3 Metrics for Optimizing Your Instagram Strategy


After a bumpy ride with Instagram’s algorithm in 2018, things seem to have settled down going into the second quarter of 2019. Agencies, influencers, businesses, and even personal accounts are paying more attention to how metrics can help accounts succeed on the platform. With a better understanding of how your audience is responding to and engaging with content, you can adjust your digital strategy to give them more of what they want (when they want it).

One of the reasons why Instagram has become such a powerful tool for brands is because they offer so many metrics for understanding your target audience. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, you’re not alone! We pulled together our top three trends to watch if you don’t know where to start.

#1 Metric to Test and Track: Engagement Rate

Measuring engagement rate is a quick way to get a feel for your audience’s behavior. By comparing one post to another, you’ll start noticing how different kinds of content engage your followers differently. The easiest way to calculate is:

Number of Likes + Number of Comments = Total Engagement

(Total Engagement / Total Followers) x 100 = Engagement Rate

For example, if your last post has 121 likes and 5 comments, your engagement for that post is 126. Divided by 2,210 followers and multiplied by 100, your ER (engagement rate) comes out to roughly 5.7%.

The average engagement rate on Instagram posts is anywhere from 3-5.5%, about 1-1.5% higher than Facebook and Twitter. If you’re getting 6% or better, keep it up! For accounts struggling to engage their audience, consider adding hashtags and location tags—and always respond to commenters!


#2 Metric to Test and Track: Posting Time

Instagram’s discontinuation of the chronological feed threw marketers and brands for a loop, but don’t be fooled—timing still matters! There might not be the mad rush of posting activity at 5pm on a Wednesday anymore, but it’s important to understand when your followers are online. Since the Instagram algorithm interprets engagement (liking, commenting, and sharing) as signals for high-quality posts, you want to get as much action as early as possible. Your top followers will see your post the soonest, so give the people what they want!

If you’re set up with a Business Account on Instagram, here’s how you can find the best times to post.

Via @gabrielecosentino / Medium

Via @gabrielecosentino / Medium

#3 Metric to Test and Track: Impressions from Hashtags

We love using Instagram’s Insights feature to learn more about how customers and followers are discovering our Clients’ content. Hashtags are a great way to reach die-hard fans who follow a specific hashtag (like #surfing, #camping, or #yoga). Pro tip: Only swap out one hashtag at a time when you’re trying to experiment with impressions. Changing two or more makes it hard to know which hashtags are responsible for which traffic, so keep things simple. Getting lots of engagement in a top hashtag category can pay off—thousands of impressions, lots of follows, and plenty of likes!