Everyone’s favourite social media app Instagram has gone through many a change over the last few years. Algorithm (see definition; algorithm) improvements, feed changes and more updates have changed the way content is received and interacted with. One of the major introductions to Instagram has been ‘Insights’, allowing users to view analytics measuring the performance of their content, and better understand their audience. In this all-in-one guide we’ll outline everything you need to know about Instagram Insights: how to access them, what they mean, and how you can use them to improve your Instagram strategy and your engagement rates.
If you’ve already activated Instagram Insights you can skip to the next part of our guide here. If not, to access your Instagram Insights you’ll have to take the following steps:
- Firstly ensure your Instagram profile is set to Public
- Navigate to your Instagram Profile and tap on settings in the top right corner
- Scroll down and tap on “Switch To Business Account”
- You’ll then be instructed to connect your account to a Facebook Page*
(If you don’t have a Facebook Page you can create one during this step.)
*In order to have an Instagram Business account you must have a connected Facebook Page. The Facebook page doesn’t have to be branded or have any content on there, it simply has to exist per se.
- Confirm all your details are correct then click done
- You have now converted to a Business Profile and will have access to Instagram Insights
You’re all set up with a business account, Instagram Insights will be available to you via your profile page. Now let’s move on to finding out what these Instagram Insights exactly mean and how you can use them to improve your Instagram Marketing Strategy.
Digging into Instagram Insights you’ll come across many difference terms, graphs and numbers, which all indicate and show different things. Let’s delve into Insights and define the meaning of each of these analytics and how you can extract valuable insights using this information. To access Insights, navigate to your profile page and tap on the bar chart icon. You will immediately see Insights split into the following three tabs, with each tab containing different information:
Under the Activity tab, you’ll find two sets of insights: Interactions and Discovery. Let’s delve into each subsection and find out what each statistic means.
In this subsection you can see how many times users have interacted with your Instagram account, with the following metrics:
Profile Visits – The amount of users that have visited your Instagram profile
Website Clicks – The number of users who have clicked on the website like in your Bio
Email – The number of times users have tapped on Email on your profile
Call – The number of times users have tapped on Call on your profile
Using the graph you can see which day of the week has the most interactions, as well as a comparison of the interactions from last week. It should be noted that this section of Instagram Insights is limited to the past 7 days, however other Instagram insight tools such as Hopper HQ’s Analytics can show you up to 28 days.
This section under Activity displays the overall performance and influence of your Instagram accounts with two key metrics: Reach & Impressions
Reach – The number of unique accounts that have seen any of your posts
Impressions – The total number of times that all your posts have been seen
The Activity tab essentially shows you the influence of your page and also how many people have interacted with it. It should be noted that this section of Instagram Insights is also limited to the past 7 days.
Under the Content tab you will find insights on all your posts on Instagram, including photo and video posts from your feed, Story posts, and even any promotional paid posts you may have published. The Content tab is split into: Feed, Stories & Promotions.
Here you’ll find insights based on photo and video posts from your Instagram feed, from the moment you activated Instagram Insights up to the past 2 years. You can sort and filter your insights based on All, Photo, Video, Carousel or Shopping posts, with various metrics derived from your each. These are the metrics you can find and what they mean:
Calls – The number of unique accounts that followed the CTA to call
Comments – The number of comments on your post
Emails – The number of unique accounts that went on to click Email
Engagement – The number of unique accounts that Liked, Commented or Saved your post
Follows – The number of accounts that started following your because of your post
Get Directions – The number of users who tapped Get Directs because of your post
Impressions – The total number of times your post has been seen
Likes – The total number of likes on your post
Profile Visits – The number of times your profile was viewed
Reach – The number of unique accounts that have seen your posts
Saved – The number of unique accounts that saved your post
Website Clicks – The number of times your website was clicked because of your post.
💡 Check out our Social Media Marketing Glossary for a full list of definitions 💡
You can rank and order all your posts based on these metrics to see which posts performed the best and worst.
You can also delve deeper into each post to get more information, clicking on each post then, tapping “View Insights” will open the in-depth analytics.
Under this section of Insights, you can see the total interactions from each post, the breakdown of the engagement, and also most interestingly, the breakdown of the discovery of your post. This includes where all your impressions came from: be it hashtags, directly through your profile, home feed or other.
Stories is another subsection under the Content tab. Here you can view the Insights of your Instagram Stories. Instagram Story Insights are a new addition to Insights, and shed great light on how users interact and view your Stories, which can help you shape and plan Story content for the future.
The insights you can view from your Instagram Stories include;
Impressions – The number of times a post on your Instagram Story has been seen.
Reach – The number of unique accounts that viewed the post on your Instagram Story.
Exited – The number of times a user swiped away from a specific story.
Replies – The number of replies to a particular photo or video in your story.
Viewers – The specific users that have seen a particular post on your story.
Forward – The number of users that skipped this Story post
Backwards – The number of users that went back from this Story post.
Next Story – The number of taps to the next account’s story
Using Instagram Stories insights you can derive conclusions on the type of content that works best on your Stories, using key performance indicators such as “Forwards” & “Backwards”. A tap forward may indicate that your viewers weren’t interested in that Story, equally a tap backward would indicate the previous Story was of interest to your viewers. You can also understand which Stories help promote interaction with your followers with the “Replies” insights.
In the Content tab you can also find insights on any promotions and paid ads you may have published.
- You can view the amount of Profile visits from your promotional posts
- The Impressions, Reach and Engagement of the post
- The audience who viewed the post (Gender, Age and Location)
Using these insights you can evaluate your paid promotional campaigns, and view which posts were most effective in reaching the objectives you set.
The final tab under Instagram Insights is Audience. Under this tab you’re able to get a better understanding of who your followers are, including how your followers have grown this week in comparison to the previous week.
In the Audience tab you will find four key sets of information about your followers:
Gender – The percentage split of your followers
Age Range – The age bracket of your followers
Top Locations – The location of your followers based on City and Country
Followers – The most active times of your followers, including the time and day of the week
The Audience Insights tab reveals key insights on your followers which can really help build and improve your Instagram Marketing Strategy. Not only can you get a better understanding on who follows you, but you can also decipher the time in which your followers are most active, helping you better plan and schedule your Instagram posts to reach the most possible people. It’s worth noting that posting at the most active time does not guarantee the most engagement, however it does influence the Instagram algorithm to help push your post.
That wraps up our guide on Instagram Insights and what they mean. Unfortunately, one limitation of Instagram Insights is that they can only be accessed on mobile. This makes it difficult for those managing their Instagram accounts from a desktop, whether they be a social media agency, brand or influencer. Furthermore, Instagram Insights are also quite limited on how the analytics are presented. Instagram Insights can also be accessed using other services including Hopper HQ Instagram Planning and Scheduling Tool.
Hopper HQ Analytics offers more in-depth metrics that those available on Instagram. To begin with, you can see your account performance up to the last 28 days in the form of a visual graph, as a oppose to a bar chart. Your account performance can be viewed on a 7, 14 or 28 day basis, and you can specify which statistic to view across the length of term, as well as discovering specific dates of peak or low performance. Hopper HQ is available for a 14-day free trial period, so if you’re looking for more than just the basic analytics found on Instagram, you should try it out today!