Instagram Impressions & Other IG Lingo Marketers Needs to Know

Ready to take your Instagram game to the next level? Instagram or IG has over a billion active monthly users and attracts over 130 million shoppers each month who tap and buy products from IG’s shopping posts. It’s no surprise then that brands and companies are looking to find the best strategy to leverage their Instagram accounts.

However, those new to Instagram might feel lost with all the buttons and terms being thrown around the app. To help you out, here’s a compilation of Instagram terms that can help you better navigate the platform and leverage it for business growth. It also includes key performance indicators (KPI) you can use to track and measure your progress.

14 Instagram Metrics & Terms Every Marketer Needs to Know:

Instagram Terms Every Marketer Should Know

1. Instagram Algorithm

An algorithm is basically a process or a set of instructions used for calculations or computer operations. In social media, algorithms dictate what content certain users see. Each social media platform has its own algorithm, making it even more challenging for marketers to figure out which type of content delivers conversions for which channels.

However, there is no single Instagram algorithm that controls what content gets the most visibility. Instead, Instagram uses various processes, classifiers, and algorithms to determine what content gets shown to certain groups of users. Feeds, Reels, Stories, and other parts of the platform each use a different set of algorithms that factor content, user activity, user demographics, interactions, and other signals.

2. Follower Growth Rate

You can find this number by finding the increase or decrease in followers in a certain time period and dividing that number by the number of followers at the start of the period. With this figure, you could determine if you are effectively acquiring new followers or losing existing ones.

Social Status data indicates that the average Instagram growth rate in January 2022 is 4.10%. Don’t worry if yours isn’t as high as this rate though. The usual monthly average follower growth rate is just around 2.0%. But if you’re consistently getting low or negative growth rates, it is time to rethink your social media strategy.

To help boost your growth rate, create content that’s engaging and shareable. Your online visibility increases without additional effort from you when your own followers tag their friends or share your post. You can also run post engagement ads to place your content in the eyes of non-followers. Another way to gain new followers is to run a giveaway or contest and include the Follow button in the entry mechanics. Everyone loves getting freebies and winning prizes so this is bound to get you several new followers.

3. Instagram Engagement

Instagram Engagement pertains to how two users interact or communicate with each other while on Instagram. Any brand or creator needs to have a good amount of engagement for their IG account to be relevant. People can engage with posts via comments, direct messages (DMs), replying to the Stories, or through Instagram Live.

For social marketers, the engagement rate is an important metric to track. However, it can be quite confusing with several different ways to calculate it depending on what one wants to measure. For instance, if you want to benchmark your engagement against competitors, you compute the Public Engagement Rate by comparing publicly viewable interactions (likes and comments) by the Number of Followers. To benchmark against your own performance, you compute your Private Engagement Rate. Get the total number of likes, comments, saves, and video views then divide it by your Reach. You can also measure your engagement rate against Impressions instead of Reach.

Marketers should make it a point to improve their engagement rates since it can signal to the algorithm that the account is relevant. When you have a strong engagement rate, it means you have a receptive audience. This means you have a good relationship with your followers.

It’s a good metric to keep an eye out for if you’re a brand since you can easily gauge if your messaging strategy or campaign is performing well or not by how much engagement it’s receiving. To further utilize this metric, break down your rates by media type – photos, videos, or carousel posts. This will give you a better understanding which type of posts your audience are more likely to engage with.

4. Instagram Reach

This metric refers to the unique users that view or see your content. Instagram Reach is shown in terms of percentages and calculated by dividing the amount of people who have seen your post over the number of followers you have.

You can improve Instagram Reach either by paid or organic methods. Organic Reach occurs when people find your post without advertising. They may have stumbled across it or were referred to it by other people, or someone recommended it. Meanwhile, Paid Reach happens when you conduct an advertising campaign, and users find your post or account through the ad.

5. Instagram Impressions

Impressions are commonly confused with Reach but they are two distinct metrics to track. When you say Instagram Impressions, it means the number of times the post was viewed by your audience. Every time a user reviews a post, it is counted as an impression. So if one user views one post three times, that would count as one Reach and three Impressions. One thing to note is that if your Instagram impression is higher compared to your Instagram Reach, it means your viewers are re-watching your posts or content several times.

To find out if your post is doing well, you want to make sure that the impressions are higher compared to your reach. This is particularly important when you want to cultivate a deeper brand awareness with your followers. Strive to maintain a high impressions-to-reach ratio to maximize your Instagram marketing campaign.

6. Conversion Rate

Conversions refer to when the viewer of the ad takes your desired action. The action can be anything like clicking on a website link, downloading an app, or buying something. If your goal for a marketing campaign is to increase conversions, you should analyze your conversion rate. It tells you what percent of your audience take a specified action when they see your post. You can calculate it by getting the ratio between your total conversions and total number of visitors.

A high conversion rate indicates that your post is effective at attracting users and compelling them to act on it. To increase conversions, create authentic content with appealing visuals that compel your audience to take action. Optimize the use of hashtags and place organic CTA buttons in appropriate places.

7. Instagram Insights

Insights is Instagram’s native reporting tool for business accounts. It helps users keep track of their own metrics as a creator or business. When you look at Insights, Instagram gives you a breakdown of the data of your viewers. It can tell you the age, post reach, as well as gender breakdown of the audience.

Use Follower Demographics to better understand who your followers are and check if you are reaching your desired audience. Their behavioral information shows when they are most active on the platform. This gives you an idea on the best time and day to post content enabling you to maximize your reach and engagement.

Insights also gives you data on how your ads are performing and which of your content are getting the most engagements. You can use Insights together with more advanced analytics tools to make the most of the data information. Some of the more advanced Instagram analytics tools can show you what time your viewers are clicking on your posts, which content they react to the most, and where they are finding your work.

8. Sentiment Analysis

Sentiment analysis is a way of quantifying or analyzing a person’s attitude towards a particular topic based on expressions through text. It helps determine whether the opinion or feedback given is positive, negative, or neutral.

A sentiment analysis tool used alongside Instagram Insights helps detect the general mood of users when they respond to your content. This can help you gauge how your audience feels so you can improve your brand presence.

9. Influencer CPM

Influencer cost-per-mile (CPM) refers to the value and the price it will cost to hire an influencer. It is typically computed as the cost paid per 1,000 impressions. Let’s say an influencer has 100,000 followers and a CPM of $20. The cost of working with this influencer would be $2,000 per sponsored post.

An Influencer CPM varies depending on many factors including clout, targeting options, ad quality, and engagement. If your brand is just starting out, you can still leverage influencer marketing by partnering with influencers whose audience resembles yours and whose cost you can afford.

10. Instagram Cost per Click (CPC)

Cost-per-click (CPC) is a metric used to measure how much you are paying for every click on an ad you place. In Instagram, the average is around $0.70 to $1 but the cost can soar to more than $5 for highly competitive industries.

Generally, you’d want a low CPC that delivers more traffic at a lower price. But the actual cost varies depending on who you’re targeting with your ad, the locations you’re targeting, how relevant the ad is to the target audience, and other factors.

11. Ad Frequency

Ad frequency tells you how many times your ad was shown to your target audience. It is computed as the ratio of your total ad impressions and your total ad reach. For Instagram Ads, this metric can help optimize ad spend and maximize ROIs. A frequency that is more than 1.00 indicates that some of your audience saw your ad more than once. This is a good measure if your goal is to enhance awareness and recall. However, this does not mean that a very high frequency is good. On the contrary, too high of a frequency means that an ad is being shown too many times to each user, thus wasting ad budget.

12. Instagram Reels Insights

Reels are becoming a staple in the Instagram algorithm. Luckily, marketers, brands, and creators can also check out the Instagram Reels Analytics to find out what they’re doing right. Businesses can use reels to create original content, showcase their products or services, or simply share educational information to their audience.

Reels Insights gives you a more in-depth view of the performance of your Reels. It helps you understand what clicks with your audience and what does not. It also helps give you an idea on the ideal time to post your Reels to maximize engagement. By keeping close track of Reels analytics, you can spot non-performing content, identify opportunities, and improve your Instagram campaign strategy.

13. Instagram Saved Posts

Instagram Saves indicate the number of users who saved your posts. This feature gives users the option to save a post and view it again at a later time. With your Instagram posts in the Saved section of their profiles, your posts gain longer visibility. They have more possibility of being viewed multiple times even months after they were originally posted.

Instagram Algorithm factors in the number of saves when ranking posts in a feed. High number of saves is generally considered an indication of quality. So a post that gets saved by many users gets positioned higher in feeds.

Saved Posts also give you an understanding of what content your followers are interested in. To view more data on this metric, go to Insights and sort content you have shared by Saves. Evaluate the content that generated the most number of saves to know which types to create on your future campaigns.

14. Instagram Stories Analytics

Instagram Stories are disappearing or ephemeral content that gets automatically deleted after 24 hours. Younger social media users tend to engage more with this type of content for fear of missing out. As a brand, you can use Instagram Stories to motivate followers to stay engaged. Use it for exclusive or limited-time offers or to post spontaneous clips.

Instagram Stories analytics can help you optimize your campaign strategies. You can track metrics to understand how followers engage with different types of content. For instance, Taps Forward and Exits indicate that a content was not interesting so users move to the next story. Taps Backward may mean that your content was worth a second view but it could also mean that it was too long to read before the new story plays.

Use insights from these to determine what content to post in future campaigns. Look for posts that garnered a high number of Shares, Profile Visits and other story interactions. You want your future Stories to generate more Replies, Call Button Taps, Email Button Taps, Link Clicks, and Website Taps. 

Using Instagram for Your Business and Brand

If you intend to use Instagram to help your brand, it’s important to continually learn about how the app works. Instagram often adopts new features and new ways of processing content that can help you drive better engagement.

As a marketer, you need to be on top of your IG game to ensure success in your social media marketing campaigns.

About the Author
Geri Mileva, an experienced IP network engineer and distinguished writer at Influencer Marketing Hub, specializes in the realms of the Creator Economy, AI, blockchain, and the Metaverse. Her articles, featured in The Huffington Post, Ravishly, and various other respected newspapers and magazines, offer in-depth analysis and insights into these cutting-edge technology domains. Geri's technological background enriches her writing, providing a unique perspective that bridges complex technical concepts with accessible, engaging content for diverse audiences.