Instagram Advanced Tips

November 21, 2022

Last update


07 MIN.

Instagram Reels Insights: How to Tell if Your Reels Are Performing Well

Instagram Reels Insights shows you how your Reels are performing. But what do you do with this information? And if you’re not seeing as much engagement as you’d like, how can you improve things?

Yauhen Zaremba

Yauhen Zaremba

Instagram Reels Insights: How to Tell if Your Reels Are Performing Well

If you use Instagram as part of your social media strategy, you’ll have discovered the joys of producing Instagram Reels. And you’ll be aware that Reels are super-popular with younger audiences. For example, they have an average engagement rate of 1.95%, which is at least twice as high as other Insta post types.

After Instagram Reels were introduced in 2020, Reels Insights followed in May 2021. They are part of the wider Instagram Analytics feature. Whereas previously you could only see comments, likes, and a view count, Reels Insights adds extra data including saves, shares, account reach, and number or plays.

Instagram Reels Insights shows you how your Reels are performing. But what do you do with this information? How is engagement rate calculated? And if you’re not seeing as much engagement as you’d like, how can you improve things? Read on to find out.

Instagram Reels Insights: Maximize Your Content's Performance

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Reasons to track your instagram reels’ performance

Instagram Reels may only last for 90 seconds or less, but they still take plenty of time and effort to create. You have to think of a unique concept, and choose the perfect music and effects. How can you ensure all that work is paying off? By monitoring performance based on real stats.

To understand audience behavior 

The Insights feature enables you to collect and analyze more data, giving you improved visibility into the performance of your Reels. You can look at the reach and engagement rate of individual Reels, and identify which ones did better than others.

As well as comparing Reels against each other, you can compare them with your other content formats on Instagram. Once you’ve figured out where you’re going wrong and right, you’ll be able to work on improving your Reels content. Iconosquare offers the possibility to follow the statistics and average of your competitors (Posts and Reels), which allows you to understand where they stand in the market and adjust your social media strategy. 

To learn areas of improvement

Insights also reveal more about your audience and their interactions. For example, does your target audience prefer how-to videos, product showcases, or funnies? What do they do after viewing your Reels? Do they check out your other Insta content?

With analytics, you can figure out what time most people are viewing your Reels, and see which filters, effects, music tracks, and CTAs are most appreciated. By focusing on appealing content, you’ll build stronger relationships with your followers—and hopefully turn them into customers.

To recognize patterns

By paying attention to the metrics, you can see if there’s a pattern to your Reels’ performance. Do your top-performing Reels all have common elements, like similar length or music? If there’s a peak time for viewing, does it correlate with a peak time for hits on your website?

It’s also important to understand how Reels fit into your wider Instagram strategy, in order to allocate marketing resources accordingly. If you’re creating Reels on behalf of clients, you can add your findings to the marketing agency proposal template.

Free to use image sourced from Unsplash

To find missing opportunities

Insights can also highlight new opportunities. For instance, if you see that successful competitors are posting a certain style of content, you could create something similar. Or you might notice that a particular demographic isn’t engaging with your Reels, and set out to address that gap in the market.

What the metrics on your instagram reels mean

Before we get into the metrics, let’s just recap on how to access your Insights. The feature is only available in the Instagram mobile app, and on Iconosquare. You’ll only have access via a Business or Creator account. But don’t worry—you can easily upgrade your Personal account to a professional one, free of charge.

If you want to check the performance of a particular Reel, just tap on the Reel to view it and tap the three dots icon in the lower right-hand corner or log into your iconosquare account and go to the Metric section to see how your Reels and other Instagram posts are performing (but also FB, Twitter, LinkedIn and TikTok). Alternatively, you can also go to the Reels tab on your Insta profile, select the Reel you want, and tap "View Insights". You can also see an overview in your overall account Insights.

The metrics are divided into two sections: Insights and Interactions.

Reel insights

Insights are similar to Reach and Impressions on a regular post.


This shows how many unique Instagram accounts have viewed your Reel at least once, no matter if the video was actually played. Reach is different from impressions, which may include multiple views of your reel by the same accounts. The figure includes views from your profile and views earned via the “Home” feed or search. If the number is a lot higher than your usual content, that’s great—it could show that your Reel has gone viral.

You can see the number of followers and non-followers you’ve reached, and how this compares to your other content types. It will also tell you what percentage of your Instagram reach comes from Reels, plus data about your number of impressions and profile visits.

sourced from Unsplash


This tells you the number of times your Reel has been played. Plays are counted when someone clicks to play the video, or when it starts to play automatically. Does rewatching a reel count as a view? Yes—and because some users may watch your Reel more than once, this figure may be higher than the number of accounts reached.

As well as analyzing the metrics through Instagram Analytics, remember you can also dive into Reels analytics with Iconosquare.

Reel interactions

This area of Insights measures your engagement metrics, or how people interact with your content. As well as a breakdown of the different types of interactions, you’ll see a figure for the total interactions. You can use this to work out your engagement rate. Simply divide the number of interactions by your follower count, and then multiply that number by 100.

As for the metrics themselves, they’re pretty much self-explanatory:


This shows you how many people “liked” the Reel. It’s a good indicator of audience opinion, although it doesn’t tell you if someone watched the entire video.


Here you can see how many users left a comment. Remember, don’t just look at the total figure to see how well the Reels are doing— it’s good practice to look at the content of the comments, to get more insight into what your target audience is thinking. You might even pick up some ideas for future content.


How many times a user decided to share your Reel with a friend, which gets you extra exposure.


This tells you how many users saved your content to their device to watch again later.

Remember that you can also look at your Recent Highlights, which displays any increases in your account performance. You can select a custom time frame within the past 90 days. There’s also the Overview Analytics section, which shows the number of accounts reached, accounts engaged, total followers, and approximate earnings for your selected time frame.

Free to use image sourced from Unsplash

How to use insights to improve your reels

Think about what you want to achieve through Reels. For example, if brand awareness is your target, then you need to attract plenty of likes and shares. But if you’re going for direct engagement with the goal of increasing sales, then you should be aiming to get more comments and profile visits.

If your Reel Insights show that there’s room for improvement, here are some ways you can use the results to boost engagement.

  1. Experiment on different date and times when posting

Insights helps you to figure out the best times to post your Reels for maximum reach and engagement. If you get most of your likes and comments on a Thursday evening, schedule new posts to drop then. The good news is that once a Reel goes viral, its reach and impressions will stay high for several days—so you can take advantage of the exposure by trialing new content.

  1. Test the type of reels that works best for your brand

The only way to find out which Reels your target audience enjoys most is to test out some ideas. Experiment with different content and styles, and try various audio options—such as using the music from your top-performing Reels on new content. The Reels Remix feature lets you repurpose content to keep it fresh.

  1. Identify reels with viral potential through comparison

Check out your competitors’ Reels to see which content works well for them. If short videos with colorful effects are getting a ton of likes, you could consider using that style. You can also get inspiration from the Instagram @creators account, which posts a weekly roundup of popular memes and trends. And Iconosquare gathers industry data so you can benchmark against your competitors.

  1. Try out different lengths of reels

Again, testing is the way to discover which length of video is most popular. Try posting the same content in a few different lengths and use the metrics to see which attracts more likes or shares. You can find out if certain lengths work best with certain demographics or at particular times. Check out what your competitors are up to for further insights.


Image Sourced from


Instagram is forecast to have 1.44 billion monthly active users by 2025, representing a huge potential audience for your brand. Don’t just post content and hope for the best—use Reels Insights to check the success of your content and find out what people want to see.

With Reel Insights as part of your social media strategy, you’ll be able to recognize patterns and trends, and set benchmarks for views and engagement. Improving your content may even encourage influencers and affiliates to work with your brand (click here for an affiliate marketing template).

the writer
Yauhen Zaremba

Yauhen Zaremba

Contributor @Iconosquare

Yauhen is the Director of Demand Generation at PandaDoc. He’s been a marketer for 10+ years, and for the last five years, he’s been entirely focused on the electronic signature, proposal, and document management markets. Yauhen has experience speaking at niche conferences where he enjoys sharing his expertise with other curious marketers. And in his spare time, he is an avid fisherman and takes nearly 20 fishing trips every year.

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