Instagram Marketing

A complete guide to Instagram Impressions and Reach

Instagram is quite popular and the top choice of brands for promotion. Brands promote their accounts as well as hashtags on Instagram. The brand tries to reach as many people and have more  Instagram impressions on their campaigns. However, Instagram reach vs. Impressions confuses marketers and social media users.

So, we will focus on understanding the basics of Instagram reach and impressions. It would help you to analyze your campaign and optimizing your social media strategy.

If you want to calculate Instagram reach and impressions for the hashtag or any Instagram account you can skip this post and calculate Instagram reach here.

Instagram KPI for your account

Instagram inbuilt post analytics provides Instagram impressions and reach in the analytics dashboard.

What is Instagram Reach

It is the number of unique users that saw your Instagram post in a specified time duration. Since when you make a post on Instagram there is less chance that every follower will have a look at your post. If even you promote your post it is not likely that all of your followers will see the posts.

What are Impressions on Instagram

Do you know what does impressions mean on Instagram? The number of times your Instagram posts are seen by your audience. If your impressions are higher than reach it means the same audience is engaging with your content multiple times.

So, for any set of posts, you have a higher impression VS reach ratio for Instagram it means your campaign is really doing well.

Instagram Insights provides you reach and impression for your Instagram account. But if you are running a hashtag campaign on Instagram hashtag reach and impressions are quite different.

Instagram KPI for hashtags

When you run a hashtag campaign on Instagram it is not possible that you ask every user to share analytics of each hashtag post to calculate exact reach and impressions on Instagram hashtags.

So, we need a tool for checking Instagram impressions and reach which calculates reach on all posts using the hashtag.

The real issue is that it is not possible to get real Instagram reach and impressions for hashtag posts. So, Instagram analytics tools as socialert have figured out a way to measure reach and impressions. These are called potential reach and impressions.

How do you measure reach on Instagram hashtags? 

Instagram reach is the number of unique accounts that have seen the post including hashtags. So if there are x number of users who have shared posts using hashtags we can calculate reach by summing up followers of unique accounts. It is not certain that all followers of each user have seen the post but this is an estimate and called the potential hashtag reach.

So, in short, if an account has 200 followers, then its potential reach is 200. Hence if a hashtag has been used by 15 users and each has an average 50 number of followers their potential Instagram reach is 450.

How to measure Instagram hashtag impressions

Whereas reach stands for the total number of users, impressions stand for the number of views. Instagram hashtag reach and impressions metrics are estimated. Instagram impressions are the potential number of views anyone has seen the posts including the branded Instagram hashtag.

For example, there is a user having 250 followers and posted 3 images in the hashtag being analyzed. Then the potential impressions are 750 (3 posts multiplied by 250 followers).

Now we will check all users who have posted using the hashtag then we need to sum up impressions of each user to calculate Instagram impression on that hashtag.

The interesting figure is that some users search for a particular hashtag and see the hashtag posts. They are not followers of any user who has posted on that hashtag but they still count in hashtag reach and impressions. These metrics cannot be found anywhere.

How to calculate Instagram hashtag reach and impressions analytics manually

If your hashtag campaign has few users and fewer Instagram posts you can calculate reach and impressions easily using an excel sheet and above specified information.

In either case, we need to measure Instagram impressions with socialert

Measure Impressions on Instagram hashtag using socialert

Now we need to understand how we can calculate Instagram reach stats for a branded hashtag using socialert


Check the above report with Instagram hashtag reach and impressions inside the tool. Socialert also shows Instagram post impressions graph as well.

Instagram hashtag reports also provide an option to export Instagram hashtag data to excel where you can see the reach and number of posts for top users.

If you want to calculate hashtag impressions of each user you can create a column impression with a formula

Instagram Impressions     = number of posts * follower count (Hashtag Reach)

When you would sum up all Instagram impressions you would get total Instagram hashtag impressions.

Track reach and impression of Instagram accounts

 Do you need to analyze an Instagram account that you don’t own? It is not possible for you to access their Instagram insights.

Socialert helps to analyze any public Instagram account and provides you metrics like reach (followers) and engagement they get on their posts.

It would give you their potential reach  (follower count).

You can calculate potential Instagram impressions for the user  in time duration by below formula

Instagram Impressions     = number of posts * follower count (Potential Instagram Reach)


Conclusion Instagram reach v/s impressions

Socialert helps a lot to calculate reach and impressions on Instagram. However, we can also measure Instagram metrics as likes count, engagement, users ranking with most impressions, most contribution as well.

If you want to get instagram metrics for any instagram account or instagram hashtag campaign feel free to create a free report with socialert.

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