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What are impressions on Instagram? A guide to understanding the metric, including how to track …

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  • On Instagram, “impressions” are when any of your content is shown to a user.
  • Impressions don’t track when someone interacts with your posts, or whether they’re a new viewer.
  • You can use an Instagram Business Account or third-party apps like Hootsuite to get more detailed analytics.
  • Visit Insider’s Tech Reference library for more stories.

Social media feels simple when you’re scrolling through posts, but anyone who’s spent time on the backend knows it’s anything but.

Business owners and social media professionals have a ton of data at their disposal, and to the uninitiated, it can be like trying to read a new language.

To help break things down, here’s what you need to know about impressions on Instagram, as well as how it differs from reach and engagement.

What are impressions on Instagram and how are they calculated?

Impressions track the number of times your content (including stories and posts) is shown to users on the platform. In other words, if someone is scrolling their feed and passes by your post, that’s an impression.

This doesn’t track unique viewers, just viewers. So if the same person scrolls past your post twice, that’s two impressions — but only one “reach,” which tracks uniques.

Impressions are meant to track awareness, and in theory the more impressions you build over time, the more familiar a unique user will be with your brand. Familiarity will then hopefully lead to that user purchasing your product, or just looking at more of your content. 

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Instagram notes that some metrics are estimated.

William Antonelli/Insider


How impressions on Instagram differ from reach, engagement, and engagement rate

  • Reach refers to the number of unique users who saw your content.
  • Engagement, on the other hand, refers to any time someone (including you) interacts with your content. This includes actions like:
    • Commenting
    • Sharing or saving
    • Liking
    • Following
    • Mentioning your account (with or without tagging you)
    • Using branded hashtags
    • Clicking through a story or link
    • Directly messaging you
  • Your engagement rate measures how many people saw your content vs. how many interacted with it. So for example, if ten people see your post, but only five people like it, you have an engagement rate of 50 percent (or 0.5).

    You can calculate your engagement rate by dividing your total engagement (on a single post or across your entire account) by your amount of followers, reach, or impressions. How exactly you calculate it will vary depending on your individual social media goals.  

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Here, an account’s reach is shown in a bar chart within the Instagram analytics tool.

Devon Delfino/Insider


How do you track reach, impressions, and engagement?

You can gain access to your account analytics if you have an Instagram Business Account, which you can also link to your Facebook business page if you have one.

Once set up, go to the “Insights” section of your profile to view the your profile analytics. Here you’ll see information and data that can help you improve your content strategy and assess what’s working and what’s not.  

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Click on “Insights” to view your business account’s analytics.

Devon Delfino/Insider


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Aside from Instagram’s native analytics tool, you can download a third-party app like Hootsuite or Sprout to view more detailed data beyond what Instagram’s built-in analytics can provide.

These integrated programs can also serve as scheduling apps that assist with publishing and monitoring comments and hashtags. However, you might have to pay to use these apps, especially when it comes to their more advanced features.

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Instagram Is Rolling Out Reels Replies, And Will Be Testing A New Feature Which Informs …

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Instagram has added a few more social features to the platform, with Reels Replies being rolled out. Along with the Replies, anew feature is being tested that shows when two users are active together in the same chat.

Reels has been performing much better than perhaps even Instagram ever anticipated. The TikTok-inspired new video format (which officially claims to have absolutely no relation to the former) had some trouble really finding its footing initially. However, Reels has grown massively and while it may not be a source of the most direct competition to TikTok, it is indeed a worthy alternative.

Reels has grown to the point that it has a massive creator program attached to it, and the video format has even been migrated to Facebook with the goal of generating further user interest there. Naturally, with such a successful virtual goldmine on its hands, Instagram has been hard at work developing new features and interface updates for Reels, integrating it more and more seamlessly into the rest of the social media platform. Features such as Reels Replies are a major part of such attempts at integration.

Reels Visual Replies are essentially just what they sound like: A Reel that is being used to reply to someone. It’s a feature that’s been seen frequently across TikTok as well. Reel Replies essentially take a user’s comments, and reply to them in video format. The comment will then show up within the Reel itself as a text-box, taking up some amount of space, and showing both the user who issued said comment along with the text. The text-box is apparently adjustable, with users having the ability to move it around and change its size depending on where it obstructs one’s Reel the least.

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Overall, it’s a fun addition to the Reels format, even if the credit should be going to TikTok first. At any rate, it’s an example of Instagram really utilizing Reels’ social media capabilities, outside of just serving it up as a form of entertainment.

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Speaking of social media capabilities, a new feature might help alleviate one of the most common frustrations encountered across all such platforms. Isn’t it annoying when you see that a friend’s online, but isn’t replying to your chat? Sure, they’ve probably just put their phone down to run a quick errand, but there’s no way for you to know, right? Well, there sort of is now! Instagram is beta testing a new feature via which if both users are active within a chat, the platform will display that accordingly. It’s a work-around, sure, and one that’s currently being tested for usefulness, but it’s still a very nice, and even fresh, addition to the social media game.

Now, the active status will only appear when you are both active at the same time.#Instagram #instgramnewfeature@MattNavarra @instagram @alex193a pic.twitter.com/2chGZP9hr4

— Yash Joshi  (@MeYashjoshi) December 10, 2021

Read next: Instagram Plans On Allowing Users To Return To Its Old Chronologically Sorted News Feed

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5 apps for scheduling Instagram posts on iPhone and Android

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Alright, we get it. You’re an Instagram Nostradamus.

You know exactly what you want to post and when you’re gonna want to post it. Maybe there’s a meme or comment you want to make that you know will be totally relevant for a future moment or event. Or it could be that you’re an influencer and you want to make sure you keep a steady stream of content coming, so you want to schedule posts for times when you know you won’t be active (or won’t have internet access).

You’ll be happy to know there are apps that are specialized for just such situations. So listen up, InstaNostradamuses…Instagrostra…Instadam…Insta…uh…you guys (we’ll workshop it. No we won’t. We’ll probably just abandon that effort completely. You’re welcome) — these are the Instagram-post-scheduling apps for you.

While all of the iPhone apps below are free to download, they all have some in-app purchases.

1. Planoly

PLANOLY

We’ll start with “official partner” of Instagram, itself, Planoly — an Instaplanner that uses a grid to let you plan, schedule, and publish posts (as well as Reels) on Instagram. The app also lets you see post metrics and analytics so you can make sure your post didn’t flop.

Planoly is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

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2. Buffer

BufferCredit: buffer / app store

Buffer is another Instagram post scheduler that helps you plan your posts and analyze feedback once they’re published. Use a calendar view to drag and drop posts into days/time slots for easy scheduling.

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Buffer is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

3. Preview

PreviewCredit: preview / app store

Preview offers typical post-scheduling tools and analytics along with a few helpful extras. Get caption ideas, recommendations for hashtags, and more.

Preview is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

4. Content Office

Content OfficeCredit: content office / app store

An Instagram post scheduler with a visual boost, Content Office allows users to plan and schedule Instagram posts while learning “marketing and visual guides to grow your brand on Instagram.” Like aesthetics and using visuals to create cohesive themes? Maybe this is the Instaplanner for you.

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Content Office is available for iOS on the Apple App Store.

5. Plann

PlannCredit: plann / apple store

You’ll never guess what “Plann” lets you do…

Aside from scheduling posts, get content ideas and recommendations, as well as strategy tips to ensure you’re maximizing your Instagram engagement. Ever wonder when the best time to post something is? Plann can offer you some help with that.

Plann is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

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Social networking websites launch features to encourage users to get boosters

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Facebook Instagram and TikTok are launching new features to encourage people to get their coronavirus booster jabs.

From Friday, users will be able to update their profiles with frames or stickers to show that they have had their top-up jab or aim to when they become eligible.

It follows on from people previously being able to show they have had their first and second jabs on certain social networking websites and apps.

TikTok also held a “grab a jab” event in London earlier this year.

I urge everyone who is eligible – don’t delay, get your vaccine or top up jab today to protect yourself and your loved ones

More than 16 million booster vaccines have now been given across the UK.

People who are aged 40 and above and received their second dose of their vaccine at least six months ago are currently eligible to have their booster.

A new campaign advert is also being launched on Friday, which shows how Covid-19 can build up in enclosed spaces and how to prevent that from happening.

Vaccines minister Maggie Throup said:  “Getting your booster is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and your family this winter.

“It is fantastic to see some of the biggest household names further back the phenomenal vaccine rollout, allowing their users to proudly display that they have played their part in helping us build a wall of defence across the country.

“I urge everyone who is eligible – don’t delay, get your vaccine or top-up jab today to protect yourself and your loved ones.”

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