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Metrics you should track on Instagram to make better content

Whether or not analysing data is one of your favourite tasks (if it is, welcome to the nerdy side of marketing 🤓), it is an inevitable part of running a successful social media page. In this blog post, you'll learn why it's important to look at your data and which metrics you should track to improve your Instagram content.

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Why are insights important to look at?

Analysing our Instagram insights helps us to do 2 things:

1. It helps us to identify potential problems in our marketing strategy:

If you don't look at your insights, you might not even notice that your content doesn't generate much website traffic or that you aren't getting enough new followers. You would also most likely miss that your content is not seen by the RIGHT audience if you don't take a look at your audience insights.

Data is THE major advantage that digital marketing has over traditional types of marketing because you get accurate feedback from your content. Sure, you can pay for a TV ad spot but, in the end, you will never know WHO actually saw it.

2. It helps us make more informed decisions instead of listening to our gut feeling:

You might think that your educational posts do the best when it comes to engagement but the data could actually suggest that photos with a personal component do better. If you don't analyse your data, then you won’t know.

👉🏼 This is also one of the reasons why I ask for access to your insights when I do a social media audit. Of course, I can look at the outside of your Instagram strategy (your content & the "public" data on your profile) but only the backend data really tell us the full story.

What happens when you don’t use your data to make decisions about your content?

  • You post content that YOU think will do well but that might actually not be optimal.

  • You make decisions based on assumptions. For example: "If it works for my competitor, it will work for me too.”

  • You risk not discovering strategic issues like reaching the wrong audience.

  • And, in the end, all of this means that you invest time (and money) in your social media presence without ever getting the results.

Key Instagram metrics to track

Here are metrics you should track depending on the social media goals you have set:

Increasing brand awareness

  • Reach and impressions:

Reach tells us how many individual accounts we have reached with a particular piece of content or over a longer period of time. Impressions, on the other hand, tell us how often this particular piece of content has been seen, which means that, inherently, impressions will always be higher than your reach.

And, in fact, the difference between your reach and your impressions could be a good indication for you of whether your content is worth consuming multiple times.


In 1 month, you reached 45,000 accounts and at the same time, you had 61,000 impressions. That means that 45,000 individual accounts have seen your content but that they have consumed it 61,000 times. This tells us that your content is worth re-viewing multiple times.

  • Profile visits and follower growth:

I think both of these metrics are quite self-explanatory but what I would like to point out is actually again the difference between the two. If you get lots of profile visits but not a lot of people actually convert into followers, that could be a sign that your feed doesn't look great or that the person that comes to your profile doesn't see why they should be following you.

Driving traffic:

Depending on your business driving traffic can mean different things but usually, we talk about website traffic, e-mail traffic, or phone calls. Conveniently, these three can all be seen in your Instagram insights.

Building a relationship:

This goal is particularly important if you sell higher-ticket services.

There is no metric as such that is called "relationship strength" or "consideration phase of a potential customer" but there are two things that you can look at to see whether your content is helpful in starting to build this relationship.

  • Story replies/DMs:

When someone replies to one of your stories, they then land directly in your inbox which is the best place to start a conversation, build a relationship, and actually convert people into paying customers. You can look at the number of story replies that you have received in a particular period of time but you can also look at how meaningful they are and how often they ended in a sale.

  • Comments on your posts:

I'm not so much talking about the actual number of comments you're getting but more how meaningful they are and how involved your followers are with your content.

Last but not least, some best practices for tracking/analysing:

  • Set SMART goals: Instead of saying "I want to increase my following", say "In the next 30 days, I want to see a 5% increase in high-quality followers".

  • Track regularly: ideally, always for the same time frame.

  • Find a tool that works for you: this will make it easier to keep up the habit of tracking and to actually read something out of the data that you are collecting. I use Airtable (*affiliate link) but a simple Excel sheet will be fine to get started.

Happy tracking & analysing!

If you are already tracking your insights but you aren’t able to read anything useful out of the data, then let me take a look at your overall strategy and results in a Strategy Deep Dive. You will walk away with an actionable list of things to optimize and a clear idea of what hasn’t worked in the past.

Talk soon,



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