What is engagement on Instagram? | Complete guide to metrics

What is engagement on Instagram?  |  Complete guide to metrics

Knowing what Instagram engagement is is the first step to having a successful profile on the social network. Engagement is a fundamental part of the platform’s mechanics, because it works as an audience metric for an account, helping to define which content works with the audience.

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The real meaning of the verb to engage, according to the Michaelis dictionary, is “to gather supporters for a political, social or philosophical cause”. Based on this definition, you can understand why digital influencers like the term so much. This is the essence of those who produce content on social networks: gaining fans, attracting admirers, inspiring people to follow their ideals.

Every type of interaction on Instagram can be considered a form of engagement. In a more informal Reviews, it is possible to say that if there is some kind of attention to a text, a photo or a video, then you are engaging with that.

On the more practical side, engagement will always require some sort of response to a post’s visual and audio cues. In order for the “conversion” to take place, some action must be taken. This is the fundamental step for social networks to understand that their content is relevant to the point of a person “wasting time” to do something.

What metrics are used to measure engagement?

  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Rescues
  • shares
  • Answers
  • Reach is not considered an engagement metric, because the data only shows the audience to which the content was displayed in some way, that is, the total number of people who received that publication, but who may not have interacted with it for countless reasons. That’s why reach is often much higher than engagement rates.

    Even so, this information is crucial to be analyzed along with interactions in calculating engagement. If your content is shown to a lot of people, but few are responding, this could represent the need for adjustments.

    What is engagement rate?

    The engagement rate on Instagram is the sum of the likes and comments you receive per post, divided by the number of followers you have and multiplied by 100 to find a percentage. Although the other factors are relevant to the technical aspect, they do not enter into this calculation, used in media kits to provide services to companies and brands.

    Engagement rates are excellent metrics to monitor because they highlight how often your followers interact with your content and force the creator to take data as a crucial factor in daily production. It’s a much more effective way of measuring a profile’s effectiveness than a mere vanity metric like the number of followers or the total amount of likes.

    To understand better, pay attention to this example: having 4 thousand likes is a lot for a profile with 40 thousand followers, but it is very little for someone who has 10 million. So, instead of using absolute numbers, it is much more effective to work with percentages based on the reality of each profile.

    What impacts engagement?

    There are also other signals (signals, in English) considered by Instagram for engagement purposes, although they were never officially detailed. These are techniques used by the algorithm to understand that that person is interacting with a post, even without having to take action.

    Reels video viewing is one of them: even if there is no like, the platform can understand that that content is useful because you watched it for 15 seconds. Do the experiment at home and try to watch three or four videos about cooking, without liking or commenting on any, so your feed will be flooded with people cooking different foods.

    It is obvious that the weight of engagement actions for signals are totally different. Those who like content send a clear message that they liked it, so they may want to see more. Those who just watch something leave a touch of doubt in the system, although they also indicate that they liked it — otherwise, it would have changed in less than three seconds.

    A very relevant signal that can impact engagement is the act of following someone. Whenever one account starts following another, Adam Mosseri’s social network has the habit of delivering virtually all recent updates, including Stories, Feed Posts and Reels. Gaining followers, therefore, is an indication that his profile is engaging well recently.

    What are engaged accounts?

    It’s the total number of profiles that interacted with your content in some way, whether with likes, views, comments, shares or saves. For the purposes of metrics, exclusive accounts are considered, that is, each one that engaged with its content, without adding more than one interaction.

    Demographic information about engaged accounts can be viewed: countries, cities, age groups and genders. This helps you understand who is the audience that most interacts with your profile, enabling you to create photos and videos with a better engagement rate.

    There is a difference between the technical part of the thing, mentioned above, and the more “philosophical” part. Users want people to engage with their account in the less literal and more emotional sense, because that’s the engagement that makes the difference. You know that person who likes and comments on everything? That profile that defends a creator or a company with nails and teeth? This is the most desired, although it does not always happen.

    How do I find out my account’s engagement?

    Instagram is quite complete when it comes to metrics, as a huge amount of data is available to creators. The best way to know if your profile is engaging well is to access Insights.

    To see information about the engagement of your publications, just follow the steps below:

  • Access your Instagram profile;
  • Tap a post whose insights you want to view;
  • Below the image, locate the option “View insights”;
  • You will immediately see the number of likes, comments, saves and the number of times the publication has been shared, in addition to other metrics of interaction and engagement with the publication, such as accounts reached and accounts effectively engaged. When scrolling down further, you will also have impression numbers available (number of times the publication appeared to someone somewhere) and detailed engagement data.

    The data is separated into two categories — organic (naturally occurring) and turbocharged (cash-fuelled). It is important to note that boosting content only affects that specific post, without impacting other publications. It’s no use spending lots of money on sponsored posts to try to increase your engagement rate, because it will only go up in paid posts.

    Instagram is a great network to engage with due to the high number of users on the platform. Despite this, the abundance of people also puts some pressure on brands, companies and digital influencers, after all, they need to achieve ever higher engagement rates to remain relevant.