The Cheat Sheet – Analytics and Insights for Instagram and Instagram Stories

By now, if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you should have enough Instagram and Instagram Stories skills to impress even your grumpiest friends. But what use is all of that content wizardry if you’re constantly guessing about how it performs or what works for your audience? Luckily, Instagram Insights are as happy to hand over the important data to users as it is to create fancy new ways to make good content.

So, if you have a business account, you have instant access to pretty much everything important you need to know about how your content performs.

Even more, luckily, this week’s Cheat Sheet is here with 6 of our best tips for using analytics to make your content work much harder. (And yes we know that 6 is a weird number.)


1. Know your metrics

You’re busy, we’re busy. So there isn’t time to talk about every single metric that could hold some precious nuggets of data for you.

Let’s just say that, whether you’re into impressions, rather excited by reach or get a little bit clammy over click-through rate, Instagram Insights can show you everything you need to know.

But there are loads more important metrics than you probably realize (and this blog by Buffer is an excellent place to get your head around all the different measures that could mean something to your strategy).


2. Get precise

Once you’ve decided what you’re interested in finding out, you can dig remarkably deeply into the Instagram Insights data available.

Simply tap on ‘See more’ on the Insights page and you can filter your posts by all photos/videos, reach and engagement or time periods going all the way up to the last 2 years.


3. Get your calculator out

Ok, as much as we love Instagram Insights, there is a little bit of math you have to do yourself to get the full picture.

For example, we all know that calculating that all-important engagement rate is simply a matter of dividing the total number of engagements by your followers count.

But then there are other key measures where you have to go all Good Will Hunting too, like working out follower growth (which is… your present number of followers minus your previous number of followers divided by (stay with us) your previous number of followers and then (almost there) multiply by 100 to get your growth rate as a percentage).


4. Suck up your Story stats

We’re seeing more and more brands relying on Instagram Stories data to refine their strategy (which means that content creators have to get very familiar with their Stories stats if they’re working on a campaign).

And now Instagram has handed over the keys to some juicy insights for Stories too. Simply tap ‘See more’ on the Insights page and you’ll be given the option to view and filter the impressions for all the Stories you’ve posted in the last 2 weeks.

You might not be as familiar with Instagram Stories metrics as the standard Instagram ones. So, in a nutshell, you want to be thinking about:

Taps forward – are people tapping to skip ahead to the next Story?

Taps backwards – are they tapping to re-watch the previous Story?

Completion rate – how many people are watching the Story all the way through?

Exits – how many people are dropping out of your Story altogether?

Replies – how many people are replying to a specific segment of your Story?


5. Crunch your numbers

You’ll have to be very smart about how you interpret and use this data from Instagram Stories and Instagram Insights.

With something like taps backwards, for example, the data could be telling you that a lot of people are tapping back because they found that piece of content really compelling… or just that they found it really confusing.

Likewise, you could be seeing really high completion rates on a Story …. but the same Story is also receiving a really high tap forward rate, which means people are only getting to the end by skipping through your content.


6. Don’t just gather data… use Instagram Insights

Now, this knowledge is a massive waste of time if all you do with these numbers is pile them into an increasingly expanding spreadsheet.

The whole point of this data, from an influencer marketing point of view, is that it gives you access to how your audience is responding to your content.

It’s a free window into what they like, what excites them and, just as importantly, what they don’t even notice in the midst of a bustling Instagram browse.

Gathering data is one thing. Recording it is another. But where the real difference can happen is when you use that recorded data to test, refine, improve and constantly learn new ways to get your audience to pay real attention to what you do.