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Top 5 Instagram Metrics to Track in 2019

Knowing what Instagram metrics to track can seem like a daunting task, especially if you’re new to the world of Instagram analytics.

But you can expect a big payoff once you jump in!

Instagram analytics help you better understand your audience’s likes, dislikes, and behaviors online. Plus, you’ll be able to identify actionable changes for your brand’s Instagram strategy based on the picture your analytics paints.

To help make it easier, we’re sharing the top 5 Instagram metrics to track to improve your Instagram strategy and performance:

Instagram Metrics to Track #1: Engagement Rate

Your Instagram engagement rate is a key indicator of how well your audience is responding to your content. If your followers are liking, commenting, and sharing your content, your engagement rate will show it!

But how do you calculate your engagement rate?

The verdict is still out on the definitive answer to this question as every social media manager, analysts, and Instagram tool has a slightly different way of doing things. But the general consensus is that, overall, it’s related to this calculation:

Divide your total number of likes and comments by your follower count, and then multiply by 100 to give you a percentage.

Instagram Metrics to Track: Engagement Rate Calculation

But the good news is that if you use Later, your engagement rate is automatically calculated for you. So you can put down the calculator and easily get a snapshot of all your best performing content!

Later Instagram Analytics - Engagement Rate

Keeping track of your engagement rate for your posts is one of the easiest ways to identify what type of content resonates the most with your audience. And if you can pinpoint what works best for them, you can integrate that type of content more into your calendar and strategy.


Instagram Metrics to Track #2: Best Time to Post

Did you know that you could be losing followers and hindering your engagement rate simply by posting at the wrong time?

It’s such an easy change to your Instagram strategy that could make a huge difference to your account’s growth!

But don’t fret, Later has analyzed over 12 million Instagram posts to come up with the best times to post!

best time to post on instagram

Of course, every account will be slightly different depending on your business and your audience, but it’s good to use this data as a starting point and then really focus in on the best time to post for your followers.

You can do this is two ways:

Firstly, take a look at your Instagram Insights. Under the Audience tab, you’ll find a breakdown of when your followers are most active online broken down by days of the week, and times of day.

Understanding Instagram Analytics: Followers Times

Secondly, you can use your Later Analytics to hone in on your audience’s behaviors. Your Later analytics dashboard has a super-detailed breakdown of when your audience is online and you can use that info to tailor your Instagram publishing calendar.

Instagram Analytics: Later Analytics Audience Activity

Or you can remove the guesswork completely and use Later’s Best Time to Post feature that automatically calculates your top 7 posting times each week based on your audience’s behavior and then displays these times in your content calendar.


Instagram Metrics to Track #3: Reach

If you want to grow your Instagram account this year (who doesn’t, right?) you want to keep track of your reach metrics on Instagram.

Reach rates are the number of unique views your posts, Instagram Stories, video posts, and ads get. It’s a great indicator of whether your account is growing and reaching new audiences.

Understanding Instagram Analytics: Reach Metric

Not to be confused with your impressions metrics, however. Your impressions rate 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. So over time, your impressions count may be higher as the same followers see your post multiple times.

To find your reach stats for your posts, start by going to your Instagram Insights by tapping the bar chart icon from your profile page.

Best Instagram Analytics Metrics: Instagram Insights

From here, navigate to the Content tab and select See All.

Now you’ll be able to filter and break down your content by type (photo, video, shopping, carousel) and by Instagram metrics (in this case, you’ll want to select reach).

Understanding Instagram Analytics: Content Filter

You’ll then see a breakdown of your posts in order of which has the best reach metric.

If you’re not seeing improvements in your reach metrics over time, consider looking at your hashtags, captions or if you could be better optimizing your posts with location and mention tagging.

Don’t sweat it if you see some big fluctuations in your reach rates as even small changes to how and when you post could make a real difference. Start experimenting with other strategies to improve your reach, and keep an eye on what post really make that metric spike!

Instagram Metrics to Track #4: Instagram Stories Audience Retention Rates

One of the toughest parts of creating content for Instagram Stories is generating ideas on what will interest your audience. You want to create stories that really resonate with your followers and hold their attention from start to finish.

Instagram Metrics to Track: Instagram Stories Example

Once you know what kind of content has your audience hooked, you can better strategize and continue to create content that works for them.

But how can you tell what content performs best?

Again, it all comes down to your Instagram Stories reach metrics, and at what point your posts lost viewers.

Instagram Metrics to Track: Instagram Stories Example Alpha H

If you’re creating content on Instagram Stories — like skincare brand Alpha-H’s Tip Tuesday content series — you’ll want to know how many people watched through to the end.

To help explain how to calculate your metrics, we’re going to call every post that makes up your Instagram story – whether that’s a video, photo, or boomerang post – a ‘slide’. Each slide that’s posted to Instagram will have its own individual metrics. And when you’re posting multiple slides to Instagram Stories that are all related to the same topic, like Alpha-H’s Tip Tuesday, that makes up your overall Instagram story.

So now you can use the metrics for each slide to tell you how your overall story performed in a 24-hour period!

Here’s how to get a clearer picture of your audience retention rates on Instagram Stories:

  1. Calculate your Instagram Stories drop off rate: This is the percentage of people who stopped watching your story somewhere between the first and last slide. Calculate this by taking the reach stat of your first Instagram Stories slide, subtracting the reach metric of your last slide, and then divide by the first slide’s reach. This will give you a percentage of how many people dropped off before reaching the end of your story.
  2. Calculate drop off rate after your first slide: Your first slide in an Instagram Stories series really needs to grab your viewers’ attention, so they want to stay tuned and keep watching! To gauge how engaging that first slide is, you can calculate the percentage of people who stopped watching after just the first slide. To do this, take the reach metric of the first slide, subtract the reach of the second slide, and then divide by the first slide’s reach!
  3. Calculate your Instagram Stories completion rate: This is where it gets interesting — just how many of your viewers stayed till the last slide of your story! Your completion rate in Instagram Stories is a really good indicator of how engaging your content is, whether you’re posting too much or just the right amount, or whether it was the right type of content to captivate your audience! To calculate this, take the reach metric of your last slide and divide it by the reach metric of your first slide!

With these calculations and percentages, you’ll have a benchmark metric to continuously improve your engagement and watch rates of your Instagram Stories.

Instagram Metric to Track #5: Traffic and Sales from Instagram

Instagram shopping is only set to get more popular, thanks to shoppable stickers in posts, Instagram Stories, and even a shopping channel in the Explore page!

Ultimate Guide to Instagram Shopping: Stories Product Tag

When you’re creating content specifically for product posts, you want to make sure you’re tracking what shoppable posts perform the best.

If you can really focus in on what kind of content — whether that’s shoppable Instagram Stories, video posts or carousel product shots — you’ll be able to better tailor your content for your audience in the future.

You can see engagement and tap through metrics on both shopping posts in your feed and Instagram Stories. But we suggest separating out your metrics for Instagram shoppable posts and Instagram Stories so you can clearly identify what type of content works best on each.

Ultimate Guide to Instagram Shopping: Tag Example

To find out more, tap View Insights on a shopping post or swipe up on shopping stories in self-view to see the insights.

From here, you also have the option to sort top shopping posts on various metrics through Insights on your business profile. It really is that easy!

Jumping into the deep end of Instagram analytics is definitely worth it if you want to grow your account and reach new audiences.

But if you’re finding it overwhelming, just focus on these top 5 Instagram metrics to track this year and see how your Instagram strategy and content improves in the future!

Ready to start tracking your Instagram’s progress with analytics? Sign up to Later and explore the Instagram Analytics dashboard!

Written By

Nikki Canning

Nikki is Later’s Blog Editor, where she’s always on the lookout for rogue apostrophes. She’s worked in digital media in Dublin, London, and Sydney and loves nothing more than hitting "publish". On a weekend, you’ll find her outdoors, patting a stranger’s dog or scrolling Instagram to plan her next adventure — follow along on @nikkitravelled.