Arguably the single most significant reason for Instagram’s recent stellar success has been its introduction of Instagram Stories. It may be a near-copy of Snapchat’s greatest offering, but it brought a whole new generation of fans to Instagram, and the social network’s user numbers have grown phenomenally ever since. However, if you take your Instagram Stories seriously, you are going to want to know how your Stories perform. To do this, you will need to make a close inspection of your Instagram Story Analytics.
Free Instagram Stories Reach Estimator Tool
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Note: Achoo analyzed millions of Instagram posts and stories using machine learning and
predictive analytics to establish the most accurate estimate of an Instagram stories’ reach.
This is merely an estimate. Achoo continues to work on improving the machine learning processes
in order to improve accuracy. This tool is in no way associated or part of Instagram, and
without authorization, the app merely provides an estimate of a stories’ reach.
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Instagram Stories Analytics:
Instagram Stories is a Snapchat Killer
We have looked at Instagram Stories in detail over multiple posts, including How to Use Instagram Stories Like an Expert. Instagram introduced Stories in August 2016, partly as an attempt to take on Snapchat and its young audience. It has snowballed in popularity, to the point where more than 500 million Instagrammers use Instagram Stories every day.
As a comparison, Snapchat has about 300 million active users worldwide. 190 million of these use Snapchat daily – now considerably fewer than the numbers using Instagram Stories.
Snapchat’s main point of difference used to be its “disappearing stories.” However, with the advent of Instagram Stories, Snapchat lost its real point of difference. While Snapchat still has a core group of young supporters, Instagram Stories has undoubtedly been a life changer for Instagram and its parent, Facebook.
Tracking Instagram Stories is Essential for Evaluating Your Overall Success
To access analytics for any of your Instagram posts or Stories, you first need to change your Instagram account over to a Business Profile. If you haven’t yet done so, we have full instructions on how to make the switch (along with four reasons why you should do so).
Once you are set up as a business profile, you can access any Instagram analytics by going into your Insights section. To find this, click on your profile picture in the bottom right corner of the app. This will take you to your profile page.
The app has changed in appearance recently, as Instagram adds new features, but at the time of writing, you can access your Insights page by either:
- Clicking on the “hamburger” icon in the top right corner of your profile page (which will slide a whole series of options across the page), or
- Simply drag (using one finger) from right to left on your profile page, and this will again bring up a series of options.
At the top of this vertical menu of options is Insights. Click on this button.
Your Insights come with three tabs: Activity, Content, and Audience. The critical tab here (in terms of Stories) is the middle one, Content. Click on it. This will tell you the number of posts you have made this week, comparing it with last week’ performance.
The rest of the page is split between Posts, Stories, and Promotions. Obviously, it’s the middle section, entitled Stories, that is of most interest to us.
Essential Metrics for an Instagram Story
Impressions and Reach
You can create a Story (or update an existing one) directly from this section. If you have a Story, you can glean interesting information about it by opening your Story, swiping up and observing a full list of its relevant stats. These relate to both reach and engagement.
Remember that Reach indicates the number of unique visits to each frame of your story. Impression, on the other hand, i.e., the total number of views to all your Stories. Impressions are more detailed than reach. Should you find your impressions to be higher than your reach, then you will find that some people have read posts more than once.
If you notice declining reach levels over time, you may want to review the types of content you place in your stories. Your audience may be beginning to become tired of your usual fare. You could also experiment with using different fitters and other creative features to change the look and feel of your Stories.
Stories Completion Rate
An Instagram Story consists of a series of interrelated slides (or short videos) which you add to your story over 24 hours. This means that many of your followers may only see incomplete stories, and not make it through to the end of your Story.
To see the success of an individual story, look at the four stats shown for each slide of your Story (under Navigation): Back, Forward, Next Story, and Exit. As these names indicate, they show how the viewers moved on from this particular slide.
On a perfect story, we would have many Taps Forward (part from the last slide, where the bulk of the viewers would either Exit or move to Next Story.
However, a large number of Taps Forward is not necessarily good. Quite a few people “speed tap” their way through Instagram Stories, from beginning to end without taking much notice of the slides in-between. This means that you need to analyze Taps Forward in conjunction with other data.
Taps Backward can often be a good sign that people enjoy your content, as it means that they are willing to play your Story again (or go into one of your previous stories). So, you should consider uploading more content like the one with higher than usual Taps Backwards rates.
While Next Story and Exits (apart from the last slide) may both indicate dissatisfaction with your story, Next Story is potentially worse. This shows that the users have become bored with your Story and want to look at something else. On the other hand, an Exit may just mean that the person has run out of time, maybe to get back to work. They may even pick up the story later in the day. Another option is that you have included a clickable link in your Story, and the person has swiped up to access the link, clicked on it and exited the story to go to your link
Next Story could give you a good indication of when a story is too long. For example, if your viewers start to click on Next Story after your fifth slide, you know that they prefer stories with five or fewer slides.
The main ways that people engage with your Instagram Stories are with Swipe-ups and Replies. Swipe-ups are particularly important now that Instagram has made it possible for you to add clickable links to your Stories when somebody Swipes Up.
You can track how often people Swipe Up in your stories. Again, take notice of the kinds of content that encourage people to Swipe Up as distinct from the Stories where people don’t bother to take action.
If your overall Swipe Ups are low, you may need to encourage your audience more, by adding reminders within your Stories. This can be done with a mix of text, arrows, graphics, and GIFs. People aren’t going to click on your link if they don’t know that it’s there.
Just like with your photos and videos, people can comment on the different slides of your Story. Unlike other comments, however, Story Replies aren’t public, and end up in your Inbox, for your eyes only. This means that you’re likely to receive fewer replies for a Story than for the items you share in your general Instagram stream.
It is a good idea to encourage replies, however, as Instagram rewards greater engagement in its algorithm (even for Stories that sit separately at the top of the page).
A more obscure form of engagement is tapping on stickers in an Instagram Story. The total number of taps to each sticker you use in a Story is included in the Interactions section of your Insights, shows you whether the sticker gelled with your audience or whether it sank without a trace.
Instagram Hashtag Stories
A couple of years ago, Instagram added the capability of adding hashtag stickers on their Stories. This means that you can search Stories by hashtag. You can determine the number of viewers who used the hashtag sticker via your Instagram Explore page.
This is particularly useful because the types of people who search by hashtag will usually not already be your followers – it increases your potential audience dramatically.
Overall Statistics that May Affect Your Instagram Campaigns
You should be able to find other analytics that may help you optimize your Instagram Story posting campaigns. We recently began reviewing social media publishing platforms. Quite a few of these provide a way for you to plan and schedule your Instagram posts centrally, as well as in some cases, Stories.
The number of statistics supplied by social media management apps varies, but you should be able to pick up some useful data to improve your posting practices. Search your platform for stats relating to your best posting times (and the times you should avoid). These may also give you a guide as to how often you should create Stories, and how many slides to include in each Story.
As with most social networks, it makes sense for you to use any Instagram Stories analytics you can find. It is only by establishing your best and worst practices from the past that you can improve to create the ideal posting patterns for your Instagram Stories in the future.