Instagram Impressions: What Are They & Why Do They Matter?

by Hassaan Khan
12 minutes
Instagram impressions

Instagram is a top-tier social media platform with over two billion monthly active users. The secret recipe to dominate on Instagram is no different than the other platforms. One of the features of Instagram that most users overlook is the Instagram impressions.

We have been raving about this social media success recipe for years that includes being authentic, creating original content, helping or entertaining followers, engaging with the audience, and tracking content performance.

We’ll now shed some light on what Instagram impressions are, why they matter, and how to improve the numbers.

So, stick around if you’re interested in growing your Instagram followers without any shady techniques.

Without any further ado, let’s get into it.

What are impressions on Instagram?

Instagram impressions are the total number of times the Instagram post is seen no matter where the visitor has come from or how many times it’s viewed by each account.

The main sources of Instagram impressions are the Home page that we scroll through and come across the Instagram posts from the people we follow.

Furthermore, Instagram impressions from visiting Instagram Profile, for instance, you mentioned your Instagram profile link in your YouTube links section and a YouTube subscriber clicks through and lands on your Instagram profile page.

Moreover, Instagram impressions also come from the Explore section; it’s also known as the search section where people search for content or people and discover your content.

However, keep in mind that the Explore page mostly features content that gets a lot of traction or getting viral at the moment.


Let’s take a look at the insights of an Instagram post:

Instagram impressions

Also Read: How to beat Instagram algorithm in 2023?

Why do Instagram impressions matter?

Impressions are vital to any piece of content regardless of the platform. A spike in impressions is the first sign of attention, ranking, and virality no matter what platform you’re using.

Instagram impressions are no different. When the Instagram impressions go up, it’s a clear indication that something is working for you. All you need is to keep an eye on the analytics to figure out why it happened and how it happens so that you can replicate it even better.

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Here are four reasons why Instagram impressions matter:

1. Uncover the Instagram content performance

It’s essential to keep track of your Instagram content performance to find out what’s working for you and what’s not. An uptick in Instagram impressions means that some of your Instagram content is getting some traction.

You can go through the insights and find out which of your Instagram posts is doing well so that you can double down on that area.

2. Explain the audience’s behavior toward content

Instagram impressions are a result of the content popularity. Different types of Instagram content go viral, such as entertaining, creative, controversial, comedy, etc. However, make sure you’re getting attention on Instagram for the right reasons.

Furthermore, Instagram impressions can do a very fine job of explaining the audience’s behavior toward your Instagram content. Look through the Instagram insights to find out what content is ahead of the rest.

3. Help in setting the trajectory for the content strategy

One of the reasons why Instagram impressions matter is that it helps in determining the trajectory of the content plan. There is no reason to ignore a content category or silo if it’s working on Instagram.

Closely analyze all the popular Instagram posts and handpick the topics/areas that are getting more engagement, such as impressions, clicks, comments, likes, and shares.

4. Assist in pinpointing the successful Instagram posts

A boost in Instagram impressions could help you identify the top-performing posts on Instagram, and it always happens for a reason. Once you spot those outlier Instagram posts, you can elicit the secret sauce and easily replicate it to create more of these Instagram posts.

For instance, if you’re an entrepreneur who shares business ideas and secrets on Instagram and you randomly post a motivational quote, and if it outperforms other posts, then it’s a clear sign that you should post these quotes more often.

How Instagram impressions are calculated?

Instagram impressions are calculated for the Instagram picture posts. The video insights include reach and engagement, whereas the picture post insights include impressions and engagement.

Users can analyze the post-performance and impressions for each post separately. To calculate the Instagram impressions, all you have to do is open the Instagram post and tap on the “view insights” option on the left bottom of the post.

The platform counts the impressions received by a single post through different mediums, such as from home, profile, explore, and others.

The post insights received reports about the impressions received by the individual post.

What is the difference between Instagram impressions and reach?

Instagram “reach” and “impressions” are two different elements in the Instagram insights. It often gets confusing for beginners so let’s try to understand the difference between these Instagram statistical elements.

Difference between Instagram impressions and reach

Instagram impressions mean the number of times an Instagram post is viewed. It doesn’t matter whether or not it received clicks, comments, or likes.

On the other hand, a post reach is the total number of people who have seen your Instagram post.

So there is a clear distinction between the two concepts, but most people find it difficult to differentiate.

The point to be noted is that both are vital to get more engagement, followers, and virality on the platform.

Anything on Instagram that leads users to your Instagram content or profile, such as posts, comments, shares, or likes can eventually help you grow on the platform.

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How can you track Instagram impressions?

Tracking Instagram impressions is not rocket science. In fact, it’s quite simple to access Instagram post analytics. Let us walk you through the steps involved in the process:

1. Access your Instagram profile to check your Instagram impressions. You don’t have to be a social media guru to pull this off. Just open your Instagram account and go to the profile tab.

access your Instagram profile

2. Open the Instagram post you want to analyze. Since Instagram showcases Instagram impressions on an individual post basis, the user has to access the analytics section for each post to check out the impressions.

open an instagram post

3. Tap on the “View Insights” option on the Instagram post you have opened or you want to analyze for impressions. The view insights option would be a text-based CTA written on the left of each Instagram picture post.

tap on view analytics options

4. Scroll down until you see the Impressions section after you enter the post insights section. The very first section would be Overview followed by the Reach. The next would be Impressions. This is the section that will uncover where the Instagram impressions are coming from.

Scroll down until you see the Impressions section

Moreover, the post insights area also reveals the engagement, post activity, and interaction data. It gives you an inside-out Instagram post performance report.

Instagram impressions breakdown

The rising numbers of Instagram impressions across Instagram profiles tell you that something is working for you. However, it’s also vital to break down the concept of Instagram impressions.

There are several areas/sources that could trigger a spike in Instagram impressions. Let’s dissect the Instagram impressions and try to figure out how and where they come from:

Impressions from Home: The home feed is the main source of the impressions. The more you post, the higher the impressions. However, if you have only 20 inactive followers on Instagram, don’t expect wonders. 

Every social media platform pops content that gets early attention and keeps getting attention. So, impressions from home means the number of times your Instagram post appeared on the home feed.

Here’s the CuriousityStream Instagram post on the home feed:

CuriousityStream Instagram post on the home feed

Impressions from profile: Impressions from the profile mean the impressions received through the Instagram profile. It includes profile visits that come through direct clicks, comments on others’ posts or live streams, or any other Instagram content. 

So, when people access a post after landing on the profile, it counts as impressions from the profile.

Take a look at the Instagram profile of CuriosityStream:

Impressions from Profile

When the visitors directly land on the profile and access an Instagram post, it’ll be counted as impression from the profile.

Impressions from location: Geo-tagging has been available on Instagram for quite some time. Instagrammers and influencers tag locations when they visit a shop or restaurant. 

Thus, it helps them get more engagement and attention. Similarly, the places, shops, and businesses also get new eyeballs around. So Instagram also counts impressions from locations.

Here’s the quick example:

Impressions from Location

Look at the geo-tagging in the above-mentioned Instagram post. It showcases the creator is willingly showing their location and informing the platform to target the audience in this region.

Impressions from other sources: Instagram users often mention their Instagram profile URLs on external sources, such as websites, YouTube channels, TikTok accounts, and other platforms. 

When visitors click on those Instagram links, they are directly on the profile page regardless of the device.

Comprehending Instagram impressions isn’t that hard once you start paying attention to your Instagram insights. 

However, the upside of doing so is way bigger than you can imagine. So don’t sleep on the opportunity to analyze your Instagram posts’ insights.

Impressions from other sources

Most experts and influencers mention their Instagram profile link on other social media platforms like YouTube and TikTok. It’s an excellent source to increase your Instagram impressions from external sources:

6 ways to boost Instagram impressions

Social media engagement comes as a result of being active, vocal, and enthusiastic about what’s happening around you. It doesn’t have to be political, religious, or controversial. In fact, it could be about anything you like or know about.

Don’t worry about the niche you work in or what industry you belong to, you can start a conversation about your “thing” and if you’re doing it right, like-minded people will join you.

As far as Instagram is concerned, there are some tips and tricks to get traction that you should be aware of when trying to capitalize the social media opportunities. Here are six ways to boost your Instagram impressions without hiring an expert or paying for ads:

1. Choose a niche to create content

Choosing a niche is one of the most common tips you get when you’re getting started with social media content creation. However, the majority of the people who fail on social media turn out to be a victim of this issue.

It’s more complex than you can imagine. A lot of people don’t even pick a niche. Instead, they start putting out random content whether it’s YouTube, Instagram, or TikTok. They keep putting out content and hope that some piece might go viral and change things for them.

Similarly, when content creators opt for the wrong niche or social media platform, they also end up frustrated at some point.

If you want to boost your Instagram impressions, reach, and followers, you have to be in the niche you’re passionate about. Otherwise, you’d end up burned out in the next few months.

Example: Manasa

Instagram account example

Manasa is an Indian gardener and Instagram influencer. She is passionate about gardening and shares her kitchen gardening journey with the world. She picked the right niche, and that’s why she is crushing in on Instagram.

2. Experiment with in-app music and effects

Every social media platform provides users with several tools and features for their benefit. YouTube has music in the Audio Library. Similarly, TikTok and Instagram provide in-app music for users to create content.

Undoubtedly, one of the hacks to grow on any social media platform is to capitalize on the content creation tools and features. These tools and features are there for a reason.

Since we’re discussing the tips to boost your Instagram impressions, experimenting with in-app music and effects could be an excellent step forward. The reason is that it could make any of your posts go viral.

So don’t shy away from trying out the in-app music and effects available on Instagram.

Example: Wander.lust Tours

 Experiment with in-app music and effects

Wander.lust Tours is a Pakistani tourism company that uses Instagram quite well. They use in-app music to create compelling posts and stories. 

3. Write brief yet effective descriptions

Instagram post descriptions seem like an ordinary task, but it does carry some weight. A lot of people post on Instagram without adding details in the description.

If you understand search engine optimization, you might not post Instagram posts without writing proper descriptions. The reason is that any text underneath or behind the visual media helps the platform understand the message in the content.

Writing effective Instagram description is fantastic for Instagram growth that doesn’t only increase your Instagram impressions, but also help users discover your content through the Instagram explore section.

So don’t leave your Instagram descriptions empty from now on and cash in on every opportunity you get to increase your Instagram reach.

Example: MoneyBusinessMoves

Write brief yet effective descriptions

It’s an entrepreneurial and business Instagram account that shares tips, ideas, and thoughts on entrepreneurship, finance, and business development. The team at MoneyBusinessMoves writes brief and effective Instagram post descriptions. 

4. Use fewer but relevant hashtags

Instagram hashtags do help content get discovered by the audience if used right. One of the biggest mistakes new Instagrammers make is that they start using generic and short hashtags that don’t drive attention due to the high volume of social posts.

For instance, if someone is in the finance niche and posting Instagram content with hashtags, such as #cash, #money, and #banking, then they don’t stand a chance against all the giants in the finance niche.

On the other hand, if the same person or brand starts using more specific and to-the-point hashtags, such as #mortgagetips, #loanapprovaltips, and #financialexperts, then they are likely to get attention.

Example: Moses Aurelius

Use fewer but relevant hashtags

Moses is a video editor and Instagram influencer. He uses fewer yet to-the-point Instagram hashtags on Instagram that makes his content creates a lot of buzz.  

5. Mention brands and people

Instagram impressions boost doesn’t happen on a whim. In fact, it takes some time, especially if you’re new to the Instagram marketing game.

One of the best ways to increase Instagram impressions is to start mentioning brands and influencers that you genuinely admire in your content and see what happens.

It’s an underestimated Instagram growth hack that most people ignore. Nobody hates free promotion.

Plus, you get to build relationships with influencers, brands, and experts when you mention them in your stories, posts, and live streams.

The key to winning using this tactic is how well you engage the brand or influencer to continue the discussion and become memorable for them.

Example: MyInteriorLooks

Mention brands and people

MyInteriorLooks is an interior design inspiration Instagram account that shares interior design content. They often mention other relevant Instagram accounts, which validates our point. 

6. Always reply to the comments 

Social media engagement happens in different shapes and forms, but the basics are the same across all social media platforms.

The engagement happens through comments, DMs, likes, and shares. However, the majority of the people are unable to pull this off.

The reason is that these people don’t know how to engage their followers. Maybe, the problem is the lack of interest or context. If someone doesn’t know why they’re following a brand, they probably would have no idea what to say to that brand.

Anyway, responding to the comments does help companies, influencers, and creators boost their Instagram impressions without a doubt.

Example: Norway Photography

Always reply to the comments 

Norway Photography is a photography-niche Instagram account that shares photos of Norway. They are good at replying to the comments.

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Final thoughts

Instagram impressions are an important metric to comprehend and ultimately improve to get more engagement, new followers, and conversion.

More importantly, Instagram impressions are a massive signal that shows how well your Instagram content is performing organically.

You can’t always increase followers or drive conversions through paid ads on Instagram. In fact, your content must be good enough to do it naturally.

Once you start to implement the strategies and tactics discussed above, you could easily boost your Instagram engagement rates, which will eventually positively impact your Instagram growth.

Explore Also: Twitter Impressions: Strategies for Growth and Engagement


What is an impression on Instagram? 

Instagram impressions are the total number of times the Instagram post is viewed regardless of where the visitor comes from and how it has come to the post.

What is a good impression rate on Instagram?

On average 3.5% is quite good, but it may vary from industry to industry. So try to shoot for the stars. Continuously improve your Instagram content and strategies.

What are Instagram impressions vs. views?

Instagram impressions showcase the number of people who have seen your post, whereas the number of views tells the total number of people who took an action as a result of the content.

How do I see my Instagram impressions?

To check out the Instagram impressions, go to your profile, open the post, and tap on “view insights” on the left side of the Instagram post. Once the post insights section is opened, scroll down to the Impressions section. This is where you can see the Instagram impressions of your post.

Hassaan Khan

Hassaan Khan is a freelance writer for SAAS companies, e-commerce stores, and niche websites. He has contributed to SEMrush, ThriveGlobal, BloggingCage, AllBloggingTips, and several other publications. He builds niche websites, publishes e-books, and helps website investors with his done-for-you niche site-building service.

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