Person holding phone engaging with a picture on Instagram. Coffee in the background.

A Short Guide to Instagram Metrics

Are you wondering what exactly does like, comment, save and send mean to your small business? And how to structure your strategy to get the most of Instagram engagement? Fear no more, explanation is coming in this blog post, just carry on reading.

I’ve recently surveyed a few small sustainable business owners, and one of the questions that popped up was “How significant is a like vs a share?” So I thought I would write a short guide to Instagram metrics.

Many people care about likes and follows A LOT,  a lot too much sometimes actually.

Likes and follows are important, but not as important as we tend to think they are. In social media marketing, they are something we would call “vanity metrics.” So if you don’t count your followers in thousands I’m here to tell you it’s okay! 

But first, let’s look at the glossary

Engagement – any form of interaction with your brand on social media, this includes likes, comments, shares, sends.

Like – a form of engagement on social media in which a user “likes” a piece of content, on Instagram by double-tapping the post or a hear icon under the post.

Comment – a form of engagement in which a user replies to your social media post. A large number of comments shows that your post is engaging and can boost its position in the newsfeed.

Save – number of users who shared your post to view it later or as an inspiration. 

Send/ Share – number of times your post has been shared to someone’s story or sent to another user in a private message. (currently this metric is unavailable to view in Europe)

Followers – people who have followed your accounts on social media.

Reach – total number of people who have seen your piece of content.

Impressions – the number of times your piece of content has been displayed to a single viewer – it’s not how many people seen the post, but how many times it has been seen.

Profile views – the number of times your profile has been viewed – it’s not how many people seen it, but how many times it has been seen.

Which ones should I care about?

This really depends on your goals. 

Different KPIs (key performance idnetificators) will help you measure the success of different objectives.

Would you like to raise awareness of your brand? You would want to make sure more people see your brand. Therefore, reach and impressions would be something you want to look into and improve.

Do you want your audience to interact with you more? Engagement and most of its metrics like comments, likes and saves would be significant to you in this case.

If you are past the attention-grabbing phase and want to convert your audience into leads, you will want to look into getting more website clicks.

As you can see which metrics you are looking at depends 

Why should I be careful about follower growth?

If you’re running a slow fashion business selling female clothes in the UK, probably men living in Australia won’t interact with your content as much as British women. And this could hurt your engagement rate. 

I’m not saying you shouldn’t care about follower growth, I’m just saying you need to be strategic and care about meaningful followers. Growth is a process, and it should be a steady one. So if you’re steadily growing week by week and attracting your target audience you are doing it all right.

What should I do to steadily grow on Instagram?

Know who your customers are. 

That’s the first step to success. Know who you’re talking to and create content that will grasp their attention and make them fall in love with your brand. Make sure you talk in the language they speak and 

If you’re wondering what else you can do to get more visible on Instagram check out this blog post.

Source of some information used in this post: Hootsuite