Breaking Down Instagram Story Insights

We create a monthly report for each of our clients that analyzes and interprets data across automation, social media, paid media, and website analytics. This allows us to see what is currently performing well for each client, and what areas we have the opportunity to test and improve on in the following month. One key component of reporting that is worth noting is Instagram insights – specifically Instagram story insights.

Instagram stories have become increasingly popular when it comes to social media marketing, as it allows brands to engage with their followers in new and interactive ways. While you and your business may be posting regularly on Instagram stories, do you have any idea how these stories are performing with your audience? Even if you are looking at your insights on a regular basis, are you aware as to what each of these metrics means on a deeper level?

Let’s take a closer look at some common metrics you may see in your Instagram story insights and what they are really telling you about your stories:

  1. Impressions

When it comes to analyzing your insights data, this is one of the metrics to pay the most attention to, as it is telling you the number of times a photo or video was seen in your story. This gives you an insight into two major things – what posts are performing well with your followers and what posts might be missing the target. If you are used to an average of 8% of your followers viewing your stories, and it increases to 30% of your followers viewing the new story you recently posted – you are doing something right. Try testing out different story styles and pay close attention to your impression number. Taking note of this number and knowing what kind of content your followers like is what will set you up for success with your followers later.

Pro Tip: To calculate the percentage of followers viewing your story, take the total number of impressions and divide by the total number of your Instagram followers. Interpreting impressions this way is far more valuable than simply saying “my story had 270 views.”

  1. Reach

Reach may sound similar to impressions, but don’t get these two confused. While impressions focus on the number of times your story was viewed, reach is focusing on the number of accounts that saw a photo or video in your story. Depending on what your overall goal is, this insight may mean more to you than the number of impressions. If you are more interested in knowing the number of different user accounts your story reached rather than focusing on total views, then keep track of this number as you are posting stories to see how it changes with each post. Again, it all depends on your specific goals and which insight has the most value to you.

  1. Forward

While this insight doesn’t play as big of a role as impressions or reach, it still holds value. This is telling you the number of total taps your followers used to see the next photo or video in your story. There are various reasons as to why a viewer would tap through your story – maybe it was a longer video that wasn’t quite grasping their attention, or maybe it was a post with a short amount of content and they simply tapped when they were finished reading. Again, not an extremely pivotal metric when it comes to the overall performance of your story, but it is something to keep tabs on.

  1. Back

The exact opposite of the forward metric, this is the total number of taps your followers used to see the previous photo or video in your story. Another way to think of this is that something in the previous post caught your viewer’s eye enough that they wanted to view it for the second time!

  1. Exited

Previously called “Away Swipes” in Instagram insights, this is the total number of taps viewers used to leave your story or “exit” out of your story. Again, as with forward taps, there are various reasons as to why a viewer would exit out of viewing a story. If you noticing a consistent number of exit taps on your stories, it may be time to rethink your story strategy. Use this as a learning opportunity to test out different stories to see what types of content your followers are engaging with the most. Try adding a gif to your next story, or include a poll to get your followers involved. Stories should show your brand’s personality – don’t be afraid to have fun with it.

If you are new to Instagram Stories and could use some assistance analyzing your insights, or if you haven’t jumped on the stories bandwagon just yet and are interested in learning more about how they can help grow your business, reach out to us!