Any successful strategy requires four components: goal-setting, implementation, analysis and refinement. Instagram analytics address the analysis portion of this equation for social marketers.
Good Instagram analytics tools help you understand how your Instagram efforts are paying off. You can learn what’s working and what’s not. Then you move onto the refinement portion of the strategy, tweaking your efforts to boost your results and improve ROI.
Let’s look at some of the best Instagram analytics app options, and the most important Instagram metrics you need to track.
Bonus: Get a free social media analytics report template that shows you the most important metrics to track for each network.
Instagram analytics tools
1. Instagram Insights
If you’re using an Instagram Business or Creator account, you have access to this built-in Instagram analytics app.
(If you’re still using a personal account, check out our step-by-step instructions to switch over to an Instagram Business account now.)
This native analytics tool within the Instagram app provides insights into your account performance, including reach, engagement, followers, and Instagram ads. We’ll show you exactly how to see Instagram analytics using Insights later in this post.
Insights is a great Instagram analytics free tool, but it may not be the best Instagram analytics app for serious social marketers. For more robust, longer-term tracking, or to export your data for a social media report, you’ll need to look at other Instagram analytics tools.
Hootsuite Analytics allows you to track Instagram analytics in more detail than the native Instagram Insights.
Sure, we may be biased, but for the record, here are some things that the Hootsuite Analytics dashboard can do that Instagram can’t:
- Show you data from the distant past
- Compare metrics over specific time periods to get a historical perspective
- Show you the best time to post based on past engagement, reach, and click-through data
- Generate downloadable custom reports
- Look at specific post performance using your preferred metrics
- Monitor your account’s response time in customer service conversations
- Rank Instagram comments by sentiment (positive or negative)
Learn more about Hootsuite Analytics here:
Hootsuite Impact allows you to compare metrics for different social accounts side by side. It also provides detailed ROI analysis for both organic and paid Instagram activity, including IGTV.
Remember how we said right up at the top that refining your strategy is a key part of using analytics to improve? Hootsuite Impact can provide custom recommendations for refining your strategy based on your specific goals.
This is another native Instagram business analytics tool. However, instead of being built into the mobile Instagram app, Creator Studio works on your computer.
Creator Studio gives you access to most of the same metrics as Instagram Insights, but only for a seven-day window.
Source: Creator Studio
One neat analytics feature of Creator Studio is the Calendar view, where you can see at a glance exactly when you posted to Instagram.
If you’re a member of Brand Collabs Manager, you can also track your brand collaboration metrics here in Creator Studio. We’ve got a full blog post on how to use Creator Studio that walks you through all the ways you can use it with your Instagram Business or Creator account.
Start with Iconosquare’s Instagram audit for business accounts. This Instagram analytics free tool provides data on your reach, engagement, likes, saves and more. It also provides information on how your Instagram metrics stack up against the average rates on the platform.
Iconosquare also offers a free trial of their pro dashboard. You’ll get all the standard metrics: engagement rates, follower stats, Stories data, et cetera.
Keyhole specializes in Instagram hashtag analytics and keyword tracking, along with all the usual Instagram metrics.
It’s useful for tracking promotions, branded hashtags, and Instagram contests in real-time. It’s also a useful tool to track Instagram analytics when you work with influencers.
Phlanx offers a free, easy-to-use Instagram engagement calculator. The handy thing is you can use it to check your own account, or someone else’s. That means you can use it to pre-screen potential influencers and brand ambassadors.
All you have to do is type in any Instagram handle to see total followers, engagement rate, and average likes and comments per post.
8. Facebook Ads Manager
If you’re running paid campaigns on Instagram, Facebook Ads Manager is a key resource in your analytics toolbox. It provides performance and cost information for all the ads you place on the Facebook family of products, including Instagram.
You can get performance information for your Instagram promotions within Instagram Insights, but to perform a thorough cost analysis, you’ll want to incorporate Ads Manager as well.
How to see your Instagram analytics
Here’s where to find all your Instagram metrics within the Instagram app.
Remember, you need a Business or Creator profile to access analytics. Here’s a quick video overview:
Instagram account analytics
Let’s start with the overview metrics for your Instagram profile.
1. In the app, go to your profile.
2. Tap the hamburger icon in the top right corner.
3. Tap Insights
4. View your content overview, including accounts reached, content interactions, total followers and content shared.
In the top menu, you can choose whether to view these Instagram metrics for the last 7 or last 30 days.
Instagram followers analytics
From the overview screen, scroll down to Your Audience and click See All. You’ll see an overview of your follower growth, followed by details on your audience demographics.
You’ll find loads of useful information on this screen, including your audience’s:
- Top 5 locations (city or country)
- Age range (overall or broken down by gender)
- Most active times (by hour or day)
In addition to tracking your follower growth metrics, this is valuable data for planning when to post on Instagram as well as guiding your content strategy.
Instagram post analytics
From the overview analytics screen, scroll down to Content You Shared, then click the right arrow next to your number of posts.
This will bring up a listing of all your posts, sorted by the metric you choose. The default is reach, but you can choose from a long list of metrics, including comments, follows, shares, and more.
You can choose timeframes from 7 days up to 2 years, and filter by post type (photos, videos, carousel posts, or all posts).
You can also find the analytics for any individual Instagram post by clicking the View Insights link under the post in your feed.
This will bring up a little pop-up box showing the total likes, comments, saves, direct message shares, profile visits and reach.
Instagram Stories analytics
From the overview analytics screen, scroll down to Content You Shared, then click the right arrow next to your number of Stories.
Just like for your posts, you can see reach, impressions, and so on. You can also see exits, forwards, and other Stories-specific metrics. You can view a time range from 7 to 30 days.
For more details, we’ve got a whole blog post to help you make the most of your Instagram Stories analytics.
From the overview analytics screen, scroll down to IGTV Videos and click the right arrow next to your number of videos.
Again, you can see the standard metrics like reach, likes, and comments. You can also choose to view IGTV-specific metrics like average percentage watched, video views, and video interactions.
You can choose a time period from 7 days to 2 years.
As of May 2021, Reels analytics are included in the Reach breakdown in Instagram Insights. To access it, tap the right arrow next to Accounts Reached in the overview screen.
Here, you will see how Reels performed compared to other content types over the last 7 or 30 days. This section also includes a ranking of your top Reels.
To view insights specific to Reels only, scroll down to Reels in the Insights overview screen and tap the right arrow next to your number of Reels. Here, you can see all of your Reels performance metrics in one place.
To check in on the performance of a specific Reel, open the Reel from your profile, then tap the three dot icon in the bottom right of the screen, then tap Insights.
For more information, check out our guide to using Reels Insights to make better content.
The May 2021 Instagram update also brought Live analytics to Insights.
To access Live Insights, go to the overview analytics screen, scroll down to Live and click the right arrow next to your number of streams. Here, you will see metrics related to Live streams: accounts reached, peak concurrent viewers, comments and shares.
How to access Instagram analytics on desktop
Navigating through analytics on your phone is great for quick, on-the-go tracking of your Instagram metrics, but it’s not the greatest when you’re trying to analyze your data or create a social media report.
Fortunately, you can also access your analytics on your computer through Hootsuite Analytics and Hootsuite Impact.
1. Go to your Hootsuite dashboard, and click the Analytics icon in the sidebar.
2. Select your Instagram Overview (if you haven’t already, follow these steps to connect your account)
Select your date range, review your metrics, and schedule any reports you need.
Important Instagram metrics to track
Feeling a little overwhelmed? With so much information available, it can be tough to figure out which data really matters for your brand.
Here, we break down which Instagram metrics you should track to reach the goals that matter to you.
How to calculate engagement rate:
Average across all posts: [Post interactions ÷ total follower count (or impressions) ✕ 100]
This metric is a baseline for evaluating how well your content is resonating with your audience and inspiring action. Note that this percentage will often dip as you gain more followers.
Almost all analytics tools will calculate this number for your account, as well as for each post.
Because some experts think the number of impressions is a better comparison than follower count, you might get a different percentage from different calculators.
Pro tip: If you want to get granular, here’s a breakdown of all the different ways to calculate engagement rate.
Follower growth rate
How to calculate follower growth rate:
Number of followers gained ÷ previous number of followers ✕ 100
If you don’t track growth over time, your follower count is pretty much just a vanity metric. That’s a wasted opportunity, because no other Instagram metric has a bigger impact on organic reach.
(If one of your goals is increasing brand awareness, check out our tips for getting more Instagram followers.)
Website referral traffic
The number of people who visit your website from Instagram.
Monitoring the flow of traffic from Instagram to your website is key if you want to increase your Instagram ROI.
There are three main ways to measure website traffic from Instagram:
- Track the number of people clicking the link in your bio;
- Track the number of people swiping up in Instagram Stories;
- Use UTM parameters in your links. (UTM parameters can capture data from anyone who’s copy/pasted the link into their browser, messaged it to a friend, or been referred by an influencer.)
Pro tip: If tracing customer movement along the buying journey sounds great, but complicated, we recommend you take a look at Hootsuite Impact.
Individual post metrics
Post engagement rate
How to calculate post engagement rate:
Post interactions / total follower count (or impressions) ✕ 100
Engagements (likes, comments, and saves) show that you’re connecting with followers on Instagram. Some social media experts prioritize comments over likes because they take more effort and may indicate a higher level of interest.
Post comment rate
How to calculate post comment rate:
Post comments ÷ total follower count (or impressions) ✕ 100
A like is fairly easy to dish out, whereas you’ll want to pay attention to the people who take the step to leave a comment on your post.
If your goals involve building loyalty, or nurturing relationships, count comments separately from overall engagements, and work to lift that number specifically.
Pro Tip: Cross-reference comment counts against message sentiment in your social listening tool to check not just whether your content is resonating, but how.
The total number of times your post was served to Instagram users.
The number of impressions a post earns can indicate how well you’re promoting your account and content.
Are you choosing the right hashtags? Cross-promoting effectively? Have you considered promoting your posts with some ad spend?
Keep an eye on this number. Especially if your goal is building awareness at the top of the sales funnel.
The total number of unique accounts who saw your post.
Your organic reach is related to the number of followers you have, but that’s not the whole story. It’s also related to how interesting your content is.
The more engaging your content is, the more people will see it. That’s why it’s key to understand how the Instagram algorithm works.
Instagram Stories metrics
How to calculate Stories engagement:
Total actions ÷ Total reach X 100
To measure engagement on your Stories, add up the replies, profile visits and sticker taps earned. These positive interactions can tell you what you’re doing right.
For a full rundown of Instagram Stories analytics, check out our guide.
How to calculate Stories completion rate:
Number of people who viewed the final Story segment ÷ Number of people who viewed the first Story segment X 100.
People watching your Story all the way through indicates your content is connecting with your fans.
It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on all the navigational metrics for potentially negative feedback:
- Back (a.k.a., viewers want to watch the Story again—is it too fast?)
- Forward (a.k.a., skip it—is it boring?)
- Next Story (a.k.a., skip you—are you boring?)
- Exit (a.k.a., they went back to TikTok, ouch.)
This is great feedback for those who don’t mind a little tough love. Use this information to up your game on Instagram Stories.
Average percentage watched
How much of your IGTV video the average viewer sees before clicking away.
The IGTV “video views” metric counts anyone who watched for more than 3 seconds. That’s a good indication of initial interest, but it’s not all that helpful for tracking how effectively your video content connected with fans.
Instead, track average percentage watched to get a sense of how compelling your IGTV content really is.
Reel engagement rate
How to calculate Reel engagement rate:
Reel interactions ÷ total follower count (or views) ✕ 100
Add up the total Reel likes, comments, shares and saves, then compare that to either your follower count or the number of viewers for the Reel.
Using your follower count in this figure will give you a sense of how compelling your Reels are for your overall audience, while using the number of viewers will give you a better idea of how Reels perform against one another.
Live engagement rate
How to calculate Live engagement rate:
Live interactions ÷ total follower count (or accounts reached) ✕ 100
Add up the total Live comments and shares, then compare that to either your follower count or the number of accounts that Live stream reached.
Instagram Ads metrics
How to calculate ad click-through rate:
Clicks ÷ Impressions X 100
Click-through rate is an important metric to track, but remember that a higher rate is not always what you’re looking for. If you’re paying for each click, you want to make sure your ad copy properly qualifies potential buyers so only those who are actually interested in your brand click through.
For many brands in ecommerce and B2B, this number is the ultimate goal. You want to sell your product, sign up a new lead, or get an email address.
You can track these tangible results using Hootsuite Impact.
Cost per result
How to calculate cost per result:
Total amount spent ÷ number of results (for a specified time period)
How much did each of those conversions cost you? Keep an eye on this number to make sure you don’t pay more for a conversion than it’s worth. You can find this data in Facebook Ads Manager.
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