4 essential Instagram metrics to measure performance
As with any marketing strategy, keeping tabs on the performance of your various initiatives is essential, including on Instagram.
But when it comes to digging into your Instagram metrics, it may not always be clear where to start or even which are the most important.
To make this determination, consider the following question as a key jumping-off point for getting started.
Why do you need to track your Instagram metrics?
If you manage your Instagram account without ever looking at your analytics, you’ll be left in the dark when it comes to understanding the results of your efforts.
These efforts likely coincide with a company or department goals (or even just your own Instagram KPIs), which will naturally help inform which Instagram metrics you should be reporting on.
Therefore, when answering the “why” part of the equation, you’ll also reveal your key IG metrics to report on.
Measure your efforts with these 4 metrics for Instagram
The Instagram metric most commonly used usually centres around various forms of engagement, though we’ll cover a variety here.
If you’re still feeling a little lost, don’t worry, we’ve outlined several Instagram metrics below to help you get a feel for what to look for and where to find it.
1. Engagements per follower
What this metric tells you: Engagement with your content relative to your follower count
While it may be tempting to compare your Instagram performance to that of the big guns (think Oreo, Starbucks, Nike, etc), you don’t want to do that unless your audience size is roughly the same.
Because brands with millions of followers should be racking up thousands of likes. However, if you have a couple of thousand followers you’re naturally not as likely to accrue similar results in sum, but that doesn’t mean you’re not still performing exactly as you should be.
And that’s where engagement rate comes in and can help make sure you’re evaluating your account fairly.
How to measure Instagram engagement rate with Sprout In order to find this Instagram metric, you’ll want to first gather the total amount of engagement you received for a given time frame.
Within Sprout, navigate to the Reports tab and under Instagram Reports, select Instagram Business Profiles.
As you scroll through the Overview tab, you may notice a section with engagement rate already calculated, but note that this uses impressions (still a valuable insight) but we’re looking to determine the rate per follower so simply plug that total in instead.
The formula for measuring engagement rate on Instagram will look something like this: Total Engagements / Follower Count * 100 = Engagement Rate
Reporting on this metric over time will give you a sense of overall performance trends, though you can certainly calculate it for specific posts as well to get an idea of the types of content that resonates with your audience.
2. Follower growth
What this metric tells you: You’re doing something right!
When evaluating a growing (or shrinking) Instagram follower count, context is important, especially if you’re experiencing random spikes or drop-offs due to something like a one-time promotion or paid social ads.
Make sure to measure your follower count over time and keep the above context examples in mind so you know exactly what has contributed to the growing numbers. Ideally, you’re seeing sustained, gradual growth over time, which indicates that people are liking what they see from your content and they want to make sure they see more of it.
Additionally, understanding what is or isn’t working is also essential within the context of your overall Instagram marketing strategy and KPIs for Instagram because you’ll want to make sure you know the types of content that should be continued and which may need tweaking.
Though total followers may be seen as a vanity metric to some, it ultimately represents the potential reach of your content, which impacts the performance of other IG metrics like engagement so continuing to focus efforts around organically growing your audience is still as important as ever.
3. Comments received
What this metric tells you: How engaging your content is
While they may both fall under engagement, there’s actually a major difference between likes and comments when it comes to evaluating Instagram performance metrics.
Likes are fairly easy to dish out and oftentimes you can’t be 100% certain a post was truly seen by your followers, but with comments, it’s crystal clear. Whether positive or negative, comments left on your posts are an indication that your content had some kind of impact, or at least enough for the individual to take the extra step to leave feedback.
This type of engagement, especially when positive, is a strong factor in community building and establishing a loyal fanbase. Anyone can double-tap with ease but those who go out of their way to comment are the ones to keep an eye on.
What this metric tells you: How many people are seeing your content
If you think reach sounds a lot like impressions, you’re not alone.
These two metrics are similar but confusing enough that we’ve dug deeper into these topics in great detail via Reach vs Impressions and Instagram Impressions (if you’re inclined to learn more).
To keep it brief here, all you need to know is that your Instagram reach indicates actual views of your content while impressions simply means it was displayed but may not have generated a click or any other form of engagement.
Start tracking your Instagram metrics today
With all the essential IG metrics in hand, you’re ready to start reporting on progress.