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Understanding Your Reels Analytics To Create Better Reels

  • 10 Minutes
Understand your Reels, understand *very deep moment* yourself

Love them or hate them, analytics are one of the most important parts of Instagram marketing. And when it comes to Reels, analytics are a complete game-changer. 

It’s no secret that over the last year, Instagram has been chasing the success of its rival TikTok. Instagram head Adam Mosseri even went so far as to say that Instagram is no longer just a photo-sharing app and will be increasing its emphasis on video. Now is the time to start understanding how your Reels are performing and whether or not your video content has what it takes to go viral. 

At first glance, Instagram Reel analytics might seem simple. You can see how many views, likes and comments your Reel received just by looking at it in the Reels tab. But do all those hearts actually amount to improved Instagram performance? As an Instagram marketer, you need to go one step further to see the big picture of how Reels are fueling your Instagram growth. 

Keep reading to learn how to dig deep into your Instagram Reels data and ultimately drive your success. 

What are Reels analytics?

In May 2021, Instagram announced they would be rolling out new and improved insights with Instagram Reels and Live analytics. This was done as part of their ongoing effort to support small businesses and give professionals the tools to better understand and evaluate their Instagram performance.

So what exactly are these novel Reels analytics Instagram speaks of? We’re glad you asked!

Put simply, Reels analytics are the data you need to look at in order to understand your Reels performance. Reels data is important for providing a current benchmark for the performance of your Reels. But the true power of Reels analytics lies in their ability to help you develop better content strategies for the future.

Conveniently, Reels analytics are now part of Instagram analytics. That means there’s no excuse for leaving them out of your Instagram reports as well as your larger social media reports.

Reels analytics metrics

A goal without a metric is just a wish. But which metrics should you pay attention to and what numbers are the best indicator of Reels success? As a marketer, your numbers should tell a story, and that story should highlight how effective your efforts are and the ROI for your client.

Here are a few key Reels metrics you should have on your radar:

  • Accounts Reached: The number of unique Instagram users that saw your Reel at least once – this can be broken down by followers vs. non-followers.
  • Plays: The number of times your Reel starts to play after an impression is already counted. A play is defined as video sessions with 1 ms or more of playback and excludes replays. This can be higher than the number of accounts reached, since some users might watch your Reel more than once.
  • Likes: Number of likes on the Reel.
  • Shares: Number of times your Reel was shared (either sent to another user or shared to a user’s Story).
  • Comments: The number of comments your Reel received.
  • Saves: The number of times your Reel was bookmarked.
  • Reels Interactions: The total number of engagement metrics, including likes, saves, comments, and shares on your reel, minus the number of unlikes, unsaves, and deleted comments.

How to access Instagram Reels Insights in the Instagram app

Before we get started, note that Reels Insights are only available for professional accounts. That means you’ll need to switch to a Creator or Business account in your settings. The good news is that it only takes a minute, and even smaller accounts can do it.

Here’s how to do it: 

  1. Open the Instagram mobile app and go into your Settings.
  1. Click on Account, scroll down and hit Switch account type.
  1. Switch to a Creator or Business account and there you go!

Once you’re in, there are two different methods for accessing insights for Reels:

View The Performance of an Individual Reel

If you’re new to creating Reels, checking the performance of an individual Reel is a great way to see what’s resonating with your audience. 

To see how a specific Reel is performing, open your Instagram profile, head to the Reels tab and click on the individual Reel you want to see the analytics for. 

From this screen you can view metrics such as Plays, Accounts Reached, Likes, Comments, Saves, and Shares. 

Image source: Instagram

If your business collaborates with influencers or UGC creators, you’ll want to check out the performance of those specific Reels. Compare the analytics from influencer-generated Reels to the ones you create yourself, or compare analytics between influencers. This will give you a clearer idea of the types of creators you’ll want to partner with in the future.

Understand Your Overall Reels Performance

Analyzing each individual Reel is great for understanding the nuances of your content’s performance and making tweaks. But to gain insight into how Reels shape your overall account performance, you’ll want to check out the Accounts Insights tab. 

Image source: Instagram

To view account insights, open the app and click the insights button at the top of your Instagram profile. Here, you can get a clearer picture of how your Reels content is distributed and what types of accounts you’re reaching.

Remember when we said that you could view a Reel’s reach based on followers vs. non-followers? In the insights tab, Instagram provides a handy little pie chart to help you compare. If you’re focused on building brand awareness and growing your visibility online, this is a great way to see how many users are discovering you via Reels.

Instagram also lets you examine results for different time frames! You can see how your Reels performed in the last week, last month, or even the last year. Sky’s the limit.

NEW: How to view Reels analytics in Sked Social

Checking the performance of each individual Reel can be exhausting, are we right? 

Thankfully, you can now track the metrics on your latest Reels inside your Sked Insights! We’ll be adding an additional Reels specific page and including them on your weekly insights email so you can get everything you need for your reporting in one place.

Get a clear view of your plays, reach, interactions & more with our all-in-one scheduling and analytics tool.

How to use Instagram Reels analytics to create better Reels

Now that you understand the “what” behind Instagram Reels, it’s time to discover the “why.” Why do Instagram Reels analytics matter and how can they help you make better content? 

Here’s how to put your Reels findings to work:

  1. Check out the competition

Whether you’re brand new to making Reels or you’ve been doing it since Instagram first introduced the feature, your best chance of success is to see what others are doing. 

Reels rely heavily on trends like popular sounds or video styles. And if you blink, you might just miss them.

When you’re planning out your weekly or monthly content, set aside some time to scroll through the Reels tab and see what others in your niche are doing. While you won’t be able to access your competitors’ insights, you can take a look at metrics such as likes, comments and views to see what’s performing well. Bookmark your favorites to come back to for inspo later.

  1. Test out different Reel styles

What works for one business’s audience doesn’t necessarily work for everyone. Your customers are unique and what content format resonates with them is too! 

Maybe your audience likes quick, funny videos that capitalize on trends. Or maybe they’re more engaged with longer educational content like tutorials. Use your analytics to guide you and adjust your content balance as necessary to serve them more of what they’re looking for.

  1. Play with different Reel lengths

Instagram now lets users post Reels up to 90 seconds long. Our advice? Play around with a mix of lengths and see what your audience resonates with.

Look at metrics like your watch time specifically. Sometimes, shorter content can be more engaging. But depending on the video style, you might find that you need more time to get your message across. If people are dropping off, it might be a sign that your videos are too long. Test out different Reel lengths and see what your audience responds to best.

  1. Test out different audios for your Reels

Using your Reels Insights, you can test out different audio options and see if those videos tend to outperform others. 

Instagram now offers several options for adding audio to Reels. Inside the Reels editor, you can:

  • Use the original audio from your video 
  • Use a text-to-speech generator
  • Record voiceovers
  • Add a saved audio track from Instagram’s library. This can include music or viral snippets like the examples below:

Trending audios are always the most fun because you can apply them to your niche in creative ways. Bonus: your video will be logged under the page for that audio, increasing your discoverability.

  1. To hashtag, or not to hashtag?

Your Reels analytics are your best guide when it comes to adding hashtags to your Reels. While Reels can support up to 30 hashtags, a recent feed post by the official Instagram @creators account specifically recommends using 3-5 hashtags per post.

Play around with your hashtags and let the analytics do the talking. Mix it up with some Reels that have 3-5 and some that have 10-15. 

While Reels insights may not give you the exact reason for why a certain Reel might outperform another, hashtags could be one of the factors, especially when it comes to metrics like reach.

  1. Timing is everything

Here’s a little Instagram hack: within your Instagram Account Insights dashboard, you can see when your audience is most active. This will help you nail down the best day of the week and time of day to post your Reels to get that maximum reach and engagement.

Test out different posting times and watch your results closely to see what’s resonating. You work hard on your Reels – don’t waste them by posting at a time when your audience isn’t online!

Why Tracking Reels Analytics is Critical for Social Media Success

Since Reels are relatively new to the platform, the Instagram algorithm appears to be rewarding accounts that post Reels with higher visibility and reach. The reason for this is since not everyone is using them yet, Reels have less competition than static feed posts, making them an amazing opportunity to grow your Instagram. 

As with all social media analytics, tracking your Reels performance will help you identify what’s working well, identify opportunities and improve your performance over time.

Reels analytics can help you understand:

  • What your audience likes (and dislikes!)
  • When to post your Reels for maximum reach and engagement
  • Which hooks grab your audience’s attention
  • Which calls to action motivate your audience to take action
  • Which filters, effects, and sounds are enhancing your video performance

Pay attention to patterns that emerge in your insights. Most importantly, see if spikes in your Reels performance are affecting your overall Instagram engagement and account growth. Funny or entertaining videos are great, but if they don’t lead to engaged followers that are interested in what you’re buying or selling, you might be missing the mark.

Monitor your Reels performance alongside your other social media content with Sked Social’s Analytics Dashboard. Show off your stellar social skills to stakeholders with robust visual reports, share insights on audience growth, and showcase your ROI as plain as day with our free 7-day trial.

Photo of Photo of Kyra Goodman

Kyra is a Junior Marketing Manager and "Spicy Meme Master" at Sked Social who loves to create content. Born and raised in Hawaii, her favorite things are traveling, yoga, beaching, coffee and baseball. Connect with her on twitter at @kyra_n_goodman.

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