In this blog post, I am going to explain what the engagement rate is, how you can calculate it & of course, answer the question: how can I get more engagement on my content? Because we all know that that is why you have chosen to read this article, right?
As always, if you prefer to listen to the podcast episode instead of reading this article, click on the player below!
What is engagement?
Engagement is any interaction that a user has with a piece of content. This could be a like, a comment, a share, save, playing of a video, the replaying of a video, or any other form of interaction you can imagine. This will depend on the platform and on the type of content.
What is the engagement rate?
The engagement rate (ER) is a metric that reflects the difference between how many people have seen your content and how many have interacted with it. We can therefore see how well (or not so well) our content has been received by our audience.
There are different formulas to calculate the engagement rate but the most common one is the total number of interactions divided by the total impressions. You then multiply that by 100 to receive a percentage.
If your post has 100 impressions and you have 5 total interactions, then you know that your engagement rate for this particular post is 5/100, times 100 = 5%.
You can calculate the ER for every single post or you can calculate an average one for your whole account. It's a rather tedious task to calculate it manually every time which is why I use a website called NotJustAnalytics (not an affiliate).
It’s a (free) website where you can enter your Instagram handle and it will show you a variety of metrics that could be interesting for you to know, one of them being the engagement rate.
Why is engagement even important?
The engagement rate is the algorithms' way of assessing each piece of content.
If a piece of content receives a lot of engagement, then the algorithms notice this and show it to more people. Why? Because the algorithms want people to see interesting things on the platform so that they spend more time on Instagram. The more time you spend on Instagram, the more ads you are going to see and that is Instagram's main revenue source.
As a business owner you, therefore, want to get as much engagement as possible to be able to reach the most people possible with your offer.
3 mistakes that stop you from getting more engagement
A lot of businesses struggle with low engagement. I often hear them say that they are putting so much effort into their content and that they are posting consistently, yet, they are posting to crickets. Nobody is really engaging or even liking the content. Does that sound familiar?
That is exactly why I am going to point out 3 mistakes I see people make and give you some tips on how to increase your own Instagram engagement:
1) Joining engagement pods:
If you don’t know what an engagement pod is, it is a group of people who will like & comment under each other’s posts immediately after the post has gone online and try to increase each other’s engagement by doing that.
Why is that a bad idea?
It goes against Instagram Community Guidelines because it is not authentic engagement
Because it is against Instagram Community Guidelines, Instagram has implemented different ways of spotting such behaviour & they will very likely punish you for it or even suspend your account
You are not getting feedback on your content from your ideal audience but from some random people that are just interested in increasing their own engagement. And if we’re honest, they will never hire you or buy from you anyways.
It looks like a quick fix but in the long term it’s really bad for your account and it’s just not worth it.
2) You don’t include a clear CTA in your caption:
What is a CTA? A Call-To-Action is a phrase that encourages the reader to take a specific action. A CTA can be something along the lines of "go to my website"; "click on this link"; "comment your favourite ice cream flavour"; "let me know what you think"...
It might seem like a minor mistake but a lot of people forget to add a CTA to their caption and to actually ask their followers to interact with the post. It’s really important that you tell your audience what you want them to do.
My tip: Include a clear and not too complicated CTA in every single post.
Why do I say not too complicated?
That’s because I see a lot of people add rather difficult questions like “What is your biggest struggle?”, “What was a moment in your life when you felt like that?”. These types of questions are too complicated. Just ask a simple question to get a conversation going. After all, most people are on Instagram to distract themselves for a moment or to relax and certainly not to answer deep life questions. In addition to that, you are still a stranger to them, so why would they answer your rather intimate questions?
3) You are not engaging yourself:
When people tell me that they are posting and that nobody ever reacts to their content, my first question always is: but, do YOU engage with other people’s content? And mostly, the answer is no. Why should someone come to your profile and engage with your content if you have never engaged with theirs?
My tip: Actively engage with people in your niche, with potential customers or even with hashtags.
Always keep in mind that you should stay authentic! Please don’t just comment an emoji or something like “Wow, I love this” because anyone can say that. Try to really leave meaningful comments and maybe even ask a question because then you are much more likely to get a reply back.
And while we are talking about replies, please take the time to reply to your comments & DMs! A lot of business owners that complain they don’t get enough engagement, don’t even bother to reply to the engagement they DO get.
Take 10-15min a day to reply to your comments & DMs and to comment on other people’s content. After a while, you’ll see, your Instagram engagement will increase.
If you want to learn more about how to set up a daily engagement routine, where you can find accounts in your niche, or if you want to learn how to write comments that will get you some engagement back, that’s something I coach my clients on in my 1:1 coaching session. I'd love to see you on a call soon!
Talk to you next week when it's again time to talk socials!