Your guide to understanding Instagram Insights

with our Insta expert, Lauren Bath.

Understanding what your followers love and are engaging with is pivotal to your success on Instagram. So, you probably know that Instagram Insights are a game-changing tool for anyone who is trying to build their brand on the ‘gram. 


This feature allows users to determine their reach, impressions and engagement on individual posts or their account as a whole (over a period of time). But, what does this all even mean? 


That’s why we’re here. 


We sat down with Lauren Bath to talk all things Instagram Insights: what terms mean, what to look out for and how to grow your audience and engagement from this data… and we’re good sharers, so we are spilling all the beans below 👇.


First thing’s first…


To view Insights on Instagram, you need to switch over to a business account (if you haven’t already). 


To do this go to Settings > Account > Switch to a professional account. 


You will then be able to select what industry you are in e.g. Digital Creator, Journalist, Musician etc. This will (if you choose) show at the top of your bio.


You then be able to elect whether you are a Business profile or a Creator profile – both will allow you to access Insights. 


Fill in the personal deets and you’ll be ready to roll!

Some handy definitions…


Impressions: The total number of times your post has been seen

Reach: The number of unique accounts that have seen your post 

Website clicks: The number of times the website in your bio was clicked 

Profile Visits: The number of times your profile was viewed 

Engagement: The number of times your post was liked, saved, shared or commented on


POST INSIGHTS – Individual Posts 


You can access Insights for either a single post, or for your profile as a whole. To begin we will take a look at Post Insights. To access this data, select a post from your grid and press on ‘View Insights’. This will open a page, with Post Insights at the top. 



Data revealed in this page includes likes, comments, shares and saves at the top with profile visits, reach and interactions below. 


The main metric that we need to consider, on any individual post, is the Engagement. To measure the engagement of a post, you will add the likes, comments, shares and saves and then divide this number by the number of followers you have. This will give you a percentage – we will call it the engagement rate.


Your engagement rate should fall between 1.5% and 3% typically (this will, of course, vary per post). For example, on the post above  our engagement measured 823 (likes+comments+saves+shares). When divided by our followers (9761) we got a value of 0.0843. This means that, on this particular post, we achieved an 8.4% engagement rate. Try this algorithm on your most recent post and see how you did on this scale. 


If you find that your engagement is down, consider researching and experimenting with different hashtags, posting at more optimised times (evening is usually best!) and spending 40-60 minutes after posting engaging with other accounts and posts (to encourage reciprocation!). 



Another interesting metric to assess is the Reach breakdown at the base of the Insights page. This shows where your Impressions originated from and where your post was seen the most.


For this post, the most Impressions came from hashtags, followed closely by home. Understanding the meaning of this data can allow you to make slight or significant changes to your content production, your copy or your hashtag use to increase engagement. 



Once you have a grasp on Post Insights, and how your posts are performing on their own, it is time to assess your Profile Insights. 


To access these Insights go to Menu (at the top right corner of your profile) > Insights. The Insights page will then open. 

There are a lot of numbers thrown around in this section, so we are going to focus on the most important metrics only – so as not to overwhelm. These are the Audience Insights and the Content Insights. 


To access the Audience Data, click on the Total Followers in the Overview. You can then elect if you want to see the Follower Breakdown over 7 or 30 days (default is 7). This will reveal a graph, showing your follower growth over the 7 or 30 day period.  Beneath this graph, you can see which cities/countries your followers are from, their age and gender ranges as well as their most active times on Instagram.

These metrics should then influence your content and posting time, to encourage more engagement on your posts. 


Which brings us to the next metric! Posts. To navigate to this Insight, go back to the Insights Overview page and press on Content You Shared. 

This will open a page with your posts from a selected time period. We suggest you select a wide range, so, for example, we have selected posts from the last year. 


With this range selected, you can then select a measure – for example, you would select Reach to determine the most seen posts or you would select Likes to determine the most liked posts of the last year. 


If you take a look at our most liked images on the ‘gram, you can see that our followers (like many other people) dig the sunrise shots – particularly when they’re over the ocean. 


Wanna know why this data is so important?


Because these comparisons have the potential to show what content your followers love seeing, and engaging with, the most. This can therefore help to determine what content you share in the future for optimised engagement – so, ideally, here at The Travel Bootcamp we should be posting more shots of pink skies reflected in the ocean.  

There you have it! 


Our simplified explanation of Instagram Insights and how to use these metrics to optimise your engagement and increase your following on Instagram. 


Obviously, there are a few more numbers that might be helpful, but this guide is sure to get you started on the right foot. 


So, go forth and implement. Let us know what your metrics tell you. 


Till next time 

Team Bootcamp.