What are impressions on Instagram? This term is often considered confusing to content creators who just stepped into the world of social media analytics.
However, understanding Instagram impressions is not as difficult as you think. It is one of the means to find out how visible your content is among Instagram users.
If you want to know more about impressions, this is the right article. Here you will learn why impressions are important, how to track it in Instagram, and how to increase it. Along the way, you will also be familiar with two related metrics, namely reach and engagement.
To begin, let’s answer the following question: “What does impressions mean on Instagram?”
What Are Impressions on Instagram?
Instagram impressions are the number of times a content, be it a post, a reel, or a story, shows up on users’ screen. So, as you scroll through your home feed, each post that is shown gets one impression from you.
Once your content gets distributed by Instagram’s algorithm, getting impressions is easy as they do not require an interaction to happen. Whether you only catch a glance of a post while scrolling through the home feed or tap on it, that post still gets an impression.
On top of that, each content can gain multiple impressions from one user. If you see a post on the home feed, scroll down, and come back to check it again, that counts as two impressions. This also applies when you see the post again in the explore page, direct messages, or an profile page.
Why Do Instagram Impressions Matter?
After learning what are impressions on Instagram, you might want to know if they are important for your account’s growth.
The answer is yes, impressions matter for creators, influencers, and brands. High impressions means that people see your content, which is a good start if you want to spread awareness about your presence in the social platform.
It is true that impressions do not indicate people’s interest in your posts. However, the more often your posts appear in front of users, the more likely it will spark curiosity and interaction, especially if your content is engaging.
Getting impressions is just the beginning when it comes to social media success. After knowing what are impressions on Instagram, you need to be familiar with other important metrics. One of them is reach, which we will explain below.
Read: Instagram Post Ideas
Instagram Impressions vs Reach
Instagram reach is the number of users who view your content. This definition sounds similar to that of impressions, hence the confusion between the two metrics among social media creators.
Nonetheless, the difference is simple as it lies on what each metric counts. Impressions refer to the rate at which a post appears on-screen, while reach is used to count how many people see that post. So, learning what are impressions on Instagram is only one part in identifying your content’s visibility.
When you look at an Instagram post, it counts as one impression and one reach. However, one impression does not always translate to one reach because one person can contribute multiple impressions. That is why reach is always lower than impressions.
So, what does that mean for you? Simply put, you need to track reach to find out how many individuals actually find your content. As your post gets more and more reach, that means you successfully made attention-grabbing content.
Meanwhile, tracking impressions is also important to see how many times your content is being shown. If your impressions are far higher than the reach, it could indicate that people come back to see your post because they like it. Due to that reason, learning about reach and what are impressions on Instagram should go hand-in-hand.
How to Track Impressions on Instagram
After knowing what are Impressions on Instagram, you need to learn how to track them for evaluation. Luckily, you can check impressions using Instagram’s built-in analytics feature.
Tracking impressions requires you to switch to a professional or business account. Once you do that, follow the steps below to view the impressions of a post:
- Open the Instagram app and access your profile page by tapping your profile picture at the bottom-right corner.
- Select the post of which impressions you want to check. Then, tap View insights under the picture or video.
- Scroll down the Overview page until you find the impressions data.
As you can see from the example above, the impressions for each post is broken down to four sources: profile, home, other, and hashtags. While not very detailed, this information gives you an idea of where your audiences mostly find your posts.
For example, if the impressions from hashtags is low, it may be a good idea to find out hashtags that your competitors use in their captions. Doing so increases the chance that you will get better discoverability from people who explore hashtags.
Apart from impressions per post, Instagram lets you view your total impressions. To do that, go to your profile page and tap the Insights button under your bio. As you can guess, the total impressions illustrate your content’s visibility in general.
The Insights button in your profile page can also show your stories’ impressions. Once you tap the button, scroll down until you find the Content You Shared section. Then tap the arrow to the right of Stories.
Tap the button on the upper-left corner and choose Impressions. Next, tap a story to see its impressions data.
Now that you know what are impressions on Instagram and how to track them within the social media app, it is time to learn how you can boost the metric
How to Increase Instagram Impressions
Bringing in more impressions for your Instagram content is pretty easy. Here are some tips to do it:
1. Use Relevant Hashtags
As an up-and-coming content creator or business, you may not have a lot of followers yet. So, hoping for a bump in impressions from followers is not an option.
But after learning what are impressions on Instagram, you should already know that using hashtags can contribute more to that metric. Therefore, your first step for increasing Impressions is to help Instagram distribute your posts to potential audiences by inserting hashtags.
There are a few factors to consider when adding hashtags. First of all, make sure that every hashtag that you choose is relevant to the post so that it finds the right audience.
Secondly, prioritize popular hashtags. The good thing is that you can see how many posts use a hashtag while typing it in the captions editor before you publish a content. Therefore, you can weigh your choices.
Last but not least, add only a couple of hashtags at a time. Too many of them not only overwhelms your viewers but also decreases the space for captions.
2. Post When Your Audiences Are Mostly Online
Apart from learning what are impressions on Instagram, you need to know how the social platform’s algorithm serves content in the home feed.
Instagram uses recency as one of the main considerations when deciding which content to show first in the feed. That is why you see the newest content first upon accessing the Instagram home page.
With that in mind, newer posts are more likely to get impressions than those published hours ago. Therefore, posting your content during your followers’ peak online time can increase impressions.
But when do your audiences check their Instagram? There are multiple studies that argue about the best time to post on Instagram. The average shows that people go to that social media platform on Tuesday between 4AM and 10AM and on Wednesday between 7AM and 11AM.
Nonetheless, every creators’ audience has a different online schedule on Instagram. Thankfully, you can find that data within Instagram’s analytics. Follow these steps to do so:
- Open your profile page and tap the Insights button under the bio.
- Tap Total Followers and scroll down until you see a chart under the Followers section that shows when your audiences are usually online.
- Tap on Days or Hours to change between charts.
3. Cross-promote Content with Different Formats
Instagram offers different types of content for creative purposes, including carousels, reels, and stories. After learning what are impressions on Instagram, you can already guess that having these options at your disposal is beneficial for boosting visibility.
For instance, you can share your regular post in a story. Doing so allows followers who miss your post in their home feed to find it when they look at your stories.
Another example is dividing a long reel into shorter clips in a carousel post. While this does not directly increase impressions, it makes for an engaging experience since viewers are left wondering what will happen in the next slide.
Interactive content like that often prompts sharing because people find it interesting. So, you can use its advantage to generate impressions without doing too much work.
Read: Instagram Post Size
4. Turn Posts into Ads
So far, you have learned what are impressions on Instagram and how to increase it using organic methods. But if you are willing to spend money, advertising your content is an available option.
To turn your Instagram post into an ad, you have to switch into a business account first. Once you do that, follow the steps below:
- Go to your profile and tap the post you want to advertise.
- Tap the Boost post button under the picture or video.
- Fill the required details for the ad. This includes the goal, audience, budget, and duration. Then, tap Next.
- You will be prompted to link your Instagram account to a Facebook account. You can tap Skip.
- Tap Boost post to submit your ad for review. You will get a notification when the submission gets approved or rejected.
5. Get to Know Your Target Audience’s Interest
Knowing what are impressions on Instagram and its importance is only one step to your success. Apart from that, you need to improve engagement.
Increasing engagement does not only signal the audience’s satisfaction towards your content. It will also cause a boost in impressions.
Instagram uses the engagement rate to decide which content to display in the Explore page. If your post gathers a lot of comments, likes, and shares, it will more likely get promoted by the algorithm. Consequently, the post will gain more impressions.
To be able to spark interactions, your content has to resonate with your target audience’s interest or needs. That is why you need to always be on the look for the kinds of content your competitors are posting. If they can prompt a conversation, there is a big chance that they will get popular among your audience as well.
Once you identify what works for creators or businesses like you, do not forget to monitor the Instagram analytics. The data that it provides allows you to learn which posts bring more engagement.
What Are Impressions on Instagram: Conclusion
Impressions show how many times your content appears in front of viewers. It is one of the important metrics to track on Instagram because it indicates your posts’ visibility among users in that social platform.
That being said, you cannot measure content performance using impressions alone. There are other metrics that you should pay attention to, such as reach and engagement.
Reach gives you the number of users who see a post, thus showing how popular it is. Meanwhile, engagement counts how many likes, comments, and other interactions that the post receives.
Interestingly, optimizing your content to increase those metrics can contribute impressions. As your content gets shared and prompts engagement, Instagram’s algorithm will pick the signals and use them to serve the content to a wider audience.
We hope that this article helps you to understand what are impressions on Instagram. For more content creator insights, make sure you subscribe to our blog.