You’ve tracked the Instagram engagement rates but need to put them in terms that your clients understand. Are these numbers good? Bad? How do they compare to the competition? Read on to find out what you need to know about Instagram engagement rates.
If you manage brands on Instagram, it’s essential to monitor engagement metrics. Naturally, as a social media manager, you want to make sure your efforts help meet stakeholders’ social media goals.
But what’s a good engagement rate and why does it matter anyway?
Unlike many vanity metrics, measuring engagement can be a smart way to chart your social media success. Why? Because Instagram engagement rates track:
Most social media managers use one of the two most common options (among the many out there). Choose one formula and stick with it for consistency:
To get the data you need to calculate engagement, you have two choices:
Open the Instagram app, and navigate to insights. View all your Instagram posts for the time period you’re monitoring, such as the last week or month.
Then record the reach, likes, and comments for the posts in a spreadsheet app like Google Sheets. Make note of your follower numbers, too. Finally, add up the engagement for the time period, and use one of the two formulas above to calculate your rate.
Open your social media management app, and navigate to reports. Select the content report, choose the right time frame, and export the report to a CSV.
After downloading the report, add up the columns and use one of the two formulas above to calculate your rate.
If you just need a ballpark rate, skip the exporting step and use the average reach, likes, and comments to calculate.
A good engagement rate can serve as a benchmark for your team. But what’s good for one brand might be bad for another.
Overall, the average Instagram engagement rate by audience is 1.22%. But the average rate varies significantly by industry.
For example, for fashion brands, a 0.68% rate is average, but a 3.57% rate is typical for higher education organizations. Tech and financial services averages are somewhere in the middle, at 1.31% and 1.42% respectively.
When you compare your brand’s engagement rate to average numbers, take a couple of steps to maintain accuracy. First, make sure you’re comparing your rate to the average for your industry. When you compare to industry standards, always double-check that you’re using the same formula as your benchmark.
It’s also important to keep your engagement rate in perspective. Go beyond the averages for your industry or competitors, and review how your brand’s rates have changed over time. Is your overall rate increasing or decreasing? Do some posts have a far higher rate than others? You can use these observations to optimize your engagement rate continuously.
Whether your brand’s engagement rate is on the low side or already stellar rate, you still can take steps to get more comments and likes.
You can’t expect great engagement if you regularly post content when your audience isn’t using Instagram. One of the easiest ways to improve engagement is to publish posts when your audience is already active.
Not sure what times are best? Here are two ways to check:
Whether you love or hate hashtags, they can provide real value to your brand. When you add the right hashtags to your posts, you can reach a much larger audience and connect with new fans. If your content resonates with your audience, you can look forward to more likes and comments.
In regards to hashtags, be sure to follow Instagram best practices. Plan to use at least 15 and up to 30 hashtags per post. Use a mix of popular, niche, and branded hashtags to optimize reach and engagement.
To make hashtag management easier, save groups of keywords in your scheduling app. When publishing a post, select the right hashtag group, and skip typing each one manually.
No matter how great your brand’s content is, always remember the social aspect of social media. Don’t just stay laser-focused on publishing content and responding to comments. Interact with other accounts, too.
Make a list of peers, influencers, superfans, and other relevant accounts. Then make a point of liking and commenting on their content regularly. Their audiences will see your engagement, which is likely to win your brand some new fans, too.
If you’re not sure who you’re creating content for, can you truly appeal to your audience?
A few times a year, take the time to review your audience stats to get a better idea of who’s seeing and responding to your content. Then consider updating your copy or graphics accordingly.
You can access audience stats two easy ways:
Your content may attract tons of attention. But if your captions fall flat, your audience might never respond to your content. Follow these easy tips for writing better captions:
Don’t be afraid to change up your visual approach, especially if you tend to post the same type of content regularly. You can experiment with content like:
Monitor engagement rates for every post you publish and look for patterns. Maybe memes generate tons of likes but not as many comments. Perhaps video or user-generated content results in much higher engagement than still images. Identify what your audience responds to best to find your optimal content mix.
Tracking your Instagram engagement rate is a tried and true way to monitor content performance and brand relevance. When you track it alongside other key metrics — such as mentions, clicks, and follower growth — you gain tons of helpful data that you can use to optimize your Instagram strategy.
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