Instagram Impressions, Reach, and Other Metrics You Might Be Confused About

25 Jul

With so many social networks on the scene and even more metrics to keep track of, it can be difficult to make sense of your data. One thing we know for sure: you should be investing in Instagram and Instagram Stories strategies.

Not convinced?

Instagram provides the perfect platform for you to share a variety of photo or video content and interact with your audience in new ways.

Among some of the highlights covered in our round up of key IG stats for marketers are:

  • 1 billion monthly active users
  • Nearly two out of every three adults aged 18-29 uses Instagram
  • 80% of accounts follow a business
  • 2 million monthly advertisers
  • Best times to post are weekdays between 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Now that you’re familiar with some of the reasons Instagram is integral to your social media marketing strategy, read on as we break down the primary Instagram metrics and definitions you need to know so you can go forth and analyze with confidence.

Instagram Terminology

Reach: The number of unique users that saw your Instagram post or story on any given day

Unless you’re putting some serious spend behind your Instagram posts, you probably won’t have every single one of your followers see your content. And even with some serious spend, it’s unlikely that you’ll reach all of your followers. That’s why reach is important. Reach tells you how many unique users are served your content every day. Try to maximize this metric to increase brand awareness.

Compare your Instagram reach and impressions in Sprout.

Compare your Instagram reach and impressions in Sprout.

Impressions: The number of times your content, whether a post or a story, was shown to users

While commonly confused with reach, impressions are the total number of times your content could have been seen. If your impressions are higher than your reach, it’s a sign that your audience is viewing your content multiple times. Look for posts with a high impressions-to-reach ratio for an indicator of what’s performing well.

Engagement Rate: This is your post engagement divided by post impressions.

You can find a full breakdown of Instagram engagement metrics in Sprout

You can find a full breakdown of Instagram engagement metrics in Sprout

Engagement rate is a must-track metric for social marketers. Engagement rate is an indicator of how engaged the users who saw your posts were. Break down your engagement rate by media type to understand if your audience is more likely to engage with photo posts, video posts, or carousel posts.

Over time, engagement rate can tell you how one campaign or messaging strategy performs vs. another campaign or messaging strategy. It’s a great metric to track as you test new approaches.

Saved Posts: The number of users who saved your posts

As the name implies, saved posts gives users the option to save a post to reference at a later time in the Saved section of their profile. Saves are great for extending the life of your Instagram posts, as users revisit saved content months after it was originally posted.

Instagram saved posts

Instagram saved posts

Instagram Stories

Instagram Stories have been a great addition to the social marketers’ arsenal of content weapons, most notably for the different ways it allows you to engage. Along with that comes Story-specific terminology pertaining to key metrics you’ll want to make sure you’re keeping tabs on.

View your Instagram Stories performance report in Sprout

View your Instagram Stories performance report in Sprout

Taps Backward: The number of times your audience tapped back to go to a previous story

This may mean that your content was engaging enough that the user wanted to see it again. However, it could also be a sign that any copy you’ve included in your story is too long to read in the time given. Look through stories with a large number of taps back to ensure there’s not too much copy.

Taps Forward: The number of times your audience tapped forward to go to the next story

This can be an indicator of your story not resonating with your audience or being too lengthy, if it’s a video. Review the stories with the most number of taps forward to identify common themes, like length, copy, or content.

Replies: The number of times a user swipes up on a story and replies to you

Replies can be a goldmine! Users who reply to stories may be passionate about your brand and have great feedback to share. Replies will begin a DM conversation between you and the user, so it’s a great time to engage with your audience.

Exits: The number of times a user swipes down to exit out of story mode and go back to the previous screen

An exit means a user has decided not to make it all the way through your Stories. You’ll want to keep this number low.

Putting it all together

That about wraps up the core terminology you’ll want to know as you evaluate your Instagram performance and strategy, but there’s still plenty more fun ahead!

Dive deeper into Instagram analytics and keep all your metrics in check with the help of Sprout. If you haven’t yet given us a try – you can request a personalized demo or get started with a 30-day free trial today.

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