The Ultimate Guide to the Key Metrics for Measuring Success on Instagram

The Ultimate Guide to the Key Metrics for Measuring Success on Instagram

Like all social media platforms, Instagram has its individuality. The app has always been popular since its creation, but creators are boosting its popularity even more. With the astronomical boom...

Like all social media platforms, Instagram has its individuality. The app has always been popular since its creation, but creators are boosting its popularity even more. With the astronomical boom of the current generation’s creators, it almost seems that popularity on Instagram is the only way to be relevant today. With that, a deep analysis of Instagram’s success is necessary since the app has its quirks and features that can lead to a creator or brand’s success. 

The platform has proven potential for many to succeed in connecting with an audience, building brand awareness, and increasing sales through engagement. It is all measured with Instagram metrics that are essential to measure success.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

What is Instagram’s strategic potential?

Number of Active Instagram Users 2024

As of 2024, Instagram has over 2.4 billion active users. The platform’s user demographic is diverse, with a significant presence of younger demographics, including Millennials, Generation Z, and Generation Alpha.

While Instagram’s user base may not be as extensive as Facebook’s, it offers higher engagement rates and a younger demographic, making it an attractive platform for brands targeting younger audiences. It’s an ideal platform for curated photos, videos, and boomerang posts for sharing products, services, or brand aesthetics.

Instagram Stories and Live is a remarkable element for teasers, sharing behind-the-scenes content, and engaging with followers in real-time. Reels, formerly IGTV, switched from long-form content to short-form content for entertaining videos, allowing brands to leverage trends, challenges, and creative storytelling to engage with their audience.

Instagram put everyone in a chokehold since its first release in 2010. Everyone worldwide uses Instagram, with the user base ranging from creators to brands. Instagram has developed metrics for professionals to use to understand their posts and overall account performance, engagement, and impact. These metrics explain the insights into certain areas of an Instagram account’s performance, such as audience growth, engagement levels, reach, impressions, clicks, conversions, etc. It explains some questions that form: Does my audience like my content? Is my strategy in line?

Instagram is changing every day. While everyone may be familiar with the general features of the app, certain specific features need to be highlighted:

  • Instagram Story links, polls, quizzes, and product stickers
  • Trending sounds onto posts
  • Broadcast channels

With a thorough understanding of its metrics by dissecting an account’s insights, businesses and creators can assess the effectiveness of their Instagram marketing strategies and make informed decisions to optimize their efforts and achieve the goals they wish on the app.

However, depending on where an Instagram account stands, some can see Instagram metrics while others cannot. For any brand to start measuring metrics, a business or creator account must be created before anything, and it’s just a simple push of a button.

Instagram is incomparable to any other platform. It’s visual-focused, allowing users to share and consume content through images and videos. A story is told through its visually appealing media, which is effective for brands choosing to showcase products, services, and lifestyles.

While it may feel as though it is a competitor to other platforms, it rather compliments Facebook, X (formerly Twitter), and LinkedIn. Elements of Instagram were later incorporated into the platforms such as stories, direct messaging, video sharing, and more.

Now, the fun part…

How do you measure Instagram success?

Once you have created a business or creator account, you can understand your metrics fully by viewing your insights. You have the key to understanding your followers and engagement through numbers.

Let’s break down the essential Instagram success metrics into account-level and post-level metrics:

Account-Level Metrics

Follower Growth Rate

Followers by Date

Followers are an important part of your account because they are your audience. They are the people who understand your content and can communicate with you better on how to improve it. An audience is necessary for a brand to grow.

Example Formula: (March followers – February followers)/February followers x 100

Tracking the growth rate of your followers over time provides valuable insights into your brand’s popularity and audience engagement. A steady increase in followers indicates that your content resonates with your target audience.

Account Engagement Rate

Account Engagement Rate

Many brands or creators struggle with engagement. Once the followers have been racked up, engaging the audience is crucial. It is easy to lose an audience if they are not engaged with your content. Engagement is key and to better understand it, observing and absorbing your own content is noteworthy.

Engagement involves likes, comments, shares, and saves. Calculating the engagement rate helps you assess the effectiveness of your content strategy and how well it resonates with your followers.

Reach and Impressions

reach and impressions

Although different from one another, reach and impressions are two entities that belong together to measure the importance of your content. While reach refers to the number of unique users who have seen your content, impressions represent the total number of times your content has been displayed.

Creators and brands need to understand the impact that they are having on other users with their posts. Are enough people seeing my content? Is my message effective enough? If not, could it be changed? Monitoring reach and impressions helps to comprehend the visibility and impact of your posts.

Click-Through Rate (CTR)

I bet you’ve wondered how many times your content has been clicked through. I know I have wondered that many times. The CTR answers all the questions you have about the numbers. 

CTR measures the percentage of users who clicked on a link or call-to-action (CTA) in your post. This goes hand-in-hand with the engagement rate. However, engagement rate mostly refers to general posts, while CTR refers to specific parts of Instagram metrics. This portion mostly refers to Instagram Stories, sponsored posts, and campaigns.

Profile Visits

profile activity

Although your audience is the key to your content and success on Instagram, profile visits also come into play. Profile visits are a good thing and it is good to monitor. The more profile visits you have, it should give you more of a sense of how compelling and digestible your content is. While you may have more profile visits without those visits transitioning to followers, don’t feel discouraged. This is driving overall users to be more engaged with your brand. A high number of profile visits indicates strong interest and engagement from your audience.

Instagram Shopping Metrics

For Instagram shopping businesses that depend on the app solely for business, tracking Instagram Shopping metrics would be essential. This includes product views, items added to customers’ carts, and purchases. 

For e-commerce businesses, tracking metrics related to Instagram Shopping, such as product views, adds to cart, and purchases is crucial for evaluating the performance of your shoppable posts and optimizing your sales.

Post-Level Metrics

post level metrics

Likes and Comments

Measuring the immediate engagement and interaction through the likes and comments of your posts that you receive from your existing audience is great to know what posts are doing well the most. However, while high numbers of likes and comments are desirable, the quality of these engagements is equally important. Analyzing the nature of comments received is always a good idea. Is your audience providing valuable feedback? Do they ask questions? Do they initiate meaningful conversations?

The mindset of likes and comments can be viewed in a different light. Rather than aiming for numerical growth, they should be an indicator of how well your content resonates with your audience with a focus on promoting genuine connections and conversations.

Saves

Saves are an excellent way to track how many users are saving your content, which is worthy enough to visit at a later time. Your content is valuable in the saved users’ eyes. Your users are practically complimenting your work by saving it. Tracking the number of saves helps you understand which types of content resonate most with your audience and can inform your future content strategy.

Shares

How often is your content being shared? Is your audience resonating with your content enough to share it with others? When your content is shared, it extends beyond your immediate followers to reach a wider audience. Each share introduces your content to new users who may not have discovered your account otherwise. Sharing is crucial to increasing brand awareness and an online presence, which can lead to virality. Shares build community and trust. When users share your content, they’re almost endorsing your brand or message to their followers. This endorsement builds trust and credibility, as users are more likely to trust content recommended by someone they know or follow.

Share Metrics

Instagram has a robust direct messaging section that is effective for sharing in-app content. It encourages faster growth and discovery of content as it is divided by primary, general, channels, and message requests. It is the easiest and fastest way to share any content.

Hashtag Performance

Don’t ever neglect your hashtags! It is so easy to forget or be negligent over hashtags once the main caption was created, but it is this very mistake that you do not want to make. Hashtags are crucial in expanding your reach and attracting new followers. When using hashtags, the analysis of their performance allows you to identify which ones are driving the most engagement so that you can adjust your hashtag strategy accordingly. They also help narrow down your content for others to see. Your content can be easily searched by others and found in the expansive universe of Instagram.

Instagram Stories Metrics

Story Interactions

While sponsored posts and campaigns are meticulously crafted as a necessary part of the brand’s image, other than posts, Instagram Stories are crucial to keeping your followers engaged and excited about your content. Rather than crafting a meticulously curated post for your account with captions, Instagram Stories are an easy way to continue to be active with your followers with minimal effort through links, polls, quizzes, product stickers, music, gifs, food orders, hashtags, and more.

Though minimal effort is involved with Stories, some complexities need to be taken into account, including tracking metrics such as completion rate, forward/backward taps, and swipe-up rate. Are enough people watching your whole story? Are they rewatching and fully enamored? How often are they swiping up? Evaluating such metrics can provide valuable insights into the effectiveness of your Stories content.

Final Remarks

Instagram is a great platform for growth. It may be complicated to fully understand Instagram metrics, but it is very vital for growth. Businesses and creators can fully succeed on an app with measured metrics such as Instagram. Instagram’s unique features and quirks necessitate a deep analysis to effectively connect with audiences, build brand awareness, and drive sales through engagement.

Metrics such as follower growth rate, engagement rate, reach, impressions, click-through rate, Instagram Stories metrics, hashtag performance, website traffic, profile visits, saves, and Instagram shopping metrics offer insights into audience behavior and content effectiveness.


If you need help refreshing your content strategy, our growth experts can help.

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