You might be able to get away with a really good Hermes knockoff, but most people can spot fake followers from a mile away. You know the profiles we're talking about -- that business with tens of thousands of followers but a mere 50 likes per post and not a comment in sight. It hurts to see accounts that have bought their followers, not only because it's disingenuous, but because we know they're really just shooting themselves in the foot. With so few engagements and such a high follower count, their low engagement rate signals Instagram's algorithm to bury their content, plummeting their ranking, potential reach, and ability to raise awareness for their brand to their real target audience.
Engagement rate is one of our most valuable metrics. We use it to track how invested your audience is in your content and discover useful insights into which types of content they prefer (or don't!). Plus, if you ever want to bust an account that you suspect has bought fake followers, a quick engagement rate calculation will always reveal the truth!
On Instagram, engagement rate is calculated by dividing the average number of likes, comments and saves per post by the total number of followers. Industry benchmarks indicate that the higher the number of followers, the lower the engagement rate. Therefore, a high engagement rate compared to industry benchmarks means a responsive audience with real followers, appealing content, and an effective social strategy.
Occasional spikes in followers (both up and down) are not uncommon, especially if you're running a promotion, have a viral Reel, or tend to post on controversial topics (cough *political posts*). But, for the most part, these spikes should correlate with a single post or campaign. What we really want to pay attention to is the normal growth rate each month. Gradual follower growth over time is the best way to measure the effectiveness of your social media marketing strategy and content, potential reach, and the ability to raise brand awareness.
Comparison may be the thief of joy but, when it comes to your Instagram strategy, it can offer valuable insights into how your brand is faring and help identify opportunities. We always track key metrics, including your top- and lowest-performing content, for up to 4 major competitors. This way, we can gauge your follower growth relative to similar accounts with the same target audience. Plus, we learn from spikes in followers about which content we should gravitate towards and which content is a deal-breaker for your target audience.
As with any business investment, it's essential to keep close tabs on your marketing efforts' performance, and Instagram is no exception. We use these key metrics to inform and guide our strategy, report on our social media marketing campaigns' performance, gain valuable insights, and report on ROI.