Social Media & Social Ads

What Are Impressions on Instagram?

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By Anna Ribas, on 24 March 2022

If you use Instagram Ads or would like to have an organic brand presence on this network, understanding its metrics is key. It is the only way to keep a pulse on how your campaigns are performing and know what is needed to optimize them,

What are impressions on Instagram? Impressions are a pivotal metric, as the number of impressions correlates to brand awareness and how many people view your content.

Let's dive a bit deeper into this metric in this post.

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What Are Impressions on Instagram

What Are Impressions on Instagram?

Simply put, Instagram impressions tell you how many times your content was shown to users. This metric measures total views, not unique users. This means that if the same user views a piece of content 3 times, 3 impressions will be counted.

On the other hand, if what you want to know is the unique number of users who have seen your post or other content, the metric you should analyze is "reach". Following the previous example, if a user sees the same post 3 times, it will receive 3 impressions and a reach of 1.

There are two main types of impressions on Instagram and other social networks:

  • Organic impressions: The organic number of views a post gets. This means the brand has not invested any budget into boosting its impressions or reach.

  • Paid impressions: The number of promoted impressions your content gets. The brand has paid to increase the reach and impressions.

Why Impressions Are Important

Impressions let you know if users are seeing your content. If the total number of impressions is too low, it will be difficult to generate traction and convert users into customers.

If you know the impressions, you can get an idea of what type of content works best for your brand. Knowing the number of impressions is also necessary to calculate other metrics including engagement and click-through rate.

How Do Impressions Work on Instagram?

To understand impressions on Instagram, the first thing to know is that your posts are not shown to all your followers.

Social networks such as Facebook and Instagram use an algorithm to determine which content is most relevant to a given user and only show this content in the feed. It is estimated that a post only reaches 10 to 15% of a user's audience. For this reason, many brands advertise on social networks to increase the reach and impressions of their content.

To understand impressions in context, let's review their relation to interactions. Interactions are defined as likes, comments, and shares.

If impressions are high but users aren't interacting with the content, that means you are failing to keep them engaged. Therefore, in addition to understanding the total impressions and reach, you also need to calculate the engagement rate by dividing the number of interactions by the reach.

For paid impressions, you should keep in mind the CTR or click-through rate for the CTA, which is the percentage of users who have clicked on the link.

5 Types of Impressions to Monitor

1. General Profile Impressions

This section gives you an overview of your account status over the last 7 or 30 days. Here you can see the total impressions and reach for your posts, stories, or videos.

In addition, you can also see data on the different actions users have taken on your account, including profile visits and clicks on different elements.

2. Audience Impressions

Here you can see data about your audience, including a breakdown of your audience according to their location, gender, and more. Although this is not directly related to the number of impressions, you should take into account the days and times your followers are most active in order to increase the reach of your posts. If you publish your content at those times, you can easily get more impressions on Instagram.

3. Content Impressions

This section lets you compare the performance of content published in your feed and stories.

The data is divided into posts and stories. In both cases, you can view the total number of impressions and the number of accounts reached. It also includes information about user interactions with your content.

4. Statistics of Each Publication in the Feed

These statistics give you a breakdown of the impressions. You can learn from which locations users viewed your content (homepage, profile, hashtags, etc.)

You can also see what percentage of the accounts reached were existing followers and which were new users.

5. Statistics of Each Story

Finally, Instagram also provides data on the impact of each story during the 24 hours it is visible. This includes impressions, reach, interactions, and more.

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Anna Ribas