Person holding up cell phone with the instagram app open viewing photos. Instagram logo on side of image

May 18, 2022

Instagram is a powerful social media tool that can dramatically increase your brand’s reach. 

When used strategically, Instagram can help you raise brand awareness, engage directly with your audience and even convert followers into customers. It’s a great way to get your brand personality in front of a wide variety of users. 

To build a strong Instagram strategy, you’ll need to know exactly how your content is performing–and how your audience responds to it. 

Leveraging Instagram Insights can give you the information you need to plan your future content so it hits just the right notes with your audience. 

What Are Instagram Insights and Why Do They Matter? 

Instagram Insights are in-depth analytics that reveal how your Instagram account and content are performing. They’re free on Instagram and come with “professional” accounts.

When you see the numbers behind your Posts, Stories, Videos and Reels, you’ll get an idea of which content is working well for your audience. On the other hand, you’ll also be able to see content that isn’t resonating with them. 

Instagram Insights matter because they give you the information you need to make future changes to your content strategy. For example, if a specific type of Reel is working well on your account, you’ll know your Reels strategy is working. But if certain posts aren’t getting likes or comments, you’ll know to reduce or eliminate those.   

For any marketing strategy to succeed, it’s essential to look at the full scope of content performance. Keeping an eye on your analytics gives you a real-time look into how your profile is performing, down to each individual post. 

It might be daunting to take a deep dive into your Instagram Insights on a regular basis. But, it’s a necessary part of social media marketing. Once you know your way around the dashboard, you’ll be able to quickly check your metrics at any time. 

Who Has Access to Instagram Insights? 

Instagram Business and Creator accounts have access to Instagram Insights. Because business owners and influencers are using these accounts in their operations, access to analytics is essential. 

Personal account users who want access to business tools and insights will need to convert their accounts to one type or another. You can do this by navigating to your Instagram Settings and tapping Account, then Switch Account Type to make the switch. 

How to Access Your Instagram Insights 

There are a few different ways to access Instagram Insights. You can get to them through the app itself, or on your desktop through Meta Business Suite. 

Additionally, you can access your Instagram analytics through some third-party apps, which we’ll cover a little later. 

Accessing Instagram Insights via the Mobile App 

First, let’s take a look at how to get to Instagram Insights from your profile. 

1. Navigate to your Instagram profile. You have the option of tapping Professional Dashboard at the top of your profile or tapping the three lines in the screen’s upper right corner, followed by Insights. Both methods will take you to the same Overview screen.

Let’s start by tapping Professional Dashboard. 

2. At the top of your Professional Dashboard, you’ll see a graph with a section labelled Account Insights. The first thing you’ll notice is a graph showing your account’s reach. 

Tap See All to expand your Insights view. 

3. On your Insights Overview dashboard, you’ll see a quick summary of: 

  • Any accounts you may have reached over the past 30 days and whether that count is up or down from the month before 
  • Accounts that have engaged with yours during the same time period, as well as the percentage of increase or decrease in engagement 
  • Your total followers and whether that count has increased or decreased 
  • Content you’ve shared on your feed 
  • Stories, Videos, Live Videos and Reels you’ve shared 
  • Promotions you have paid for in the past month 

4. You can tap each section to see an expanded view of each insight. When you view detailed analytics for different metrics (i.e., reach versus engagement), you’ll see data on top Posts, Stories, Live Videos, Impressions and Profile Activity based on each metric. 

5. Your Reach, Engagement and Followers metrics will give you an idea of how well your content is resonating with your audience. Tap into each to analyse detailed information about the users who interact with your account, including demographics and behaviour.

Instagram Insights

6. As you scroll down your Insights Overview page, you’ll notice that you can tap into insights from your Posts, Stories, Videos, Live Videos, Reels and Promotions. Tap into each section to view detailed information about individual posts’ performance. 

Instagram Insights

Accessing Instagram Insights via Meta Business Suite

Now, let’s look at how to check your Instagram Insights via Meta Business Suite on desktop. You’ll want to navigate to https://business.facebook.com/ to get started.  

1. Once you’ve logged into Business Suite and selected which account you want to view, click Insights in the left-hand navigation menu. 

Instagram Insights

2. From there, you’ll see an Overview page featuring some basic information about your account. This includes Reach, Content performance and information about your Audience. Use the small menu to the left of the overview screen to navigate metrics.

3. In the small left-hand menu, click Results. You’ll be able to view graphs with data about your Reach, Profile Visits and Followers. Notice that you can export this data as a PNG, CSV, or PDF.  

4. Click Content for Instagram Insights into your content and how it’s performing. You’ll see a detailed spreadsheet featuring your posts, which you can filter in a number of ways to analyse how your account is doing. 

You can filter your recent content by time period (Recent Content), Reach, Likes and Reactions, Sticker Taps, Replies, Link Clicks, Comments, Shares and Results. 

5. Click Audience to get a feel for the people who are keeping up with your account. This page displays your follower demographics, including age, gender, top cities and top countries. 

Arguably, the Instagram mobile app provides more in-depth information, but using Meta Business Suite gives you a broad view of your profile’s performance at a glance. 

What You Can Learn From Your Instagram Insights 

Your Instagram Insights reveal a number of metrics from different post categories, including profile Posts, Stories, Videos, Live Videos, Reels and Promotions. Let’s take a look at what you can glean from each. 

Profile Activity 

Through Instagram Insights, you can see both overall and specific activity on your profile. 

The app provides a look at your reach, engagement and followers. It also tracks the increase and decrease of activity from one time period to the next. 

In addition to specific post insights, seeing the overall activity on your profile gives you an at-a-glance view of its performance. Getting a macro view, such as a graph, helps you quickly understand your account’s metrics over time. 

Now, let’s look at the specific Instagram Insights connected to your profile activity. 

Accounts Reached

Your Accounts Reached insights will show you a broad range of information about the audience your content has reached, including the top cities and countries where they reside, as well as age and gender demographics. You’ll also see how many followers versus non-followers have interacted with your profile. 

Engagement 

When you tap into Engagement insights, you’ll learn how many accounts have engaged with yours over the past month. You can also see the percentage of followers versus non-followers in your engaged audience. 

Content Interactions are available, broken down by Likes, Comments, Saves and Shares. You’ll see whether your analytics are trending up or down over the selected time period. 

Total Followers 

When you take a look at your Total Followers, you’ll see the total number of followers, plus a graph tracking your account growth over the past 30 days. Instagram also displays their Top Locations, Age Range, Gender and the times of day they’re most active. 

Post Performance 

Posts, including static posts, Videos and Reels, appear on your main Instagram profile. In the past, Posts consisted largely of images, such as photographs and memes. These days, it’s much more common to see videos in the mix. 

Some video-based Post insights are available in the Post section. However, each type of Instagram post has its own section with unique Metrics. 

In addition to tracking reach, engagement and followers, Instagram gives you a detailed look at how your posts are performing. You can filter a grid of your posts based on type (Photos, Videos, Carousel Posts), Metric, or chosen time period. 

The Metrics you can choose from include:

  • Business Address Taps
  • Call Button Taps
  • Comments
  • Email Button Taps
  • Follows
  • Impressions
  • Likes
  • Post Interactions
  • Profile Visits
  • Reach
  • Saves
  • Shares

Your Post-performance information will help you get a feel for what’s resonating with your audience and what isn’t. Then, you can create similar content going forward. 

Keep in mind that learning what works for your Instagram audience is an iterative process. It might take some trial and error to figure out, but once you do, you’ll be on your way to a thriving account. 

Stories 

Instagram Stories consist of posts, interactive content, videos and shares that disappear after 24 hours. Because Stories are temporary, they lend themselves to high engagement. After all, your followers don’t want to miss out on your posts.

Your Stories Insights are filtered by Metric or time period. Stories Metrics are slightly different than the Metrics you see on Posts and they include:

  • Back (viewers who clicked to your previous Stories)
  • Call Button Taps
  • Email Button Taps
  • Exited
  • Follows
  • Next Story
  • Business Address Taps
  • Impression
  • Link Click
  • Forward
  • Profile Visits
  • Reach
  • Replies
  • Shares
  • Text Button Taps
  • Website Taps
  • Story Interactions 

Instagram also recently implemented Story Likes, which give your followers a new way to interact with you through Stories.  

Videos, Live Videos and Reels 

In 2021, Instagram announced that it planned to focus more on video than static image posts. In addition to Videos and Live Videos, users can create TikTok-like Reels to add to their video content mix. 

You can see how your Videos and Live Videos are performing by expanding and viewing their insights. Like Stories, you can filter your view by Metrics or time period. Video Metrics include:

  • Average Percentage Watched
  • Website Taps
  • Call Button Taps
  • Comments
  • Email Button Taps
  • Follows
  • Business Address Taps
  • Impressions
  • Likes
  • Profile Visits
  • Reach 
  • Saves 
  • Text Button Taps
  • Video Views
  • Video Interactions

The Metrics list for Live Videos is a little different and much shorter since Live Videos are also lumped in with Video Metrics. When it comes to Live Videos, you can view their analytics based on Comments, Shares, Reach, Peak Concurrent Viewers and Live Video Interactions. 

Similarly, you can sort Reels to view their Instagram Insights. Metrics include Comments, Likes, Saves, Reach, Plays, Shares and Reels Interactions. 

How to Use What You Learn from Instagram Insights 

Now that you know how to access Instagram Insights and what you can learn from them, it’s time to put them to work. 

Here are a few strategies you can put into place right away: 

  • Keep an eye on content that has good reach, but low engagement. Even if your content is reaching a high number of accounts, low engagement can cause a downward spiral in reach. You’ll want to identify what types of posts are resulting in low reach and eliminate those–or adjust your strategy accordingly. 
  • If your impressions and reach are greater than your follower count, that means your content is gaining views from non-followers. This is a good sign. If a certain type of post is catching non-followers attention, consider creating similar posts in the future. 
  • Your engagement rate matters more than just your engagement. While it’s important for followers and non-followers to see what you post (engagement), it’s even more important for them to interact with it in likes, comments and shares (engagement rate). 
  • The type of engagement on your content matters–not so much for the algorithm, but to review. Likes are good for your content, but comments are better. It takes users more effort to comment and it shows more post relevance. The same goes for shares. 

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking to grow your following, increase your reach and boost your brand awareness on Instagram, Instagram Insights can help you get the information you need to adjust your strategy. 

Keep your finger on the pulse of your profile’s performance. If you’re willing to be agile and make changes to your strategy as you go, this could set you up for Instagram success. 

Want to learn more about Instagram marketing strategy? Check out Social Media College’s Instagram marketing short course here

About the author 

Ana Gotter

Ana is a strategic content marketer specialising in business, finance, and marketing writing, though she's worked across a range of industries. She works from her home in Orlando with her three dogs.

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