In order to grow your Instagram account, you need to constantly analyze your content and audience. One number that you must keep a track of is your engagement rate.
What is Instagram engagement rate?
Engagement rate is the number you get after dividing the engagement you have (likes and comments) for a specific period of time to your Instagram followers. It is an important number for Instagram’s algorithm. The algorithm takes account of how good your Instagram is performing based on your engagement rate (and Saved posts), and then decides the exposure your post will get.
To paraphrase, having a good engagement rate will boost your account and give your account the exposure it needs. To explain it with simple words, the more people like your content and the more followers you get, the better Instagram will treat you and the bigger the chance to get to the Explore page or Top posts on Instagram, where you will get a lot of exposure and traffic.
And that’s not all. The engagement rate of your Instagram account is very important when working with brands. In order to get a good collaboration, you must have an engaging audience and relevant content.
If you are a brand looking for influencers, check out my blog post – “How to recognize a fake influencer”.
How to calculate your engagement rate on Instagram?
You can do it manually or find an engagement rate calculator to do the work for you. This is the formula to do it manually:
How to determine if you have a high engagement rate?
The engagement rate of your Instagram account can be high, low or average. A high engagement rate is always preferred. That’s what both, Instagram and brands, like to see in one profile.
Your engagement rate is calculated based on the number of your followers. The required number for high engagement rate decreases, the more followers you gain. For example, for an account with 1 000 followers, 10% engagement rate is considered very good. But for another account with 1 000 000 followers, 10% engagement rate is unrealistic.
To understand your engagement rate better, this is the industry benchmark (updated for 2019) for a good engagement rate:
• Accounts below 1k followers MUST have at least 5% engagement rate. (Anything above 7% is considered a high engagement rate)
• Accounts between 1k – 10k followers MUST have at least 3% engagement rate (Anything above 3.5-4% is considered a high engagement rate)
• Accounts between 10k – 100k followers MUST have at least 2.2% engagement rate (Anything above 3% is considered a high engagement rate)
• Accounts between 100k – 1M followers MUST have at least 2% engagement rate (Anything above 2-3% is considered a high engagement rate)
• Accounts above 10M MUST have at least 1.9% engagement (Anything above 2% is considered a high engagement rate)
If your account belongs to one of these categories, you are safe, for now. If your account has a low engagement rate, don’t worry, it is fixable. It is important to understand what is causing problems and fix it right away.
Related: Check out Master the Art of Instagram and Master Instagram Marketing
Why do you have a low engagement rate on Instagram?
It can be your content.
Maybe it is not engaging enough for your audience. Maybe it is not high-quality. Or perhaps you post very generic stuff and don’t have a specific niche.
It can be your audience.
Maybe your target group is wrong and you are focusing on the wrong people.
It can be a combination of both.
If your audience doesn’t get to see your content because the competition on Instagram is crazy. Yet, this is another example of not having an engaging audience because the more people engage with you, the more they see from your account – posts and stories.
It can be your method of growing.
Yes, there are some methods of growth such as buying followers that people use to get to the good part of Instagram. But these harmful methods are not it. Instead, they hurt your Instagram profile and lower your engagement rate.
Think of it this way, fake followers won’t interact with your account. They won’t like, comment, or save your posts. They are blank numbers. And that’s where the gap comes from. It is hard for your real followers to compete with the massive number of fake followers you have bought. You and any other brand can easily see this from your engagement rate.
Is a high engagement rate symbol of a good, honest Instagram account?
Not necessarily but it is a good start. There is more than one thing to take into consideration when analyzing one Instagram account. For example, the quality of the comments under their latest posts is another very important thing to consider.
How to improve your engagement rate?
Low engagement rate is not the end of the world. It can be improved but it will take some time. In order to improve your Instagram engagement rate, you will need to determine the reason why people don’t engage with your content and try to implement a new strategy. You can always use tools such as Instagram stories to keep your audience engaged. And you can use these 7 tips to get better at Instagram right away.