Gone are the days of posting to Instagram, crossing your fingers and hoping for the best. With algorithmic changes and the increasing need for paid social efforts, the time to rely on your core Instagram data is now.

To fully understand how well your content performs on Instagram, you need to dig deeper than simple vanity metrics. Whether you’re an individual or business running 10-plus Instagram accounts, you need the right tools to analyze and improve your campaigns.

If you’re serious about Instagram, then you want to run the reports that make it easy to tell what content is and isn’t performing. Instagram’s native tools can help you scratch the surface, but true social media marketers have to benchmark, reconfigure and improve campaigns or Instagram strategies with the data.

Here we’ll show you the six must-have Instagram data and how to pull your own performance reports in Sprout. Try it out hands-on with a free trial of Sprout Social.

1. Instagram Engagement Analytics

Engagement is one of the most critical aspects of a successful campaign strategy. And on Instagram, it’s just as important to ensure users aren’t scrolling past your content, but actually engaging with it.

Tracking your Instagram engagement helps you understand how people interact with your brand’s posts. Whether it’s photos or videos, Instagram engagement is broken down into two main categories:

  • Overseeing incoming messages and mentions
  • Discovering chances to make new connections
Sprout Instagram business profile report

You can further break down Instagram engagement analytics with these metrics:

  • Likes: The fastest way you know users appreciate and approve your content is through Likes. While many marketers consider Likes a vanity metric, it’s still necessary to track like trends, patterns and spikes within your Instagram content.
  • Comments: How many users took the extra step to leave a comment on your image or video? Comments show the willingness of users to interact with your brand, start a conversation or share your content through a mention. Remember that comment count isn’t always a sign of success as negative feedback often occurs for brands. At the same time, comments give you the opportunity to engage and change a poor experience into a pleasant one.
  • Saves: The total number of times users saved your posts. This means your content resonated enough with users that they want to go back to it later.
  • Story replies: The number of messages received on your stories through the Send Message option. This is a great way to identify the most engaged audience because they’re taking time to respond to something they’re seeing in your story
  • Engagement Rate (per Impression): The likes, comments, saves and story replies as a percentage of profile impressions. This indicates how engaged people are with your brand and gives you a good measure of your Instagram success.

2. Instagram Hashtag Analytics

Understanding your outbound hashtag performance on Instagram is crucial to know how users interact and through what keywords. Pulling Instagram data and reports for your hashtags helps you contrast between which keyword(s) received the most engagement.

sprout outbound IG hashtag report

Sprout breaks down Instagram hashtags into specific metrics for a better understanding of overall engagement including:

  • Most Used Hashtags: How many times have you used a certain hashtag within a given time period? If you’re not exactly diverse in new hashtags, this data could help push you to create new hashtag campaigns on Instagram. This tells you exactly how many times you’ve used a hashtag over a given time period. Make sure you always test new hashtags to see which helps get your content the most exposure.
  • Top Hashtags by Lifetime Engagements: While it’s necessary to know which hashtags you used the most, it’s also important to know which hashtags received the most engagement (likes and comments). Knowing your most engaged hashtags lets you see which hashtags drive the most communication with your fans and customers. Using those successful hashtags in your Instagram strategy will certainly improve overall engagement.
  • Hashtags Frequently Mentioned With: A fantastic way to figure out which hashtags to use is to look and see which ones are already associated with your brand. Try a tool like Sprout Social’s Trends Report to see which hashtags your fans are using with your Twitter profile and in what context, then use that hashtag to join the conversation on Instagram.

3. Instagram Follower Analytics

Audience growth continues to be one of the most crucial metrics for marketers. While follower count isn’t everything, it’s still helpful to see trends or patterns within your audience. Creating a growing audience is a key indicator that your business is doing well both on and off social media.

sprout instagram audience growth report

Some of the key metrics to track for Instagram follower analytics include:

  • Net Follower Growth: The total number of Instagram followers through a selected time period.
  • Followers Gained: The number of new followers received in your chosen time frame. Try looking for days with massive spikes in audience growth and see what you were doing on that day with Instagram.

4. Instagram Content Analytics

If you want to discover what type of photos and videos resonate with your audience the most, you need to dig into your Instagram content analytics. When you know the exact type of content that resonates with your audience, you can continue to create similar images, videos and hashtags to drive additional engagement.

Sprout IG Top Posts and Stories

Track these Instagram content metrics to gain better insights into your posting strategy:

  • Top Posts: Know what Instagram videos or photos got you the most engagements. Feel good about your best content and track how well your content performs over a set time period.
  • Photos Sent: Track the total number of photos published to your feed within Instagram. Closely monitor photos sent to ensure you’re posting a steady amount of content. If you don’t post frequently enough, you could miss out on additional reach and brand engagement.
  • Videos Sent: Track your total videos sent within Instagram. Then find out what performs best before creating more videos. However, you can’t sleep on Instagram videos as it’s growing in popularity. The network now allows your videos to last up to 60 seconds, so make sure your creative efforts are used here.
  • Stories performance: Instagram Stories have unique metrics to take into account such as the number of times people tapped forward to skip ahead in your stories, or tapped back to take another look at interesting content. Read our guide to Stories analytics to find out what you should be tracking and how.
  • IGTV analytics: Compare the metrics for your IGTV content with the rest of your Instagram video efforts by reviewing performance in Sprout’s all-in-one solution. With Sprout, you can see all the same metrics for Instagram TV as you would for feed video posts, including views, reach, engagements and saves.

5. Instagram Profile Analytics

Most social media or community managers use multiple Instagram accounts simultaneously. Moving between profiles demands an Instagram management tool that can operate seamlessly through different accounts.

But analyzing data between so many profiles can make any social media manager’s head spin. While native Instagram tools provide a decent introduction into Instagram analytics, power users need more. Compare and analyze multiple accounts against one another using Sprout.

comparing Instagram profile performance in Sprout

View stats collectively or per profile to get the best idea of your Instagram content performance. See your Instagram stats at a high-level by profile, then you can dig into the profiles you think need some work.

6. Instagram Competitive Analytics

If you don’t understand your competitive landscape on Instagram, you’re doing a disservice to your campaign. Instagram competitive analysis gives you data about your competitors so you can easily compare and benchmark metrics against your own.

It’s critical to know how you stack up against your competitors in your industry. And getting a competitive advantage on Instagram could mean the difference between a successful or lifeless social campaign.

Sprout instagram competitors report

Here are a few Instagram competitive metrics that help you visualize your brand amongst your core competitors:

  • Your Followers: Your total follower count on Instagram. Use this stat to benchmark your followers against your competition.
  • Top Competitor: See who in your Instagram Competitors Report is the most successful amongst the competitors you’re watching
  • Competitors Average Followers: Easily view the average followers for your selected competitors to see where you stand.
  • Audience Growth: Much like the metric Followers Gained, this shows everyone’s audience growth per-day for the reporting period. This is important to see any common dips between brands or if your brand missed out on something where others saw a spike.

How to Pull Your Own Instagram Data

As you can see, pulling your own Instagram data provides deep insights into your campaign and overall marketing efforts. Like we mentioned before, you can only scratch the surface of your analytics from Instagram’s native platform.

Luckily Instagram has partnered with powerful social media analytics providers like Sprout Social. We can access your most essential data and provide beautiful, professional and easy-to-read reports for small businesses or massive agencies.

Sprout Social’s Instagram Performance Report

To get started with Sprout, all you have to do is follow a few steps to get your Instagram profiles connected and providing additional data to Sprout. Here are five quick steps to begin:

  1. Access Your Sprout Social Dashboard: If you’re currently not a Sprout Social user, you can start your own 30-day free trial with no software to download or credit card information to submit. Easily select your Instagram account(s) to monitor and once approved, we’ll start to pull in your data. Those who are current Sprout users should head on over to their unique dashboard.
  2. Navigate to the Reports Tab: In your dashboard, click the tab that reads Reports. Several of our proprietary reports have some form of Instagram integration, but for running the analytics, choose Instagram Business Profiles on the left-hand side.
  3. Choose Your Date Range: You have access to all of the data from the time you connected your Instagram account to your Sprout plan. Make sure you choose a range that is after that initial date.
  4. Export Your Report: This is completely optional, but if you need to share or further analyze your data, you can easy export unlimited PDF or CSV versions of your report. This provides you with the option to use the data in your own spreadsheets or documents. For instance, you can send the designed version to company stakeholders, work with a pen and mark up the physical document or manipulate the raw data in a way that makes sense to you.
  5. Dig Through Your Analytics: The first section of this article should give you an idea of what metrics are appropriate to track for your business. Now you can use this report dive deeper into your Instagram stats you care about the most.

Use Instagram Data & Improve Your Marketing Efforts

Tracking, monitoring and benchmarking your most valuable Instagram data will help you answer questions surrounding your current marketing efforts. Hopefully once you’ve set up your profiles, dug through the analytics and studied the reports, you’ll be in a much clearer spot with your social media tactics.

In the end, you’ll know whether your followers are engaged, if your content is reaching your audience or how your competitors match up against your profiles. To get started with these reports, start a free trial of Sprout.