Instagram Metrics: What Really Matters Most?

When you ignore your Instagram metrics, you’re ignoring a huge potential for growth. The reason being: if you don’t know whether you’re succeeding or failing, how will you know what to improve? How will you be able to strategize? You need to be aware of what aspects of your strategy are working, and which ones have been causing you to fall short of your goals. This is why you absolutely MUST be tracking and analyzing your Instagram metrics. But the sheer amount of data points can be overwhelming for a single person or small team. This is why we’re going to tell you which metrics matter most, so you can hone in on what’s working, what’s not, and figure out how to develop your Instagram presence further. 

But first… how do you see and track your metrics?

With Instagram Insights, you can find valuable data on your followers such as gender, age range, location, etc. You will also be able to view which posts and stories your audience sees and engages with most frequently. Metrics about your paid activity can be found here too, including reach and impressions, reflecting both paid and organic activity.

In order to take advantage of Instagram Insights, you will need to convert your page to a business account. Then, you will follow these steps, as outlined by Instagram:

  1. Go to your profile.
  2. Tap the menu button.
  3. Tap Insights.
  4. Select specific posts, stories or promotions you’d like to view insights on. You can also learn more about your audience.

The Activity tab will allow you to track weekly interactions, reach, and impressions, and in the Content tab you can see how your posts, stories, and promotions are performing. Finally, the Audience tab provides information on your followers’/audience’s demographics. 

Which Instagram Metrics Matter Most

1. Engagement per follower

Your posts may be great, but if they’re not getting engagement, then unfortunately they’re going to waste. Shockingly enough, this is a more common occurrence than most marketers realize. In fact, 70% of Instagram posts don’t get seen! By tracking your engagement per follower, you can decipher how interested your audience is by what you post. Just remember to assess this information relative to your follower count and don’t try to compare yourself to huge brands with tons of followers. In fact, it’s totally possible that your engagement could actually be better than big companies like Nike and Coca Cola.

2. Follower growth

This one is kind of a no-brainer. Your follower count growing means that people are digging what you’re dishing out and you’re doing something right to keep them around. You want to measure the success of follower growth by doing the following:

  1. Look at the number of followers you gained over the course of the last month.
  2. Divide the number of followers gained by the number of followers you had at the beginning of the month. For instance, if you gained 200 followers during the month and had 2000 followers at the start of the month, your follower growth rate this month was 20/2000 = 0.1, or 10%, which would be considered very good. Your follower growth rate should hover around 6–8%, and if it dips lower than that, you likely have a problem on your hands and should adjust your strategy to try and get those numbers up.


Comments are a key part of engagement, but they are actually a lot more important than likes when it comes to engagement. Likes are quick and easy to dish out, so much so that the viewer doesn’t really even have to look at your post in order to ‘like’ it. However, with a comment, the user is actually taking valuable time out of their day to go into your post and type out something thoughtful. This demonstrates that not only did they see your post, but they also got value out of it (provided it’s a positive comment)! Comments are an integral aspect of building a positive community and establishing a loyal fanbase. This is why it’s extremely important to to respond to both positive and negative comments. When your followers start to catch on that they will likely get a reply from your brand, they will be more inclined to engage themselves knowing that their voices will be heard.

4. Reach

Your reach on Instagram will show you the actual views of your content. This is how you’ll be able to tell if your content is reaching your followers’ feeds.

5. Most effective hashtags

Using hashtags thoughtfully can help you expand your reach and maximize your engagement. Choose hashtags that are relevant to your industry, and you’ll attract the followers you want. Pay attention to the posts that perform well, and do some testing throughout the month to see if your hashtags have anything to do with its success.

6. Instagram stories

Though often ignored, Instagram stories has proven to be integral to the modern Instagram marketing campaign. If you’re not using stories, you need to be. Test it out and see how much your engagement grows! Some important things to look at are: Story replies, story taps back and taps forward, story exits, impressions, etc.

7. Do some exploring!

Now that you have an idea of which Instagram Metrics are the most important in gauging the success of your campaigns, go explore around Instagram Insights! You can learn so much just by glancing over the data. It will also benefit you to use this data to inform future marketing endeavors.