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5 Tips to Make the Most of Instagram Story Analytics

With Facebook rapidly losing users due to privacy breaches and the fact that Facebook’s average user is getting older (Hi, mom!), Instagram has quickly become one of the go-to social media platforms for young people.

Authors who write books for young people need to be aware of this fact, as half the marketing and publicity battle is knowing where your audience is active. In addition to posting regular photos and videos to their profile grids, authors should also be taking advantage of Instagram’s Stories feature.

Instagram Stories lets users post photos and videos that vanish after 24 hours. Content shared to stories also won’t appear on a user’s profile grid or in the main Instagram feed. The Stories feature provides users with the opportunity to get creative as text, colours, emojis, polls, and much more can be added to their selected content.

We encourage all authors to use Instagram Stories as it’s a great way to connect with new audiences, boost engagement, and even drive more sales! To make the most of your Stories, leverage the analytics available to you in the Instagram app. Similar to the analytics for your Instagram posts, your Instagram Stories analytics can be found by tapping the “Insights” button in the top right corner of your Business Profile. Note, if you do not have a business profile, learn how to get one here.

Below, our book marketing experts walk you through the ins and outs of your Instagram Stories analytics, what each metric means, and how you can use this knowledge to improve your Instagram Stories strategy.

1) Know the Difference between Reach and Impressions

For each story you post, you will be able to see the reach and impressions that they generate. Reach refers to the number of visits a unique account viewed each slide (you can have 1 slide in your story or multiple that will play back to back) in your story. Impressions is the total number of views of each of your individual Instagram stories.

Impressions is the most relevant statistic as it will reveal those who watched your story more than once. This could be a sign that something is working (i.e. posting your book cover in mood setting environments) so you should do it more. If your impressions for a story are low, consider being more creative or rethink the content you are posting.

2) Determine Your Story’s Completion Ratio

Let’s say that you have posted multiple pictures or videos as part of your Instagram story. For example, you post both pictures and videos during an author signing. Likely, you will want to know how many people are engaging with your entire story vs. one or two slides and moving on.

If you view a single slide in your story (or if your story is a single slide), you’ll see these metrics: Forward, Back, Next Story, and Exits.

Forward indicates that someone has touched the right side of their screen to skip to the next story. If this number is high, your audience is not engaging with that slide in your story. You can do better!

Back indicates that someone has touched the left side of their screen to go back to view the previous slide. This serves as an indication that the previous slide resonated with your audience and you should consider posting similar content moving forward to increase engagement.

Exits are the number of times that someone has swiped out of your story. This is not necessarily a bad thing as it could mean they do not have enough time to view the entire story.

Next Story is the stat you need to watch the most. If your Next Story number is high, this means that your audience is skipping your entire Story and moving on to the next user’s Story.

3) Measure Engagement

Instagram Stories analytics can also track the types of interactions your Stories receive. These are broken down into Swipe-Ups and Replies.

Swipe-Ups indicate the number of times that someone “swipes-up” on your Instagram Story to visit a link you have included. This could be a link to your author blog or to Amazon to purchase your book via a promo you posted on your Story. If your Swipe-Ups are low, remind your audience to “Swipe Up” in your Story!

Replies are the number of times someone has responded to a slide in your story. These replies come to your Inbox and are not displayed publicly.

4) Measure Hashtag and Location Sticker Usefulness

Instagram Stories analytics can also show you the number of taps on stickers. This includes stickers like locations. For authors, this may be useful if you are attending an author signing or a festival with a large audience. You’ll be able to see how many people clicked each sticker. If the number is regularly low, this may not be a useful feature for your audience.

You can also add hashtags to your story. By doing so, other users will be able to find your story in the Search and Explore page. This is a great feature if you have a book hashtag that your audience is already using or if you are attending a large event with an established hashtag – this leads to discovery!

5) Track Discovery

If you use a hashtag or location sticker in your story, it could be added to a location story by Instagram. Many locations (cities, landmarks, tourist attractions, etc.) have their own curated stories. If your story is selected, Instagram will let you know via a notification. When someone views your story from a hashtag or location page, you’ll see the name of that page when you review who watched your story.

This is a useful feature as it gives you the opportunity to reach tons of new and undiscovered audiences for your book(s). If you are posting quality content, they may even follow you!

There are endless possibilities to promote your author platform and your books with Instagram Stories. With fantastic analytics available, the sky is the limit!

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What is the most creative Instagram Story you have seen?