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Instagram added stories back in 2016 as an answer to Snapchat’s popularity, and the format has enjoyed remarkable growth since. In 2021, Instagram estimates that 500+ million people engage with stories daily. Even more interesting for business users, a third of the most popular entries come from branded content.

The service offers substantial awareness for businesses and Instagram influencers that know how to create content relevant to their audiences. But if you’re reading this article, you’re likely using stories already. You know their promise in driving engagement and sales. You’re more interested in how to maximize this potential, and to do this, you need to know how to measure story performance.

So let’s jump right in and look at which Instagram stories analytics metrics matter, where you can find them and how you can leverage them for success.

How to Find Instagram Stories Analytics

In this how-to, we’re going to assume that the Instagram account you’re using is either a business or creator account. If it isn’t, we highly recommend making the switch. These two professional accounts have access to deeper Instagram analytics and will record Instagram insights for the history of the account, not just the last 14 days. You’ll find stories analytics in two places.

Insights in the Instagram Menu

If you don’t have an Instagram business or creator account, this is how you’ll reach the Instagram insights for your stories. From within the Instagram app, go to your profile. Then tap the menu icon at the top right of the screen (the three stacked horizontal lines) and choose “Insights”. Now scroll down to “Stories”, select it, and then tap “See All.”

From here, you can access data on major interactions like impressions and follows. You can also click individual stories to see analytics specific to that entry. For information on sticker taps and poll results, tap the eye icon at the bottom left.

Creator Studio

If you have a business or creator account you can access analytics from within Creator Studio. If you prefer accessing your account on desktop machines, this is the best method to use. It also gives you access to stories across the lifetime of your account, instead of the limited 14-day window.

Creator Studio does have its limitations, however. You won’t have access to sticker taps or poll result interactions. For those, you’ll have to access Insights through the Instagram app menu.

From within Creator Studio, go to the Content Library and then click the “Stories” tab. The resulting dashboard provides general information about your stories entries. To get detailed results, click on a specific post.

Which Stories Metrics Matter?

Instagram stories analytics are fairly robust, allowing you detailed insights into your stories performance — so much so that it can be overwhelming. The good news is that you don’t necessarily need to track every available metric to gain valuable perspective. If you keep an eye on the following metrics, you’ll have a good idea about how your stories are doing.

Impressions and Reach

These are two of the more valuable metrics in our arsenal. They measure engagement rates, and both are important, providing complementary perspectives on the same data. Let’s define each.

This measures the total number of views your story has received. It encompasses repeat viewings, so if a single account watched your story five times, each viewing will count as an impression.

Reach is a more generalized metric. It eliminates duplicated viewings to provide a sense of unique viewership. The measure is an estimate, but its algorithm does a good job of describing how many real people are engaging with your content.

In general, you want both of these measures to grow over time. Expansion in each suggests that an increasing number of people are watching your stories. If you see sustained decreases, something about your stories isn’t resonating with your audience. To find the problem, drill down into some of the other metrics.

Hashtag and Location Stickers

Hashtag stickers allow you to link your stories to specific Search and Explore hashtag pages, and location stickers help to connect you with your local market. They’re useful for seeing how your stories perform with specific segments of your audience.

Particularly when your content is featured on a sticker’s Explore page, you’ll have the opportunity to track engagement among a broader audience. You can use these insights to sculpt stories better suited to the tastes or your audience.

Interaction Metrics

Interaction analytics are all useful, but most businesses will only need to follow a limited subset. These include:

  • Follows
  • Replies
  • Shares
  • Profile visits
  • Website visits

Your goals will determine which interactions you follow regularly. For example, if you’re trying to widen your broadcasting range, you should keep a close eye on how often people share your stories. If instead, you’re trying to drive engagement, you might watch each stories’ total replies. If growing followers is your goal, you should concern yourself with the number of profile visits and new followers that each story generates. Your story priorities drive the metrics you follow.

Use Instagram Stories Analytics to Improve Your Content

As you track your stories’ critical metrics, look for correlations between the types of stories you post and associated positive and negative indicators. When you find positive correlations with a specific type of content, produce more of it. Then continue tracking to further refine your content strategy. In no time, you’ll find your stories are getting the attention they deserve.