Instagram analytics are the foundation of any strong Instagram strategy.

All good marketing decisions stem from good data — and there’s plenty of data available to tell you what’s working on Instagram (and what’s not) and inspire some ideas for new strategies you might want to try.

Instagram has 1.39 billion users who spend an average of 11.7 hours using the app per month. Nearly two-thirds (62.3%) of them use the app to follow or research brands and products. But there’s an awful lot of content competing for their attention during that time.

So, where do you find the Instagram analytics data you need to refine your strategy? And what does it all mean? We break it all down in this post.

Bonus: Get a free social media analytics report template that shows you the most important metrics to track for each network.

What are Instagram analytics?

Instagram analytics are the tools that allow you to track the key metrics related to your Instagram performance.

This data can range from the very basic (like how many people saw or liked an individual post) to the very specific (like what time your account’s followers are most likely to be online).

Watch this video to find out how to access your Instagram Insights, and what they mean:

Tracking your Instagram analytics is the only way to build an effective Instagram strategy. If you’re not tracking data, you’re just guessing about what works.

You might luck out and have some success just based on your intuition — but without the numbers to back your work, you’ll never be able to test, refine or grow. Without data, you can also never show the value of your work to your boss, team, client, or other stakeholders.

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15 key Instagram analytics metrics

Instagram analytics can provide a ton of data. So, where do you start? Here are our picks for the 15 most important metrics to track with Instagram analytics tools in 2023.

Instagram account metrics

  1. Engagement rate: Number of engagements as a percentage of followers or reach. This is a baseline for evaluating how well your content is resonating with your audience and inspiring action.
  2. Follower growth rate: How quickly you’re gaining or losing followers. No other Instagram metric has a bigger impact on organic reach. For reference, the average monthly follower growth rate is 0.98%.
  3. Website referral traffic: How many visitors Instagram drives to your website. This is key if you want to increase your Instagram ROI and tie your Instagram efforts to off-platform goals.
  4. Most effective times to post: Which posting times gain the most response?
  5. Audience demographics: This isn’t a metric exactly but a group of important data points that can help you understand what types of content are likely to be most effective.

Instagram post metrics

  1. Post engagement rate: Number of engagements as a percentage of followers or reach. You can calculate this manually, but good Instagram analytics tools will do the ath for you.
  2. Post comment rate: Number of comments as a percentage of followers or reach. If your goals involve building loyalty, or nurturing relationships, count comments separately from overall engagements and work to lift that number specifically.
  3. Impressions: Total number of times your post was served to users.This can indicate how well you’re promoting your account and content.
  4. Reach: How many people saw your post. The more engaging your content is, the more people will see it – thanks to the Instagram algorithm.

Instagram Stories metrics

  1. Story engagement rate: Number of engagements as a percentage of followers or reach.
  2. Completion rate: How many people watch your Story all the way through. People watching your complete Story indicates your content is connecting with your fans.

Instagram Reels metrics

  1. Reel shares: How many users shared your Reel.
  2. Reel interactions: Total likes, comments, shares, and saves.
  3. Drop-off rate: How many people stop watching before the end.
  4. Views vs. TikTok: How many people watch a reel compared to an equivalent TikTok?

For more details on all the Instagram metrics, you should track depending on your goals for the platform – as well as how to track and calculate them – check out our full blog post specifically on Instagram metrics.`

How to access Instagram analytics

Now that you know what to track, here’s how to see Instagram analytics data on your phone or on your computer.

On mobile (using Instagram Insights)

If you’re looking for quick info on the go, Instagram Insights offers basic Instagram analytics free within the Instagram app. There’s no way to export the data into a report, but it gives you a good basic overview of your Instagram results.

Instagram Insights with Overview and Content You Shared

  1. Open the Instagram app, go to your profile, and tap Professional dashboard.
  2. Next to Account insights, tap See all.
  3. View your content overview, including accounts reached, engagements, total followers and content shared. In the top menu, you can choose a timeframe to view.
  4. To dive deeper into any of these metrics, tap the right arrow next to the relevant category.

On desktop

Navigating through analytics on your phone is great for quick, on-the-go tracking of your Instagram metrics, but it’s not the greatest when you’re trying to analyze your data and growth over time, compare results to your work on other social platforms, or create a social media report. Here’s how to access your Instagram analytics on desktop.

Using Instagram

The main Instagram Insights tool isn’t available on desktop, but you can get some basic individual post analytics on the web directly from your Instagram feed.

Click View insights under a post in your feed to bring up a pop-up screen showing the total likes, comments, saves, direct message shares, profile visits, and reach.

For more Instagram analytics on the web, you’ll need to switch to other tools.

view insights on Instagram post of Jasper mountains

Using Hootsuite

1. Go to your Hootsuite dashboard and click the Analytics icon in the sidebar.

2. Select your Instagram Overview (if you haven’t already, follow these steps to connect your account). On this screen, you’ll see a full picture of all your Instagram analytics, from engagement rate (with no calculation required) to audience demographics to the sentiment of your inbound messages.

3. Use the buttons in the top navigation bar to share data with your colleagues or export the metrics and charts into a custom report in PDF, PowerPoint, Excel, or .csv.

Instagram analytics dashboard in Hootsuite analytics

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4 best Instagram analytics tools for 2023

Analytics for Instagram go well beyond the data provided within the native Instagram analytics app. Here are our top picks for more robust Instagram analytics tools that provide the details and flexibility required for professional Instagram analysis.

1. Hootsuite

Key benefits: Performance data from Instagram and all other major social networks in one place with easy-to-understand reports

Paid or free? Paid tool

Skill level: Beginner to intermediate

Best for: Business owners who run their own social media, solo social media managers at small-to-medium sized businesses, marketing teams at larger organizations

Hootsuite analytics: 3 screens showcasing different performance metrics across social networks in the Hootsuite dashboard

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Hootsuite Analytics offers a complete picture of all your social media efforts, so you don’t have to check each platform and account individually — and it tracks all of the most important social media metrics.

Social media post metrics:

  • Clicks
  • Comments
  • Reach
  • Engagement rate
  • Impressions
  • Shares
  • Saves
  • Video views
  • Video reach
  • And more

Profile metrics:

  • Follower growth over time
  • Negative feedback rate
  • Profile visits
  • Reactions
  • Overall engagement rate
  • And more

With this wide array of available metrics, you’ll be able to see how your Instagram posts, Stories, Reels — and even ads — are performing at a glance.

Best time to post recommendations

Ever spend a bunch of time writing and designing a social post only to have it fall completely flat? There could be a lot of reasons for that. But one of the most common reasons this happens is posting at the wrong time. A.k.a., posting when your target audiences are not online or not interested in engaging with you.

This is why our Best Time to Publish tool is one of the most popular features of Hootsuite Analytics. It looks at your unique historical social media data and recommends the most optimal times to post based on three different goals:

  1. Engagement
  2. Impressions
  3. Link clicks

Best Time to Publish - Facebook Heatmap

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Most social media analytics tools will only recommend posting times based on engagement. Or they’ll use data from universal benchmarks, instead of your unique performance history.

Other cool things you can do with Hootsuite Analytics:

  • Customize report templates for only the metrics you care about
  • Monitor your competitors’s performance and measure it against your own
  • Compare your results to industry benchmarks
  • Track the productivity of your social team (response times, and resolution time for assigned posts, mentions, and comments)
  • Monitor mentions, comments, and tags related to your business to avoid PR disasters before they happen

On top of all of that, Hootsuite won the 2022 MarTech Breakthrough Award for Best Overall Social Media Management Platform!

And, according to reviews at least, the social media analytics tools were a big part of that win:

“Makes social media so much easier!

The ease of scheduling posts is amazing. The analytics for reporting are incredible. You can create you own personalized reports.”

– Melissa R. Social Media Manager

2. Later

Key benefits: Simple and user-friendly solutions for basic performance tracking

Paid or free? Paid tool

Skill level: Beginner to intermediate

Best for: Business owners who run their own social media, solo social media managers at small-to-medium-sized businesses

Later is a social media management platform similar to Hootsuite (you can compare Later and Hootsuite here). It comes with a variety of features, from analytics to scheduling tools, but it really shines through as a platform for smaller brands and creators who like to visualize and preview social media content before they post.

Later social media tool

Source: Later

While Later can also help you measure the performance of your Instagram content and optimize posting times, the platform lacks some more advanced analytics features like competitive analysis and industry benchmarking.

3. Buffer

Key benefits: Simple solutions for basic performance tracking, free plan

Paid or free? Free and paid plans available

Skill level: Beginner to intermediate

Best for: Business owners who run their own social media, solo social media managers at small-to-medium-sized businesses, agencies

Buffer is another social media scheduler that comes with tools to help you build your presence on social media. It allows you to schedule posts to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Mastodon.

buffer is a social media scheduling tool with analytics that display the best day to post, the best type of post, and the best post frequency for your account

Source: Buffer

But when it comes to analytics, Buffer is relatively light on features. It doesn’t offer analytics for all platforms and doesn’t come with social listening features, paid content tracking, or competitive benchmarking. However, Buffer’s user-friendly dashboard is simple and straightforward, making it great for social media managers who just want to get in, schedule, and get out.

Be sure to read our guide to Hootsuite vs. Buffer for more on how these platforms compare.

4. Sprout Social

Key benefits: In-depth reporting across social networks

Paid or free? Paid tool

Skill level: Beginner to intermediate

Best for: Marketing teams at larger organizations

Sprout Social is another top contender in the battle of social media management tools, and it may be worth your consideration. Offering scheduling and analytics for all the major social media platforms, Sprout can help you plan and execute your Instagram — and wider social media — strategy.

scheduling a social media post using sprout social

Source: Sprout Social

Like Hootsuite, Sprout offers a full-featured analytics dashboard, which provides details on both your paid and organic posts and helps you decide when to publish content for the best results. You can also easily white-label and download reports from the Sprout dashboard.

Sprout is quite a bit more expensive than Hootsuite, but Hootsuite offers more features and integrations. Compare Hootsuite and Sprout to see which one works best for you.

Free Instagram analytics report template

Instagram analytics data is most useful when it’s compiled into a report that allows you to compare results and spot trends. We’ve created a free Instagram analytics report template you can use to fill in your data and share your findings.

If you’d rather get your Instagram analytics reports automatically, check out the Instagram analytics built into Hootsuite. There are three Instagram analytics report templates built into Hootsuite’s analytics that allow you to automatically report on engagement, your audience, or post performance.

Bonus: Get a free social media analytics report template that shows you the most important metrics to track for each network.

Save time managing your Instagram presence with Hootsuite: Schedule posts, Reels, and Stories ahead of time, and monitor your efforts using our comprehensive suite of social media analytics tools. Try it free today.

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