When it comes to growing your business on Instagram, learning how to understand your Instagram metrics is the best place to start.

But what Instagram metrics should you be tracking and measuring?

It’s easy to get overwhelmed when looking at your analytics, so in this blog post we’re breaking down the best 6 Instagram metrics that will help you grow your account (and your business)!

Best Instagram Metrics: Headline image

#1 Instagram Metric: Measure Your Engagement Rate to Learn How Your Content is Performing

First things first: in order to view your Instagram metrics and analytics, you’ll need to switch to an Instagram business profile to get access to Instagram Insights within the app.

When it comes to choosing which Instagram metrics to track, your engagement rate is a great place to start.

Since every one of your followers won’t see or engage with every single Instagram post, your engagement rate helps you know how many of your followers are actively engaging with your brand on Instagram.

Engagement rate is the percentage of engagement (likes and comments) that your Instagram posts get.

Instagram doesn’t calculate your engagement rate for you, but you can find your reach and total likes/comments/saves by going to your posts in the Instagram app and clicking “view insights”:

Generally, if you want to calculate your average engagement rate for Instagram, you would divide the total number of likes and comments by your follower count, which will give you a percentage.

Engagement = (likes + comments) / followers.

For a more accurate engagement rate, you could divide likes + comments by the reach number instead of followers. How to calculate engagement rates is a hotly debated subject, but by using your reach numbers you’re getting a more accurate number because it’s divided by the true number of how many people saw your post, instead of your total follower number (where many probably didn’t see your post).

If you don’t want to calculate your Instagram engagement rate manually, Later’s pro Instagram analytics automatically calculates your engagement rate you, saving you even more time (and math)!

Best Instagram Metrics: Featured Image

Knowing (an improving) your Instagram engagement rate isn’t just about boosting those likes, though.

Your engagement rate is one of the best Instagram metrics to track if you want to find out how your content resonates with your audience, because it tells you how much your audience relates to the content you’re creating and if they want to share and engage with it.

Luckily, there are lots of things that you can do to improve your engagement rate. Even simple changes like writing winning captions for your posts and pinpointing the best time to post can help boost your engagement.

#2 Instagram Metrics: Optimize Your Instagram Hashtag Strategy By Tracking Discovery Metrics 

The Discovery section in your Instagram Insights is a goldmine when it comes to knowing where your audience came from and how they found your post.

To find the Discovery metrics for your posts, go to your profile page and tap the image you’d like to view metrics for. From here, tap the ‘View Insights’ button underneath your image, and a small information bar will appear on the bottom of your screen:

Best Instagram Metrics: Discovery

Next, swipe up from the toolbar to find even more analytics separated into two categories: Interactions and Discovery.

Let’s focus in on the Discovery metrics, as these numbers will tell you how many people viewed your post, and how they found it.

First, it’s good to know the difference between Reach and Impressions;

Impressions: This is the total number of times your post has been seen. This number includes users scrolling by in their feed, clicking through to your business’ profile to view a photo, or viewing content directly through an Instagram Direct Message.

Reach: Like Impressions, Reach also relates to the number of views your posts get. But rather than calculate it by total eyes on your content, it narrows it down to unique views only. So, for example, if one of your followers opens your profile and looks at your posts several times that day, that follower will only be counted once in your Reach results.

Under Impressions, you can see the total number of view broken down by how the user found your post.

The best Instagram metric to focus in on here is the ‘From hashtags’ metric. This number tells you if your hashtag strategy is working and people are discovering your post through the hashtags they follow or searched for in the Explore page!

Best Instagram Metrics: Discovery

Not sure what a hashtag strategy is? Don’t worry; we have a whole Instagram Hashtag Strategy Guide to help you optimize your business’ hashtags and start creating a strategy that helps you reach your goals!

Experimenting with your hashtags and monitoring your Discovery metrics can give you real insight into which hashtags work best for your profile. And if you can nail down your hashtag strategy, you’ll be well on your way to reaching your target audiences.

#3 Instagram Metric: Know When People Stop Watching Your Stories 

If your business is on Instagram, you should definitely be using Instagram Stories!

Why? Because it’s the perfect platform to show off your brand’s personality, behind-the-scenes action and reach your audiences on a personal and fun level!

Plus, Instagram Stories has so many features like the Question and Poll Stickersthat help boost engagement and build a conversation. If you’re not sure where to start, check out our free training course on How to Use Instagram Stories for Business – it’s the perfect way to kick start your Instagram Stories strategy.

If you’re a seasoned stories snapper, you’ll want to start taking a look at your Instagram Stories metrics, in particular, the Next Stories metric. The Next Story metric is the number of people who have swiped past or tapped to the next Instagram account’s stories, and it can tell you a lot about your audience’s interest (or lack thereof) in your stories.

Let’s start with finding your Next Stories metrics. From your Instagram profile, tap your profile photo to see your live stories. Then just swipe up for all the insights on your story:

Best Instagram Metrics: Next Story

So what does your Next Story metric tell you?

Many people will ‘speed tap’ through Instagram Stories, particularly if the posts are still images or they’re short on time and want to get to the end of our stories updates. When you tap through slides in Instagram Stories, those are the “back” or “forwards” metrics.

The Next Story metric is when people will swipe forward to leave your story and move on to the next account’s story.

Having high Next Story metrics in the middle or beginning of your Instagram Stories tells you that viewers weren’t engaged with your content, and wanted to skip your content in favour of someone else’s.

You can use the Next Story metrics to gauge how interested your followers are in your Instagram Stories content, or to understand what types of content your followers love or hate.

If you want to captivate your audience’s attention in your Instagram Stories, try experimenting with different types of content, such as adding Polls, Question Stickers or using Later’s free Instagram Stories templates to take your stories to the next level!

Best Instagram Metrics: Later Instagram Stories Templates

If you want to dive deeper into understanding your Instagram metrics, download our free Instagram Analytics Strategy Guide to learn about every metric you need to know!

Free Instagram Analytics Strategy Guide

Learn how to track your Instagram analytics and use them to grow your account, get more engagement, and make more $$!

#4 Instagram Metrics: Know How Many New People You’re Reaching

As we’ve touched on earlier in this post, Reach is the number of unique accounts that have seen your post, while Impressions is the total number of times that your post has been seen.

Your Reach metrics are one of the best Instagram metrics to track if you want to grow your account because it tells you if you’re reaching new audiences outside of your existing followers.

You can track your overall reach by week and day in Instagram Insights within your app, and you’ll find it under the “Discovery” tab:

If you want to increase your reach on Instagram, influencer marketing is a great place to start! Working with Instagram influencers can help you reach new people in your target demographic, provide with you great UGC, and increase your overall brand presence or sales.

Best Instagram Metrics: Collaborations

Tagging relevant businesses or users in your posts can also help your post get more engagement and increase your chances of your post being shared by a larger account. And now, you can schedule Instagram posts with location and user tags for free with Later!

Best Instagram Metrics: TaggingGIF

Optimize Your Instagram Scheduling with Locations

Get more engagement on Instagram by tagging locations & users in your scheduled posts!

#5: Use Your Average Percentage Watched Rates to Create Killer IGTV Videos

If you’ve ever wondered if your audience is watching your IGTV videos from start to finish, you need to check out your Average Percentage Watched rate!

This is the percentage of your videos that people watched, and is calculated as the percentage of your video watched as an average of all plays

Best Instagram Metrics: IGTV AWR

In this example, you can see that 31% of our video was watched, but it doesn’t necessarily mean the first 31% of the video, as users can tap forward through the video to skip ahead or watch snippets of the video.

If we look at the graph below of our Average Percentage Watched metric, we can see exactly where in the video the majority of our viewers were engaged.

Don’t be disheartened by a natural decline – it’s completely normal! You’re never going to be able to get 100% of your viewers watching your video completely from start to finish.

Best Instagram Metrics: IGTV

There are a lot of reasons why a viewer might skip past your video: they may not be interested in the topic of your video, they could have run out of time and decided to leave the app, or maybe the got the information they wanted at the beginning of your video.

While we shouldn’t get disheartened by viewers naturally dropping off, there are some things that you can do to encourage your readers to stick around longer and improve your Average Percentage Watched rate.

Next time you film and edit a video for IGTV, try to include an introduction to let your viewers know from the get-go what your video will be about. You can also experiment with your video length to help you determine the sweet spot for your audience and start building your strategy around that!

#6: Track Link Open Rates to Know Which Products to Showcase in Instagram Stories

If you’re a business, you probably want to share links to your website to showcase your products and services.

Instagram limits how you link out to external websites, and really only allows you to do it via the link in your profile bio and through Instagram Stories ‘Swipe Up’ feature (and only for business accounts bigger than 10k followers).

Businesses can also use tools like Later’s Linkin.bio feature that lets you link your Instagram posts to specific product pages, blog posts, or websites!

Best Instagram Metrics: Linkin.bio

For Instagram Stories, your Link Open rates tell you if you’re showing off the right products to your audience, at the right time, or in the right format. It can also be an indicator of which products or services appeal to your audience the most.

To find your Link Open rates, just follow these steps:

  • From your profile page, tap the “bar chart” icon on the top right-hand corner. Then navigate to the Content tab on the Insights page.
  • Here, you’ll need to scroll down to the Stories section. You’ll see your live stories in this box, with the number of views each received.
  • If you want to see more Instagram Stories, all you have do is tap “See all” in the top right corner of this box.
  • Using the filter, you can toggle to see the metrics for just the Link Open rates.

Best Instagram Metrics: Link Open

Here, you can track how many people used the “Swipe up” feature if you linked to your website or product pages.

Don’t worry if this rate is a little lower than you’d like, there are some really easy ways to improve it!

A simple trick to draw attention to your Swipe Up link is to use bright, colorful and animated GIFs in your Instagram Stories.

We’ve created a whole collection of Later GIFs that help brighten up and draw in your audience with CTAs like “Link in bio” and “Swipe up”, just search for ‘Later’ in the GIF Sticker search box and you’ll find them all!

Best Instagram Metrics: GIF

Monitoring these key Instagram metrics over time, and actioning some small changes to your Instagram strategy is a sure-fire way to build your audience, boost your engagement and see real returns in your business sales.

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