If you’re using Instagram as a brand, agency, or influencer, the platform has one main use: bind followers, share and promote content, and make new target groups accessible. Trying to achieve this with a private Instagram account can be a long process or trial and error. Users with a business account, however, have been able to work with statistics for a while now and thus have the chance to place their content much more strategic. Recently, the app added the possibility to analyze Stories as well. Today, we’d like to give you a comprehensive overview on what the different statistics sections tell you.

The basic settings of a business profile

An Instagram business account can either be set up when you create a new profile or you can just switch in the settings an existing private profile to a business profile. From that moment on, the app collects data from your account and processes it into diagrams and numerical values for you to analyze.

A business account is usually connected to its related Facebook page. Instagram will find information and add them to your profile, such as the category of your business (e.g., private blog or news/media website). Hence it is already important to choose all the right categories and to put down the correct information when creating your Facebook business page. Additionally, you can add different ways of how your business can be contacted by putting in your address, e-mail and phone number. Users that want to contact you and your business are then able to choose their preferred way of communication from a variety of contact details.

The profile statistics: reach, engagement, and website clicks

In your own profile, you will find a small diagram button at the top that will get you to the statistics of your account. With one click on it, various data will appear; the first of five sections gives you information about your profile which is shown in comparison to the last seven days. Here, the most important statistics are presented: reach, impressions, profile views, and website clicks.

Reach counts each person that has viewed your post. In comparison, impressions will tell you how many views your post had, regardless of the number of persons. One person will count as one reach, but one person can view your post five times, leaving you with five impressions (source: AllFacebook). That is why the number of impressions is usually a lot higher than the reach of a post – but still, reach is a much more specific factor to determine the success of a post. Profile views and website clicks will give you insights on how interested visitors are in more information about you and your content. If a user will check your profile after seeing one of your posts, he is interested in learning more about you and your business. If he clicks the website link in your profile, you managed to win a new visitor of your promoted platform, where you’re offering a lot more detailed information about you or your brand.

The post statistics: Which posts are the most popular?

The second section addresses your posts. While in each single post you have the option to view the statistics of that specific picture or video, the post statistics allow you to compare your posting performance. By using a filter, you can set the kind of content (picture, video, or carousel posts), the statistics factor (impressions, reach, engagement, likes, comments, and saved) and the period of time that you want to review and compare. The period of time will only work starting from the day you installed your business account. Once the filters are set, your posts will show arranged by performance.

Account holders can derive important conclusions from these statistics: Which content is preferred by my followers (likes), which leads to a high engagement rate in terms of comments and which posts have been saved most and seem to inspire my followers? The statistics answer all of these questions and can, in turn, give valuable information about what content not to share in the future due to bad performance. Using this database gives you the chance to adapt your posts to your followers’ preferences, leading to an improved overall performance.

The story statistics: How do my InstaStories perform?

From now on, Stories on Instagram can be evaluated with different filters (impressions, reach, taps forward, taps back, exits, replies) and three periods of time (24 hours, seven days, two weeks). As with all other kinds of statistics, impressions and reach will tell you how many viewers and how many views your Stories had. By taking a closer look at the taps forward and taps back numbers, you can find out which information is boring and uninteresting for your viewers (taps forward) and which parts interesting and have been viewed again (taps back). By checking out the data for exiting and replying, you can see which parts of your Stories made followers stop watching altogether and at which point they felt engaged enough to reply to your video.

The statistics for InstaStories are presented rather simple and speak for themselves, but still, they are of great importance for the account holder. The selected data can be crucial to determine your future story building. By adding more elements that require some kind of interaction (replies) from your followers, you can bind your followers much more precise and you know which parts of your storyline to eliminate in the future.

The demographic analysis: Who are my followers?

The fourth set of data deals with the demographic characteristics of your followers. With one click, you can see the exact amount of followers you have and you will also see their numeric development in the last seven days. A pie chart gives you information about the distribution of men and women following you. The different age groups are portrayed in a bar chart, letting you choose between seeing all, female, and male age groups. Furthermore, you can see from which cities and countries the majority of your followers come. This is especially important for big international accounts to determine your top markets.

The most important analysis of this section is the evaluation of when your followers are active on the platform. This is portrayed in days and hours. With the help of these statistics, you can place your posts strategically smart – meaning at the time when the biggest number of followers is online and active on the platform, leading to the highest chance of good engagement rates.

The promotions statistics: How your sponsored posts are performing

The statistics also give you information about the promotions an account has created. Paid promotions help you to make your posts more visible to specific target groups. Not only will your posts have a higher visibility but they will reach new potential followers, customers, and clients.

A promotion can be created directly from the statistics. Maybe you found that one of your posts needs more visibility or you want to push your best-performing image even further. Instagram supports you by proposing an automatically fitted audience. You are still free to pick your own target groups by selecting demographic filters and interests, which is what experts recommend. If you’re aware of how your target group is composed – for example what age they have and if they’re male or female – you can choose more specific settings for your promotion. A post will be assigned a link (to your blog or online shop). Once a user clicks on your promotion, he will be forwarded to your linked target page. Finally, you can determine the budget and duration of the promotion.

Once a post is supported by a promotion, you can check the live statistics on each of the posts but also after the promotion is over. Part of these statistics are not only impressions but also the clicks generated and the costs per click (meaning the budget used divided by the number of website clicks). What is important to know: a promotion doesn’t influence the impressions of the original post, it is like a copy of the initial post.

Promotions are generally a good way for beginners to set foot in the app and to spread their name and account, but experts recommend to use the Facebook Ad Manager to promote posts, as it allows more detailed settings and will help you to directly aim at your target audience.

If you’re familiar with the Instagram statistics, know which information to derive from them, and how to evaluate them, you will be able to significantly improve and strategically increase your performance on the currently most popular social media platform.