Social Media

Mastering Instagram Metrics: A Roadmap for 2024

On Instagram, like any social media, user trends define the platform. These here-and-gone trends shape the daily experiences (and the fortunes) of 5-follower individuals to the most powerful brands on the planet. 

Add in constant updates and new features being added regularly, and getting traction with your social media marketing can feel like trying to lift a barbell while standing on quicksand. The key to finding your footing, and getting ahead, is mastery of your metrics.

Today we’re offering a guide to navigating the intricacies of Instagram’s analytics in 2024, specifically how to turn them to your advantage as a marketer.

What Can Make Instagram Metrics Unclear

The sheer number of metrics offered within Instagram is overwhelming. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out which number matters, and what all the numbers mean. It’s tricky, no doubt, but it’s in that granularity, and up that learning curve, where the data truly becomes useful. 

Metrics Overload. Instagram dumps a bucket of metrics on users, making it difficult to prioritize your gains and losses. 

Understanding the averages. It’s easy to see the follower count go up, or notice a decrease in engagement, but without knowing what’s normal for those metrics, how do you judge your success?

Start surface-level, but go deeper. You should keep an eye on follower counts and number of likes, those are important metrics. But that’s only the beginning of understanding Instagram metrics, and your own marketing journey. 

Why the Metrics Matter


Being on top of your metrics isn’t about vanity or bragging rights. It’s to help marketers, influencers, and social managers make better, more impactful decisions about their strategies. 

Metrics serve as a benchmark for evaluating the success of content and engagement initiatives, providing actionable insights for improvement.

Keeping an eye on the analytics also helps us spot emerging trends and opportunities we may have otherwise missed. Analyzing high-engagement posts reveals common themes, while monitoring reach and impressions highlights content strategy gaps.

The Method to My Metrics

I’ve been in social media for a while now, and I’ve worked with many, many clients. I thought I’d share how I look at metrics, specifically what they mean to me, and to the client I’m working with.

Obviously, people may debate which metrics are most important. How I personally love to think about and share metrics with my clients is broken down into two major categories: Visibility versus Engagement. 

Visibility. I include metrics such as Reach, Impressions, Video Views, and Followers Gained/Lost. These metrics show how many people see your content: this includes followers and non-followers alike. The more people your content is visible to, the more opportunities you have to engage users, build relationships, and drive conversions.

Engagement. I include metrics such as Engagement (likes/comments/saves/shares), and Profile Visits. Engagement metrics measure how users interact with your social media content and show your audience’s level of involvement with your content/brand. These in turn help indicate how much an audience may value your posts.

The Most Important Instagram Metrics for Your Strategy


Okay, now let’s dig into the metrics that matter the most.

Impressions. Impressions count both unique and repeated views of your posts or stories, indicating how often your content appears on users’ screens. This metric is crucial for understanding the reach and visibility of your content. Unlike reach, which represents unique accounts, impressions include all views, even if from the same person multiple times. Monitoring impressions provides insights into your content’s popularity and resonance with the audience.

Reach. Reach signifies the count of unique accounts/users who have viewed your posts or stories. Unlike impressions, which include all views (even repeated ones), reach focuses on distinct individuals, showcasing the unique audience your content reaches. 

This metric is crucial for assessing your content’s effectiveness in reaching a broader audience and attracting new viewers. Monitoring reach provides insights into the potential size of your audience and the overall visibility of your content among Instagram users.

Follower Growth. Follower growth reflects the change in your follower count over a specific time frame, measuring how many new followers you’ve gained or lost. Monitoring follower growth is essential for assessing the effectiveness of your content, engagement, and marketing efforts, guiding your overall Instagram marketing strategy.

Audience Insight. Audience Insight includes demographic data, including age, gender, location, interests, and behavior. This information helps you understand your audience’s preferences, creating an opportunity to tailor your content strategy for greater engagement. 

By knowing your audience’s age, gender, and content preferences, you can make informed decisions on when and what to post, optimizing your efforts to build a robust and engaged community on Instagram.

Change is Good (Or at Least, Not Bad)

Before you go, I wanted to share one last takeaway: don’t let changes in your metrics scare you.

Fluctuations in follower growth, impressions, reach, and other metrics are to be expected. The good news is, they’re not necessarily a cause for concern. The internet is fickle, and trends or updates may move your numbers around a bit. 

Should performance be trending negatively for several months consecutively, though, it may be worth taking a deeper dive into your content strategy. 

If you’re looking for help with your Instagram strategy, understanding metrics, or advice on how to stay up to date on Instagram trends and updates, reach out to us anytime by clicking the button below.

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This article has been published in the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) Marketing Knowledge Center. Click here to visit their blog.


Written by Alexa Sorensen



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