The Ultimate Guide to Instagram Insights in 2021

2 Jun, 2021 | Podcast, Season 5

Are you making good use of your Instagram insights? Welcome to the Whin Big Podcast episode 76. This week, Katie’s taking us on a deep dive into your Instagram insights.

She’ll walk you through all the different data you can use and show you how they fit into your marketing strategy, business goals and how to measure the value of your work on Instagram. 

Let’s get into the episode!

Today's episode is sponsored by the Instagram MOT. This 20-point checklist and free training are freshly updated, so get stuck in to find out if your profile is fit for purpose or needs some attention! Click on the big yellow button below to get started right away.

Instagram Insights – essential foundations for your Instagram strategy

Insights have changed so much since Katie last talked about them (way back in episode 8), so she felt it was time to revisit the tools, especially now that Instagram has launched new insights for Instagram Reels and Instagram Lives.

A quick tour of Instagram Insights in 2021

Grab your phone so that you can take Katie’s guided tour around all things Insights. To access Instagram Insights, sign in to your business profile > tap the lower right-hand profile icon to look at your page > tap on insights (in the middle, near the top), and you’ll find yourself in your personal insights section

You’ll end up on your overview page, which lists reach, interactions, followers and all your recent posts.

By default, you’ll look at posts and data for the past seven days. You can change that to 30 days by tapping it.

From the overview page you can access more screens. As always, there’s so much more detail in the podcast episode itself, so do listen in to find out more about each of the screens and the data within.


Accounts Reached

  • Account reach
    • See the data on your overall account performance throughout the week
    • Divided by followers and non-followers
    • See which types of posts are reached by most people
    • Breakdown of reach by posts too
  • Impressions
  • Profile visits
  • Website tabs

“Reach is the number of people who saw you. Impressions is the number of time your post has been seen collectively by those people.”

Content Interactions

This is where you’ll see all the interactions for seven days or 30 days. You can see interactions for:

  • Feed posts
  • Stories
  • IGTV
  • Reels
  • Lives

Katie doesn’t find this summary page overly helpful, but it’s handy to see how things are doing.

Audience Data

Tap back once more to go into the Insights overview. From here, tap ‘total followers’ to get to t his breakdown.

You’ll see the graph showing your audience numbers. If you want to see a specific date, simply tap on the graph.

Below the graph, you can see information on location and geographic data, and below that, you’ll see when your followers are most active.

Tap back once again to the Insights Overview page.

Content you shared

You’ll see a thumbnail of all the posts you’ve shared across all Instagram tools – including Reels and Lives.

Tap on the arrows to the right of the content types; you’ll see a leaderboard for your data over the past year. 

You can switch to look at different time windows and reach, comments, saves, profile visits. 

Instagram Reels insights only go back a short time as it’s a new function and Instagram Lives insight data will only show up if you save the Live or share it afterwards.

Individual post insights 

The last stop on tour is the individual insights on posts. So if you’re still in your leaderboard section, tap into the post you’d like to see.

You can also come right out of insights into your profile and tap into any one of your posts from your grid. 

Below the picture of your post, there’s a blue link to view insights. Tap on this, and you’ll get the detailed view of that specific post and some unique information you won’t find anywhere else.

Information you’ll find here: 

  • Interactions 
    • Data that makes the leaderboards
  • Discovery section 
    • This tells you how many accounts are following you 
    • Where they find you (helps with hashtag research) 
    • If someone has shared your post with their audience 

If you want to see this information for Reels, Lives or IGTV, tap into that specific post and then the three dot icon to find the insights listed in the menu. 

Using Insights for your Instagram Strategy

Insights can help with your Instagram strategy, so let’s talk a little bit more about how you can use the data to decide on what to post next.

Purpose of the post

Katie’s touched on this before in podcasts and newsletters and Instagram posts – it’s essential to work out what the purpose of your post is.

Trying to get new followers? Create stronger ties with your followers? Get your enthusiastic followers to sign up for free guides, coaching and workshops?

“As a general rule, it’s nearly impossible to meet someone new, get them to be a loyal fan and buy from you all from one Instagram post, so that’s not what we should aim to do.”

Pick one thing: growth, connection or sales, and the statistics show you which posts have done the best in fulfilling that goal.

Which metrics help me with making sales?

Let’s say you want to post about a workshop or a class you’re running. The most important metric to look at here would be ‘website taps’; secondary is ‘profile visits’.

When posting about your services or products, your insight research would look like this:

So use the post insights leader board to see which posts did best on these two stats, and make a note of:

  • Style of image
  • Text / caption details
  • Was it a carousel or traditional post?
  • What was your call to action?
  • What was the reach for this post? Were they followers or not?
  • Do you remember if anyone shared the post to their stories?
  • Can you check what time of day or day of the week you posted?
  • What posts you shared the week before – did you build anticipation?

You can use this data to inform your content strategy for future posts with a similar purpose.

“Each data point we see in Insights represents human behaviour – an actual thing someone did after seeing your post.”

What numbers are important in Instagram Insights?

Your job is to work out how to figure out for yourself what data matters depending on what you want to achieve.

Work out your post’s intent and what people will do after seeing it if it’s a successful post. Leave everything else about insights to the side for the moment and note down some valuable details to shape your content.

Whatever analytical tools or marketing strategy you’re using, make sure you do these four steps to plan your content:

  1. Work out what behaviour you care about
  2. Find the posts that lead people to do that thing
  3. Look for the difference between successful and unsuccessful posts
  4. Experiment to uncover more clues and factual information about the content that works best for your business.

WARNING! Avoid being tangled up in metrics that don’t matter.

 We’ve been trained for many years to see Instagram as a popularity contest – we’re primed to seek approval from the crowd. It feels like Reach, Likes, and Follower count are a proud measure of our value as people. 

“There is not one single number on Instagram Insights that can measure how much you help people or the impact you’ve had, or the number of people who hang off your every word, or the number of people who are desperately raising the money to work with you.”

It’s important to remember that Instagram can’t tell you how good you are at your job or how valuable you are as a person.

Try your hardest to remember that next time you’re visiting your insights. Use the data to guide you in your Instagram content strategy and not guide how you feel about yourself.

That way – danger lies!

Resources in episode 76 of The Whin Big Podcast

[Podcast] Episode 8 – Use Insights to level up your Instagram content

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