Businesses are beginning to go all-in on Instagram Stories, which means measuring their success through Instagram Stories analytics will become a crucial part of their social strategy this year.
But in order to create a winning Instagram Stories strategy, you need to have a clear idea of how to measure your performance.
So how can you tell what’s working and what isn’t?
In this post, we’ll walk you through the ins and outs of your Instagram Stories analytics, what each metric means, and how you can use this knowledge to improve your Instagram Stories strategy:
Understanding Your Instagram Stories Analytics
Tracking your Instagram Stories analytics is key to understanding your audience, optimizing your content, and evaluating your overall performance.
Similar to the analytics for your Instagram posts and account, your Instagram Stories analytics can found by tapping the “Insights” button in the top right corner of your Business Profile (if you haven’t converted to a Business Profile yet, you can check out a blog post on how do it here).
Here’s what Instagram Stories Insights look like on iOS:
Once you open your Instagram Insights, switch to the “Content” tab at the top of the screen. Here you’ll see data for both your regular Instagram posts as well as your Instagram Stories.
To get a deeper look into your Instagram Stories analytics, open your story and swipe up for a full list of insights. This will pull up a number of important metrics that can help you measure the success of your Instagram Stories:
Below, we’ll breakdown each of the different Instagram Stories metrics and how they can help you optimize your strategy:
Reach & Impressions
Reach and Impression can both help you understand the size of your Instagram Stories audience,ut what’s the difference between them?
Reach is the the number of visits a unique account viewed each slide in your story, while impressions is the total number of views on each of your individual Instagram Stories.
Impressions go a step deeper than reach, offering relevant data including when someone has watched your story more than once. If your total impressions are higher than your reach, this means your story was replayed multiple times.
Your impressions will often be higher than your reach, but never the other way around.
If you notice that your reach is declining, you may want to rethink the type of content you share. Don’t be afraid to switch things up (just make sure to track when you do!) to find out what your audience is most interested in seeing.
Luckily, there are a ton of creative features you can use to improve your Instagram Stories content within the app! Using these features in a consistent way can add a ton of personality to your Stories and help you build a loyal following.
Want to learn more about this? Check out this post about the latest Instagram Stories features and how you can use them to upgrade your strategy!
Want to learn more about how you can use Instagram Stories to grow your business? Watch this free Instagram Stories for Business course!
Instagram Stories Navigation
Instagram Stories analytics also offers data on how viewers interact with your Instagram Stories. If you view a single slide in your story, you’ll notice a list of metrics including: Forward, Back, Next Story, and Exits:
Type of engagement data is great for finding out what types of content perform the best, so you can determine what you should be posting more of!
Taps Forward is the number of times a viewer tapped the right side of the screen to jump to the next story in the queue. Since a lot of people “speed tap” their way through their Stories, Taps Backward, Next Story, and Exits are all better indications of how your Stories are performing.
For example, if you’re running an Instagram account for an online sneaker store, you’ll want to pay attention to how different types of content perform against each other.
Is your audience most engaged when you’re sharing product photos? Or do they tend to prefer behind-the-scenes footage? Are they swiping away from photos but tapping forward on video content?
Tracking these kinds of metrics can help you find out now not just how similar content performs, but how different content buckets perform against each other.
Taps Backward is the number of times a viewer tapped the left side of the screen to rewatch the previous story.
This can be a great sign of what’s working. When a viewer taps backwards, it can mean they think content is worth re-watching or that it caught their attention while they were speed tapping through their Stories. If a post has a lot of taps backward, make note of the type of content and keep testing it in your future Stories! This is one of the best ways to unlock new trends and find out what works for your audience.
Next Story & Exits
Exits are the number of times someone has swiped out of your story, while Next Story indicates the number of taps to the next account’s story.
While these two metrics are similar, exits have a less negative connotation. For example, if someone exits your story, it could mean that your story was ending and the user swiped onto the next story in their queue. Also, if you include a clickable link in you story, they may have swiped up to learn more.
However, these metric can also be incredibly telling and show where in your content strategy you can improve to keep your audience’s attention. If you’re seeing a lot of nexts or exits for your Stories, you may want to consider reviewing the quality of your content. You always want to create content that’s interesting enough to keep your audience tapping through to the end and coming back for more!
Instagram Stories Interactions
Instagram Stories analytics also track the types of interactions your Stories receive. These interactions are broken down into Swipe-Ups and Replies.
Last year, Instagram rolled out the ability to add links to Instagram Stories, and it’s a pretty big deal. In fact, it’s the first time ever that users can add links to Instagram that aren’t the link in their bio!
Whether you use clickable links to drive traffic to your web campaigns, product pages, or blog posts, tracking the number of times users “swipe up” on your Stories is a great way to figure out what kinds of content are best for driving traffic.
If your swipe-ups are low, try adding text letting users know to “Swipe up!” or an arrow pointing to the bottom of your screen. It’s possible your audience may be missing the link and needs a little nudge in the right direction:
Similar to engagements for photos and videos, replies are the number of times someone has directly responded to a portion of your story. But unlike comments on a photo or video, these responses end up in your inbox and don’t appear publicly.
Creating Instagram Stories that encourage followers to reply is a great way to boost your overall engagement (and the Instagram algorithm will reward you for it too)!
Pay close attention to what content drives your audience to connect with you, and continue to take advantage of these opportunities to connect with your followers in the future! These interactions will not only help keep your Instagram Stories at the top of your followers’ feeds, but will help drive deeper connections with your audience.
Actions on Location & Hashtag Stickers
Instagram Stories analytics also show you the number of taps on stickers, making it easier to evaluate their performance in your Instagram Stories!
Recently, Instagram expanded the Search & Explore page to include hashtag and location Stories. Now when you add a hashtag or location sticker to a story, other users will be able to find it if they search it on the Explore page. This means that your Stories are now discoverable by anyone on the platform!
Instagram Stories Features
If your story gets featured in a hashtag or location story, you can also track the number of viewers who viewed it through the Search & Explore page!
When your story is added to the search results for a location, Instagram will send a notification to your account. And when someone views your story from a hashtag or location page, you’ll see the name of that page when looking at who watched your story in your Instagram Stories analytics.
This gives you the opportunity to reach tons of new and undiscovered audiences with your Stories. And if they like what they see, they might even give you a follow!
Using Instagram Stories Analytics To Optimize Your Strategy
Now that you understand what the different metrics mean, you’re now ready to optimize your Instagram Stories strategy!
It’s key to track overall patterns and learnings when digging into your analytics, as many different factors can affect your day-to-day success. Testing different types of content and Instagram Stories features can help you identify trends, monitor “wins,” and help you create a fine-tuned Instagram Stories strategy that truly resonates with your audience.
In addition to the metrics above, keep in mind the time of day, type of content, length of story and other factors that may be contributing to your Instagram Stories performance. While Instagram Stories analytics provides you with the data, but it’s up to you to keep testing and tweaking your content strategy!