The Ultimate Instagram Analytics & Insights Guide

Image of a phone with Instagram analytics symbols.
Image of a phone with Instagram analytics symbols.

Every successful Instagram marketing strategy starts with a goal. To help you determine whether you reached that goal (or passed it with flying colors), you’ll need to check your metrics. That’s where Instagram analytics comes in handy.

Like other social media platforms, the photo-sharing site Instagram offers built-in social analytics to help you track your progress. Instagram metrics are specific to the platform and can tell you everything from follower growth to hashtag engagement to post performance and more.

In this ultimate guide, we’re sharing the basics of Instagram insights, what to look for, and how to use your metrics report data to your advantage. Let’s dive in!

Table of Contents:

What Are Instagram Analytics?

Bar graph.

Instagram analytics (sometimes called Instagram insights or Instagram metrics) represent data collected from your Instagram account activity and performance. These metrics help you better understand your audience, see how your content is performing, and improve your Instagram marketing.

In short, using Instagram analytics for business is a must!

You can access Instagram analytics via Instagram’s built-in features. You can also use a platform or tool like Meltwater's Social Media Analytics Features within our Social Listening Tool to support and add context to your findings.

What Are Instagram Metrics You Can See Via Instagram Analytics?

Instagram provides a range of marketing metrics and information to support your strategy. 

Instagram’s native analytics tool can be accessed within the Instagram app – no separate tool or download is required.

Some examples of Instagram data you can view here include:

  • Follower count
  • Impressions
  • Reach
  • Likes
  • Clicks
  • Comments
  • Instagram follower growth
  • Interaction rate
  • Average likes per post
  • Website referral traffic
  • Profile visits
  • New followers
  • Unfollow rate
  • Audience demographics

What Can You Learn from Instagram Analytics?

Instagram analytics.

Many of the key metrics mentioned above can be broken down by individual posts, such as the number of likes, comments, and shares on your top posts. Likewise, you can break down some of these important metrics even further by features, such as Instagram Stories or Instagram Reels.

Some of this data can be very basic, such as follower count, likes, shares, or comments. It gives you a snapshot of a moment in time but doesn't reveal much about your strategy as a whole.

And some of the data can provide deeper insights and add context to your basic metrics. For example, is your audience growing over time? Has engagement on your posts increased, decreased, or remained about the same over a six-month period?

Tracking the right KPIs gives you direct insight into your audience and content so you can improve your approach. Without this information, you're basing your content strategy on guesswork and hunches.

How to Access Instagram Analytics

Instagram analytics.

To benefit from all that Instagram analytics has to offer, you’ll first need to sign up for a business profile or creator account. If you only have a personal account, you can easily switch to an Instagram business account.

To see Instagram analytics, follow these steps:

  1. Go to your Instagram profile via the mobile app.
  2. Tap the hamburger menu in the upper-right corner.
  3. Tap Insights.
  4. Choose the Overview for a general breakdown or tap specific content for a more detailed Instagram report.

Currently, accessing Instagram insights on desktop is not an option. You can only view insights via the mobile app.

The Instagram analytics tool within the app is free to use. It offers basic helpful information at a glance and can help you build your IG marketing foundation. But for more serious social media strategies, you may want to look into a third-party Instagram analytics app that gives deeper contextual insights, such as IG sentiment, competitive benchmarking, and Instagram reports.

How to Use Instagram Analytics

The way you use Instagram Analytics will largely depend on your goals. Let’s look at how to get insights on Instagram.

Instagram Audience Insights

The Audience Insights section helps brands learn more about their followers.

Examples of this data include:

  • Age range
  • Gender
  • Top 5 countries and cities where your followers live
  • The hour/day they were on Instagram over the last 7 days

You can use this data in conjunction with other details, such as post engagement rates, to figure out who you’re talking to and what they like about you.

Instagram Post Insights

Post insights dial deeper into individual post performance. You can see how many likes, shares, and social comments a specific post received. If you’ve included hashtags in your posts, you’ll also receive Instagram hashtag analytics here. This is helpful to see how many people found your post through hashtags.

It's also a great way to spot your best-performing content. 

To access these insights, tap on the individual post, then scroll to the bottom. Tap View Insights to review your metrics.

These metrics are a great way to see if your posts are engaging your audience. Compare this data over time to see if your content is improving. A/B test your call to action and use your top-performing posts as examples of what your audience likes.

Instagram Story Analytics

Instagram story analytics.

If you’re using Instagram Stories, you can get specific insights just like you would a regular post. Open the Instagram app, tap the menu in the corner and tap Insights, then scroll down to Stories.

Here you can see metrics for all stories over the past 30 days, or you can choose to view metrics for individual stories. Metrics are divided into three categories:

  1. Discovery
    • Reach (the number of accounts that saw your story)
    • Impressions (the total number of times your story was viewed)
  2. Engagement
    • Profile Visits (total number of brand profile views by someone who viewed your story)
    • Replies
    • Follows (number of Instagram followers gained after viewing your story)
    • Shares
    • Website Visits/Click-Through Rates
    • Sticker Taps (number of taps on stickers in your story)
    • Calls/Texts/Emails
    • Product Page Views
    • Interactions (total number of all engagement actions taken with your story)
  3. Navigation
    • Forward Taps (tapping to the next story)
    • Backward Taps (going back to the previous story)
    • Next Story Swipes
    • Story Exits
    • Navigation (the total of all navigation actions taken with your story)

Notice how Instagram Story analytics don’t have the typical list of metrics as other Instagram features.

Instagram Reel Analytics

IGTV analytics.

You can access Reels analytics by navigating to the video you want to report on, then choosing View Insights (from your grid) or selecting the three dots, and choosing Insights.

Reels metrics include:

  • Reach & plays
  • Content interactions (likes, shares, comments)

Instagram Ads Analytics

Last but not least, if you’re running ads on Instagram, you’ll want some insight into how well they’re performing. It’s one thing to post a photo or video on Instagram for free, but quite another to pay for promotion. You want to know if your ad spend is getting results.

Instagram ad data is located in the Meta Ads Manager. This is a separate section compared to the rest of your analytics. Instagram ads use the same reporting tools as Facebook.

Instagram Ads Metrics include:

  • a general ad performance overview
  • demographics
  • amount spent
  • cost per result
  • other details

What Are The Best Instagram Analytics Tools?

Built-in Instagram analytics is a good place to start building a data-driven marketing campaign. Using additional tools, such as an Instagram tracker or Instagram reporting tools, can make your efforts even more impactful.

Here are our top picks for the Best Instagram Analytics apps:

Keyhole

Starbucks coffee tracker example.

Keyhole is a free IG account tracker that helps you optimize your content. It compiles findings like number of Instagram posts and engagements per week into easy-to-read graphs, so you can see results at a glance.

It’s also a favorite tool for hashtag analysis. It tracks hashtag and keyword usage alongside other basic Instagram metrics. This is a handy feature if you’re using Instagram influencers or paid promotions.

Using Keyhole data, marketers can find the best times to post, the optimal post length, and top hashtags based on engagement data.

Because it's a free tool, one potential downside of Keyhole is its limitations. Data only covers a time period of up to one year and up to 99 posts.

Phlanx

Instagram engagement calculator.

Phlanx is an easy-to-use tool that specializes in engagement calculations — for your brand or a competitor. Marketers can use this tool to create competitive benchmark data and set expectations for their own approach.

Phlanx also helpful when vetting influencers. Just plug in an Instagram handle to see how many followers the account has. You can also view engagement rates and the average number of likes and comments per post.

Meltwater

Meltwater empowers your Instagram marketing strategy with AI-powered insights that go deeper than surface-level analytics. The all-in-one platform benefits all areas of social listening, social media management, from competitive analysis to consumer sentiment to influencer selection and more.

Meltwater’s platform infuses data from millions of conversations and touchpoints from across the web. Because it's so data-rich, marketers can make more informed decisions with the content they create and the influencers they partner with. For instance, brands can avoid hiring fake influencers who have a high number of ghost followers but low engagement.

Learn more about your audience in real-time based on what else they’re talking about beyond your channels. Get recommendations on optimal posting times to maximize engagement. Uncover and track relevant topics to drive your content creation.

Request a demo and see how Meltwater can amplify your Instagram analytics for business!

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