Instagram account owners often fall into two camps.
Those who love the buzz they get from a thousand likes on each post. And those that hold their head in their hands in despair wondering why yet another carefully-crafted post has zero likes.
That’s a sweeping statement, of course, but one of those scenarios probably sounds more familiar to you than the other.
So, we’ve put this guide together to help you tackle the root of your problem. Here, we’ll explain what a good engagement rate on Instagram is and what to do if you aren’t getting the interaction you need.
What Does “Engagement Rate” Mean?
Every time you are active on Instagram, you’ll get interaction from your audience.
That might be a like or a comment. It might be someone clicking on your profile. Perhaps that user will even click on the link in your profile or choose to follow your account.
These are all examples of engagement, that is, people actively engaging with your Instagram account.
Engagement rate is the measurement we use to determine how much engagement you are receiving on Instagram each time you post.
How to Calculate Your Engagement Rate
Fortunately, there are ways and means to get more Instagram comments and likes to establish your engagement rate without doing manual calculations every day, and we’ll explore those later in the article.
Nevertheless, it’s helpful to understand the calculations behind the term engagement rate when evaluating your Instagram analytics.
There isn’t, in fact, one single data point for engagement rate. There are multiple data points, but we will focus on the two main ones for simplicity.
Follower engagement is the percentage of your existing followers who engage in a single Instagram post.
By engaging, we mean either likes or comments. So, if you have 100 followers, and you get one like and one comment, you’ve got an engagement rate of 2%.
Of course, it’s not only your followers who’ll see your Instagram post. So you’ll also want to know the engagement rate of your post, irrespective of how many followers you have.
You do that using the figure for impressions. Impressions are the total number of users who saw your post in their feed.
So, this time, your engagement rate will be the percentage of people who engaged with your post concerning the total number of impressions.
If you got 100 impressions, and you got one like and one comment, your engagement rate is 2%.
What Is a Good Engagement Rate?
Now that you understand what an engagement rate means, you probably want to understand what makes a good or bad engagement rate.
Here are the absolute numbers, but treat these with caution. In the section after, we’ll explain why.
A low engagement rate on Instagram is anything below 1%. That’s a sign you’ve got a problem with your Instagram account.
You are doing well if you consistently see engagement levels anywhere between 1 and 3%. If your number is closer to 1%, you might want to improve that figure. But 3% is a number you can celebrate.
Anything over 3% is considered high engagement. In other words, you are winning at the Instagram game!
Some special accounts on Instagram outperform even this high number. So, if you are seeing engagement levels higher than 5%, you are doing exceptionally well.
A Few Caveats to Bear in Mind
As we alluded to earlier, those engagement figures are absolute. What that means is that your numbers might differ, and for a variety of reasons.
So, here are three important caveats to consider when interpreting your engagement rate:
First, rather than using an absolute number as a measure for success, it’s probably better you think about your engagement rate in relative terms.
In other words, is your engagement rate improving over time? That tells you whether your Instagram strategy is effective or not.
Second, while we can provide guidelines for what makes a reasonable engagement rate, it does vary depending on your industry and demographics.
Some content naturally performs better on Instagram, e.g., weight loss before and after pictures are always popular, as are glamorous travel photos.
The size of your account can influence your engagement rate, and some businesses find that as their follow count increases, their engagement rate goes down.
Think about this from a logical standpoint by using the example of a celebrity.
Your first 100 followers might be your superfans. These people followed you before you were famous and loved everything you did. They’ll constantly interact with every post you put on your Instagram account.
Your subsequent 10,000 followers are also huge fans and will still show much interest in all the content you post.
Now, let’s imagine you have a million followers. Some of these will be super fans, but many will be people who are following you because they know you are a big celebrity, and they recognize your name.
However, they might not be as interested in every post you add to Instagram and are less likely to engage with your content.
What Else Should You Measure?
Engagement rate is a valuable tool for measuring how well you are doing on Instagram.
By comparing your rate over time, you can tweak or revamp your strategy when you aren’t performing well.
Likewise, you get instant feedback when you have figured out something your audience loves. That can help you determine the types of content you want to post in the future.
Nevertheless, engagement rate isn’t the only statistic you should measure to establish how well you are doing on Instagram. Here are some other performance data you should track:
Follower count: Your follower count is a great way to determine if people love your Instagram content enough to want to see more in the future.
Website clicks: You’ll probably add a website link to your profile. Those are people who are most interested in your business, so you’ll want to measure how many clicks you get on any given week.
Reach: Reach is the number of people who saw your post. While impressions will count the same person three times, if that’s how many times they viewed your post, reach is the number of unique views.
Stories: Are you publishing Instagram stories? If so, you’ll also want to know how many people viewed that story and whether they clicked on any link you added to that story.
Analytics Tools to Measure Your Engagement
As mentioned earlier in the article, you won’t have to calculate any of this data manually or tackle a complicated spreadsheet.
There are free and premium analytics platforms that will do all the hard work for you. These will provide you with helpful reports to see a quick snapshot of how your Instagram account is performing. Here are a few to note:
Instagram Business Analytics (Free)
Your first task is to set your Instagram account to a business account. Once you do this, you’ll have access to the standard analytics available directly on the platform to check your engagement rate on Instagram.
Google Analytics (Free)
Google Analytics won’t give you data on what’s happening within your Instagram account.
But it will provide valuable information on what your Instagram referrals are doing once they leave Instagram and visit your website.
Instagram Scheduler Tools (Free and Paid)
If you want more sophisticated analytics and custom reporting, your best option is to set up a separate analytics tool. Many offer free trials, and some even provide free limited accounts in addition to their premium versions.
Here are some of the most popular on the market right now:
- Sprout Social
It’s worth remembering that a free option is probably the best decision if you are just starting. You can always move to more sophisticated tools in the future, like Onclusive’s PR analytics tool, should you need more advanced analytics.
But for a small business, basic reporting on your Instagram account is enough to help you improve your social media performance.
How to Increase Instagram Engagement
If you find yourself with a poor engagement rate, you can take plenty of action to turn things around. Here are some of the ways you can improve your engagement rate on Instagram:
Invest in Your Account Growth
Organic growth on Instagram takes time and patience. Poor engagement might simply be due to having a relatively unknown account. It might make sense to buy Instagram likes to help give you an immediate boost.
Revamp Your Content
Low engagement might simply reflect poor quality content. If you are struggling with content, hire a social media designer to revamp it for you. A fresh new design might be all you need.
Instagram engagement sometimes takes a bit of human psychology. People need to see unambiguous instructions before they’ll do something. That applies to social media too.
If you want someone to like or comment on your post, be open and honest and ask your audience to do that.
Try Influencer Marketing
Another helpful marketing strategy to boost your engagement is to use influencers. Influencers in your niche can feature your account on their page and ask their followers to browse your content.
You’ll pay the influencer a fee in exchange. Still, the boost to your engagement rate is often worth it, particularly when trying to promote a product or service.
Improve Your Engagement Rate on Instagram
Don’t despair if your engagement rate on Instagram seems embarrassingly low. That number isn’t set in stone, and there is a lot you can do to turn things around.
Keep monitoring your analytics and trying new Instagram strategies to help your engagement rates reach new heights.
Continue your social media learning now by heading to our marketing section to explore our latest articles.