February 14, 2023

Instagram Engagement Rates: Do More Followers Lead to Better Engagement?

Instagram continues to be the leading platform for social media marketing. If you’re using Instagram to market your business, you may find yourself obsessing about your follower count, but your engagement rate is the most important metric to look at. 

That’s why it’s important to understand Instagram engagement rates. After all, more followers don’t necessarily mean more engagement. In fact, you may be surprised to learn that some of the most popular brands on Instagram have relatively low engagement rates. 

So, how can you assess and increase your engagement rates to use the app wisely? Read on to find out!

What Are Instagram Engagement Rates?

Engagement rates are measured by the number of interactions people have with your account. Rates are measured by the number of likes, comments, and saves on your posts, reels, or Instagram Stories.  

The culture on Instagram has shifted over the last couple of years, and follower count is becoming less of a focus for brands and consumers. So don’t fall into the trap of vanity metrics! Instead, pay close attention to how often people engage with your content and what type of content gets the most attention. These metrics will provide a much better insight to measure your success and help you to adjust your social strategy as needed. 

What is a Good Engagement Rate?

The average engagement rate on Instagram is between 1-5 percent, depending on account size, type, and industry. So, if your engagement rate falls between 2-3 percent, you’re doing well. Your engagement is considered high if you’re in the 4-5 percent range. 

Of course, these rates vary based on industry and various other factors. But, generally speaking, personal brands tend to have higher engagement rates than e-commerce brands because the content style is usually different. So, you’ll have to look at your industry to find your “sweet spot”, but this range is a good baseline to go off. 

How to Assess Your Engagement Rate

A simple way to calculate your Instagram engagement rate is to take the number of likes, comments, and saves you get on a post, divide the total by the number of followers you have, then multiply that by 100. 

Here’s what the formula looks like when broken down:

(Likes + Comments + Saves / Followers) x 100 

Whether you check these rates manually or use the help of an app, every business must have an idea of how engagement rates are calculated. 

How to Increase Your Instagram Engagement Rate

1. Engage frequently with other accounts

If you want to increase your Instagram engagement rate, one of the best things you can do is to start engaging with other accounts frequently.

This means leaving comments on other people's photos, liking their posts, and following them. When you do this, you're more likely to get noticed by the people you're interacting with, and they're more likely to start engaging with you - increasing the chances that your content will be shared and reach more people! 

2. Post at your most optimal time

Have you ever wondered why some Instagram posts get a ton of likes and comments while others get barely any engagement? It could be because of the time of day that you're posting.

A general rule of thumb is that the best time to post on Instagram is mid-morning to early afternoon. Since it’s over the lunch hour, this is when most people are checking their feeds and are likely to see your post.

That being said, you can take a look at your analytics to figure out what the most optimal time for you is. If your posts get the most engagement in the evenings, stick with that. If your primary audience is located in a specific time zone, you should also consider that when deciding what time to post. 

3. Use the right hashtags

Hashtags are a crucial part of Instagram engagement, and yes - they still matter! 

First, look at your Instagram analytics to see which hashtags are already bringing you the most engagement. Use at least 15 and up to 30 hashtags in each post. Make sure you are using a mix of popular and niche hashtags to reach both a broader and more targeted audience.

Instead of manually tying out hashtags, create hashtag groups based on your research in your post scheduler or your phone, so you can copy and paste to save time. 

4. Use interactive features on Instagram Stories

Interactive features on Instagram Stories are another great way to increase your engagement rate. Using these features, you can encourage your followers to interact with your content fun and engagingly. 

People love to ask questions and give feedback, so allowing them to do so on your story is a great way to get them involved. You can post a quiz or poll or use the question sticker to spark a conversation in the DMs. 

5. Include a call to action in your captions

Adding a call to action (CTA) to your Instagram captions can be as simple as asking people to leave a comment on your post, or it could be a more specific call to sign up for your email list by clicking the link in your bio. 

Make sure to include some type of CTA to every post to engage your audience as much as possible! 

Rather than worry about your follower count, commit to sharing consistent content that sparks conversations and builds a solid online community. Give these tactics a try and watch as more authentic engagement reaches your Instagram account. 

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