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3 Formulas To Calculate Instagram Engagement Rate

by Alexandre Le
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Calculate Instagram engagement rate

Have you ever seen an Instagram post so tedious that you only want to scroll through it right away? That ominous scenario may happen to your posts if you calculate Instagram engagement rate inaccurately and make wrong decisions accordingly.

Instagram Engagement Rate: What is this metric?

Instagram engagement rate is an indicator that shows how many users interact with your posts on the platform. As of writing this article, the term ‘interaction’ on this visual-centric platform revolves around 4 metrics: likes, shares, comments, and saves.

This rate is crucial since it tells how relevant your posts areA high engagement rate signifies your Instagram posts are interesting and resonate with the target audiences.

A high engagement rate means you're on the right track

If you have a high engagement rate, that means your brand is on the right track

If you have thousands of followers but only 30 of them hit the like button and 5 of them leave a comment, you better watch out. 

Probably you are wasting your team resources on campaigns that don’t work. It could be due to lousy photos, unconvincing content, ads with a wrongly-targeted audience, etc. 

To prevent all those things, one of the first things you have to do is calculate your engagement rate correctly.

💡 Apart from telling how your posts perform, the Instagram engagement rate also affects how the Instagram Algorithm ranks your posts in the future.

How to calculate Instagram engagement rate?

Many marketers prefer to calculate this rate by dividing the number of (likes + comments) by the number of followers. Whereas, others say it’d give more accurate results to divide the total interactions by the number of impressions, not ‘followers’.

Additionally, some brands insist that comments are more important than likes. Hence, they assert that 1 comment should be equal to 1.5 to 2 likes.

Thus,  we’ll show you the 3 most common methods to evaluate your Instagram engagement rate.

1. Calculate Instagram Engagement Rate By Followers

To calculate your Instagram engagement rate using this formula, simply divide the number of likes & comments by the total number of followers then multiply by 100. 

Engagement = [(Likes + Comments)/Followers] x 100

The number of likes, comments, and total followers is public on Instagram. That’s why this formula best suits you (well, it’s your only choice) if you:

  • Want to check out your competitors’ engagement rate to see how your posts perform compared to relevant brands in the same niche
  • Plan to partner up with an Instagram influencer and want to know whether this person/business makes a big impact on their followers

However, using “followers” rather than “impressions” in the formula could be deceptive. Some of your followers, for instance, may rarely check Instagram, which means they will undoubtedly miss a ton of posts, including yours. This is not because they see your content and decide not to engage with it.

2. Calculate Instagram Engagement Rate By Impressions

Another way to calculate Instagram engagement rate is to divide the number of likes, comments, and saves by the number of total impressions then multiply by 100.

Engagement = [(Likes + Comments + Saves) / Impressions] x 100

This formula provides you with more precise information about your performance because it factors in the number of individuals who actually noticed your posts and chose to interact with them or not.

Make sure your account is an Instagram business account in order to view this data. Go to your profile and choose Insights from the drop-down menu in the top right corner. Then select “Post” and view “Impressions” and “Engagement“.

Image Source: Later

Image Source: Later

Make sure to move from an Instagram personal account to an Instagram business account in order to view this data, though.

It should be noted that the overall number of impressions and saves is proprietary information. As a result, it is impossible to compare your engagement rate to any other Instagram account.

However, if you use Instagram sponsored advertisements and need to gauge the success of your campaign based on impressions, this formula might be more helpful.

3. Factored Instagram Engagement Rate

In some circumstances, some may value certain factors above others in the equation.

The so-called ‘Factored Instagram Engagement’ can be substantiated by the notions like “a person that shares a post shows more interest than the one who only likes it so the number of shares must be multiplied by 2”. 

For instance, some brands might put more weight on comments than likes, shares or saves, etc. Therein lies a formula like this:

Engagement = [(Comments x 2+ Other interactions)/Impressions] x 100 

However, you might not want to calculate Instagram engagement rate using this formula since it inflates the final result and can be highly deceptive. 

How to boost your Instagram engagement rate? [Dos & Dont’s]

After calculating Instagram engagement rate, perhaps you would want to boost this rate for your business. Take some notes!

1. DO: Earn real engagement

Here are 5 tips you should definitely do to level up your Instagram engagement rate:

1.1. Invest in Instagram ads

If you are a newbie, Instagram ads are an ideal choice because it is seamlessly integrated with Facebook. That allows you to combine Facebook’s accurate targeting capabilities with Instagram’s high engagement.

instagram ads

Not to mention that Instagram ads come in diverse formats. One of the common ways to drive traffic to your Instagram store is promoting your posts under Instagram Stories ads with a swipe-up link to direct viewers to your profile.  

1.2. Post high-quality photos

Say no to blurry, lousy pictures, especially when you intend to post them on Instagram – a visual-centric social platform! The truth is Instagrammers will take a quick look at your photos first and then decide whether they want to take any further actions such as likes, shares, or comments.

Therefore, posting outstanding photos can be a marvelous way to increase Instagram engagement rate for your business.

Want to increase your Instagram engagement? Focus on visuals first!

Only post photos that are both authentic and aesthetic

💡 You don’t need a professional photographer, let’s learn how to take good Instagram photos with the smartphone in your pocket!

1.3. Write engaging captions 

Visuals are important on Instagram, but why post gorgeous photos without an eye to appealing captions?

When followers are impressed by the stunning pictures you post, then the captions are where you can stimulate a meaningful conversation or communicate a message.

To name a few? You can use the captions to contextualize your photos, raise relevant questions or give followers a sneak peek of your upcoming products. All those things can hardly ever be achieved with stand-alone pictures.

💡 Learn how to write engaging Instagram captions to boost your Instagram engagement and make your brand voice be heard.

1.4. Utilize Instagram’s latest features

With IGTV and Instagram Reels, Instagram prioritizes the posts that are most likely to interest us (most are from those we haven’t followed yet). 

Plus, Instagram Reels and IGTV have prominent positions on Instagram Explore Page. So why not make the best use of this free boost?

instagram reels position on explore page 1

Instagram Reels and IGTV do stand out from normal posts like this

That’s why we highly recommend using Instagram’s promoted features to maximize your reach.

1.5. Earn yourself some spots on the Explore Page

As mentioned, Instagram will suggest the posts we are likely to be interested in on Explore Page. And most posts we see there are from accounts that are new to us.

Instagram Explore Page 1

Therefore, by improving your visibility on Instagram Explore, you can improve your discoverability and eventually, improve your Instagram engagement rate.

2. DON’T: buy fake engagements

If you’re new to selling on Instagram, be patient. Bear in mind that increasing Instagram engagement is a long-term strategy. Thousands of followers or likes and hundreds of comments are things you can hardly afford overnight.

And you shouldn’t buy likes and shares to show them as social proof. Here are 3 reasons why!

2.1. Your account might get suspended

According to the Instagram Community Guideline, buying fake engagement is now officially prohibited. And those businesses or individuals who commit such fraud will risk putting their own accounts in jeopardy.

The modern Instagram algorithm detects bots and removes them in a flash. So perhaps you don’t want to spend your money on such an unstable investment. 

2.2. Zero return on investment

If you’re lucky, your account won’t get suspended. But buying fake followers still sounds like a really bad idea. It’s like throwing your hard-earned money over the window. 

Because real engagement from real people can drive you more sales and help increase brand loyalty in the long term, while fake engagement, at the end of the day, is still from fake bots.

That’s why fake followers and likes are of no use in growing more sales or improving brand awareness.

2.3. Losing customers’ trust

Besides having to constantly pour money to earn likes and followers for your posts, buying fake engagement will also hurt your social credibility.

Customers these days are so smart that they can spot your little tricks as easily as a pie of cake. 

And once they recognize you are deceiving them, high chances are they will turn their back on you. Consequently, you lose a potential customer to your competitors.

Wrapping up!

We hope this article can help you calculate Instagram engagement rate correctly and come up with the right strategies & tactics to improve your presence on the platform. 

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