Instagram analytics: How to analyze and use your data

6 Oct

Are you up-to-date on your Instagram analytics?

Because the network is regularly rolling out updates to help you own your data.

And crunching those numbers should be a top priority for brands and marketers alike.

In fact, a staggering 60% of marketers are upping their investment in Instagram in 2022.

Sales. Customer service. Community-building. The list goes on and on when it comes to activities and opportunities to engage customers.

But so many tasks related to Instagram for business, there are countless metrics to track.

Overwhelmed by your data? Don’t know to start with performance tracking? This deep dive into Instagram analytics will teach you everything you need to know.

Why are Instagram analytics important

Hey, fair question.

The idea of being “data-driven” is all the rage in marketing right now, isn’t it?

Here’s the catch, though: marketers should make decisions based on actual numbers versus anecdotes alone.

This speaks to the importance of wrangling your IG analytics. That’s because owning your data empowers you to:

  • Recreate top-performing content based on what your audience wants. Consider the challenges of growing competition and an ever-so-fickle Instagram algorithm. Understanding what really resonates with your audience starts with your analytics.
  • Spot growth trends (or downturns). This applies to your content strategy, engagement and reach. For example, are Reels outperforming your posts? Is your follower growth consistent? What about your publishing frequency? Your numbers can clue you in on how to approach your account.
  • Explain your account growth and performance to teammates, managers and stakeholders. Like it or not, marketers today are expected to justify their decisions with hard numbers. Thankfully, Instagram

How to access your Instagram analytics

Now, onto the good stuff.

Let’s say you’re totally new to monitoring your metrics. Below is a snapshot of how to check Instagram analytics (aka “Account Insights”) for the first time:

  • Make sure you set up a business profile (or creator account) if you haven’t already.
  • From your profile, tap ≡ in the top right corner.
  • Then, tap select “Get Insights,” tap through and confirm.

And boom!

enable creator analytics in instagram

Gone through this process before? Simply tap “Insights” from your profile if you’ve set up Instagram analytics already. From here, you can access your audience overview, content summary, and top-performing posts. instagram analytics overview

This provides a big-picture understanding of your IG presence and growth. That said, it’s only a taste of what you can glean from your numbers.

Your Instagram audience insights are a treasure trove of data to help you boost your engagement and grow your account. Granted you know what to look for.

The Instagram insights you should track

The dozens of dashboards in front of you might seem a bit intimidating.

Don’t panic, though! Now that you know how to access your metrics, let’s walk through what they mean.

From big-picture breakdowns to granular post performance, here’s a summary of what you can see via Insights.

Audience insights and analytics

Again, Instagram’s native analytics are surprisingly powerful when it comes to audience insights. The network highlights valuable customer data including:

  • Audience demographics (age, gender, location)
  • Follower growth over time
  • Audience engagements and interactions over time
  • % of engagements from followers versus non-followers
instagram audience insights

These data points highlight whether you’re getting in front of your target audience via Instagram or not.

Think of your Insights Overview as a pulse check for your Instagram performance. Here you can see whether your account’s reach is growing and which posts are contributing to that reach. You can also see your top-performing post formats based on visibility.

instagram analytics overview

Post insights and analytics

“What’s working and what isn’t when it comes to our Instagram content?”

Answering this question requires you to dig into your content interactions and individual post data. Thankfully, Instagram makes it a cinch to do both.

Alongside specific post performance data, you can spot big-picture trends for your account. This includes:

  • Top-performing content formats
  • The best times to post on Instagram (based on actual audience behavior)
  • Top-performing posts for a particular time period
  • Individual post impressions, engagement and reach
instagram post insights

And as an added bonus, Instagram allows you to filter your search results by metric.

Maybe you’re purely concerned with reach. Perhaps comments and interactions are your priority for community-building. Either way, you can track these metrics and then some.

instagram select metric in insights

 

A key benefit of understanding Instagram analytics is making data-backed decisions. For example, there’s plenty of anecdotal data about Reels and Carousels outperforming each other. That said, your results may vary based on your industry, audience and content strategy.

The takeaway? You have to experiment and see for yourself. With a better handle on your analytics, you can run those experiments with a sense of confidence.

Stories insights and analytics

While Reels are dominating at the moment, Stories remain one of Instagram’s staple features.

And while Stories themselves do disappear, the data attached to them doesn’t.

instagram story analytics

Optimizing your Stories strategy might require some trial-and-error. That’s where your analytics can be a huge help, though. For example, your Stories insights can clue you in on:

  • How many Stories to publish per week
  • Whether timing has an impact on impressions and engagements
  • Which content formats perform the best (think: Reels versus UGC versus slideshows)

Reels insights and analytics

Given that 20% of all Instagram activity happens on Reels, marketers can’t afford to ignore their video performance data. The insights offered up by Instagram analytics here are par for the course.

What’s most notable here is applying the “followers and non-followers” breakdown to Reels. This highlights whether your videos are getting picked up the algorithm or served via the Explore Page.

instagram reels reach example instagram analytics overview

IG Live insights and analytics

Given the legwork required to pull off a successful Instagram Live, assessing performance is a must-do after the fact.

Beyond the metrics you’d expect for video content, the network shares:

  • Peak concurrent views
  • # of Live interactions (comments and shares)
  • # of accounts reached during the broadcast
ig live analytics and metrics

IG ad analytics

The stakes are high for performance data related to your Instagram advertising campaigns.

The platform provides multiple ways to check Instagram ad analytics including Ads Manager. From the “Breakdown” menu in Ads Manager, you can see:

  • Your campaign performance overview
  • Ad audience demographics
  • Delivery data
  • Amount spent on the campaign
  • Cost per result

Of course, there are also ways to see your ad analytics beyond Instagram itself. Here’s a peek of what paid performance looks like in Sprout Social:

Paid Performance Summary

How to view Instagram analytics in Sprout Social

Instagram’s native analytics features are nothing to scoff at.

As proven by the breakdowns above, the network’s data is surprisingly granular. It’s easy to access, too.

That said, the network doesn’t do too much hand-holding in terms of what to do with your data. There are likewise a few missing features and functions versus a platform like Sprout Social.

Sprout empowers brands to assess their Instagram analytics alongside their entire social presence. This includes networks like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and TikTok. The ability to monitor data and manage assets for all of these platforms in one place is a huge plus.

Not only does doing so save serious time but also highlights which posts and networks are performing best. Consolidated analytics and cross-posting can be a game-changer for busy brands. That’s because you don’t have to bounce between platforms.

Sprout Instagram Business Profile

Also, Sprout encourages brands to take action based on their analytics.

Take a look at our platform’s Competitor’s Report below. This report highlights your share of voice alongside hashtag performance. These insights offer specific, actionable ways to fine-tune your content strategy and positioning.

Instagram competitors report

Instagram analytics tools to use

There’s no shortage of Instagram analytics tools out there.

And while we do give props to IG’s native features, we obviously can’t recommend Sprout enough.

For good reason, though! The fact that Sprout gives you a holistic view of your social media data and marketing presence is a major bonus. Not to mention the ability to publish and cross-post content and messages, too.

Sprout’s suite of comprehensive Instagram Listening features go above what Instagram’s native tool provides. Our platform lets brands actively track competitors, key terms, sentiment and so much more.

Sprout Instagram Listening

The dashboards in Sprout are seamless and easy to navigate, too. You can answer your teammates’ most important questions at a glance. This includes:

  • Which posts have the most business impact?
  • What’s our share of voice (and which Instagram hashtags are we dominating)?
  • Which content formats are driving the most audience engagement?
Sprout Instagram business profiles

Is it time to level up from native Instagram analytics?

If you want to grow your presence faster, it’s time to get knee-deep in your Instagram data.

While you can learn a ton from native analytics, a tool like Sprout can uncover more insights you can translate into action. Our platform provides a collaborative, all-in-one solution for scaling your social media presence.

Want to see firsthand how the platform can boost your brand’s Instagram efforts? We invite you to test-drive Sprout Social today to see for yourself!

The post Instagram analytics: How to analyze and use your data appeared first on Sprout Social.

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