Megan's Social Media Marketing Show - episode 13 - Track These Stats to Grow Your Instagram Following

ep13 - Track These Stats to Grow Your Instagram Following

show Mar 24, 2021

Follower count is probably the only number you ever worry about but it’s not the only number that can give you insight into how your account is performing.

We tend to fixate on one number and one number only when it comes to Instagram: Follower Count. I would wager most business owners don’t look at anything else; however, Instagram gives us a wealth of Information in the Insights tab of Creator and Business accounts that can help you judge how well you’re actually doing in attracting people to your account.

In this episode I’ll cover:

  • How to find your stats
  • Which stats to pay attention to and which to disregard
  • The industry benchmark numbers you want to hit

After listening in, I’ll have you tracking your stats like the boss you are!


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When people see our posts, when they like, and they comment and they share, they are literally voting on what they would like to see more of. And we can learn a lot from that information if we're only willing to go into the Insights.

Hello and welcome to Megan's social media marketing show. Today, I'm going to tell you all about how to be a pro when it comes to your Instagram Insights, we tend to fixate on one number and one number only. And that is how big our follower count is that is how many people are following our account, but that is not at all by any stretch of the imagination, the only number that's important, or the only number that we can learn, any information from. Actually, it's kind of unhelpful in learning about what our people want to see from us and what people love the most about our accounts.

So today we're going to talk about our Instagram Insights, where do you find them and what should you pay attention to, to figure out what you should post more of, first of all, where do you find these stats?  And some of you may not have even known that you could find your stats on your Instagram account.

Well, first of all, you have to have a creator or business account. This is different than a personal account that you may have. Opened up every account by default is a personal account. However, you can go into your settings. It is literally one click of a button to change it to either a creator or business account.

And when you have either of those accounts, you get a bunch of goodies. One of, I think the biggest benefits is Insights, which basically just means stats. It tells you a whole bunch of things about your followers, about your likes, your shares, your interactions, how far your posts are reaching outside of your following, and a whole bunch of other goodies that we'll get into.

Where do you find these Insights you can click on? There should be a new banner at the top of your profile page, it says view professional dashboard. And when you click on that, you'll see a bar graph. And there's also another link that says, see all Insights. So that will take you into the insight tab to see everything.

Now, if you've just changed your account from Personal to a Creator or a Business account, it will take some time to populate those stats because they weren't tracking it until you did that. So just be aware of that. If you have just converted it, you may not see all of these things right away. So, first of all, before I dig into what the stats are and what you should pay attention to let me tell you why it is important to track these stats.

This is how we separate fact from fiction. This is where we get away from our ego and our emotions and learn what is actually happening on our account. Because if you're anything like me, you post your post, you interact with it. You might check on it the next day and respond to comments. And by that interaction alone, you decide.

Whether that was good or bad. And generally, you have a bias when you post, because you're thinking this is a great post thoroughly going to love this. Or you spent an inordinate amount of time editing that Reel or the video that you posted. So you have a lot emotionally invested in that post.

Therefore, we're going to put more weight on whatever reactions happened to that post. , you also, again, may not go back to your previous posts from the previous week, or even before that, to see that that post did a lot better after a week than it did in the first couple of hours when I was paying attention to it.

So you now have some separation, both emotionally and from your ego, when you go back into the Insights. To see actually what happened with that post and actually how your audience is interacting with it.  The second reason why it's so important is, and I learned this because my husband is a huge fan of the show called the profit with Marcus Lemonis. It's a reality TV show where he goes into failing businesses or businesses that are struggling for some reason. And he helps them to do whatever they need to do to fix their situation. So. One thing that Marcus Limonus always says is he doesn't trust a business person who doesn't know their numbers, who doesn't know what's coming in and what's going out of their business.

Because if you don't know your numbers, if you don't know the basic profit and loss. You're not going to stay around for long. And I won't put that much emphasis on it for your Instagram stats, because for sure, it's not as important as making sure you're not negative in your bank account, but if you don't know.

Your numbers, you don't know overall how things are performing, then you can't change it. In other words, you can't manage what you don't measure. So we are going to measure our Instagram accounts. Now I personally manage clients and manage all of their social media accounts. And I have fancy spreadsheets and tools that I use to track all of these stats over time.

I do them weekly and then do a report monthly and then do a yearly report. You don't have to be that fancy in what you do. However, I will give you a few tips for how to understand what you're reading. When you go into that Insights tab, your key metrics there include reach, interactions, and followers. Reach is how many unique accounts saw your post, Stories or IGTV.

So a lot of people get reach confused with impressions. Impressions are the number of times someone has seen the post and somebody could have seen that post multiple times. So that one person is getting counted multiple times.

So reach is net. It is how many people, unique accounts, saw that post. Interactions are likes, comments, shares, and replies to your post, Stories or IGTV. Usually, we look at the number of likes and vaguely remember how many the last post got or what our average amount of likes is, and judge the post upon that. But there are so many other things that are going on.

And then the third one is followers and that's what you think it is. How many accounts follow you during a certain period of time. So I will note that Instagram doesn't currently factor in Reels. So none of the Insights on that tab are related or factor in Reels. You can, if you like to track your Reels, Go into your Reels tab and you can see how many people have viewed each Reel on that preview screen.

And then you could click into each one and see how many comments and likes you got on those. So if you want to manually add that up or do it in a spreadsheet, you can definitely do that. But none of that is covered on the Insights tab. Also, know that these numbers are Instagram-specific. Every single platform has different metrics and different ways of doing things.

Obviously, on Pinterest, I'm going to be talking about re-pins, which are similar to shares, but not the same thing. So different accounts have different metrics, but these are what I feel are most important on Instagram. So looking at those three things. There are two special calculations that you can make to find out how you're doing.

One is engagement rate and this is the thing that is measured in several benchmark studies that are done every year. To understand what the industry benchmark is for this stat, in particular, engagement rate is interactions over posts, divided by followers. So, basically, you're learning how many people are engaging with your average post.

The average engagement rate amongst all industries is between 1 and 3%. So if you have between 1 and 3% engagement on your posts, you're doing good. And I hope that's good news to you because it was good news to me when I figured that out.

The other stat that I think is important to note is reach rate. As I mentioned before, reach is better for growth, is a better metric to look at because when you're looking at your followers, you're not understanding how far your post went outside of the followers. So reach does not only calculate your followers but everybody who looked at your posts. Reach rate is calculated by interactions per post divided by your reach. Essentially, how many accounts interacted with you per post. I don't have an industry benchmark for that one because it's not something that they can pull publicly or even accurately unless it's your own account. So that's something that you're going to have to measure where you are and keep track of whether that goes up or down.

That's not the only thing that is enlightening when you go into your Instagram Insights. The other thing is the individual posts to Stories and IGTV stats. What you can do is sort say the last week of posts, feed posts, graphics, pictures, whatever that meant for you, and look at things like which one performed the best, which ones didn't perform, and what surprises you about that.

This is more where you look at reflections. Why do you think the best performed that well? Is it something that you can replicate? Are they telling you: I really want this kind of content? Or, is it something that was out of the box of what you normally post about?

And maybe you should pursue that and post a few more of them and see if they work really well over a long time. This is important because as people consume our content, they are literally voting with their likes, comments, and shares. They're telling us what they want to see more of and all we have to do. Yes, listen and respond. So going into these Insights is not merely an exercise in math. It's not because you love the numbers.

These stats tell you exactly what your people want, your specific people, so that you can replicate that. What it does is keeps your eyes in your lane. If you are looking at other people in your industry or that write about something similar to you, and you're assuming that your stuff isn't doing as well, because they're doing this or they're posting this way, or they're doing three Reels a day, that may not be the case. That may be what their audience wants.

This tells you exactly what your audience wants. And that's something that we really want to pay attention to and respond to.

So I track these sets weekly, monthly, yearly, as I mentioned. It gives me so much insight into what my people want and helps me to grow the account, to slowly and sustainably build that strong community that we all want on Instagram.

So I hope this was insightful information about your Instagram insights. Thank you so much for joining me today.