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Instagram Impressions, Reach, and Other Things You Might Be Confused About

With so many social networks on the scene and even more metrics to keep track of, it can be difficult to make sense of your data. One thing we know for sure: you should be investing in Instagram and Instagram Stories strategies. Not convinced? 

Instagram Instagram Stories

In this post, we break down the primary Instagram metrics you need to know so you can go forth and analyze with confidence.

Instagram Definitions

Reach: The number of unique users that saw your post or story on any given day.

Unless you’re putting some serious spend behind your Instagram posts, you probably won’t have every single one of your followers see your content. And even with some serious spend, it’s unlikely that you’ll reach all of your followers. That’s why reach is important. Reach tells you how many unique users are served your content every day. Try to maximize this metric to increase brand awareness.

Impressions ReachImpressions: The number of times your content, whether a post or a story, was shown to users.

While commonly confused with reach, impressions are the total number of times your content could have been seen. If your impressions are higher than your reach, it’s a sign that your audience is viewing your content multiple times. Look for posts with a high impressions-to-reach ratio for an indicator of what’s performing well.

Engagement Rate: This is your post engagement divided by post impressions.

Engagement RateEngagement rate is a must-track metric for social marketers. Engagement rate is an indicator of how engaged the users who saw your posts were. Break down your engagement rate by media type to understand if your audience is more likely to engage with photo posts, video posts, or carousel posts.

Over time, engagement rate can tell you how one campaign or messaging strategy performs vs. another campaign or messaging strategy. It’s a great metric to track as you test new approaches.

Saved Posts: The number of users who saved your posts.

Saved posts is a relatively recent addition to the Instagram engagement family, released in December 2016. Users now have the option to save a post to reference at a later time in the Saved section of their profile.


Saves are great for extending the life of your Instagram posts, as users revisit saved content months after it was originally posted.

Instagram Stories–Specific Metrics

Instagram Stories have been a great addition to the social marketers’ arsenal of content weapons. This relatively new feature packs a different set of ways to engage, which we at Simply Measured have dubbed “story interactions.”

Simply Measured Instagram Insights

Taps Backward: The number of times your audience tapped back to go to a previous story.

This may mean that your content was engaging enough that the user wanted to see it again. However, it could also be a sign that any copy you’ve included in your story is too long to read in the time given. Look through stories with a large number of taps back to ensure there’s not too much copy.

Taps Forward: The number of times your audience tapped forward to go to the next story.

This can be an indicator of your story not resonating with your audience or being too lengthy, if it’s a video. Review the stories with the most number of taps forward to identify common themes, like length, copy, or content.

Replies: The number of times a user swipes up on a story and replies to you.

Replies can be a goldmine! Users who reply to stories may be passionate about your brand and have great feedback to share. Replies will begin a DM conversation between you and the user, so it’s a great time to engage with your audience.

Exits: The number of times a user swipes down to exit out of story mode and go back to the previous screen.

An exit means a user has decided not to make it all the way through your Stories. You’ll want to keep this number low.

These metrics and more are now available from Simply Measured.

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Maricel Paz

I'm a Product Marketing Manager here at Simply Measured, where I work to ensure our products meet our customers' needs. I'm passionate about well-designed products, pinot noir, and Bravo TV

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