How to Calculate Engagement Rate on Instagram

May 31, 2024
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Peter Nettesheim
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How to Calculate Engagement Rate on Instagram

Instagram continues to dominate the social media landscape, making it a critical platform for digital marketing. Understanding and optimizing Instagram engagement is essential for brands, influencers, and marketers aiming to maximize their social media impact. The engagement rate, a vital metric, measures how actively involved with your content your audience is, providing insights into its overall effectiveness and appeal.

Understanding Instagram Engagement

Engagement on Instagram includes: 

  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Saves
  • Shares
  • Views 

This interaction isn't just about growing numbers; it's about building community, increasing brand loyalty, and enhancing user interaction through meaningful content. High engagement rates often indicate content resonance, driving more traffic and potentially increasing conversion rates.

Why Engagement Rate is Important?

Audience Connection

It indicates how well an influencer's content resonates with their audience, showcasing the potential for meaningful dialogue rather than one-way communication.

Content Relevance

A high engagement rate suggests that an influencer's content is relevant and valuable to their audience, offering insight into the type of content that might work best for a brand's campaign.

Brand Loyalty

Influencers with high engagement rates often have a loyal following, indicating the potential for brand loyalty among their audience, which can translate into brand advocacy.

Algorithm Favorability

Platforms tend to favor content with higher engagement rates, meaning collaborating with influencers with strong engagement can improve a brand's visibility and reach on social media.

Campaign Effectiveness

For brands, an influencer's engagement rate is a key indicator of the potential success of a sponsored campaign, as it demonstrates the influencer's ability to drive interaction and action among their audience.

Feedback Loop

High engagement rates provide brands with valuable feedback about what resonates with an influencer's audience, helping them tailor their campaign messaging and content strategy accordingly.

Types of Engagement Rates

Understanding different engagement metrics can help tailor your strategy:

Post Engagement Rate

Focuses on individual posts.

Account Engagement Rate

Gauges overall engagement across all posts.

Impression-Based Engagement Rate

Considers how many times their posts have been seen.

Reach-Based Engagement Rate

Measures engagement against how many unique users have seen their posts.

Engagement Based on Type of Post

Instagram Posts

Engagement is measured through likes, comments, shares, and saves. These actions indicate how well your content resonates with your audience.

Instagram Stories

Engagement metrics include likes, replies, shares, views, and clicks (if you've added clickable elements like stickers or links). Monitoring these metrics provides insights into your Stories' performance.

Instagram Reels

Engagement can be gauged by likes, comments, shares, and views. These metrics reflect how engaging and appealing your Reels are to your audience.

How to Calculate Post Engagement Rate

1. Calculate the engagement rate for a specific post

Use the formula:

Total Interactions (likes, comments, shares) per Post / Total Followers x 100%

For example, if a post receives 500 interactions and you have 10,000 followers, the post engagement rate would be 5%.

2. Calculate overall account engagement

Use the formula:

Total Interactions Over a Period / Total Followers x 100%

Choosing the right period (weekly, monthly, quarterly) depends on your campaign goals and activity level.

3. Calculate Impression-Based engagement rate

Use the formula:

Total Interactions / Total Impressions x 100%

4. Calculate Reach-Based Engagement Rate

Use the formula:

Total Interactions / Total Reach x 100%

These metrics are particularly useful for assessing the efficiency of your content in engaging viewers per view and per unique viewer, respectively.

Here is How Influencer Hero Calculates Engagement Rate

Influencer Hero calculates the engagement rate by taking the average number of engagements across all of an influencer's posts and dividing it by the total number of followers.

Example:

Let’s say an influencer has on average 3.2K engagements per post and has 230K followers. The engagement rate would be: 

ER = 3,200 / 230,000 = 0.0139 = 1.4%

<img src="influencer-engagement-rate-influencer-hero.png" alt="Influencer Hero analytics of influencer's engagement rate">

Strong Correlation Between Engagement Rate and Influencer Marketing Success

Our analysis examined the performance of influencers across multiple variables e.g., follower growth rate, audience credibility, engagement levels, total followers, other audience compositions which are segment specific like gender, age and ethnicity. 

In order to determine the correlation and visualize the insights better, we categorised the influencers into the following three segments:

  • HP (High Performers): Influencers with >10 conversions / post 
  • MP (Medium Performers): Influencers with 3 - 9 conversions / post 
  • GP (General Performers): Influencers with <3 conversions / post

Impact of Engagement Rate on ROI

The research showed a strong correlation between engagement rate and conversion. As you can see from the chart below the median engagement rate of high performing influencers is 1.2%, followed by medium performing influencers with 0.8% and low performing influencers with 0.7%. The results of the study suggest that the engagement rate is an important metric for every influencer marketer to analyse. You can use tools like our free influencer engagement rate calculator to analyse any influencers engagement rate.

<img src="engagement-rate-and-roi.png" alt="Correlation between engagement rate and ROI">

Impact of Total Engagements and ROI

We also analysed the correlation between total engagements and conversion which showed significant differences between the 3 performance categories. What is important to note here however that correlation does not imply causation. In the case of total engagement the underlying metric is most likely the audience size which we also analysed in our research. Larger accounts naturally have more total engagements. Nevertheless it could be an important metric to analyse when allocating budgets.

<img src="total-engagements-and-roi.png" alt="Correlation between total engagements and ROI">

Other metrics which impact ROI

Our research shows that there are 5 key metrics that impacts ROI in determining your influencer marketing success:

Audience Growth Rate

There is a strong correlation between an influencer's audience growth and conversion performance.

Engagement Rate

Both the engagement rate and total engagements are important metrics in determining conversion performance.

Number of followers

The audience size of influencers has a positive correlation with conversion performance.

Audience credibility

This refers to the number of real followers an influencer has, as opposed to bots or mass follower accounts. Fake followers negatively impacted conversion performance. You can use our free fake follower check tool to analyse fake followers.

Verified accounts

Being a verified account can indicate higher success in conversions. The verified label is also correlated with the size of the influencer, as larger accounts are more often verified.

Read the full research report to increase your ROI.

Analyzing and Interpreting Engagement Data

Analyzing and interpreting engagement rate data involves more than just noting the numbers; it requires understanding the context and factors influencing the metrics. 

How to read spikes or drop in engagement

Spikes or drops in engagement can be indicative of various factors, such as the timing of the posts, the type of content, or changes in the audience's preferences. Regularly analyzing this data can help identify patterns and trends, which can be valuable for refining a content strategy for your influencer campaign. 

For example, if there's a spike in engagement after posting a certain type of content, it might be beneficial to create more of that content to keep the audience engaged. Conversely, if there's a drop in engagement, it could indicate the need to adjust the strategy or try something new. Regular analysis allows for adaptation and evolution of the approach, ensuring the delivery of content that resonates with the audience.

Tools and Software for Tracking Engagement

Several tools like Influencer Hero offer a free Instagram engagement rate calculator, Tiktok engagement rate calculator, and Youtube engagement rate calculator. These calculators provide detailed analytics, including engagement rate metrics, helping you to gauge the effectiveness of your content and influencer partnerships. One of the key advantages of using tools like Influencer Hero is the time-saving benefit they offer, automating the process of calculating engagement rates and providing valuable insights to optimize your social media and influencer campaign strategy.

<img src="influencer-hero-instagram-engagement-rate-calculator.png" alt="Influencer Hero Instagram Engagement Rate Calculator">

Besides the engagement rate, the tool also provides insights on the following metrics: 

  • Fake followers
  • Audience growth
  • Audience location
  • Gender split
  • Age distribution
  • Forecast estimated EMV
  • Access an AI generated personalized sentence 

<img src="influencer-hero-influencer-audit-chrome-extension.png" alt="Influencer Hero Influencer Audit Chrome Extension">

You can also conveniently access all these metrics using the free influencer audit chrome extension

Conclusion

Monitoring and optimizing engagement rates on Instagram is crucial for anyone looking to improve their social media strategy. Regularly engaging with your audience and refining your content based on engagement metrics can lead to increased brand loyalty and a stronger online presence. 

FAQs
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