If you have an Instagram business profile, you have access to "insights" — analytics about your account's performance. You can see both insights about your account as a whole, and insights about each individual post. Starting in December, Instagram began rolling out updated post insights that offer a ton of new information. Today, I want to talk about what those insights mean.
Where to find your post insights
To see the insights on any given post, navigate to that post and tap "View Insights" just underneath the image. This will bring up a quick view of your insights. Drag upwards from that quick view to see the expanded post insights.
If you don't have this feature yet, don't panic! There are a few possible reasons:
- You have a personal profile instead of a business profile. Here's how to make the switch.
- You haven't updated the app to the latest version.
- You need to wait. Instagram is known for doing selective rollouts — you may just not have it yet.
Hearts, Comments, and Saves
The first thing you see on both the quick view and the expanded view is a set of totals: How many hearts the picture has received, how many comments, and how many saves. One easy way to keep tabs on how well a post is performing is to figure out your average hearts, comments, and saves (I suggest taking an average of the stats on your most recent 20-30 posts) so it's easy to tell if a post is doing unusually well or poorly.
These three stats are measurements of your engagement, so the higher these numbers, the more people Instagram will deliver your post to.
The "actions" panel shows you how many people navigated from this post to other areas of your profile. The total number of actions is a quick way to see if your post is directing people to learn more about you. Then, the actions are broken down by type.
"Profile visits" are exactly what it says on the tin — how many people clicked from this post to your profile. This is a great indicator of whether or not your post makes people want to follow you, since people have to navigate to your profile to press the follow button. Or, if you mention previous work in this post, it may be a sign that people are going to check out your other posts.
"Website clicks" shows how many people went to your profile from this post and then subsequently clicked your profile link. If you have the words "link in bio" somewhere in your post, this number will show you if that call to action is working.
Finally, "get directions" is a button that appears on your profile if you have an address associated with the account. I have my P.O. box listed. I assume most of the clicks are accidental. You may also have listings for other calls to action on your profile, like email, call, etc.
In my opinion, this is the most useful and interesting part of the post insights! This section is key for growing your account and gaining new followers.
At the top, you get the percentage of views on this post that came from non-followers. You want this number to be as high as possible — reaching non-followers is basically the only way to gain new followers. My top performing post in the past year was seen by 99% non-followers — and it netted me just over 1,100 new followers.
That's what the next number indicates: "Follows" shows how many people went straight from this post to your profile and hit that follow button. This can really help clarify whether new followers are coming from a post, a feature, an offsite link, etc.
Of course, high discovery percentage doesn't always correlate to new followers. If you reach a ton of new accounts but very few of them follow you, it may be worthwhile to ask yourself why that may be, and how your could better convince them on your next post.
Next up is reach. Reach indicates how many unique accounts viewed your post. So if the same account views your post ten times, it only counts as one for the purpose of reach. In contrast, those ten views will count for ten in the next stat: Impressions. On the post shown here, you can see that I have almost 4,000 more impressions than reach, which means that thousands of those accounts came back and looked at my photo again.
Best of all, impressions are broken down by location. This shows you which people viewed your post in their main page feed (From Home), on the Explore page (From Explore), from your Instagram profile (From Profile), from browsing a specific hashtag (From Hashtags), from the location tag you used (From Location), and in other contexts, such as direct messages, saved posts, and tags (From Other). Which locations are listed here will change based on your post — so if you didn't get any views from the Explore page, you won't have "From Explore" listed here.
This impressions breakdown can be invaluable in learning how to get your posts in front of fresh eyes. For example, if you find that a post has impressions from hashtags, you may want to glance through the tags you used on that post and see if you can identify which ones were likely to drive traffic to you, so you can use them again.
Using Post Insights to Grow Your Instagram
If you're feeling overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information available on every post, don't worry! You don't need to monitor all these numbers all the time — in fact, that would probably be a huge waste of time. Instead, identify a few key metrics that you want to focus on depending on your goals. For example, if you're selling prints, you want to pay attention to website clicks. If you're gunning to gain new followers with a viral post, you'll want to target impressions from hashtags and the Explore page.
I also make it a point to check my post insights if I have a post that's performing unusually well. Identifying where those hearts and comments are coming from can help me pinpoint what I did right, so I can try to do it again.
working hard on your Instagram?
Me too! Make sure to comment and let me know what other Instagram-related topics you'd like to learn more about.