The Instagram Story Insights That Matter

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how to use Instagram Story insights to boost your engagement and followers

There one minute, gone the next! ⏳

You might be wondering why you should even spend time getting familiar with your Instagram Story insights if Stories just vanish after 24 hours?

Well, there’s a great reason! If you struggle to hang onto engagement, Instagram stories could become your best friend. That’s because by nature, Stories create urgency. When people know your Story will disappear after 24 hours, FOMO kicks in. Plus, Stories propel your content to the top of the feed so you don’t have to worry about the algorithm.

To make Stories effective for driving engagement and connecting with your followers though, we suggest keeping an eye on the analytics so you can understand how people engage with your stories – and provide more of the content they like!

Why Instagram Story Analytics Are Key for Growth

Did you know that 500 million people interact with Instagram stories every day?

We think that’s a lot of potential for starting conversations and increasing your followers!

Plus, 96% of marketers surveyed in the US said they plan to not only start but keep using Instagram Story ads over the next six months. And hey, let’s be real: brands wouldn’t spend money on advertising methods if they weren’t delivering a return.

You can make Stories work for you too – whether your goals are boosting leads and conversions or just sharing your brand story and connecting with your followers!

Here are just some of the ways you can create a Stories strategy that works for your brand:

  • Create permanent content by saving your top Stories to Highlights
  • Propel yourself to the top of the feed and gain a ton of visibility with your followers
  • Promote websites, products and landing pages
  • Increase overall brand awareness and educate your followers
  • Collect valuable information about your followers and their interests
  • Test out fresh Instagram Story features and cool secret tricks for engagement

Instagram Stories are filled with potential for engagement and boosting your audience and understanding your Instagram Story analytics can help you make the most of them!

How to Find Your Instagram Story Insights

First things first: you need a professional account, also called a Business account. Don’t worry, you don’t need to have a registered brand or physical storefront. The Professional option is simply one of three account types you can use on Instagram. Another is the Creator account!

To change your Instagram account settings, go to your profile page and click the three bars located in the top right corner to open your menu. Then select the Settings gear at the bottom. You can find a complete walkthrough for setting up a business account here!

To find your Insights:

1. Tap the second option in your Instagram menu (the bar chart icon).


2. Click on Insights and then click on the Content tab. Scroll down to the Stories section and you’ll see a preview that contains any of your active stories. For any past stories that are over 24 hours old, just click the See All button and choose the story you want to analyze.


3. Open your active story and swipe up to quickly access your current Instagram story analytics


How to Track Your Instagram Story Analytics to Level-Up Your Instagram

This is where the exciting details are! Let’s dive into Instagram Story insights, and what each tells you about your audience.


Interactions include any actions people took through your Story.

  • Replies: How many people replied to you in a message through the Story
  • Profile Visits: How many people visited your profile
  • Sticker Taps: How many times someone clicked on one of your location tags, polls, mentions, or hashtags stickers (and which ones they clicked)


Interactions are great Instagram story analytics to watch for tracking your engagement. Here are some insights you can pull:

  • If you included a sticker as a CTA, did people click it?
  • If you included a poll, did people respond?
  • If you asked a question, did people reply?

Grab these metrics and throw them into a spreadsheet. Check them out next to your general post analytics and track them over time to find areas for improvement, including topics you’ll want to pinpoint what people are responding to positively, so you can create more content like it!

Those most-viewed Stories can be saved in another spot, too! You can save these into categories in your Story Highlights!? The ones people can’t get enough of? THOSE are the ones you need to turn into categories for story highlights!



If you’re wondering what Discovery means, it’s a fancy way of saying reach, in this case. In other words, how many accounts were reached with your Story. There are two important metrics here:

  • Impressions: How times someone viewed your story, even replays.
  • Reach: How many individual accounts viewed your story at least once.
  • Follows: New followers you gained

HOW TO USE THEM: Instagram is providing valuable information by including new follower counts with Impressions as a broader Discovery category. With these numbers, it’s easy to track reach and new exposure in one place. You can use this to your advantage!

If your number of impressions is higher than your number of accounts reached, congratulations! That means people are replaying your story because they found it interesting.

One thing Instagram doesn’t tell us how many of our story views came from non-followers yet. You can, however, measure your current follower count against your story Impressions.

If your story impressions nearly reach or surpass your follower count, you can bet non-followers viewed your story. From there, ask yourself how many new followers you gained through the story.

If non-followers seem to be viewing your story but aren’t clicking follow, that means you’re either not reaching the right people or (sigh) your story wasn’t interesting enough.

You could also cross-reference new followers with your profile view stat from the Impressions section. Are non-followers viewing your profile but not clicking follow? Maybe there’s a mismatch between the audience and content.

The Tailwinds Hashtag Finder can help you find the most engaging hashtags to help promote your stories.


The Navigation set of Instagram Story insights are interesting because they report the behavior of your audience, and how they physically navigated your Stories!

  • Back: How many people clicked back to view the previous story again
  • Forward: How many people tapped to see the next story before your story finished playing
  • Next Story: The number of times someone swiped out of your story to see the next account’s Story
  • Exited: How many times someone exited your Story and went back to the main feed, or left the Instagram app completely during your story

HOW TO USE THEM:  Instagram Story Navigation insights inform you how engaging and interesting your Stories are, or if there’s something you could be doing even better with your content!

  • Is everything cropped and positioned properly? Using the right size and dimensions will give your Story a professional look and ensure that viewers understand your message.
  • Did you include a CTA or sticker to engage your follower even more?
  • Does your story content match your typical content and voice? You want to give your followers and non-followers a consistent idea of who you are through Stories.

Although not ideal, don’t let exits and swipes get to you too much. They are a great learning opportunity to help you fine-tune your Stories content!

In Conclusion

With so many awesome features and tricks, Instagram stories are almost a separate platform on their own.

Tailwind can help you post your best Stories at the perfect time with scheduling – and more! Upload photos and schedule them from your browser or mobile device so you can spend more time focusing on your Story strategy.

When you create an account with Tailwind, we’ll meticulously scan your followers and let you know when they’re most active on Instagram each day. So you’ll always know the perfect time for each post.Using the Hashtag Finder, you can grab the best hashtags for your posts and stories for a chance at higher engagement and reaching the right audience! Plus, you can track your analytics in one place.

See how scheduling your Stories and tracking Instagram Story analytics can take your engagement into a new world! Take Tailwind for a spin now for free no strings attached or credit card required.

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