:Marketing / Social media marketing

Mastering social media: The basics of Instagram Insights

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The golden rule of social media is one every creator should always remember: Always provide value.

And yet one big question still looms over many creators’ minds: How do I know what content performs best with my audience?

Why is it necessary to get comfortable with insights, you ask? If you’re not up-to-date with how your Instagram profile is performing, you’ll miss out on knowing:

  • What posts are resonating (and not resonating) with your audience
  • What days and times are best for capturing a large portion of your audience’s attention
  • What’s driving the wrong audience to your website
  • How often you should be posting

With just a few key learnings, metrics can become your very best friend. Now, we’re diving into the basics of the metrics you need to track to understand Instagram insights, specifically.

Luckily, Instagram’s in-app insights are robust and you can learn a lot more beyond the number likes and comments. Checking in regularly on the performance of what you’re creating will be the difference between creating lackluster content and taking your business and personal brand to the next level.

Speak the language

First thing’s first—make sure your profile is set up as a Business Account. This is how you unlock the internal analytics tools that allow you to understand your Instagram posts and Instagram stories a bit better.

But before you even start talking Instagram marketing, make sure that you understand the basic terminology used in social media management to refer to Instagram metrics.

Let’s take a look at some of the overarching metrics and what each of them means.

  • Impressions: the total number of times a user has viewed your content and/or profile
  • Reach: the number of users who have seen your posts
  • Interactions: the total number of actions a user has made on your posts—likes, comments, shares, and saves—this is where your engagement rates live
  • Profile visits: the number of users who have viewed your profile by clicking on it from the Instagram homepage or Explore page
  • Website clicks: the number of actions taken to explore your website from your Instagram account

Do it yourself

You can view all of these by post (by clicking “View Insights”) and as a whole by navigating to the Insights tab.

Here’s what it looks like when you click on the insights by post:

Image credit: Socialyte

And, here’s what it looks like when you want to view your insights about your profile over a certain period of time:

Image credit: Brafton

In this section, you can also view everything you need to know about your audience—from gender to age to location. This is a valuable area to understand how you can best fine tune your content strategy, so that it resonates with those who are following you. (Read more about the importance of brand authenticity on your social accounts here.)

Most importantly, this is where you’ll see when your audience is most active so you can better understand the ideal time to post.

Image credit: Instaboom

Talking goals

When we talk about specific goals you want to achieve with tracking Instagram metrics, there’s really no one correct answer. It all boils down to this: What do you as a creator want to achieve with your Instagram presence? If you want to drive more traffic to your course, what metrics should you be monitoring? If you want a better email list growth rate, what content should you be sharing?

Here are the three common goals business owners look to achieve when they’re measuring their performance on Instagram:

1. Brand awareness

This is exactly what is sounds like: How the outside world perceives and understands your brand. And how prevalent your account is within the industry space.

What to measure:
  • Impressions
  • Reach
  • Likes
  • Follower count
  • Video views
2. Engagement

This has to do with how involved your followers and audience is with your brand. It’s a great way to understand how your content and brand resonate with others.

What to measure:
  • Comments
  • Shares
  • Saves
3. Converting followers to sales

Because you’re likely using Instagram to promote your online course or coaching services, you’ll want to keep a close eye on how your social accounts are leading to sales and converting followers into customers.

What to measure:
  • Link clicks
  • Page actions

Understanding the basics of these metrics can help you build out a more solid social strategy and ultimately lead to sales.

Just remember: No matter which metrics you decide to focus on, this quick guide will help you prioritize what kind of content you should be creating so your audience is engaged and excited for any products you have to offer.

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Author: Haleigh Fullilove, Haleigh is Teachable's senior social media strategist and host of the Everything Is Teachable podcast. When she's not finding new desserts to bake, you can find her exploring NYC for thrift stores and coffee shops, making playlists, and laying in the park with friends.