Instagram was launched in October of 2010 and has since grown to have around 500 million daily users. It has also become a successful source of income for content creators and brands worldwide. Since the potential to increase revenue on Instagram is so high, understanding how to use it to engage with your customers is now more important than ever before.
What is Instagram engagement rate and why does it matter?
Instagram engagement rate is a measure of how users and followers interact with the content on your profile. The engagement rate calculates your number of followers, likes, comments, and shares. They are typically calculated by dividing an account’s likes and comments by follower count and are significant because they measure an audience’s interest, brand relevance, and social authority.
What is a good Instagram engagement rate?
There’s no set definition of a “good” engagement rate as they vary by industry and depend on your strategic goals. However, Instagram does have higher engagement rates than other social media networks. According to the HubSpot Instagram Engagement Report, posts on the platform generate 23 per cent more engagement than Facebook.
Calculate your engagement rate
Different industries define success in different ways so there’s no one way to calculate your engagement rate. The way you calculate yours will depend on your goals as a brand or influencer. You might look at the number of people who have seen a piece of content (impressions) rather than your total number of followers. Brands typically convert more leads from exposure first so this approach makes sense. Once you’ve calculated your rate of engagement, you’ll need to assess how your engagement rate has changed over time and create strategies to raise your score.
How to increase your Instagram engagement rate
- Audience interest
If your content appeals to your target audience, your engagement rate will be higher. You need to take the time to review your best performing content (the posts with the most likes, shares, saves, and comments) so you understand what your users want to see.
If you have a high engagement rate, it’s likely your audience sees you as a relevant source of information. However, if you have a high engagement rate now you need to make sure it stays there. That means you’ll need to monitor your engagement rate.
- Social authority
While you’ve probably already identified your target instagram audience, you should always look at adding new followers and fans to the list. These new users will take notice of your engagement to decide whether or not to follow you. If your social authority is not strong, they’ll likely move on to your competitors.
- Maintain consistent branding
Maintaining consistency with your content is extremely important. Your username should be similar or the same to your other social media usernames such as your Facebook or Twitter names. You should also make sure that your content is visually consistent to make your profile aesthetically pleasing and help users recognise your brand.
- Understand your audience
You can’t begin creating content without knowing your intended audience. If you know who your followers are, creating content that they want to see makes them more likely to engage with you. Take the time to monitor your audience statistics, and keep your audience profiles updates to account for any changes. You can use Instagram insights to get a demographic understanding of your followers.
- Post regularly.
Once you know your target audience, post content they’ll enjoy and do it regularly. The number of times you post depends on your marketing strategy, but the average brand posts 1.5 times per day. Just keep in mind that posting too much content can overwhelm your users, and they won’t hesitate to unfollow if their feed is clogged. It’s also important to know the best times to post for your followers. Your unique Instagram insights will also tell you the best days and hours to post.
- Create better captions
Use your brand voice in your captions to maintain consistency. You can create short captions that are serious or light-hearted or longer captions that tell stories and take your users on a journey. Captions can also hold up to 30 hashtags per post, but there must be a balance. Hashtag dumping, which is similar to keyword stuffing, may make the algorithm think you’re spamming. Your hashtags should be a mix of popular and specific keywords. You’ll find the best hashtags to use by doing keyword research for your brand.
- Engage with your followers
You can’t increase your customer engagement on Instagram if you’re not engaging with them yourself. After you post, engage with your followers. Reply to comments that your followers make as this keeps them engaged. Surfing through your brand-specific hashtags can also help you find users that are posting about you. You can share their content on your story or post it to your feed. This type of engagement cements a personal relationship with your brand.
- Engage with similar accounts
You should be following and interacting with other similar accounts. If you’re a brand, this can mean partnering with influencers in the same industry. When you are tagged by someone in their post, their followers will see your account, and many may follow you. This establishes trust between brands, influencers, and their followers. Commenting on industry-standard accounts can also give you exposure to users in that same comment section.
- Don’t just stick to photos
There are five types of content posts supported on Instagram: photos, videos, IGTV, Instagram Reels, and Instagram Stories. So, it’s no longer enough to just post photos. you need to do all of it. The more types of content you have on your Instagram account, the longer your followers will be able to spend on your page.
- Use calls-to-action (CTAs).
A CTA is an image, line of text, hashtag, or swipe-up-link that is meant to entice your audience to take a specific action. This action should be decided based on your brand, service, or influencers’ needs. CTAs may include having a swipe up link in your Instagram story or asking your followers to tag a friend in the comment section.
- Track your statistics
There’s no point in improving your Instagram marketing strategy if you’re not checking whether or not it’s actually working. You should be expecting to spend some time trialing new content approaches. After you’ve calculated your engagement rate, put together a strategy and timeline on how and when to improve that by. Tracking your progress will help you know if you’re on track to achieving success or if you need to make changes to your strategy.
If your content is good and your followers are engaging, your engagement rate should improve. Just remember to spend time working on improving your overall strategy and use your engagement rate as a benchmark for customer satisfaction.