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How to get statistics on your Instagram account for free?

You share posts and stories on Instagram, and everything that determines how well your post did – are likes and comments. That’s not enough, is it? Turns out there are much more insights available without the need to leave the Instagram application. To find out how to activate these statistics, and how to use them – read further!

Instagram have created their own Insights, which show statistics about your posts and stories, as well as your account as a whole.

How to access Instagram Insights?

To access these insights, you need to switch to professional account. When you switch your account to Professional (either Creator or Business), you gain new section under the menu – Insights.

If you don’t know how to switch to professional account: go to your settings, tap on the “Account”, and choose the “Switch to Professional Account” option. You will have to choose between Creator and Business account. I use creator, so that I don’t need to have a mandatory contact option, since I am not a business. Afterwards you will have to choose your category – it will show under your username for everyone who visit your profile.

From the moment you switch to professional account, Instagram will start to collect everything that happens to your account. Soon enough (after few days) Instagram will display the statistics about your content, audience and user activity on your page in the new section.

Instagram insights in the menu
Instagram insights

How to use Instagram Insights?

When you navigate to the insights, there are three tabs – Content, Activity and Audience.

Content tab

Here you can see your top recent posts and your recent stories, and the according statistics.

Inside the “Posts” section you will see all your posts since you switched to the professional account. You can filter your posts by three criteria: post type, time period and interaction type. With this you can see your top posts for the last year, or last month (or other time frame), and create a “best nine” grid to put in your stories or gallery. You can also see which posts were the most successful ones in earning new followers, which got most website clicks, which posts were saved or shared the most, and many more statistics.

To change the filters for your post insights, tap on any of the drop-down menus on the top and choose different values.

My Instagram posts from last year, ordered by likes
Instagram Insights post “time period” filter

Stories

When you navigate to the “Stories” section, you are able to see all your stories made in the last 14 days, as well as choose what statistics to show onto them (you can see one at a time). You can see the numbers of follows, profile visits, replies, website clicks, as well as much more from these statistics. Sadly the stories aren’t ordered by the numbers unlike the Posts section. These stories appear in the order you shared them – starting with the earliest ones.

Instagram story insights showing the number of replies under each post

Activity tab

The Activity tab consists of two parts – Interactions and Discovery. Here you can see how well you did in the last 7 days.

Interactions in the last 7 days
Discovery in the last 7 days with the numbers exposed

Interactions section measures the actions people take when they engage with your account. You’re able to see the number of actions on each day for the last 7 days. You can tap on the graph to enable the numbers. You’re also able to see how many people visited your account in the last week.

Discovery will allow you to see how many users you have reached on each day, as well as your reach and impressions. Reach is the number of unique accounts that have seen your posts or stories, while Impressions are the total number of times all your posts and stories have been seen in the last 7 days.

Audience tab

This is the place to go to when you want to learn more about your followers. The “Audience” tab consists of multiple sections: Growth, Top locations, Age range, Gender distribution and when your followers are the most active.

Audience growth insights showing the statistics for the last Sunday

Growth section allow you to see how many followers you gained and lost in each day for the last 7 days, as well as combined altogether. Tap on the graph to see two charts – your follower and unfollower count. You’re also able to see what posts and stories you made on the day by tapping on the “See posts” – this can help you understand what you did right on the day when you earned the most followers – and do that again in the future.

Gender and Followers section
Top locations and Age range sections

Gender section show your follower gender distribution. Top Locations show you where your followers are from (you can see top cities and top countries). Age range show your follower age distribution. You can also see the age for men and women separately.

Followers section is an important one – this determines when your followers are the most active. For me – my followers are the most active in the evening around 6PM. You could have completely different stats based on where your followers are from. This section can help you to understand when to post your photos to get the most engagement from your followers.

Post and story insights

The new “Insights” menu isn’t the only new feature you get. You can now also see insights for your individual posts or stories too!

Post insights

A button “View Insights” now appears under each of your post, through which you can access the insights. Post insights show you a lot of information you couldn’t see before. You now see not only the like and comment count, but share and save count too. As well as you can see how many people have visited your profile from this photo and followed you. A very important part of these insights is the discovery section – this shows how many people you have reached with this post, as well as you can see where did people see the post from. A really good sign is when you see a big number in the hashtags – that means you chose great hashtags and got to trending on some of them, so more people saw them.

New “View Insights” button under a post
Instagram post insights

Story insights

For each of your story you can now see how many people tapped on the user, location or hashtag stickers. That’s the feature I really love, because I see how interested people are in visiting the accounts of the users I share. Under the “Discovery” tab you’re able to see how many times this story was seen, as well as how many people tapped “back” (to see your previous story), tapped “forward”, swiped to see the next user’s story or exited from your story.

Story insights for interactions
Story insights for discovery

Conclusion

I couldn’t live without these insights now, because I am interested in knowing why is my post getting more likes than others (to repeat that in the future). As well as I always want to know if users are interested in the stories I post and tap on the stickers I place. These insights are a “must” for everyone with business account, as well as photographers who want to grow their page.

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