4 Instagram Metrics Your Brand Should Be Tracking

When it comes to measuring success on Instagram, there are a few common metrics that brands often track based on their goals—impressions, reach, follower growth, engagement, etc. These things are important, of course, but there are also a few less common metrics your brand may be overlooking.

The following four Instagram metrics will help you obtain a better understanding of the full impact your brand has when it comes to Instagram-based marketing.

1. Story Reach Rate

It’s no surprise that the Instagram Story feature has become an essential piece of every brand’s digital marketing strategy. According to an infographic released by Hootsuite, about 500 million people use the tool each and every day.

One of the most common goals brands have for their Instagram Story posts is to engage the brand’s existing audience in a more informal way. Thanks to Instagram Insights, it’s easy to see how many people view your brand’s Instagram Stories. But, that number doesn’t tell the full story. That’s why it’s important to also measure your the reach rate for each of your brand’s Instagram Story posts.

Reach rate is calculated by dividing an Instagram Story posts’ total reach by your brand’s follower count and then multiplying by 100 to determine the percentage. Here’s the formula:

total reach / follower count * 100 = reach rate

This metric indicates what percentage of your brand’s existing followers are seeing your Instagram Story posts. By monitoring the reach rate of Story posts over time, your brand will be able to determine if the posts are resonating with your existing audience, which can inform improved content decisions moving forward.

2. Post Saves

We all know that Instagram engagement metrics like comments and likes are important when it comes to measuring content performance. But, one of the most important engagement metrics to arise recently is a bit less visible than the others—post saves.

The Instagram Saves feature provides a way for users to save a post that they like for future reference—even if they don’t directly like or comment on that post. Once saved, users have the ability to organize their saved posts into folders (read: wish lists, travel destinations, funny quotes, etc.). 

The Instagram algorithm uses the saves metric as a measure of post quality. Posts with great engagement (including saves) will be shown to more people in the Instagram feed.

By measuring the saves on your brand’s Instagram posts, you’ll have insight into the content that resonates with your audience so you can produce similar content in the future.

3. Story Interactions

Many brands set engagement-related goals for social media. If your brand falls into this category, then Instagram Story post interactions is a set of metrics you should be focused on.

Similar to how it sounds, interaction metrics are those that are directly related to the number of interactions a brand has obtained via their Instagram Story posts (they are a form of engagement metrics). Metrics in this category include the following:

  • Profile visits
  • Followers
  • Website visits
  • Shares
  • Replies
  • Contact (calls, texts, emails, etc.)
  • Sticker taps
  • Product page views
  • Product page views per product tag

Based on your brand’s specific goals, some of these interaction metrics may be more relevant than others. For example, if your brand has a goal to increase followers, it would be important to determine exactly how many followers your Instagram Story posts have captured (bonus points if you measure the percent of followers as it relates to profile visits driven from Instagram Stories!). 

Don’t forget to grab Instagram Story metrics within two weeks of posting! You’ll only have access to these types of metrics via Instagram Insights for a short time.

4. Referral Traffic

In addition to collecting Instagram metrics directly within the social platform, it’s also important to evaluate information related to Instagram efforts on your brand’s website. This is especially important if your Instagram campaign goals focus on driving traffic to your brand’s website to capture emails, drive sales, and more.

Tracking referral traffic sent by Instagram to a website can be tricky, however, because the only place for clickable post links for the platform is within your brand’s Instagram bio. So, to accurately track referral traffic, it’s important to make use of Google Analytics (a free website tracking tool).

Referral traffic insights related to your brand’s efforts on Instagram can be found under the acquisition data category. By exploring the provided list of referral sources from social media, you’ll be able to form an understanding of how many website sessions occurred as a direct result of your brand’s efforts on Instagram.

If you’re a real Google Analytics whiz, you can take things even further by attaching tracking codes (UTM parameters) to links used in your Instagram efforts to further pinpoint which campaigns drove the most referral traffic and conversions to your brand’s website.

A few takeaways

It’s important to use metrics and insights to determine the results of your brand’s efforts on Instagram. It isn’t enough, however, to simply rely on basic metrics like engagements and reach. 

The four metrics outlined above will help your brand to understand more about how your Instagram campaigns are performing—from which posts users are saving for later to how many people your content is driving to the website. All of the insights collected will help you to continuously adapt and improve your Instagram marketing efforts in the future.

How can YMC help?

If you’re interested in learning more about digital marketing, we’re here to help. At YMC, we’ve been connecting brands with 15- to 29-year-old consumers for two decades—we’d be happy to share our wealth of knowledge with you. Contact us today!

Meet Our First-Ever YMC Student Scholarship Recipients

At Youth Marketing Connection (YMC), we’re proud of the work we do to connect some of the world’s best brands with today’s Millennial and Gen-Z consumers. But, if you ask us, we take even more pride in the unique learning and development opportunities we’re able to offer to the incredible students we work with on a daily basis.

As a way to give back to these students, we made the decision to launch the YMC Student Scholarship program at the end of 2019. The scholarship recognizes students in our network who excel in both their marketing program and, more importantly, in their efforts to positively impact their community.

A few months ago, we selected our first-ever scholarship recipients and we’re thrilled to officially introduce you to them today! Meet Jordan Dockery and Nazirah Ahmad.

Nazirah Ahmad Headshot

Introducing Nazirah Ahmad

Nazirah Ahmad is a junior at Howard University. She majors in public relations and has a minor in community development. Nazirah currently works with YMC as a student ambassador. Here’s our interview with Nazirah!

What sparked your interest in marketing and brands?

In high school, I worked with the student council and gained experience in logistics, communications, and community relations. This experience led me to study communications in college. I’m now a Public Relations major at Howard University.

Additionally, through my more recent involvement in various organizations and internships in the D.C. area, I’ve found a love for marketing, branding, and effective communication.

What have you learned by working with YMC as a student ambassador?

During the fall 2019 semester, I simultaneously took my core public relations courses at Howard and worked as a student ambassador for YMC. This timing allowed me to draw correlations between what I was learning in class and the strategies I was executing in my program.

My courses and YMC program experience taught me a lot about PR, marketing strategy, and the use of social media and events to target specific audiences.

Please describe the work you do to make your community (and the world!) a better place.

I’m personally devoted to fighting for equity in education. I’m passionate about this particular cause because I grew up as a low-income, high-achieving student. If not for my supportive family and the encouraging educators and mentors I interacted with during my formative years, I would not be in the position I’m in today. 

I believe that education is, without a doubt, the key to empowerment, so I’m devoted to making sure that it’s equitable for every student. To fulfill this mission, I’ve involved myself in a number of education-related activities. The following are a few of note:

  • I assist in classrooms through my work as the programming intern at Howard University Middle School of Mathematics and Science
  • I’ve worked as a teaching fellow for Breakthrough Collaborative in Houston, TX, where I taught writing skills and a newsletter elective to eighth grade students
  • I developed a social media campaign to persuade policymakers to fund community schools during my time as a communication and marketing intern for the Coalition for Community Schools at the Institute for Educational Learning
  • I led a team of people through educational community service activities during an alternative spring break trip to Detroit, MI

What are your life and career goals?

Following graduation, I plan to teach ELA in a middle school classroom. And, eventually, I’d love to become the director of communications for a school system.

Ultimately, I plan to continue to fight for equitable education for all students and I hope to serve as a mentor and an inspiration for black youth. 

How has the YMC Student Scholarship helped you to achieve these goals?

The YMC Student Scholarship has helped me achieve my goals by allowing me to continue my career at Howard University!

Introducing Jordan Dockery

Jordan Dockery is a junior at DePaul University. She majors in communications studies and has a minor in women’s studies. Jordan worked with YMC as a college ambassador in 2019. Here’s our interview with Jordan!

Jordan Dockery HeadshotWhat sparked your interest in marketing and brands?

Growing up, I was obsessed with every aspect of the online beauty community. I watched countless makeup tutorials, hauls, and beauty product reviews on YouTube. My initial interest in marketing and brands was sparked after watching beauty YouTubers promote specific brands, use affiliate links, and create entirely-sponsored videos. I found the concept of using non-traditional platforms to market products incredibly smart, and it inspired me to pursue a degree in communications.

What have you learned by working with YMC as a student ambassador?

As a student ambassador with YMC, I learned how to create content to best fit a brand’s overall image, while also still staying true to my creative vision. I also learned how to utilize my online presence to promote products I loved to my followers and friends.

Beyond content creation, my experience as a YMC student ambassador expanded my knowledge of how to increase brand engagement through social media and on-campus events. It taught me to think outside the box and work in a technology-driven world.

Please describe the work you do to make your community (and the world!) a better place.

Both of my parents work as consultants for various non-profit organizations and I was raised to believe that giving back to your community was the most important thing you could do with your life.

As a member of the Delta Gamma Fraternity, I aim to uphold the organization’s motto—”Do Good.” I complete my Delta Gamma service hours by volunteering for various Chicago organizations. The following are a few examples of how I give back:

  • I serve meals to the wonderful and kind people at St. Mary’s Little Sisters of the Poor
  • I also volunteer at The Chicago Lighthouse, where I host coffee clubs and holiday parties for those who are blind or visually impaired
  • I provided beauty products to members of DePaul University’s LGBTQ+ organizations like Spectrum, Gender?, and Queer People of Color (QPOC) at my ambassador program events

Volunteering to serve meals to those in need and working with those who are visually impaired has taught me that even small acts of service can create a better world. Through my volunteer experience, I have formed friendships with members from both St. Mary’s and The Chicago Lighthouse. Now, when I visit these organizations, it no longer feels like volunteer work. Instead, I feel like I’m going to see and help out my friends. 

Finally, it felt great to have the opportunity to give back to DePaul University’s LGBTQ+ organizations as part of the my ambassador program. This is a cause that’s very close to my heart because, as a queer woman, a life goal of mine is to make makeup more accessible and representative of all people.

My sorority sisters and I continue to volunteer at these organizations even after our service hours are completed, and Delta Gamma has been repeatedly recognized and awarded by DePaul University for our volunteer work. 

What are your life and career goals?

My dream career would be to work on the marketing team of a large beauty corporation.

Aside from my career, I’m most passionate about diversifying and breaking boundaries in the beauty world. As a plus-size queer woman who loves beauty, I’ve always found it challenging to feel seen or represented within the beauty world—I want to change that for others. So, another goal of mine is to serve as an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, POC, and all ages and genders in the beauty community.

How will the YMC Student Scholarship help you to achieve your goals?

The YMC Student Scholarship allows me to have financial stability while completing my degree. My education is crucial if I want to make my dream career a reality. 

I’m beyond grateful for my amazing experience as a college ambassador with YMC and could not be more thankful for this scholarship. Thank you to everyone at YMC, especially Eve Sorkin, for introducing me to the agency.

My time as an ambassador has given me professional networking contacts within my desired industry, incredible resume experience, and life skills that will stay with me forever.


Congratulations again to our first-ever YMC Student Scholarship recipients Nazirah Ahmad and Jordan Dockery. We’re lucky to work with impressive students like them each day and we’re so grateful for the ability to further support them as they achieve their goals!

Interested in applying for a YMC Student Scholarship? Then we have great news! The application for the spring 2020 scholarship is open until April 6. Apply today!

Introducing the YMC Student Scholarship Program

We’re excited to share some great news—we’re launching the YMC Student Scholarship program!

As the leading Millennial and Gen-Z marketing agency in the U.S., Youth Marketing Connection (YMC) authentically connects brands with today’s young consumers.

We pride ourselves on creating incredible learning and development opportunities for the students we work with—now we’re looking to take that one step further.

About the Scholarship

The YMC Student Scholarship will recognize students in our network who excel in both their marketing program and, more importantly, in their efforts to positively impact their community.

Beginning in Fall 2019, we’ll be awarding our first-ever YMC Student Scholarships. Each semester (twice a year) we’ll select two students to receive the award. Selected students will receive a $1,500 scholarship towards their tuition.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible, students must meet the following criteria:

  • They must either work with YMC currently, or must’ve worked with YMC within the past 12 months at the time of application.
  • They must be full-time students. For fall semester scholarships, first-year students and final semester graduating seniors aren’t eligible. For spring semester scholarships, first-year students and students in their final year of school are not eligible.
  • They must have active involvement in a minimum of 2 on-campus clubs/organizations.
  • They must have a leadership role in at least 1 on-campus club/organization.
  • They must have a 2.5 GPA or higher.

How to Apply

If you meet the listed requirements, we hope you’ll consider submitting an application online! The application includes the following sections:

  • About You
  • Your School & Campus Involvement
  • Your YMC Work Experience
  • Content Creation Challenge (submit a blog, video, or Instagram/Snapchat story that shows how you use your influence to not only represent brands but also to positively impact those around you)

All applications for Fall 2019 scholarships are due by Thursday, November 21. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to [email protected].