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What are Impressions on Instagram? The Basics & How to Improve This Metric

Most users can be completely overwhelmed by the volume of Instagram features that can contribute to a robust marketing strategy. If you want to skyrocket to Instagram success, you need to know how to measure and manage your overall metrics. But first, you need to understand exactly what they are. What are impressions on Instagram, and how can you improve this number? 

If you are ready to understand exactly what impressions measure, this guide is going to walk you through the details. Plus, you’ll learn how to improve your post impressions and get better Instagram performance. 

Let’s dive right in! 

Definition: What are Impressions on Instagram?

First things first: we need to define what exactly Instagram impressions are and what they mean for your metrics on social media platforms.

When it comes to managing your Instagram insights, the first thing you want to evaluate is often your impressions.

Impressions indicate the overall number of times that a piece of content was seen by users.

Every time someone views your post or video, it is considered one impression. User’s feeds may show the post more than one time, which means that it might have multiple impressions per user.

In this way, the impressions on Instagram can be relatively inflated and may not give you the clearest picture of the reach (more on this in a minute). 

Keep in mind that the people who view it may not be a part of your target audience and they may not be engaging with your content. This is why Instagram impressions can be a slippery thing to measure and manage.

How to Access Instagram Impressions

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Impressions aren’t available on the same comprehensive screen as some of your other Instagram metrics, like reach and engagement. Instead, you will need to view an individual post to see how many impressions it received. 

Once you are signed in to the platform, navigate to the Instagram post where you want to see the data. Click it on and then select the box that says “View Insights” directly beneath the post. 

This will open up a pop-up where you can see your overall reach and impressions. It even breaks it down into how many users viewed your post as followers or as non-followers.

This is a great way to see if your hashtags and visibility are on a course that sets you up for success. 

Difference Between Reach and Impressions on Instagram

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All of this talk of Instagram analytics brings another question to mind: are impressions the same thing as your reach? 

They are closely linked, but reach and impressions are distinct from one another, which is why they have unique lines in your Instagram account.

Impressions on Instagram include the total number of times anyone happened to see your content, including people who may have seen it twice or more. 

When you access Instagram insights and look for reach, this is the unique viewers that have seen a given Instagram post.

If the same user viewed your Instagram content more than once, your reach only includes a single user.

This is a better way to make sure that your content is reaching the right people. A higher reach can often mean more awareness of you or your brand. 

Are Impressions the Same as Engagement Metrics?

Dedicated Instagram users are often very active on the platform. It has over 500 million

 daily active users, but how do you know if they are really engaging with your Instagram account?

You need to know the difference between impressions and engagement rates. 

No Marker for Engagement Rate

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There are lots of ways that Instagram users can engage with your content. As a result, there may not be a clear-cut engagement rate that you can measure.

Instead, it calculates your score as a percentage of the people who viewed your content and then took action on it. You can view how many users liked, commented, shared, or saved posts. 

However, it can’t measure whether people clicked on a link in your profile or visited your website. If this is your desired action, then you might need to set up your website to include these metrics and track where your traffic is coming from. 

May Not Show Unique Users

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Of course, it is worth noting that your impressions on the Instagram app aren’t going to show you the volume of unique users who have viewed your content.

Only Instagram reach can account for this, so you may need to adjust your social media strategy if your reach is low. 

Why Do Instagram Impressions Matter?

With all this being said, you might wonder whether this is one of the Instagram analytics you want to start tracking. There are some real reasons to keep your finger on the pulse of your impressions, so let’s take a look at how it can help you refine your content. 

Measures Visibility in Your Audience

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Are your posts being seen by the same person over and over again, or do you have more visibility? This is something that only Instagram reach can tell you. Instead, impressions allow you to track how many eyes you get on your content. 

This can help you evaluate whether your hashtags are relevant to keep you showing up in the search feeds for people who like your type of content. If more visibility is your only goal at this point, then impressions are the feature you are most likely to track. 

Use With Reach to Measure Audience Overwhelm

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On the other hand, you might want to ensure you aren’t overwhelming your audience with content. This means you must keep a close eye on your Instagram reach.

If you are seeing very high levels of impressions but low reach, it means you are sending content out to the same handful of people again and again. 

Eventually, they will get tired of seeing the same post over and over again and may decide to unfollow you.

How Impressions Relate to Running Ads

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Are you determined to master marketing on these social media platforms? Knowing how Instagram metrics work can help you immediately identify when an ad isn’t working for your brand.

In the first hours or even days after you launch an ad, be wary if you have low impressions. This could indicate that something isn’t quite right with your marketing strategy. 

It might mean a loading error with your post that prevents your target audience from seeing your content. Alternatively, it might be the wrong form of content for your audience, like Instagram posts instead of Instagram Stories.

Use low impressions on an ad campaign as an opportunity to refine your content. 

Best Ways to Improve Impressions on Instagram

With all of that being said, how can you leverage Instagram insights to get in front of more people in your target audience? Follow some of these tips to boost your impressions on Instagram and even overall engagement.

Play with the Types of Instagram Posts

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Whether you are new to Instagram or have been doing this since it opened its virtual doors, there is always room to grow and change.

Play with your Instagram content to see what performs best for you in this space. What works on other social media platforms may not work as well here.

This means you should try different types of pictures, carousels, and even videos. Note which ones get a high number of impressions and expand your reach. This is a sign that something is working well with this creative, and you should try to duplicate your efforts. 

For some caption ideas, see these 247 short Instagram caption ideas to spice up your posts!

Use Instagram Stories and Instagram Reels

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If you really want to see your Instagram engagement rate increase, then you might want to think about using two of their more well-known features: Stories and Reels. The more people save, comment, and like these types of posts, the more visibility you are likely to generate from the platform. 

To this end, you should give your viewers a clear way to engage with your Instagram campaign. Ask a question for them to answer, encourage them to share the content, and like it for more video posts like these.

These key metrics will boost your content so that you get more Instagram impressions — and maybe even some new followers. 

Use a Hashtag Strategy

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People might use the Instagram algorithm to find posts that appeal to them, but many also use it as a type of search engine to find content that resonates with them.

If you want to be in user’s feeds, then you need to know what they are searching for. This is where hashtag strategies can come into focus. 

If you use the right hashtag, you might find that your Instagram impression count goes way higher than some of your other posts. This is when you know you have landed on hashtag gold. 

Tools like Sistrix can help you to find hashtags relevant to your social media campaigns. 

Note: This tool is free for a limited number of 25 queries per day, but it should be sufficient to get you started on a couple of posts each day.

Know When Your Audience is Most Active

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Get in front of people when they are more likely to be on the platform. If you truly want to increase Instagram impressions, then you should prioritize certain times of day.

The question is: how do you know when people in your unique target audience are going to be more active on the app? 

You can view the most popular times of day for your profile through the app (Insights > Audience), but you will need an Instagram business account to access this data. 

Tools like Iconosquare can also help you to break down when users are online, as well as other important metrics that could boost the visibility of your Instagram profile. 

Build Relationships with Other Influencers

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Want to know the easiest way to get your Instagram profile in front of more people and increase brand awareness? You can partner with influencers in your space to get them to share your content.

Maybe you can swap accounts for the day and do an Instagram takeover or simply pay them a small sum of money to advertise your products or services to their unique audience. 

Influencers can help you tap into an entire audience of people who are your ideal customer avatar without dealing with the Instagram ads platform. 

If your goal is to swap services with another influencer instead of shelling out money, you might want to learn how to become a successful Instagram influencer yourself. 

Final Thoughts: What You Can Learn from Impressions on Instagram 

Now that you know what Instagram impressions are and how many individual users are seeing your content on the social media giant, you can start to plan a content creation strategy.

Track impressions carefully to ensure you hit the key metrics you want to hit on the social media platform, but don’t forget to check out reach and engagement, too. 

With all of this in mind, you can embrace Instagram marketing enthusiastically and know exactly how to grow your Instagram accounts! 

Here is some other great reading that will help you with other metrics on your Instagram account: 

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