It's been a while since I've posted, so I thought I'd write this up. Analyze your post performance so you can determine if it's a flop or not. It takes FuckJerry about 2 minutes. It takes OMGFacts about 15 seconds. That’s how long they need to take to determine whether a post will go viral, or if it will flop. Here’s the deal: If you have a few thousand followers, you should be able to predict within a few hours if it’ll go viral. It’s hard to judge a small audience. However, if you have over 50,000 followers, you should be able to predict with about 90% certainty how well a post will do within 15 minutes of posting it. If it’s not doing well 15 minutes in, it’s typically not good news. Remember, your goal with every post is to keep your current followers happy (positively engaging) and to attract new followers. If you can’t do the first one, then you’re more than likely not going to be able to do the second one. Engagement creates growth. No engagement = no growth (and yes, don't fight me on this). Why does tracking performance matter? The first few minutes after you post are incredibly crucial. Instagram will rank your post’s initial performance and compare it with the performance of similar accounts that your followers follow. Remember, Instagram’s goal is to immerse the user into as much content as they think the user would enjoy. They do this by placing the engaging content highest on someone’s timeline. If Instagram determines your content to be non-engaging, then good luck trying to reach your followers – it won’t happen. It’s key for you to get real people to like and comment on your post as soon as you post it so it can have maximum reach. Buying fake likes and comments won’t do the trick. What does this all have to do with tracking performance? Well, think about it this way. If you consistently post bad content that doesn’t engage people, you will lose a ton of followers. People won’t see you on their timeline, and they will naturally unfollow over time. People finally do see you on their timeline for the first time in a few weeks, and they think “Why am I following this person?” I don’t keep up with them anymore. People see your content, dislike it, and then unfollow because your content doesn’t engage or interest them. So, long story short, having engaging content is a must if you want to consistently gain followers. Not only will it bump you higher in your followers’ timeline, but you will be more likely to: Land in the explore tab. Be shared with friends. Rank in specific hashtags. So, if you can determine with 90% certainty that a post will flop, then you can delete it before it does any harm, or you can be aware of it and make the proper changes to enact engaging content. Now, should you delete poor performing posts? No. You don’t have to, but tracking performance allows you to learn more about your account. Tracking puts your account under a microscope, and you’ll pick up on trends that you didn’t know before. For example, let’s assume you are tracking performance on your recent post. Let’s say that you normally get 2 comments within 15 minutes, but today you got 20 people who commented within 15 minutes of posting requesting what song you used in your video. Nothing else is different 15 minutes in – you have the same number of views and likes as your normally do, but you have 13 more comments than usual. You notice that the massive influx of comments within 15 minutes of posting help bring in a more views, likes, and comments then you normally get that day. So, how do you learn from experiences like this? What should you do from now on after you notice this trend? You post every video now with a different caption that requests comments in one way, shape, or form – so you can at least test this theory you have. You start putting captions that say things like: - “Comment your birthday to find your birthday twin!” - “What type of video should I do next?” - “fI uoy nac daer siht, tnemmoc ruoy eman!” - “Tag 3 friends for good luck!” - “First 20 people who comment will receive a follow!” (now obviously these are super cheesy, but you can cater this to your niche) And wallah! You have noticed a considerable increase in post-performance once you increase the initial influx of comments within the first 15 minutes. Now you can milk this for all of it’s glory. My typical results: I like to track the first 5, 10, 15, 30, 60, and 120 minutes after a post. A typical post (100k+ views in 24 hours) for me will receive about 3,500 views in the first 15 minutes, 7,000 views in the first 30 minutes, and 14,000 views in the first hour. A good post for me will receive about 3,500 views in the first 15 minutes, 10,000 views in the first 30 minutes, and 20,000 views in the first hour. An amazing post for me (1m+) will receive about 5,000 views in the first 15 minutes, 25,000 views in the first 30 minutes, and over 50,000 views in the first hour. 1 out of 10 times, my calculations won’t be accurate, and I’ve concluded that’s just one of the mysteries of Instagram. Sometimes I will get a post that has 3,000 views in 15 minutes and somehow ends up with 20,000 views at 60 minutes. Sometimes I will get 3,500 views in 15 minutes, but only 10,000 views at 60 minutes. What I recommend you do: For the next week, write down on some paper (or in an Excel spreadsheet) exactly what time you post, what you post, and then how many likes, views, and comments you receive every 15 minutes for the first hour, every 30 minutes for the next two hours, and then every 6 hours after that. This will give you a great indicator of what performance you can expect at any given time during your posts. If you do this for a week on every post, you should be able to pinpoint exactly when a post is going to go viral. You will also know when to delete poor performing posts if you choose, but this varies from account to account. You definitely don't have to delete anything. Personal accounts probably won’t need to delete posts as often (unless the reception is overwhelmingly negative) because that’s just you being you. You’re being “real” with your followers. However, if your goal is to post frequently and to land in the explore as much as you can, then you need to come up with a game plan on what to do if a post flops. Sometimes, it’s best to just let it play out and see the performance over the course of a few hours. Other times, it’s best to delete right away and try again in a few minutes with a different picture or video. Best of luck! I hope this helps!