Top 5 Instagram Metrics To Track When Starting Out

Picture of Phil Hughes
Phil Hughes

Instagram can be one of the best Social Media platforms to promote your business. Giving you a huge ROI. By using images and videos to promote your brand or products.

So, you have your eCommerce website set up.

It looks great and your product images and descriptions are awesome.

You’ve made it easy for new customers to buy one of your products. But, instead of the sounds of a cash register you are hearing crickets.

If your target market is on the platform.

Instagram is an amazing place to reach a very specific audience.

Lots of businesses use Instagram to promote health and fitness services. All the way down to cleaning products.

Instagram Metrics – Reaching Your Audience

You’ve got your Instagram business account up and running.

It is an amazing way to reach new customers. Making sense of the Insights section of your Instagram account may not be as easy.

Instagram cornered the market when it came to image-based social media.

It’s growth is nothing short of astronomical.

A lot of younger people have avoided some of the older platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Preferring to spend their time, attention and money on Instagram.

It’s focus on image and video sharing is great for niches such as fitness and exercise. Luckily Instragram’s owner Meta has kept the number of metrics small and specific too.

You’ve managed to build up a decent following on Instagram.

And are getting consistent traffic to your website from the platform

You need to keep the momentum going. And can’t afford to spend all day looking into how people have interacted with each post.

This is where Elementary Analytics comes in. You need to keep an eye on Instagram insights. Helping you see how your posts and campaigns are increasing your followers. In turn, this drives traffic to your website.

If you’re struggling to get your head around data and marketing metrics. I’ve put together a blog post that will help.

It gives you an overview of data-driven marketing. And how all these platforms tie together.

You can read it here: What Is Marketing Analytics And Data-Driven Marketing

Top 5 Instagram Insights To Track

You have decided on some hashtags and niches to target.

With a brief social media marketing plan. You begin creating content, sharing images and creating stories on a regular basis.

“How do I know if my marketing plan is working?”

A few years ago, I was the technical founder of an app-based startup. We turned to Instagram to see how we could use the platform to our advantage.

We hardly scratched the surface of what is possible with Instagram.

We were posting regular content to engage people and see what sorts of posts and hashtags worked best for us.

Here are the 5 metrics I looked at when reviewing Instagram insights.

As long as the numbers were going in an upward direction. For the first few months at least, I was happy.


Impressions relate to how many people see a post in their feed.

Or see your content when searching for posts using hashtags.

It doesn’t matter if they interacted with the posts or scrolled past them. As long as someone sees it, it counts as an impression.

The impressions insight is an interesting one for me.

You can see how your content and hashtag planning are performing by reviewing this stat.

If you keep producing excellent and engaging content. Spend a bit of time researching which hashtags to use in your post to reach the right people. Your impressions number should increase over time. It’s a quick way to see if your content/marketing plan or strategy is working.


Looking at your reach number should show you how many different people a post has reached.

A person could view a post that you have shared many times. Increasing your impression number.

But, the reach numbers won’t increase, because it’s the same person that your post has reached.

Again I find the reach insight is an interesting one.

Looking at both impressions and reach can give you an idea of how your posts are performing.

If you have a high number of impressions, but your reach number is pretty low. This could be down to a small number of people finding your content engaging. It either entertains them or educates them.

These people could be referring back to your posts, even saving them for future reference. Or what they are searching for, your hashtag planning is putting your posts in front of them again and again.

On the flip side. If your impression and reach figures are similar. It shows that people are viewing your content once, maybe twice.


Instagram followers to many are a ‘vanity’ metric.

I understand how people view this insight.

But I don’t agree with this. It all depends on how Instagram sits inside your marketing plan.

I know of some people. They have a large following on Instagram. They then use their account to try and sell ‘posts’ to other businesses. Using their profile to promote other people’s products.

For a fee of course.

This is why follower counts are referred to as a vanity metric.

But, if you are using an Instagram profile to promote you and your business. Follower count is a good insight to review.

If someone follows your account it means they want to hear from you again.

The amazing Seth Godin calls this Permission Marketing. And it’s great for building your business.

Alongside impressions. If the number of followers of your profile is going up. Then people find your content engaging and are willing to see posts from you in the future.

This doesn’t mean you need to sell to them all the time.

An 80/20 split of 80% content that entertains or informs and 20% of content promoting your business. Is a great way to plan what posts you should share in a given week.

Profile Views

Everything is a funnel in marketing.

Your content should funnel people to your profile. Then your website.

This metric shows if people have visited your profile page. To view your posts and stories. Or find out a bit more about you or your brand.

Again, it can depend on what you are trying to achieve with your content and profile.

If you are using 20% of your content to promote your products or business. This metric is a good one to look at as it shows your posts are performing as expected.

Reaching people who are interested in what you are promoting.

Website Clicks

You can add only one link in the whole of your Instagram profile and this is on your profile page.

If someone clicks this link. Instagram will track this event so you can review the metric.

Combining this with the profile views metric can help you see if your marketing plan is working. Engaging with the correct audience. Driving traffic to your website.

Viewing Your Top 5 Instagram Insight Metrics

It’s a pain viewing all these metrics from inside Instagram. Or using the Meta’s business suite.

Even more so, if, like me, you have a couple of Instagram profiles that you want to keep an eye on. To see what the growth is like in the early stages of promotion.

This was one of the reasons I started building Elementary Analytics. I wanted a cut-down and very specific view of my Instagram stats.

At the time I was reviewing Instagram account insights for a t-shirt business I’d launched.

“Elementary” Or Simplified View Of Your Instagram Account Insights

With our dashboard, you can see the top 5 metrics on a single screen.

You can add as many Instagram Business Accounts as you want. Making it easy to check performance.

We even go back and grab the last 12 months of insights. To give you a better idea of performance over a longer period of time the the Instagram app does.

Below is a screenshot of the last thirty days’ stats for my Instagram Business Account. The one I use to build a personal brand with.

Our overview screen for your Instagram metrics

The screen shows you the data for 4 metrics over the past thirty days.

These metrics are reach, followers, profile and website views.

There is also an indicator showing if a specific metric has increased or decreased compared to the previous thirty days.

A graph breaks down the 5 key metrics by day. There is also a more detailed view if you click the ‘View detailed breakdown’ link.

The breakdown screen inside Elementary Analytics for your Instagram metrics

The graph displayed is the same as the previous screen.

Our dashboard gives a breakdown for not only the last thirty days. But stats for the last seven days, fourteen days. this month and last month. And the last ninety days too. As well as any KPIs that have been set.

We even break the data down in a table format too.

So you can see how your Instagram profile is growing in the early days of your website.

Use our dashboard to see how well your Instagram Business Account is performing long term

The above screen shows the performance of your Instagram metrics over a 12-month period.

We also pull through all the posts that have been shared over the last thirty days.

Each post gets a ‘rating’, so you can see which ones of been doing well for you.

There you have it. Elementary Analytics’ guide to the Top 5 Instagram Insight metrics to track when you are starting out marketing your business using an Instagram business account.

I would love to hear your thoughts on which metrics to track and if you found this post useful.

Thanks for reading.

Regards, Phil.

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