Top 5 Instagram Metrics To Track When Starting Out

Phil Hughes
Phil Hughes

Instagram is one of the newest Social Media platforms and a great way to promote your business. Use images and videos to promote your brand or product.

So, you have your eCommerce platform up and running. It looks great and your product images are awesome. It’s very easy for potential customers to buy one of your products. However, instead of the sounds of a cash register you are hearing crickets.

Depending on what category of products you are selling. Instagram is an amazing place to reach a very specific audience. A variety of companies use Instagram to promote health and fitness services all the way down to cleaning product.

Instagram Post Insights – Reaching Your Audience

You have created an Instagram business account and linked it to your Facebook page. It is an amazing way to reach potential customers. Making sense of the Insights section of your Instagram account may not be as rewarding.

Instagram is still one of the new kids on the block in terms of social media platforms. It’s growth is nothing short of astronomical. Many of the younger generations have dismissed some of the older platforms such as Facebook and Twitter in favour of Instagram. It’s focus on image and video sharing is great for niches such as fitness and exercise. Luckily Instragram’s owner Facebook has kept the number of metrics small and specific too.

Once you have started building up an Instagram following and are getting consistent traffic to your website. You need to keep the momentum going and can’t afford to spend too much time looking into how people have interacted with each post.

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

Top 5 Instagram Insights To Track

Your account is up and running and you have decided on a number of hashtags and niches to target. With a brief social media marketing plan you begin creating content and sharing images and creating stories on a regular basis.

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

I was involved in an app based start-up a good few years ago. Instagram was something we barely scratched the surface with to build up a following. We were posting regular content to engage people and see what sorts of posts and hashtag worked best for us.

Here are the 5 metrics I looked when reviewing Instagram insights. As long as the numbers where going in an upwards direction. For the first few months at least, I was happy.


Impressions relate to how many people see a posts in their feed. Or see your content when searching for posts using hashtags. Regardless of whether they interacted with posts or simply scrolled past it.

This insight is an interesting one for me. I think you can see how your content and hashtag planning is performing just 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 steadily increase over time. Therefore, it is a very quick way to see if your content/marketing plan or strategy is working.


The metric is similar to impressions. 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 multiple times. Increasing your impression number. However, the reach number should not increase as it is the same person that your post has reached.

Again this insight is an interesting one. Combining this with your impressions can give you insight to how your posts are performing.

If you have a high number of impressions, but your reach number is pretty low. You could interpret this as a small number of people find your content really engaging, either for entertainment or information purposes.

These people could be referring back to your posts or whatever they are searching for your hashtag planning is reaching them again and again.

On the flip side if your impression and reach figures are pretty similar it shows that people are viewing your content once, may be twice.


Instagram profile followers are deemed in some quarters as a ‘vanity’ metric. I fully understand how people view this insight.

Although I don’t fully agree with this. It all depends on how your Instagram account integrates into your overall marketing/business plan.

I know of some people who use the number of followers that their account has to try and sell ‘posts’ to other businesses. Using their profile to promote other peoples businesses. For a fee of course. I think this is why followers are labelled as a vanity metric.

However, if you are genuinely using a 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. This is something Seth Godin calls Permission Marketing and is great for building your business.

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

This doesn’t mean you need to constantly sell to them. A 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

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

Again, it can depend on what your are trying to achieve with your content and profile. If you are using 20% or your content to try and promoting 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 Facebook Insight Metrics

It can be a pain viewing all these metrics from inside Instagram or using the Facebook Insights Analytics dashboard. Even more so, if, like me you have a couple of Instagram profiles that you want to keep an eye. 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 small t-shirt printing business.

“Elementary” Or Simplified View Of Your Instagram account Insights

With our dashboard you can view your top 5 metrics on a single widget. Creating as many widgets as you need for the Instagram profiles you would like to review.

Below is a screenshot of the last 7 days stats for my t-shirt printing business on Instagram.

Top 5 Instagram Insights - Overview

The widget gives a total for 4 metrics over the past seven days. These metrics are reach, followers, profile and website views.

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

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

Top 5 Instagram Insights - Breakdown

The graph displayed is the same as the previous widget. However, our dashboard gives a breakdown for not only the last seven days. But stats for this month and last month. As well as any KPI’s that has been set.

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

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.

Regards, Phil.

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Thanks for reading.


Keep marketing campaigns on track — Grow your business

Elementary Analytics isn’t just for creating widgets — it’s great for reviewing your marketing campaigns. Use the dedicated reports to produce PDF’s to impress customers and senior management.

How it’s better: By combining your website traffic and social media insights in one place, Elementary Analytics lets your entire team focus on their day to day work. One tool to track. One place to check performance. No more constant switching between Google Analytics profiles, Social Media accounts, spreadsheets and documents.