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.

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
instagram audience engagement

Between each section, 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.
  • Engagements per Follower: The total amount of engagements divided by the number of followers indicates how active your follower base is on Instagram. Brands receiving hundreds of comments vs. small local businesses have vastly different engagement counts. But engagements per follower provides a more accurate depiction of your engagement ratio.
  • Engagements per Media: While engagements per follower shows the activity of your Instagram community, engagements per media highlights which photos or videos receive the most interaction. This metric helps shed light into what types of media work best, so you can re-create and publish again.

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.

outbound instagram hashtags

Instagram hashtags can be broken down into these specific metrics for a better understanding of overall engagement:

  • 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.
  • Most Engaged Hashtags: 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. Utilizing 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 handle and in what context, then use that hashtag to join the conversation.
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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.

instagram audience growth chart

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

  • Total Followers: 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.
  • People That You Followed: Possibly some of the biggest vanity metrics include the number of your followers compared to the total people following you. Don’t be afraid to follow your fans back. In fact, 71% of users say they’re more likely to purchase a product after a good social media experience.

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.

top instagram posts

Track these three 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. 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.

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. Using Sprout Social allows you to compare and analyze multiple accounts against one another.

instagram competitive stats per profile example

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 social instagram competitor report screenshot

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. With this stat visible, it’s simple to benchmark your followers against the competition.
  • Most Followers: See who in your Instagram Competitors Report has the most followers.
  • Competitors Average Followers: Easily view the average followers for your selected competitors to see how you stack up against the competition.
  • Followers Gained by Day: Much like the metric Followers Gained, this shows everyone’s audience growth per-day. 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, Instagram’s native platform only allows you to scratch the surface of your analytics.

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

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To get started with Sprout, all you have to do is follow a few steps to get your Instagram profiles connected and providing data. 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 toward the top of the page that reads Reports. Several of our proprietary reports have some form of Instagram integration, but for running the analytics, choose Instagram Profiles on the left hand side.
  3. Choose Your Date Range: You have access to all of the data since your Instagram account was attached 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.

Update: Instagram made changes to their Graph API in 2018, which may affect functionality mentioned above. Read here for more information