Instagram Engagement: Ways To Increase Your ER

What is engagement, why are bloggers on Instagram, TikTok and other social networks so worn with it?

Because without engaged followers in the life of the account, promotion is impossible. Not even super-performance, aimed at growing your profile, but the most basic promotion. In other words, no one will know about you. And if you use the platform as a sales channel, they won’t buy your product. Because Instagram today is one of the most effective platforms for brand building, audience engagement and sales.

Let’s use Instagram as an example to understand this metric:

  • what is engagement;
  • what its components are;
  • how to calculate and increase the index.

1. What is engagement on Instagram

Engagement is users’ interactions with the account (likes, comments on posts and stories, saving and reposting of posts, views and reactions to stories). That’s why bloggers beg for reactions from subscribers – it’s engagement.

The more interactions a user has with their profile, the more often they see new content in their feed. These are engaged accounts, and such users are called engaged in the life and behind the scenes of the blogger/brand.

What are engaged accounts?

It’s the percentage of people on Instagram who have seen a post or post and are actually interested in it. That is, followers who follow and respond to the profile content. Users who are interested in the online and real lives of those they subscribe to. They are the engaged audience.

What engaged Instagram accounts give the profile:

  • shows and reaches;
  • growth of recognition and trust with subscribers;
  • content virality;
  • getting into the Recommended;
  • sales.

The more people see your content, the more popular you are, and the more chances the account has to get into Recommended. And Recommended is filled based on your interests as a user: if you like and save Riles with haircuts / makeup, like and comment on the profiles of hair stylists and makeup artists, or save similar posts, you will get to this section of Instagram similar in theme pictures and videos.

Engagement in Instagram Recommended

Fig.1 – Recommended based on interests (2 different accounts)

Recommended today is the way to go. The more audiences see you, the more interest they will show. This way you increase your chances of gaining subscribers and active users who will be interested in your products.

2. What engagement is made up of

The term engagement applies to content on social media.

What content on Instagram includes:

  • main feed posts (photos, videos, IGTV, rils);
  • stories.

And for each type of post, engagement will be different because each type of content accounts for different interactions.

A post’s engagement metric includes:

  • “Like” marks;
  • video views;;
  • comments from users;
  • direct submissions;
  • saving yourself to a selection;
  • reposts in stories.

For stories, these are:

  • replies (Direct message or reaction);
  • reposts.

In a broader sense, engagement also includes:

  • subscriptions and unsubscribes;
  • mentions @;
  • branded hashtags #;
  • clicks on a link in a post.

Because these metrics directly or indirectly affect growth, account promotion, and ultimately sales.

The more subscriptions, and the more targeted ones, the more likely you are to get more likes, comments, and other reactions.

Mentions and branded hashtags contribute to memorability and recognition among users. A follower has tagged you in a post, photo or stories – he wants to get the brand’s attention.

What tagging means:

  • hidden advertising (or anti-advertising if the tag has a negative message);
  • a request for the brand to draw attention to itself;
  • showcasing familiar brands (who people are referring to in the post).
Engagement in Instagram Mentions

Fig. 2 – Mentions in different types of Instagram content

Whether it’s a positive or negative mention, you’ll have to work into it (repost, reply, likes, reactions). For example:

Engagement in Instagram responses in stories on UGC

Fig. 3 – UGC response options: repost, reply, like, react

In addition to mentions, you get user-generated content (User-generated content or UGC). It can be not only reposted in a post, but also posted to your profile, if the picture is beautiful and meets all the visual requirements for the image on the brand account.
To you – a mention + new content (story or post).
To the subscriber – attention from the brand, knowing that their voice is valuable.

The same situation with branded hashtags:

  • to the brand – plus mention and recognition;
  • to the user – display by hashtags and a theoretical increase in likes/comments/savings by the tag.

Increase your online reputation by giving feedback to users.

Track clicks on links in posts.

The social network’s built-in tool, the sticker, is used for this purpose. And since October 27, Instagram announced that every user now has the ability to post a link in a stories. Let me remind you – previously the Link sticker was only available to profiles with 10,000 followers. Take advantage of the new feature!

Engagement in Instagram using the sticker in stories

Fig. 4 – Using the sticker in stories

How can I use the Link sticker?
Attach the UTM tag to the products you advertise, or any other products, and follow the clicks on the sticker in Statistics. This way you can see if users click on your links. In addition, all clicks on the UTM tagged link will be shown in your traffic sources in Google Analytics.

3. How to calculate engagement rate on Instagram

Usually the engagement ratio, ER, is understood as an indicator.

ER is the sum of all reactions to the content divided by the number of subscribers to the profile.

You can calculate engagement manually or automatically. As a rule ER is calculated for separate posts.

The formula for calculating ER of a post:

Formula for calculating ER

Approximate ER figures for accounts depending on the number of subscribers:

  • up to 10,000 – 10-20%;
  • 10 000 – 100 000 – 5%;
  • 100 000 – 1 000 000 – 3%;
  • over a million – 1%.

You can find different figures in other sources, and they will still only be approximate values. Because the number and quality of subscribers each profile is different, as well as the subject matter. And keep in mind that the more subscribers an account has, the lower the engagement rate will be.

Hootsuite and We Are Social provide these guidelines for content engagement on Instagram for business accounts:

Engagement depending on the post type

Fig. 5 – Engagement rate on Instagram based on post type

  • for all types of posts the ER norm is 1.94%;
  • photopost – 1.18%;
  • video post – 1,5%;
  • carousel – 3.15%.

Carousel is the most attractive type of content on the social network. This is logical and understandable, because the mechanism considers swipes in carousel as an active and useful action – if the user stays too long and looks through the photo, it means that the post content is interesting for him.

Since October 21, you can use Instagram Insight’s own statistics to calculate ER stories. It is available if you have a connected business or professional account.

Instagram stats tab Engagement

Fig. 6 – Tab Involved accounts

We are interested in the Content Interactions section, click on the i icon:

The concept of engagement in Instagram statistics

Fig. 7 – Statistics (what Instagram means by engagement)

Let’s now calculate the ER for a post with this data. There is a “Statistics” button under each post, click on it and look at the reactions.

Statistics of interactions of a post on Instagram

Fig. 8 – Post interaction statistics

Initial account data:

  • subscribers – 445;
  • likes – 53;
  • comments – 16;
  • likes – 53; comments – 16; preservations – 4;
  • reposts – 0.

ER = (53 + 16 + 4) / 445 * 100% = 16.4%

16% is normal for a small personal account.

There is no formula for calculating ER stories as such. But there is a method I described in the article Raising Engagement in Stories. Personal experience. Go ahead and count it. You will definitely need connected Instagram stats (i.e. business or professional account/author account).

*The stats connection is free.

Video ER tracking tip: Users often interact with a video by watching it, not by clicking the “Like” icon. So for video analytics, use reach or comments to get more truthful data.
It’s the reach, not the displays, because the reach counts unique users, while the displays record all views, including repeat views. And a person can view the same video multiple times.

4. How to increase the engagement rate

The main thing to do to increase ER is to post stories and publications. They’re what subscribers respond to.
And of course, do not abandon their followers without feedback (in paragraph 2 talked about this).

What you can offer today:

  • be active in stories – do not need to post just anything, think about what topics you want to cover in posts and try with a small – a daily morning greeting;
  • use Instagram stickers, make up games with them;
  • ask questions and encourage subscribers to write in Direct – if the question is voluminous, you can write a post based on it to cover the topic in detail, or hold a live show with a breakdown;
  • write informative posts that invite dialogue and commentary;
  • post carousels – I wrote above about the usefulness of this format (preferably 1 slide = 1 thought, and keep the text readable);
  • create content that you want to keep (book/service/application collections, stories for a few pictures, instructions – whatever fits your niche or fits in with the general concept of your profile);
  • do live broadcasts and save them in your profile;
  • use the format reels, because it get into the Recommended – short video-lifestyle, they are usually fun and easy.

It’s very easy to tell you how to do it, but you still need to show examples and try to implement the suggested methods yourself.

Here are a few examples of games from the stories:

Raising engagement Playing with stickers in stories

Fig. 9 – Post-it game from @stary_lev

VSL used two types of stickers at once: a window with the answer and a quiz. The mechanics are simple, and if the subscriber doesn’t know the answer, he will pass by.

Increasing engagement game in posts

Fig. 10 – Simple stories game by @zhyvy_prosto

Zhyvy prosto just sees a quiz with a “Yes/No” poll. The mechanics are easy to do – only 1 sticker is used. After you can draw a rough portrait of a subscriber and post what resonates with the majority of the profile audience.

Increasing engagement in posts

Fig. 11 – Game from the official @rammsteinofficial 

And the SMM-manager of the band’s account held a “song vs. song” battle: in each round, subscribers chose 1 out of 2 tracks offered. The winner of the battle went on to the next round. So we found out the 3 most popular songs of the guys: Sonne, Du Hast and Ohne dich.

Using stickers is the easiest and most convenient way to make an interesting story and get your subscribers to participate in it. Try it.

How you can organize and conduct a live broadcast:

Warming up before a live broadcast

Fig. 12 – Warm up and the live stream itself on @denominant

Where do I get ideas for live broadcasts?

The easiest way is to ask your subscribers. Post a stopis with a reply box, have users post what’s important and interesting for them to know.
If your version – the box will remain empty, ie willing to respond will not be, then we are looking for the idea ourselves. Analyze the posts and comments, responses in Direct – what subscribers asked, what they reacted to. As a result, you will have several topics for analysis.

If you sell something, you need an audience that will buy your products. Targeting is a very good method, but it requires a cash infusion. And engagement-boosting tools are conventionally free if you manage the account yourself, not an SMM specialist.
In the first case, you pay with your time for the selection of ideas and the development of interesting stories.
In the second case, you also pay with your own money to pay the manager, designer and photographer. And the primary content in any case is generated by you, because the business is yours, and you better know the answers to the questions in your niche and the information that interests subscribers and buyers.

The main points of raising engagement have been considered. Try all tools. It is obligatory. Without testing, the theory will remain as immovable knowledge, which is of no practical use.

Target subscribers and high ER!

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