400 Million people use Instagram Stories every day. Stories have become a powerful channel for businesses to engage with their clients, increase brand awareness and even make sales.
However, if you are already investing your time and effort in Stories, you need to measure the performance. Most business owners misunderstand Stories analytics and misinterpret the results. Instagram Insights, an inbuilt Instagram stories analytical tool, is more comprehensive than just finding out which video, gif or photo performed the best.
Also, to grow your followers on Instagram, you can check out our free step by step Instagram guideline ebook.
Understanding how your content is performing is only possible by tracking key Instagram Stories metrics over a period of time. By understanding what your audience wants, preferred timing of publishing, and demographic data you can improve your content strategy and drive more traffic as well as sales.
To learn how to organically grow your Instagram followers in your own phase, check out our article; The Ultimate Guideline to Growing Your Followers on Instagram.
In contrast to other social media, Stories don’t have likes or comments; instead, users interact with content in the following ways:
- They Tap Forward and go to your next story.
- They Tap Backward and rewatch your story.
- Alternatively, they Exit your story and go back to the main feed.
- They Reply and respond to your story, which is shown only to you
- They “Swipe up” by clicking on an arrow at the bottom of a screen, a user is then forwarded to the link you have left. (Only available if you have more than 10K followers)
How to access your Stories Insights?
If you already have a business account on Instagram, you can automatically have access to Instagram Insights, which can show you when your audience is on Instagram, which of your posts are most popular, and your account’s impressions and reach.
We highly recommend switching to a business account, as it provides more data and it is free! If you want to learn more about the Instagram business account, this article is for you. To the ones, who are worried about the reach of each post as business profiles, the Instagram algorithm does not “discriminate” business profiles as Facebook and LinkedIn do.
How to understand Stories’ Metrics?
Discovery and Impressions
Discovery and Impressions metrics show you the size of your Stories’ audience.
Discovery – the number of people who saw your story. The number of views of the story from the same account is not counted here, even if the same person opened the story 5 times, the Discovery will not change.
Impressions – the total number of views of the story. That is, every time someone sees your story, the number increases.
So if you posted a story and reached one person who viewed your story five times, Insights would show one Discovery and five impressions. Notice that Impressions will always be greater than Discovery. High Impressions to Discovery ratio indicates that your followers wanted to rewatch your content.
Navigation metrics are ambiguous and open to interpretation.
Back – a number of times users returned to the previous clip. This indicates the interest in your story and the desire to rewatch it again.
Forward – a number of taps the audience of your Stories went to the next one. Why? It’s hard to understand whether a user liked the story or not. The user could have scrolled the story forward because he understood what you wanted to say and the story is boring. Conversely, the user can also be intrigued and simply wanted to know what happens next.
In general, a high number of taps forward isn’t a good sign. Use this as a warning signal that your story wasn’t interesting, was too long, or wasn’t cropped properly.
Side note: A high number of taps forward could also mean that the composition of your story is wrong. For example, placing stickers or calls to action (CTAs) too close to the right side of the screen could lead to false taps forward. Keep that in mind. This is the reason, why we said that Navigation metrics are ambiguous.
Next Story – the number of time users skipped your Stories. This happens when your stories are so uninteresting, that the user wanted to skip everything and go to the stories of another account.
Exits – the number of times users exited the story. This happens when users click on the cross in the upper right corner to exit the story section or close the application itself.
Side note: If the story has a high number of Exited, but the same story has a Swipe-up link, then it is a good signal. It means that you were able to forward people to your website. Enjoy the traffic!
Replies – the number of times an individual directly messaged you. But unlike comments on a photo or video, these responses end up in your inbox and don’t appear publicly.
At Sociality.io we’ve analyzed hundreds of business profiles and found out that engagement in Stories is more valuable than comments under regular posts. Mainly because the engagement in Stories is private and personal. So, social media marketers have the ability to actually personalize the conversation.
Instagram Insights also shows how many times people clicked on your stickers, geolocations, and hashtags. This can be powerful insights to understand which content your audience liked the most.
Since now you have an idea of what each metrics means, let’s move on to analytics, shall we?
Statistics on Instagram helps you evaluate the results of your work on your account and see if you are moving in the right direction. Or in contrast, show you where in your Stories marketing strategy you need to improve.
How to Boost Your Discoverability on Instagram Stories?
As the daily active Instagram story users and their interactions are so high in number, you need to start investing your time on boosting your story content to grow your business.
First of all, you need to be creative and consistent with your stories so as to take the interest of your customers. To accomplish this, ask these questions; what are my customers are interested in and what is their taste?
Thus, collecting feedback from your audiences would be very helpful to be more efficient and fulfill your goal. Fortunately, Instagram stories are well designed with features to learn more about your followers. You can easily ask them how they think about or would like to see on your page by using ask a question, take a poll, question stricter and quiz sticker features of Instagram stories.
Another step to reach your target followers is using the appropriate hashtags which can lead your content to thousands of people. Placing the top-rated hashtags on your stories may help to boost the discoverability of your presence.
How to calculate the Engagement Rate on Instagram Stories?
Engagement rate is the percentage of followers or viewers that engage with your posts. In general, you would divide the number of likes, shares, comments by your followers/subscribers number. In Stories due to the controversy of each metric, the engagement rate is not that exact. So instead of focusing on one number, take a broader look at all metrics and analyze what performed best manually. Until one day we will develop Artificial intelligence software, we can only rely on the human brain. But don’t worry, it is not hard.
Notice that Instagram Insights shows data for only one week! ONE WEEK! We know that it is hard to copy-paste every number to an excel sheet, and we understand the importance of keeping track of Stories performance longer than a week. We need a service that does all this for us.
Of course, you can create a weekly routine of copy-pasting all data for a week. But you don’t want to bother. We have a great solution for you!
Sociality.io is an all-in-one social media management platform that helps teams to publish content, listen to conversations, engage with your customers and measure your performance. Sociality.io provides detailed reports without extra payment to all social media networks you connect the platform with, including Instagram Stories.
With the Sociality.io Stories report you can easily see what your audience likes and what content resonates with your followers’ preferences.
However, We highly recommend you to use both Instagram Insight and Sociality.io report, because Swipe-ups and stickers tap data are only available in the application itself.
Sorting Stories by the number of views and replies is not an accurate way of analyzing content performance.
Instead, use our method:
1) Get Sociality.io Stories report to have a broad picture of your stories’ performance. Look at how in general, for a long period of time users interact with your content. Specifically, pay attention to the Impression of Discovery ratio.
2) Create a strategy (For example: post more gamifying content, use a celebrity in stories, use stories advertising, etc.)
3) Ask your team member for a feedback
4) Create the content
5) 24 hours after the publication look at results
6) Try a couple of different content types
7) Make conclusions
8) Repeat the process in case of failure of the first strategy
While the Sociality.io report provides you with the data, it’s up to you to keep testing and to tweak your content strategy. Try to test new visual strategies: buttons, different call-to-actions (CTAs), style and timing. Then compare the performance of those stories to see which one does the best.
To wrap it all up, Stories drive valuable engagement. But in contrast to other social media like Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter, the interaction is different.
In general, the best content in Stories has a high Impression to Discovery ratio, a high number of Replies, a high number of “Back”, low number of “Forward”, “Exited” and “Next Story”. However, as we mentioned previously Navigation metrics are ambiguous and can have multiple interpretations.