The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Analytics 2019

February 5, 2019

Imagine you had a fool-proof path to massive success on Instagram.

A path that offers a data-proven method to increasing your engagement, growth, and conversion rates on a steady basis…

That path does exist, and many brands are using it to dominate Instagram’s algorithm right this minute.

Instagram Insights delivers all the information you need for big wins on its platform — but you must know how to use the information to your advantage.

We want your social media efforts to be profitable.

So, we’d like to show you how to use your brand’s insights to build your own data-driven process that helps you:

  • Grow your audience as fast as possible
  • Skyrocket your engagement rates
  • Turn your popularity into profits $$$

Let’s Get Started!

1. How to Understand Instagram Insights

In this section, we’ll help you understand the insights and terms available in your activity, content, and audience tabs.

Instagram Insights is an easy-to-use program available to business accounts only. You can access your account’s insights through any mobile device, but they’re not available from a desktop computer.

Insights lets you view layers of data related to your Instagram account, content, and audience. The information is presented in a user interface so intuitive that it almost seems simplistic.

The program, however, is actually quite sophisticated.

Insights offers hundreds of data points that can help you improve your engagement rates, audience growth, and conversions.

While simple on the outside, there are quite a few things you need to know about Insights to build a structured path to success on Instagram.

Account Performance: View Your Instagram Account Insights Using the Activity Tab

The Instagram Insights Activity tab shows you what actions people take when they engage with your account.

The Activity tab has 2 sections: Interactions and discovery.

1. Interactions

The Interactions section shows how many profile visits your account has had in the last week, and on what day of the week users visited your profile most.

Instagram Interactions

This section also tells you how many people have tapped the interactive elements of your profile: website link, email button, phone number/call button, and address/directions button.

2. Discovery

The Discovery section shows you how many unique accounts you have reached and how many impressions your content has received during the last 7 days.

Instagram Discovery

The graph at the top of this discovery section lets you see what days of the week your reach has been the largest. Some users may have other information available, such as where the impressions originated.

Content Performance: View Your Instagram Content Insights using the Content Tab

The Instagram Insights Content tab displays information related to all the content you publish on Instagram.

The top of this section shows how many posts you’ve published in the past week versus how many you published in the previous week.

Instagram Analytics Content Tab

The Content tab has 3 main sections: (A) Feed posts, (B) Stories, and (C) Promotions.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to understand the insights of your feed posts and Stories.

A. Feed Posts

This section contains data related to all of the posts your business has published on Instagram in the past 2 years.

When you open this section, you’ll see your posts listed in order of popularity. From there, you can tap on “select all” to see the full data of all your content’s performance.

Instagram Feed Feed Posts

Feed post insights lets you apply up to 3 filters at one time.

This means you can sort data using endless filter combinations of content type + engagement action +  time frame. Let’s take a look at the different data points and what they mean.

Filter 01: Content Type

Get specific with the content filter to find out exactly what type of posts your audience engages with or ignores.

The content-type filter offers the following choices:

  • View All: Combines data from all of  your posts – photos, videos, carousel posts, and shopping posts
  • Photos: View only data from photo posts
  • Videos: View only data from video posts
  • Carousel posts: View only data from carousel posts
  • Shopping posts: View only data from posts that contain items from your Instagram storefront

Filter 02: Interaction type

Discover how your audience is engaging with your content by using the Interaction filter.

Interaction filter

This filter allows you to sort data according to the way users engage with the content type you chose in filter #1.

  • Calls: The number of times users have tapped the “Call” button on your profile
  • Comments: The number of times your posts were commented on
  • Emails: The number of times users have tapped the “Email” button on your profile
  • Engagements: The number of times your posts were liked, saved, or commented on.
  • Follows: The number of accounts that started following you as a result of your posts.
  • Get directions: The number of times people have tapped the “address” button on your profile.
  • Impressions: The total number of times your posts show up in the newsfeedThis number may be bigger than the number of people who see your post (reach).For example, if friends share the same post, it may reappear in your newsfeed a 2nd or 3rd time (or even more). Impressions count the total number of times a piece of content has shown up in newsfeeds.
  • Likes: The number of times your content was liked
  • Profile Visits: The number of times your profile was viewed
  • Reach: The unique # of users that have seen any of your posts
  • Saved:  The number of users that saved your posts
  • Texts: The number of times users have messaged you
  • Website Clicks: The number of times your website link was visited

Filter 03: Choose time period

Get specific with the content filter to find out when your audience is most likely to engage with your brand.

Instagram Feed Feed Posts

You can view by:

  • 7 days
  • 30 days
  • 3 months
  • 6 months
  • 1 year
  • 2 years

B. Stories

The Stories section shows you how many people interacted with your Instagram Stories.


Stories insights lets you apply 2 filters at one time. You can sort data using interaction type +   time frame.  Many of the Stories insights data points are the same as what we covered in the content section (above).

However, Stories have a few additional data points that you should become familiar with:

  • Exited: Number of users that tapped away to leave your story
  • Forward: Number of users that tapped forward to see the next photo or video in your story
  • Link opens: Number of times a link in your Story was opened
  • Next story:  Number of users that tapped away from your Story and moved on to someone else’s Story
  • Reach: Number of accounts that saw a photo or video from your Story
  • Replies: Number of replies to a photo or video in your story

C. Time Period

You can view insights on your Instagram Stories for up to 14 days after they’ve been published.


Here are your time frame choices for Stories insights:

  • 24 hours
  • 7 days
  • 14 days

Audience Insights: Learn More About Your Audience by Using the Audience Tab

The Instagram Insights Audience tab lets you get to know more about who your followers are and when they’re online.


Your audience insights share the following types of data:

  • Gender: Displays the percentage of men versus women
  • Age Range: Displays the age range of your followers
  • Top Locations: Displays the top cities and countries of your followers
  • Followers: What days of the week and hours of the day your audience is online

2. How to Build a Path to Success Using Instagram Insights

Insights are a lot of fun to browse! But, the data by itself won’t help you increase your reach, engagement, or sales.

In order to build a solid path to success, you need to learn how to use the data to your advantage.

In this section, we’ll show you what questions you need answered in order to create a data-proven formula for your success.

What Type of Content Should You Post?

The insights in your content tab will help you decide what type of content to post more of in the future.

Take a close look at all the variations your insights offer into content performance.

    • Are they all videos?
    • Do they have catchy comments or meaningful commentary?
    • Are they all sharing a winning hashtag?
    • Do the visuals share a similar color palette?

Work toward finding the common factor in your successful posts. Then, deliver more of it!

  • What do your poorest-performing pieces of content have in common?
    • Is there a video with a person talking without anything “happening” for long periods of time?
    • Is it an image that came from a stock photo library?

By analyzing your top-performing and lowest-performing content, you can begin to deliver more of what your audience loves to engage with. And, less of what it doesn’t care for.

Continue to test and analyze your content’s performance to improve your audience engagement rates.

When is the best time for your brand to post to Instagram?

What you really want to know is: When is your audience most likely to engage with brands?

By pairing your audience insights with interaction insights, you can begin to get a picture of when your target audience is most likely to engage with your content.

This may take a bit of testing, but once you find your “best times to post,” try to stick to a steady, consistent schedule.

Are You Reaching Your Target Audience?

In order to convert your success on Instagram into product sales, you want to be sure that you’re reaching your target audience.

For example, if your target audience is men between the ages of 30 – 40, then check your audience insights to see how much of your interaction is coming from men in that age group.

Posting a vegan bread recipe that earns 5000 likes might seem like a successful post, but if you’re trying to sell men’s sports gear and getting high engagement from women, then you’re not reaching your target audience.

If you interactions are coming from people who aren’t going to buy your product, then your high engagement rates are nothing but a “vanity” metric.

It’s important to always keep your target audience in mind and check your audience insights to be sure you’re reaching the right people.

3. How to Measure and Improve Your Success Using Instagram Insights

A. How to calculate and increase your engagement rates

There are many different opinions on what formulas should be used to calculate your Instagram engagement rates. However, the most important thing to learn is whether your rates are improving, and if so, how quickly?

Some say that engagement rates are calculated with a simple formula of “Likes + Comments divided by # followers = Engagement rate.”

Others argue that this formula is too simple, and offer complicated mathematical formulas.

If you’re just getting started, don’t get sidetracked by the debate over which calculation is best. Keep it simple!

Here’s a look at average engagement rates for Instagram, so you can gauge where you’re at;

For example,

Generally speaking, the more Instagram followers you have, the lower your engagement rates will be. This is normal!

The important thing is to monitor your engagement rates on a monthly basis and be sure they’re growing instead of declining. If you do see a decline, take a close look at your Instagram insights to try and find out why your content is performing poorly.

B. How to Calculate and Increase Your Audience Growth Rates

To understand how well your audience is growing, you’ll want to keep an eye on how many new followers you receive each month.

Keep a record of your monthly new follower count in a separate spreadsheet.  Down the road you’ll need those numbers, because you’ll probably want to do a more complex calculation to find your precise growth percentage over time.

In the beginning, though, keep building on what you have and check your insights to be sure you’re not losing followers.

If you’re gaining followers, take a deep look into your content insights to see if you can find what type of content is sparking your growth. Give them more of it!

If you’re losing followers, use your insights to determine which posts are losing followers and why.

Adjust your strategy to offer more of what your audience responds to and less of what they don’t.

C. How to Calculate and Increase Your Conversion Rates for Better Profits $$$

Calculating your conversion rates is a joint effort between Instagram Insights and Google Analytics.

To seriously increase your profits, you need to find out what’s happening after an Instagram users clicks on your website link. Are they spending time on your site or bouncing away quickly?

Combine your Instagram Insights and Google Analytics programs to find specific ways you can adjust your call to action, landing page copy, and offers for dramatically-improved conversion rates.

Test. Analyze. Adjust.

Instagram insights is a wonderful program that can help you put your business on a solid path to success.
If you’re not using Instagram insights, your marketing becomes like a high stakes game of roulette. You’ll always be crossing your fingers waiting for the next roll.

Data lays out a structure that improves over time -- almost without fail.
Test and analyze the data from Instagram insights, then adjust your social media strategy accordingly.

Know your primary goals and strive to improve interactions with people in your target audience.

Up Your Social Media Game, try Sharelov for free!

Take it to-go! Download the Instagram Cheat Sheet below!

Instagram Insights Cheat Sheet