Everything You Need to Know About Instagram Saves

As Instagram continues to debate the possibility of removing Like counts, brands big and small have had to start looking for new ways to assess success and measure ROI. Enter Instagram Saves, a little-known and definitely underused feature that was launched in mid-2017.

Here’s everything you need to know about Instagram Saves and how you can leverage this powerful feature to boost engagement and grow your fanbase.

Instagram Saves 101

Instagram Saves are pretty simple: Users save posts they like by tapping the bookmark icon in the bottom right-hand corner of any Instagram post. Saved posts can be found by navigating to the Instagram profile, clicking on the hamburger menu, and then tapping “Saved.”

From here, you can create Collections with titles like “House Goals,” “Vacation Ideas,” or “Gifts for Mom.” Lest brands start direct marketing to Instagram users based on their Collections and Saves, the social network keeps all of this saved content private and only viewable by the account holder.

But wait. If Instagram Saves are private, why should brands care and why are they suddenly a hot topic for measuring engagement?

Why Instagram Saves Are Important

Instagram’s algorithms use a lot of different engagement metrics to decide which posts get bumped up in feeds, including likes, comments, shares, views, and saves. When someone saves your content, it tells Instagram that it’s high-quality content and that it should probably be sharing it with more people so everyone can benefit from the awesomeness.

According to James Nord, who runs influencer marketing platform Fohr, saves are like getting a “super-like.” So although you can’t see which users are saving which posts, the more saves a post gets, the more likely Instagram is to move that post higher in the feed—and it could even land your post on Instagram’s Explore page.

How to Create Content That’s Save-Worthy

A Like is easy to get because we’re click-happy, but a Save is a much bigger commitment that can catapult your brand. As Instagram seeks to depressurize the social network and get users to focus on quality over quantity or competition, brands have to get better about delivering content that is meaningful and relevant for fans.

Here are some quick ways to increase Saves and deliver engaging content while you’re at it:

Create Saveable Content

No matter what industry you’re in, you can create visually compelling and educational content that was made to be saved for later. When you’re building out your content calendar, think about images with captions that are evergreen and relevant for the long haul, such as infographic-style how-to guides or tips and tutorials that your fans will need to reference later. Here’s a great example from @girlboss:


Write Memorable Captions

Although short-and-sweet captions have their time and place, consider micro-blogging in your captions to deliver more value. Why? Whether you’re posting a recipe, step-by-step instructions on how to use your product, or sharing upcoming event dates, your fans will be compelled to save the post so they don’t lose track of the rich and informational captions you’ve written.

Make it Quotable

If there’s one thing Instagram users love, it’s quotes. Whether you’ve got powerful, life-changing thoughts from your CEO or are getting regular inspo from an app like Motivation App, you can easily turn quotes into visually compelling content that gets saved again and again. Just make sure you choose quotes that are relevant to your business and industry! Also, don’t go crazy with quotes. Be thoughtful with your content strategy and consider mixing it up so your feed looks intentionally curated.

Just Ask for It!

At the end of the day, you can also be direct and your fans and followers to save a post. Whether you whip up a quick “How to Save a Post” tutorial in your feed or share the post to your Stories and give a walk-through there, your how-to post could land you on Instagram’s Explore page in no time. Additionally, you can add “Save for later” to your asset as a gentle nudge for anyone scrolling by, like @boosted_social did here:


Track and Measure Instagram Saves

To see which posts are being saved — so you can create more of that save-worthy content — head to your Instagram Insights. Under the Content tab, tap See All under Feed Posts and use the filter to review post Saves. If you need to calculate your engagement based on likes, comments, and saves, use this handy formula:

Engagement = (Comments + Likes + Saves) / (Impressions x 100)

Businesses typically shoot for engagement rates between 1 percent and 3 percent, with 5 percent being the Holy Grail of Instagram engagement.

Although it may seem like Instagram is making it harder for businesses to get content in front of more eyes, with hundreds of millions of videos and pictures posted daily it’s actually quite the opposite. Now is the time to level up your content strategy and ensure that instead of filling Instagram with noise you’re giving your fans relevant, useful content that converts.

Action Items:

  1. Create a save-worthy Instagram feed post, following the guidelines above.
  2. Check your Insights regularly to see how often your content is being saved.
  3. If your Save count is low, experiment with a different type of saveable feed content.


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