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KPIs for Instagram Marketing: 3 Most Important Metrics

Hélène Heath
September 22, 2017
Last Updated On
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However you've chosen to define success on social, there are three major KPIs you should be looking at to measure it all. We're breaking them down below to fulfill your most vital social media marketing needs.

Happens to the best of us.

If you're a brand marketing to millennials, you're undoubtedly placing a lot of importance on your Instagram stats. Sure, every company's approach differs in accordance to their strategies, budgets, and goals based on their short and long-term visions, but some of the most effective methods to reach those set objectives are universal: paid promotions. On Insta, they transpire in the form of native sponsored posts (aka influencer marketing) or more conventional transactional targeted advertising placements.

These audience growth tactics can vary tremendously, as ad strategies are plentiful and the pool of Instagrammers-for-hire has widened to now include the smaller guys. Brands have myriads of progress accelerating options at their fingertips. These various roads will all lead to Rome, so long as there's a real effort behind getting there.

While success benchmarks vary from one business to another, there is one common denominator that unites them all: key performance indicators. The KPIs for social analytics are one and the same across the board, whether a brand is close to reaching the million follower milestone or just starting to build a presence. Yep, the tangible way to measure progress on social media is the great equalizer.

If you're allocating a lot of marketing resources to Instagram and spending budget on paid promos, you're going to want to measure the ROI of your efforts and track your progress over time. Even more so if you've noticed a slowdown in your page's activity. Collecting and analyzing your data will help identify both your brand's strong points and its sore areas to be able to adjust your short and long-term goals, as well as the tactics employed to reach them.

Keep reading to see a full breakdown of the three key metrics to look at to measure your Instagram ROI and fuel your performance on the channel.

Miz Gigi always providing Tommy Hilfiger with a ton of organic reach.

1. Organic reach


Organic reach is achieved through the impressions your brand receives from others tagging or @ mentioning it in a post. This is also known as earned reach. Your influencer marketing endeavors? Organic reach.


The short answer: it's brand exposure. And when others post about your brand, there's an opportunity for their audience members to be converted into new followers for your account. There are no two ways around it: exposure to audiences other than your own is what will help you grow. Earned content is the most effective method to get your business in front of fresh eyes to give it a boost and gain equity, potentially also impacting your engagement metrics (more on that later).


If you want more eyeballs on your biz, the best way to go about getting in front of other audiences is to harness all that fan power and compel them to post about you. Start an influencer gifting program, devise full-blown activations around a special launch, run a contest, encourage the creation of UGC. Any of these proceedings will help unlock access to potential new followers.

2. Audience Growth Rate


This is the percentage at which your audience is growing. It can be benchmarked on a weekly or monthly basis to firmly concretize the kind of increase you're experiencing.


Gaining new followers is what Instagram is all about, isn't it? Once you start to track social media metrics, your growth rate will become something you'll want to monitor closely because it'll indicate whether or not your strategy is working. That said, it's one thing to be growing, but it's another to make headway with quality acquisitions, hence the importance of organic reach (see point #1).

Expanding your audience with users who are real fans (whether new or not) and have some kind of emotional connection to your brand is key: they're the ones who will become engaged members of your community. This is a very important KPI to be monitoring if you're working with influencers because it essentially reveals how much traction your hired Instagrammers are getting you.


This one goes hand in hand with organic reach because most follower acquisitions are made when another account is putting yours on broadcast. There are a few other long-term steady strategies you can employ to give those percentages a boost, such as building a strong content marketing strategy, nailing your visual identity, fostering your community, leveraging a product launch, and lest not we forget consistently delivering top-notch content.

3. Engagement


Simply put, your average engagement rate is the percentage of your audience at the time of posting that either liked or commented on your posts.

Here's a basic equation to remember:

(Likes + Comments) ÷ No. of Followers = Average Engagement Rate


Monitoring your average engagement rate is vital to Instagram success: it's a direct correlation to content performance because it essentially reveals if whether or not your photos and videos are resonating with your followers. There are all sorts of benefits to having a high engagement rate, namely that the algorithm will prioritize your posts in your audience's feeds. But it's also a very strong indicator of potential sale conversions, brand loyalty, and growth opportunity.


You can manually do that math, but why on Earth would you do that when you can use Dash Hudson's über robust solution? Check out your average engagement rate on each and every piece of content for any given time frame. Go deep into content performance assessment with Dash Hudson's Boards, where you can cluster content segments for further scrutiny. Compare your visual asset categories against one another to understand what's working and what isn't.

Once you've nailed your comprehension of what's resonating within your posts, you can begin adjusting your social strategy accordingly to turn it up.

Fenty x Puma always crushes it with a stratospheric engagement rate of 3.96%. Whoa.

Organic reach, audience growth, and engagement are all separate KPIs, but they are all intricately related. Your Instagram activities will have a ripple effect on all three of them. If you strategize wisely and plan correctly, growth will inevitably ensue, and scrutinizing the above three metrics will help you track your progress.

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