DIY guide to monitoring your marketing on Instagram

Instagram is touted as the best social media platform for creating engagement with your followers. But how do you actually measure engagement? And how do you know if your social media marketing plan is working?

Instagram has a built-in analytics tool, which allows you to see impressions, engagement, reach and other key metrics. However, this is only available if you have a business account.

There are a number of other analytics tools you can try, which will help you delve deeper into your data, but there are a few things you can easily do yourself.

These are the four key metrics you need to follow:

  • Engagement
  • Impressions
  • Reach
  • Growth of followers


Engagement rate is the most important metric, as it takes into account the number of likes, comments, shares and saves on each post.

There is a simple formula for measuring this:

Post interactions ÷ total followers x 100

Let’s look at an example. If you have 1,000 followers and a recent post had a total of 90 engagements (50 likes, 20 saves, 10 comments and 10 shares), the formula would look like this:

90 ÷ 1000 x 100 = 9.

According to Hootsuite, good engagement is around 3-5%, so 9% is pretty impressive.

One way to improve your engagement rate is to find out the best times to post. Monitoring periods of high or low engagement will tell you when your followers are most active. Instagram Insights can help you with this, enabling you to strategically schedule your posts.


Impressions are the number of times your content is displayed, no matter if it was clicked or not. It means the post was delivered to someone’s feed, but they don’t have to engage with it for it to count as an impression.

Measuring your impression rate will help you understand which content has been viewed by the most people, the most amount of times.

To work out your impression rate you need to get your calculator out again:

Number of impressions ÷ number of followers.

If a post has 10 impressions and you have 100 followers that is a 1% impression rate.


There is quite a bit of confusion over the difference between impressions and reach. Reach is the number of actual people who have seen your post, while impressions relate to the number of times it has shown up in their feed.

So if your post reaches one person, but they saw it fives times, that represents one reach and five impressions. This is why your reach rate may be less than impressions, as one person can create multiple impressions.

Using relevant hashtags is the best way to organically boost both impressions and reach.

Follower growth rate

Yes, it’s maths time again. To work out the growth rate of your followers you need to do this equation:

Number of followers gained ÷ previous number of followers x 100

If your Instagram account had 1,000 followers in June and by July it’s gone up to 1,020, you would have a 2% growth rate.

20 ÷ 1000 x 100 = 2

According to Instagram management tool Plann, brands should expect an increase of 6-8% per month. So 2% could definitely do with some improvement. Again, using relevant hashtags will boost your number of followers.

By using the above analytics you should have a clearer idea on what works and what doesn’t on Instagram.

If you’re unsure about how to make the most of your social media get in touch to find out how we can help.