What Does Social Media Engagement Look Like?
WHAT IS ENGAGEMENT? Engagement at its purest form is the number and types of interactions your account receives on content you share. For Instagram, this means the number of likes and comments your photos garner. Regrams apply as well, but they are much harder to track, so they have been excluded for the purpose of this explanation.
HOW DO I CALCULATE ENGAGEMENT? An incredibly simple way to calculate engagement is to look at your past nine photos on Instagram. Total up all the likes and comments across the photos, then divide the total number by nine. Take that number and divide it by your total number of followers. The result is a rate of engagement that you can then track, monitor, and share. For example:
Izzy Instagrammer has 12,956 followers. Across her most recent nine photos, she received a total of 4,500 likes and/or comments. 4,500/9 = 500. Her average of 500 “engagements” per post is then divided by her total followers (12,956) to get a result of 0.0385, or 38.5%.
She then makes a note of 38.5% as today’s engagement rate. She can track this rate going forward by doing the same calculation as often as she likes so that she can gauge increases and decreases in engagement, shift her Instagram strategy, and even report this number to potential media partners on her media/press kit.
HOW DO I BENCHMARK ENGAGEMENT? As a benchmark, the average “per follower” engagement rate is 4.21% on posts by top brands for Instagram (and this engagement rate is 58x higher than Facebook and 120x higher than Twitter using the same formula). Comparing on a percentage basis is the best way to look at your own engagement vs. competitors, as they may have more or less followers than you. (For example, Red Bull has 4.3M Instagram followers and shows a 1.7% engagement rate. Izzy Instagrammer has about 13k followers but shows a 38.5% engagement rate.) This comparison method allows you to disregard the follower “numbers” and look at the quality of your followers as compared to your competitors. Your goal should be to have a higher engagement rate than your followers.
WHAT DOES YOUR ENGAGEMENT LOOK LIKE, LE CONSULTING? Great question! On average, we see about 15% engagement on posts (based on an average of our recent benchmarks). Our best ever recorded engagement was at the end of January, we showed 42.6% engagement and an average of 222 likes per post (courtesy of one incredibly popular image that garnered 1,500+ likes). The lesson we've learned from our own social media is that hashtags really do matter, especially on Instagram. Our best posts have about 24 hashtags and we've curated a list that we use "standard" across our posts. For more on simplifying hashtags, check out this post from Bloguettes.
We hope this was helpful! Leave us a comment below with your social media engagement numbers.