcase your agency’s efforts. You'll hit those industry benchmarks each month by focusing on social media analytics instead of vanity metrics.
Whether your client wants to track organic growth, impressions, or Instagram ad performance, AgencyAnalytics saves 6,000 agencies time on monthly reporting!
Track the performance metrics of your client’s Instagram content and other social media accounts in one reporting platform, and then create reports in seconds using a professional social media marketing report template built for marketing agencies.
Plus, give your clients real-time data access, and create white-labeled reports and social media dashboards–all in one place.
Keep your clients on top of their Instagram game by trying AgencyAnalytics free for 14 days!
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