Why Instagram engagement rate matters and how to calculate it

Red Marketing News

November 23, 2020

Can you believe that Instagram turned 10 last month? Since it was launched in October 2010, the app has grown larger than expected with a whopping 500 million daily users. As a result of its popularity, Instagram has become a way to make money for both content creators and brands around the world. Considering its potential as a source of income, it’s important to understand why Instagram engagement rate matters and how to calculate it.

What is your Instagram engagement rate?

In simple terms, your Instagram engagement rate is a quantitative measure of how your followers interact with content on your profile. It matters not only because it measures your audience’s interest, but also your brand relevance and social authority. It’s impossible to market yourself or your business on Instagram without understanding your Instagram engagement rate first.

Up until recently, we thought that the number of likes on a post were a strong indicator of its performance. Now, we’re shifting in how we measure engagement and are considering performance metrics, track comments, saves, shares, Instagram Stories views and even DMs to understand the success of our content.

How to calculate your Instagram engagement rate

Instagram engagement rate is typically calculated by dividing your account’s likes and comments by your number of followers. Another way to do it is by adding your likes and comments and dividing it by your impressions multiplied by 100. The latter is a better formula to use if you’re a brand, as it takes into account the number of people who’ve seen a piece of content (impressions) rather than the total number of followers. To see impressions, your account needs to be a public Business Profile.

So, what’s a ‘good’ Instagram engagement rate then? There’s no straightforward answer to this, as Instagram engagement rates vary by industry and depending on your strategic goals. In other words, different industries define success in different ways. However, one thing we know for sure is that Instagram has higher engagement rates than other social media networks – for example, according to a report conducted by HubSpot, Instagram posts generate 23% more engagement than Facebook posts despite the fact that Facebook has double the number of monthly users.

If you’re looking for a numerical value to compare your Instagram engagement rate to, marketing intelligence tool Rival IQ found that while specific sectors have higher engagement rates, the average engagement rate across all industries is 1.22%. Based on this, it’s safe to assume that around 1% is a pretty good engagement rate. If yours is a bit lower than this, fortunately there are steps you can take to raise your score, such as posting regularly, creating better captions, engaging with your followers and similar accounts, creating mixed content, understanding your audience and tracking your statistics.

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