Instagram Impressions: Use This Metric To Get More Followers

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Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | Apr 21, 2023

Want More Real Instagram Followers?

Analyzing your posts’ performance provides insight into how to improve on Instagram. It helps identify effective social media strategies and highlight areas for improvement. Instagram has built-in tools to provide these figures.

However, these insights look daunting when you need to know what they mean. One metric you must know when growing your follower count and increasing engagement is Instagram impressions.

What is it and why should you track its performance? Asking the right questions helps you discover new ways to grow your audience. Today, let’s jump headfirst into the unknown and learn everything you must know about this topic.

A person looking at the Instagram app.

What Are Impressions on Instagram?

Instagram impressions show the number of times your post appeared in a user’s feed. If you see a reel or video in your feed from another user, the platform considers this an impression. The key thing to remember about what are impressions on Instagram is the post shows up in your feed.

Why? Assume you see it for the first time; Instagram counts this as an impression. What happens if the post appears in your feed as a sponsored post? Is this also an impression? Yes, when it comes to this metric, it doesn’t matter how many times it appears.

This figure will continue to increase, regardless of whether it is the same person. In other words, it doesn’t consider whether it is a unique user.

They are excellent at building brand recognition over time. Think about it – will you remember a brand if you see it once or several times? The user may wait to engage with you or your content.

However, the next time your post pops up in their feed, they will remember you. There’s a reason why you see the same brands during commercial breaks on TV.

An influencer looking at Instagram impressions to understand their post's performance metrics.

What Can You Learn From Instagram Impressions?

Instagram impressions offer deep insight into your social media strategies. If you aim to gain thousands of followers, you can achieve this target by analyzing this metric.

For starters, you tried a new reel format as it is currently trending. How do you know if your change in strategy is working? You look at the impressions and compare them with other engagement metrics.

Let’s say you’re getting 1,000 impressions but only 50 likes, two comments and one share. Does this mean you should return to your previous format or try something else? Impressions help you understand your reel’s performance from a different perspective.

Your reel appeared in users’ feeds 1,000 times. However, you notice the engagement metrics are low. With this information, you can tweak the format and see if they make a difference.

You can apply the same concept to other posts and identify areas of improvement.

This metric also lets you know whether your content resonates with your target audience. Let’s take an example where you notice low impressions for a post. Think about why this is happening. Is the type of contentn’t a good match for your users? Or do you need to focus on the right target audience? Identifying the bottlenecks early on ensures you will avoid falling into more pitfalls in the future.

Think of it this way – it allows you to beta-test your ideas and assumptions. See what works, discard others, and figure out how to get more impressions. As 63% of U.S. users are on this platform daily, your strategy needs to evolve and be on point.

A man checking the graph to see what he can learn from it.

Do Instagram Impressions Make a Difference in the Algorithm?

This point may sound surprising, but the algorithm does play a role in Instagram impressions. This metric doesn’t differentiate between the same and unique users. Although this is the case, the platform uses this data to understand your post’s performance.

When it sees the popularity of your content, it boosts the post in its algorithm. As a result, you’ll see an increase in impressions and a similar surge in engagement.

Similarly, when your post gets adequate impressions, it becomes easier to take off, reducing visibility. If you are promoting any products or services in this post, it reduces how many users you convert.

Remember, Instagram wants to keep its users on its platform as long as possible. The social media giant achieves this by using an algorithm to show only relevant and engaging content. Understanding what the algorithm looks for helps fine-tune your content and get better post results.

How To See Impressions on Instagram?

Instagram allows you to track this metric only via the mobile app. You will only see this feature if you use the desktop version of the social media platform. Here’s how to see impressions on Instagram with your smartphone.

  1. Open the Instagram app on your phone.
  2. You need to have a professional account to use this feature. It means you must change your profile to a business or creator account.
  3. After setting up the professional account, tap on your profile picture (at the bottom). It opens your Instagram profile.
  4. Select “Professional Dashboard,” which you’ll find below the link in your profile.
  5. Tap on “See All” next to “Account Insights.”
  6. Again, tap on “Accounts Reached” to see the analytics.
  7. Scroll till you find “Impressions.”

This metric is for all the impressions for your profile. If you want to see the numbers for specific videos or reels, open the post and tap “View Insights.”

The platform tracks Instagram impressions if you choose a business or creator account. Use the data from these tools to understand your target audience. Apart from user tracking, you can enable comment filtering and blacklist specific words.

The platform automatically removes any comments or messages it considers offensive. Also, you need a professional account to run ads on Instagram.

A social media influencer checking how well her post performed on Instagram.

How To Get More Impressions on Instagram?

Now that you know the power of Instagram impressions and how to track this metric, how can you increase this number? After all, when your posts appear in more feeds, it goes a long way in boosting your follower count.

You can use several techniques to boost your post’s impression on Instagram. Here’s a collection of effective strategies highlighting how to get more impressions on Instagram.

Go All Out With Hooks To Boost Instagram Impressions

You can think of hooks as the first 2 – 3 seconds of your reels and videos. As the users’ attention span continues to shrink, this is all the time you have to get their attention. Make these crucial seconds count, reducing the likelihood of your target audience scrolling past your post.

Be bold with the visuals and audio, as they make a huge difference. When Instagram notices your target audience is watching most, if not the entire video, the platform boosts your content. Without a doubt, there will be an increase in your Instagram impressions.

Increase Instagram Impressions With Reels, Reels, and More Reels

As Instagram lost ground to TikTok, the platform decided to launch reels. If you look at most of the recent posts, they are all reels. Short videos are just long enough to keep the target audience engaged.

While you should focus on other posts, you can still jump off the reel bandwagon. Instagram will continue to push reels as long as it is trendy, so make the most of them.

If you must make long videos, avoid releasing them as a reel, as users may only watch some of them. Another way to increase your impressions is to share your reels on Facebook after you create them. The platform also counts visitors from sites other than Instagram.

Categorizing Content Affects Instagram Impressions

Posting frequently and consistently is essential to increase your Instagram impressions. Going with the flow initially is in your alley when creating new posts. In the long run, developing new and innovative ideas becomes harder.

You’ll often feel like you need help to get past a mental roadblock. So, how can you overcome this problem? By creating 5 – 7 categories for your content. By thinking along these lines, you’ll always have clarity on what to do next, especially when you feel stuck.

Another benefit of having categories is it helps create a consistent style for your posts. Content scheduling is also an excellent strategy, especially when you have to put out multiple posts regularly.

Study Instagram Accounts for Your Marketing Strategy

You must know what every other popular Instagram account is doing to get all the impressions and views. Studying other user accounts regardless of their niche provides insight into what you should do to grow.

Accounts experiencing rapid growth indicate these users are doing something right. Figure out what they’re doing differently and make notes. Try what you learn to see whether you’re closer to your impression goals.

Instagram Impressions and Ads Go Hand in Hand

There is no rule of thumb that you only have to stick to attracting users organically to your content. Techniques like sponsored posts can help boost Instagram impressions when done correctly.

Analyze the available data in the app’s Professional Dashboard to learn more about your target audience. Once you have this information, start running sponsored posts on the platform. These ads allow you to find the right target audience for your post.

The demographics you provide, such as age, gender, interests, location and purchase history, ensure only interested users will see your ads.

Boosting posts with good performance metrics is also an option.

See a Jump in Instagram Impressions With Relevant Keywords

Keywords are terms you enter when looking for something online. The goal of these terms is to improve searchability. It is similar to how you get the results when you use Google. Similarly, you have to research these keywords for social media.

Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience. What do they have to enter to find your videos on Instagram? Including these terms in your content increases your impressions.

Remember to add keywords to your bio and use them while creating the script for your video.
Be thoughtful while including keywords, as you don’t want it to look like it was by a bot. It should always sound natural when adding them to your script.

Writing down ideas on a piece of paper.

Bump Up Instagram Impressions With User-friendly Content

Consider making your content convenient for any user to watch, as this boosts Instagram impressions. While scrolling through Instagram, you’ll notice all videos and reels playing without sound. The posts only unmute themselves when you interact with them.

As this is by design, you can make the most of this feature. Ensure all your videos have subtitles, making it easier for users to follow your content.

Similarly, when uploading pictures, remember to include the alt text. Visually impaired users rely on this feature to learn more about the image.

Always Put Out Your Best Content for Instagram Impressions

This point may seem obvious, but there’s much more to it than meets the eye. For starters, yes, you should always strive for quality. Blurry images and shaky videos will turn users away from your content.

All the visual content must be top-notch to get your target audience’s attention. Also, you must be your biggest critic to increase your Instagram impression metrics. This way, you can identify your shortcomings and work on them before they become a problem.

Instagram Impressions Grow With Frequent and Consistent Posts

There are a few techniques you can use to achieve your goal of increasing your Instagram impressions. For starters, create and upload posts 1 – 2 times every day. As highlighted in this article, categorizing your content makes this easier. Also, you can make templates and follow them for all your future posts.

Now, more is needed to be consistent. You must go the extra mile if you want more users to learn about your brand. In this case, you’ll need to know when is the right time to upload your content on Instagram.

As you know how impressions work, it doesn’t make sense to post at odd hours, i.e., when your followers are inactive. They won’t know about your post, and it won’t appear in their feed. Once you start collecting user data, Instagram’s insights will show you when your followers are active.
Upload your content according to this data, and you’ll notice an increase in your impressions.

Experiment with the timings to see what works best for your target audience.

a cup of coffee on a calendar

Do Instagram Impressions Count as Views?

You may hear people use impressions and views interchangeably. However, these terms have contrasting meanings. Instagram Impressions refer to the number of times a post appears in users’ feeds.

However, the platform uses a different technique for counting views. In this case, it shows how much time you spend on the video. If it is longer than 3 seconds, Instagram counts this as a view.

By the definition of impressions and views, it’s clear that the platform doesn’t include impressions as views.

Do Views From Your Account Count as Instagram Impressions?

Fortunately, Instagram doesn’t take views from your account when measuring post impressions. Thankfully, this is a great practice, as you can see how someone may take advantage of it. Also, if you think about what counts as an impression, you see why views aren’t a part of the tally.

Instagram Reach vs. Impressions: What’s the Difference?

People use Instagram impressions as reach and vice versa. As this sounds like the same thing, it should be fine. No, as there is a fundamental difference between Instagram reach vs. impressions.

Unlike impressions, reach differentiates between the same and unique users who view your content. Depending on the impression-to-reach ratio, you see how well the posts perform. When this ratio is high, it indicates users love watching your video multiple times.

Improving your reach on Instagram ensures your content is visible to new viewers. You’ll observe an increase in the number of impressions with this change.

Tracking both these metrics is essential in determining the success of your posts and marketing campaigns. When you view each figure individually, the numbers need to allow you to make a proper analysis.

Do You Want To Improve Your Instagram Impressions?

As explained in detail in this article, learning and tracking various metrics, especially Instagram impressions, improve content quality. However, this is a long-term strategy, which means it’ll take a while to get the results you desire.

If you can get new followers and boost this figure organically, it informs Instagram that users like your content. More users will see your content and check out your other posts, increasing your visibility. Also, you’ll notice an improvement in your user engagement metrics, ensuring the algorithm pushes your content to reach more relevant users.

Path Social makes achieving your social media targets easier by helping you gain followers interested in your brand and content. Their unique algorithm ensures you find the right users, not bots or fake accounts. Get one step closer to becoming an influencer by growing and gaining Instagram followers today!