After Instagram discarded chronological order feed in 2016, brands and creators now constantly need to fight Instagram algorithm to get discovered by other users.

Instagram also claims in their Creators account that 'since switching to a ranked feed, the average post is now seen by 50% more followers than it did with the chronological model.'

We’ll let you decide if that is true.

The most unfair thing of the whole update is that even those people who voluntarily pressed the Follow button on your profile page don’t see your content if they don’t interact with it often.

In this article, we'll discuss several actionable ways to increase your Instagram ER.

How to Calculate the Instagram Engagement

To estimate if your Instagram engagement is optimal or low, you need to know how to calculate engagement. Engagement rate on Instagram is a vital metric that shows how your audience responds to your content and if it responds to it all. There are several ways to calculate it.

Calculate Engagement Rate of Entire Instagram Account

The first option to calculate the ER of an account is to take the total number of reactions (likes and comments), divide it by your total follower count and then multiply by 100%.

ER = (likes + comments) / all followers x 100%

Some even include shares and saves to reactions and calculate the formula considering them.

Leverage Combin Growth to Find Out Instagram Engagement

Use Combin Growth to calculate the ER of your account, sort users and posts by ER and learn about ER of other users.

With Combin Growth, you can learn your own ER. To do so, log in with your Instagram account and head to Profile. The ER will be displayed next to your account data.

You can also sort posts and users according to their ER. Using the tool, you will not need to calculate the ER on your own.

Find Instagram Engagement Rate by Reach

This formula is very representative since the reach is one of the essential metrics in social media marketing. The number of followers means nothing if the reach is low.

The formula that helps you to calculate the ERR:

ERR = reactions / reach x 100%

Find Instagram Engagement Rate per Post

This ER is an average engagement one particular post has. Typically, you need this formula to calculate this metric:

ERP = reactions / followers x100%

This is important to note that this formula calculates the ER of one post, so if you want to find our the ER of a user’s account, this formula is not your best option. If you’re going to estimate the quality of content and audience of a specific influencer, you need to take into account the last 10–12 posts.

Which Engagement Is Considered Good?

It strongly depends on the account. For instance, small accounts with 1000–3000 often have the ER that equals to 10–15%. But it’s normal if as the account grows, the ER drops. This is an organic process.

That’s why Instagram pages with a large following often have low engagement rates approximately 2–5%. Accounts with millions of followers typically have 3% or lower. And that’s not a tragedy.

How to Increase Instagram Engagement

Before starting work on increasing your ER, you should understand that as your follower count grows, the engagement rate will drop automatically. Yet, it’s never too late to enhance the ER.

7 Ways to Increase Your Instagram Engagement

Different methods work for various accounts. However, we've listed general advice on how to inevitably boost your Instagram engagement.

Improve Your Content Quality & Experiment with It

It goes without saying, but one of the reasons ER is low is that your audience is bored. To avoid this, experiment with various content formats, include engaging stories with stickers, shoot Reels, create viral challenges, collect your posts in Instagram Guides, create and share relatable memes, and write insightful captions that people want to save.

Your content needs to be super useful and yet entertaining to draw your followers’ attention.

Besides, track which content performs best and dismiss those formats which didn’t work at all. You can monitor the performance of your content in Instagram Insights.

Make More Reels

Instagram Reels is the fastest growing feature of the platform that can provide you with more engagement than you've ever had before.

Just take a look at these curious Instagram Reels stats:

  • The Instagram Reels feature generates 67% more engagement than standard Instagram videos.
  • 9 out of every 10 Instagram users watch videos each week.

Instagram constantly develops Reels by adding new features, transitions and effects, filters, templates, and a lot more.

Besides, you can collab with other users in Reels and create Remixes, thus attracting the audience of this user to your account.

💡 If you haven't yet unlocked the power of Reels, check our definitive Reels guide for beginners.

💡And if you're not new to Reels, but struggle to get more views, check our post on how to make people watch your Reels even more.

Figure Out What the Best Time to Post on Instagram

It’s hardly possible to publish content every day and always hit the time when your entire audience is online, but you still can get insights of when your target audience is active.

💡 Only Instagram Insights give you these data.

Scheduling Instagram content will also streamline this process. With posts and stories planning tool Combin Scheduler, you can publish your Instagram content even if you don’t have access to Instagram or the Internet connection right away. This is very convenient, especially if your audience is diverse.

You can also add a link in bio, repost others’ Instagram posts, tag other Instagrammers, add location, hashtags, and schedule stories with Combin Scheduler.

Analyse Your Current Audience

If your Instagram followers tab is full of bots, mass followers, celebrities, Instagram stores, or any other audience that is irrelevant for your account, your ER will be low.

Obviously, you need to get rid of such ghost followers. You can do it with Combin Growth by simply unfollowing people that are not your target audience.

Figure Out If You Need to Improve Engagement Rate by Post, Reach or ER by Reach

If the reach is low, the solution will be a bit different. In such a case, you will need to increase it by target ads, influencer marketing, and interaction with your target audience that is not yet your followers.

If the problem is a low ERR, you should work on the content quality because this issue typically means that lots of people see your content, but no one wants to interact with it.

Communicate & Interact with Your Audience

Brands often forget about this one but focus on content creation and posting. Reply to your followers' comments, questions in stories and direct messages. You can also like and comment on their own posts, why not? Just randomly choose some of your followers and like or comment on their content. You will surely draw their attention.

What Kills Instagram Engagement

Mass liking, mass commenting, shoutout for a shoutout (SFS), “like for like” or similar actions CAN’T kill the ER.

Things that can actually harm your engagement rate are bots, mass followers who can’t even see your content in their feeds, boring and generic giveaways as they attract people who are not interested in you as a brand or creator but merely follow you because you offer something for free. After the giveaway, if these users stay with you, they turn to ghost followers who don’t care about your content and don’t interact with it.