Instagram Impressions & Reach Defined (+ How to Use Them!)

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Instagram impressions and reach in the Instagram dashboard

With more than 1.16 billion users now on Instagram, finding your niche has never been easier, while standing out from the crowd has never been more difficult!

That’s why tracking your views and interactions on the app is a key strategy for measuring the success of your Instagram marketing.

Instagram insights are a crucial feature of Instagram Business accounts as well as Creator Profiles. They allow you to track the performance of your content so that you can make adjustments. Or, continue to utilize your most successful tactics to connect with followers!

If you’re looking to better understand your Instagram insights and what they can tell you about your profile or brand’s success, keep reading.

We’re taking an in-depth look at the meaning of Instagram impressions and reach, how they are measured, and what they can tell you about the impact of your content and advertisements.

What Are Instagram Impressions?

Instagram impressions are a measure of the number of times that a post or advertisement is seen on a screen. It doesn’t matter if it’s the same person viewing your post multiple times – it still counts.

The term is often confused with reach (more on that in a minute!).

Measuring impressions is important because it allows you to gain insights into the performance of your posts and ads, and determine whether they are appearing to new and existing users regularly, and drawing in an interested audience.

Most social media platforms utilize some version of impressions and reach, though they may vary in name.

For instance, Linkedin tracks impressions in the same way Instagram does, but the metric known as “Reach” on Instagram is called “Unique Impressions” on LinkedIn.

Confusing, right? Let’s get into the key difference here.

What is Instagram Reach?

While impressions measure all views of a post or ad, reach tracks only unique views, leaving repeat views by the same user out.

This separation means that reach allows you to track the true number of viewers that a post has received, which helps you understand just how many different individuals saw it.

Instagram Impressions vs Reach: What’s the Difference?

While similar, reach and impressions are two very different measurements. But both are important metrics for measuring the performance of posts and ads!

Instagram provides reach to let you know how many times your content has appeared on a screen, while impressions are more focused on the impact of your content, tracking whether users are likely to check out your post or ad more than once.

When Instagram Impressions Are Higher Than Reach

Sometimes you may notice that your Instagram impressions are higher than your reach–that’s a good thing!

This indicates that your users are viewing your content more than once. With each view, your Instagram impressions will go up, while your reach will count each user just once towards its total.

How to See Instagram Impressions and Reach

To see your Instagram impressions and reach, as well as other important metrics for your Instagram account, use the following steps:

  • Open the Instagram app and go to your profile 
  • Tap View Professional Dashboard at the top of your profile 
  • Tap See All Insights 

On this screen, you’ll be able to see the overall impressions as well as the accounts that reached your content within the last 7 or 30 days.

Instagram impressions and reach in the professional dashboard

Instagram Reach Analytics Decoded

Now, let’s take an in-depth look at how analytics are tracked along with impressions and reach in the Professional Dashboard that’s available in Creator and Instagram Business profiles. 

On your Professional Dashboard, you’ll be able to see:

  • The number of accounts reached with all your content 
  • The number of impressions your content received 
  • Account activity, including Profile visits, website taps, and Instagram contact button taps 
  • Top Posts, Top Stories, and Top IGTV videos based on reach

You can also click “see all” on your Post Stories and IGTV to see the reach and impressions of individual pieces of content, going back two years on your account.

This is handy because it allows you to track pieces of content that performed exceptionally well, allowing you to continue to inform and adapt your Instagram marketing strategy.

Which is More Important – Instagram Impressions or Reach?

Now that you know the similarities and differences between reach and impressions, you might be wondering which of these metrics you need to pay more attention to.

“Increased impressions usually lead to increased engagement and community size, which help prove that social media is relevant to a brand.

If your impressions are higher than your reach, it’s a sign that your audience is viewing your content multiple times.”

Lacey Mark, Tailwind Social Media Manager
Lacey Mark headshot, Tailwind Social Media Manager

This largely depends on your goals. If your goal is to spread brand awareness, grow your account, and become more discoverable, reach is the most important metric to focus on.

Because increases in impressions usually indicate multiple interactions with your content from individual users, tracking impressions is a great opportunity to build community and increase brand loyalty.

Why? It allows you to see which posts generate the most interaction from your followers!

Knowing that your content is resonating with people will help you continue to deliver posts and Stories that keep followers coming back for more!

What Are Impressions on Instagram Stories?

Impressions and reach can be used in much the same way on your normal posts and your Instagram Stories.

Just as impressions let you know when users are returning to view your content again, they indicate that your followers have watched your Stories more than once.

Unlike on Instagram posts, only general impressions are tracked on your Stories, without the same detailed breakdown you’ll see below.

Instagram Post Impressions

On individual Instagram posts, you can track both impressions and reach through detailed insights. This section lets you know where your post was displayed, using the following breakdown:

  • Impressions from Home – Your post was viewed from the home feed 
  • Impressions from Profile – Your post was viewed from your profile page 
  • Impressions from Location – your post was viewed from a location tag 
  • Impressions from Hashtags – your post was viewed from a hashtag search 
  • Impressions from Explore – your post was viewed from the Explore page 
  • Impressions from Other – your post was viewed from another source

What does Instagram impressions from Other mean?

You’ll notice another section of Instagram Impressions from Other. This category is a catch-all for any other indirect methods of viewing your posts. This includes:

  • Sharing your post through messages 
  • A post you’ve been tagged in 
  • Saved posts

IGTV Video Impressions

IGTV does not track impressions. Instead, it tracks video views, likes, comments, shares, and saves!

What is a Good Number of Impressions on Instagram?

Sometimes Instagram users are unsure whether an increase in impressions is something worth celebrating. Unfortunately, there’s no benchmark for a “good” number of impressions, because every account is unique.

But in order to continue to grow on the platform, you should use your reach and impression from the last month to compare to your current stats.

If you notice a positive percentage increase month after month, it’s a sure sign that your Instagram marketing strategy is working for you! 

However, if you notice a decline, it’s time to revisit your Instagram content and do a health check.

Are you seeing less engagement on recent posts? Have you begun posting less frequently? What has changed from the previous month?

Asking yourself these questions will help you get back on the right track towards account growth.

Conclusion: Impressions on Instagram: What They Mean and How to Use Them

Instagram impressions and reach are important insights that help you measure the performance of your posts and ads.

While reach paints a picture of how many times your content appears on a screen, impressions let you see which posts are generating repeat views from users. Both measurements can help you continue to adjust and improve your Instagram marketing strategy.

If you want to continue to grow your account, set goals for yourself to increase your impressions month after month as you test how your content is resonating with users.

Don’t let a drop in impressions discourage you; instead, use it as motivation as you continue creating content that motivates, inspires, and entertains your followers!

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What do impressions and reach mean on Instagram? Learn about these metrics and find out ways to measure these insights for success!

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