Despite many social platforms shifting to focus on social entertainment, engagement is still a hugely valuable metric for marketers. Instagram engagement looks at the interaction your profile or posts receive compared to the number of followers you have.
Engagement is important for brands to retain followers, attract new ones, and drive conversions — if nobody is engaging with your content, why are you sharing it?
We explore seven tips to help boost your Instagram engagement, plus, look at whether or not memes are a driving factor in Instagram engagement.
Instagram engagement is actually a collection of various metrics that inform you how users connect with your content — it also informs the Instagram algorithm which accounts could be relevant to similar users who engage in your content.
So, what does the engagement rate take into account?
This might seem like a no-brainer, but responding to comments is a helpful way for your customers (and potential customers) to feel a connection with a brand.
The type of content that resonates with your audience (and will therefore likely boost your engagement) is important. Dive into the social demographics of your existing following, but also the following you’d like to target if you’re focused on growing your followers and engagement.
Quizzes, Instagram polls, and even stickers present low-effort ways for your social media community to engage with your content. Don’t attach meaningless polls and questions to each story you share, but always look for opportunities that feel natural, fun, and easy for your audience to respond with. It’s simple — people might not have time to leave a comment or even read them, but it’s quite easy to pick their favorite option from a poll as they scroll through their most recent updates.
Influencer-led marketing is growing in popularity — even micro influencers are making a big impact when it comes to engagement.
Nano influencers also receive a 192% higher effectiveness rate (more on this metric below) than macro influencers, which presents a unique opportunity for brands to partner with emerging creators early.
Why would you post in the middle of the night? While this could be harder for brands with one account that spans multiple regions, you can still dive into your account social media analytics to see when your audience is most engaged. Take note of the best times to post to Instagram — this can differ depending on your region, timezone, and even the day of the week.
If your brand isn’t already creating Reels content, you’re missing out — 20% of user’s time is spent watching Reels, and they generate the most likes and interaction from all short form video platforms. Whether you post snippets from key leaders in your organization, highlight products, or share influencer or UGC content, brands should incorporate Reels into their Instagram content strategy to boost engagement. Bonus points if you incorporate trending Instagram Reels songs.
While Reels are the most effective type of content to increase Instagram engagement, carousels still receive higher engagement than a single, static feed post. Static posts receive an average 1.74% engagement rate — carousel posts with 2 images receive an average engagement rate of 1.9%, while carousel posts with 10 images receive the most average engagement at 2.07%.
Brands should consider grouping together relevant themes, products with examples of use (a great opportunity to dive into UGC), or funny memes relevant to what you share.
Manual engagement tracking can be time consuming, and frankly, unnecessary — if using social software that pulls in engagement rate like Dash Hudson (plus, other custom metrics that offer meaningful insight into how your audience interacts with your content) is out of the question, there are a few ways you can manually calculate your engagement rate.
Instagram itself calculates engagement rate with this formula: Engagement Rate = (Likes + Comments) / Followers X 100
When monitoring how effective your content is in terms of engagement, effectiveness rate is a great metric to look at — particularly for video.
Effectiveness rate captures how your engagement is impacted not just by likes, and comments, and followers, but your reach as well.
From identifying the most beneficial potential influencer partnerships to sophisticated scheduling and social analytics, Dash Hudson’s Vision feature can help boost your visual content and give you an edge on the competition.
Vision analyzes your content library to identify which visual posts will resonate best with your audience, which translates into positive engagement. The content segmentation feature will group trends from your content together, which is especially useful for creating carousel posts and spotting visual content that works together. It also monitors competitors’ posts, so you can keep an eye on what works for them and what doesn’t, which you can use to inform your own brand strategy.
A decent engagement rate will largely depend on your team's social goals. It can be a nice starting ground to look at your existing engagement rate and set a percentage you’d like it to increase — this could range from 25%, 50%, to even 100% if your engagement rate is fairly low and you plan to increase how frequently you post content. Remember, increasing your following can contribute to lower engagement rates, so be sure to note this as you plan your goals, strategy, and how you’ll measure success.
When we dove into Dash Hudson’s engagement rates, we discovered that they improve when marketers practice cross-channel campaigns. Campaigns ran on just one social channel saw an average engagement rate of 0.86%, while campaigns shared on 6 channels saw a whopping average 4.14% engagement rate.
As an industry average, engagement rates between 1-5% are typical.
Yes, it’s possible to revive Instagram engagement. The first step you should take is to conduct a competitive analysis for Instagram and determine what competitors do successfully, what their average engagement rates are, what type of content they share, and what gaps you find in your own brand’s social content.
From there, you should define the tactics you’ll try to increase engagement and refine your content strategy — this should include a schedule and process to measure your content’s success, so you can pivot if needed and still have some agility when it comes to posting.
Don’t be afraid to try new tactics, either. If your brand typically shies away from polls, Q&A’s, or Reels, you should certainly explore opportunities to create new content and share other content in bite-sized ways.
For example, does your brand host a podcast? Try selecting interesting snippets and sharing to Reels, or Stories with a poll related to the topic discussed — you might already be creating content for another platform that could meaningfully contribute to your brand’s Instagram engagement.
While engagement rate can take multiple factors into account (for example, you can calculate engagement by reach, post, impressions, views, a particular day, or even by cost-per-engagement. However, Instagram itself calculates engagement rate with this formula: Engagement Rate = (Likes + Comments) / Followers X 100