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How to Use Instagram Reel Insights to Make Better Reels

Learn how to measure the success of your Reels and use Reel Insights to create content your audience will love.

Karolina Mikolajczyk August 3, 2022
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High-level Instagram Reel insights are easy to grab — anyone can tell how many views and likes a Reel has just by looking at it in their feed or the Reels tab. But if you’re a business using this content format, you’ll want to dive deeper into engagement and reach stats to get a full picture of how Reels are helping you grow your Instagram presence.

Keep reading to find out which Instagram Reels metrics really matter and how to effectively measure your success. We’ve also put together a list of 4 tips for using Reels insights to make better content.

Bonus: Download the free 10-Day Reels Challenge, a daily workbook of creative prompts that will help you get started with Instagram Reels, track your growth, and see results across your entire Instagram profile.

What is Reels analytics?

Reels analytics is the process of tracking, collecting and analyzing data to understand the performance of your Reels.

In-depth analytics can help you make better informed creative decisions and build more engaging content strategies. On a higher level, this can help you get to know your audience better and allocate your time and money to tactics that work for them.

Reels analytics are part of Instagram analytics and should be included in your Instagram reports as well as your larger social media reports.

(If you need help building your social media report, check out our free template.)

Reels analytics metrics

When figuring out whether a Reel was successful or not, you should look at the following metrics:

Instagram Reels reach metrics

  • Accounts Reached. This metric tells you how many unique Instagram users saw your Reel at least once.
  • Plays. This is the number of times your Reel has been played. It could be higher than the number of accounts reached, since some users may watch your Reel more than once — which I would assume is the case for this Reel of three cows smooching a puppy:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by @serenitysenorita

Instagram Reels engagement metrics

  • Likes. This metric tells you how many users liked your Reel.
  • Comments. The number of comments on an individual Reel.
  • Saves. The number of times your Reel was bookmarked.
  • Shares. The number of times Instagram users shared your Reel to their story or sent it to another user.

How to view Reels Insights in Hootsuite

With Hootsuite, you can track the success of your Reels alongside all your other social media content (from Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest) and easily generate comprehensive reports, saving yourself the headache of clicking through countless tabs to collect your stats.

To see how your Reels content is performing, head to Analytics in the Hootsuite dashboard. There, you’ll find detailed performance statistics, including:

  • Reach
  • Plays
  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Shares
  • Saves
  • Engagement rate

Engagement reports for all your connected Instagram accounts now factor in Reels data.

Hootsuite Analytics dashboard - engagement report for different platforms

Try it free for 30 days. You can cancel anytime. 

How to view Reels Insights in the Instagram app

To check your Instagram Reels insights, go to your profile page in the mobile app, then tap the Insights button below your bio.

Note that Insights are only available for professional accounts. But don’t worry! You can switch to a Creator or Business account in your settings — it only takes a minute, and even brand new accounts with small followings can do it.

Then, head to Accounts Reached in the Overview section. Reels analytics are included in the Reach breakdown. According to Instagram, this is meant to provide Instagram users with a better understanding of how Reels contribute to an account’s performance.

Two phone screens with Instagram Insights graphs illustrating an account's reach

Source: Instagram

To view insights specific to Reels only, scroll down to Reels in the Insights overview screen and tap the right arrow next to your number of Reels. Here, you can see all of your Reels performance metrics in one place.

To check in on the performance of a specific Reel, open the Reel from your profile, then tap the three dot icon in the bottom right of the screen, then tap Insights.

phone screen with individual instagram reel performance stats

Source: Instagram

How to use Instagram Reels analytics to make better Reels

Now that you know where to find your Reels analytics and why you should track Reels performance, it’s time to put all these findings to work.

Here are 4 tips for using Reels analytics to make better content:

1. Test different Reel styles

To make good Reels, you need to… watch a lot of Reels. Without a feel for what’s trending, you will have trouble finding a style that works for your brand.

But what if what you like doesn’t necessarily resonate with your audience?

The key to finding the best visual styles, filters, effects and trends for your brand is testing. And now that you have access to Reels Insights, you can drive more insights from your tests.

Before, you could only base your performance assumptions on comments and likes. But a high number of comments isn’t always a good thing — some of them might be negative. Take the comments from a big grocery chain’s kitchen hack Reel as an example:

Instagram Reel comment section

With the two new engagement metrics, you will have a better understanding of how many users actually loved your content (enough to save it for later or share with friends). When you post a Reel that gets a lot of likes, comments, saves and shares, you’ll know that something is working!

2. Test different Reel lengths

Instagram currently lets all users create Reels up to 90 seconds long.

But you don’t always need to use up that whole time. Sometimes, shorter content can be more engaging. Similar to testing different trends and effects, you might want to test different Reel lengths to see what your audience responds to best.

Read our guide to finding the right Reels length.

3. Test different audio options

Instagram offers many different options for adding audio to Reels. You can:

  • Use the original audio from your video clip
  • Add voiceover to your video
  • Use a text-to-speech generator
  • Use a saved audio track — a song or a viral snippet, like in the example below from McDonald’s:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by McDonald’s⁷ (@mcdonalds)

With access to Reels Insights, you can try out different options and see if some of them tend to work better than others.

Accessibility tip: Regardless of your choice, make sure to add captions to your Reels so that everyone can enjoy them!

4. Post at the right time

This is a big one. Enhanced Reels analytics can help you pin down the best day of the week and time of day to post your Reels for maximum reach and engagement.

The idea is simple — test different posting times and watch your results closely to find out what time works best for you and your audience. That way, you will never “waste” a great Reel by posting it when your audience is not online!

… or make your life easier with Hootsuite’s best time to post recommendations. When scheduling a Reel through Hootsuite, you will find custom recommendations (based on your past performance) right in the Composer:

Recommended times to schedule a Reel in Hootsuite Composer

Try it free for 30 days. You can cancel anytime. 

(Check out our post about the best times to publish on Instagram to set all of your Instagram content up for success.)

Why is tracking Reels analytics important?

As with all social media analytics, tracking the performance of your Reels can help you learn from your wins, identify opportunities and improve your performance over time.

Reels analytics can help you understand:

  • What your audience likes and dislikes
  • When you should post your Reels for best reach and engagement
  • Which calls to action resonate with your audience
  • Which AR filters, effects and music tracks are doing it for you

Closely tracking Reels Insights will also help you recognize patterns and see if spikes in Reel performance can affect your overall Instagram engagement.

(In case you missed it, some marketers believe that Instagram rewards accounts that actively post Reels with higher overall visibility. Our team ran an experiment to find out if that’s true.)

Easily schedule and manage Reels alongside all your other content from Hootsuite’s super simple dashboard. Schedule Reels to go live while you’re OOO, post at the best possible time (even if you’re fast asleep), and monitor your reach, likes, shares, and more.

Start your free 30-day trial

Save time and stress less with easy Reels scheduling and performance monitoring from Hootsuite. Trust us, it’s reely easy.

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By Karolina Mikolajczyk

Karolina Mikolajczyk is a Senior Inbound Marketing Strategist and associate editor of the Hootsuite blog. After completing her Master’s degree in English, Karolina launched her marketing career in 2014. Before joining Hootsuite in 2021, she worked with digital marketing agencies, SaaS startups, and international corporations, helping businesses and social media content creators grow their online presence and improve conversions through SEO and content marketing strategies.

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