The Average Instagram Engagement Rate is 4.7%. But Can You Do Better?

One question we often get at Iconosquare is: “What is the average engagement rate on Instagram?”

This question is difficult to answer, as engagement rates can depend on a variety of factors: your industry, your location, the size of your following, and, of course, your content.

And yet, a little research never hurt nobody!

Recently, we analyzed 30,226 Instagram Business profiles to find out what a good engagement rate on Instagram looks like. We discovered that it’s 4.7% on average, but that it differs depending on the industry.

To help you understand where you stand in your industry, we also looked into reach rate, posting frequency, followers’ evolution and much, much more.

Curious to see what these industry engagement benchmarks look like?

Then, keep reading because, in today’s post, I’m breaking down the average Instagram engagement rate and other metrics across 6 macro industries: Shopping & Retail, Media, Food & Beverage, Consumer Brands, Travel, and Public Figures.

Here’s what we found:

What is an Average Instagram
Engagement Rate?

To find what an average Instagram engagement rate is, we analyzed over 30,226 Instagram profiles from 110 business categories — such as tourism boards, jewellery brands, athletes, agricultural businesses, universities, and others — located across multiple time zones around the world. In this article, I’m presenting only 6 industries, as it simply wouldn’t be feasible to go through all of them.

What we found out is that, globally, the average Instagram engagement rate is 4.7%, whereas global reach rate is 34.37%, and engagement on reach is 11.95% on average.

  • Global engagement rate: 4.7%
  • Global reach rate: 34.37%
  • Global engagement on reach: 11.95%
  • Number of media posted per day: 0.72

What do these metrics mean?

Engagement rate: all your likes, comments, and saves divided by the number of followers at the time of the post.

Engagement on reach: all your likes, comments, and saves divided by your post’s reach number at the time of the post.

Reach rate: the number of people who have seen your post divided by the number of your followers.

Example: If you have 100 followers, your post got 20 likes, but 150 people have actually seen it, your traditional engagement rate would be 20%, whereas your engagement on reach would be 13%. The latter is more exact if you’re looking to determine the actual success of your post beyond just vanity metrics.

For more detailed explanations of Instagram metrics, check out this post.

Engagement rate of 4.7% — seems low, right?

Well, not really.

Keep in mind that the more followers you have, the lower your engagement rate tends to be. Interacting with a community of 600 people is very different than interacting with a community of 600,000, after all.

That being said, we also found that the average Instagram engagement rate, as well as reach and engagement on reach, differ depending on the industry your brand belongs to. If you’re in Shopping & Retail, for instance, your ER will be drastically lower than that of a Public Figure. It makes sense, though: the audience is different, the brand purpose is different, and the intent behind the content is different. Therefore, you get different results.

Keep in mind that Instagram is a people’s platform and that Public Figures tend to post lots of selfies and other pictures of themselves (Hello, Kim K!). And yes, while over 80% of accounts on Instagram do follow a business and do interact with product posts, a study found that pictures with human faces get over 30% more engagement.

Here are the top 6 industries for key Instagram engagement benchmarks:

Here’s what Iconosquare’s Industry Benchmarks look like

First things first, you have to ensure you selected the right Business Category for your account if you want to take advantage of Iconosquare’s benchmarks feature and see how you’re performing compared to competitors in your industry.

Facebook offers a bazillion categories, sub-categories, and sub-sub-categories for Business Pages. In other words, you can really narrow down the industry you’re in and be as specific as possible.

Here’s just one case of how specific it can get if you were a museum, for example: Business → Arts & Entertainment → Museum → Art Museum → Decorative Arts Museum.

Iconosquare’s Industry Benchmarks are based on users from within the industry that you selected for your Facebook Business Page. This is why it’s essential that you ensure the category you selected is accurate.

To change your category, go to Page → About → General, and click “Edit” in the Category section.

Once you’ve done that, log into Iconosquare and go to Listening → Industry Benchmark. There, you’ll be given 10 comparative metrics based on data collected from other Iconosquare users who are in the same industry category as you.

These metrics show you the difference (as a percentage) between the averages of your industry competitors and your own account. Red indicates a lower performance than the average in your industry, while green indicates a higher performance.

Next comes a very comprehensive comparative table which helps you identify where you stand in terms of posting frequency, followers growth, Stories completion rate, and more:

Finally, you’ll also get an overview of the types of content you and your competitors publish — in-feed posts, videos, carousels, and Stories:

Industry Benchmarks are available for for all Iconosquare plans! Get a free trial to try out this feature!

How to turn your engagement metrics into actionable tactics?

Ok, so now that we’ve figured out what the average Instagram engagement rate is per industry, the question is: Can you do better? And how can you turn your own performance indicators into actionable tactics that will lead to improved performance?

Interpreting your metrics can be a bit difficult, but it’s definitely easier when you have something to compare them to.

Iconosquare’s Instagram Benchmarks give you more than enough room for interpretation and opportunity to develop a variety of tactics to increase your engagement rates.

For example, if you see that your Stories reach and completion rate are significantly lower than your competitors’, try correlating that information with another metric, such as the average number of Stories you post per day or the types of Stories published. Should you post more often? Could it help increase your reach? Or, would posting more videos instead of images help increase your reach?

Try to look beyond the numbers. Set up a new posting schedule, experiment with new Stories formats, and see if you get different results with new tactics.

We’ve previously published an extensive guide on how to increase your Instagram engagement rate, but here are a few quick tips you can try today:

1. Engage with similar accounts in your niche regularly

Or better yet, every day. The basic rule of Instagram is that engagement feeds engagement. By interacting with other users on the platform, you’re increasing your chances of being seen. The more you engage, the more visible your account becomes, and the more engagement you’ll get from visitors to your profile.

2. Engage for 15 min directly before and after posting

You want to get as much engagement on your post as possible, within the first hour of posting. But how can you generate enough attention in such a short time span? Engage with other ports directly before and after you publish a post! This will increase the chances of people visiting your profile, liking your freshest post, and boosting its visibility on the platform.

3. Use more strategic hashtags

Long-tail hashtags are specific and detailed, which means they are more likely to reflect the context of your post with more accuracy.

4. Write more engaging captions

Instagram posts with captions generate more engagement and encourage users to spend more time looking at your post. A good caption will give your photo more context, express personality, and have a call-to-action (an often overlooked element). You could ask a question or encourage users to tag a friend!

5. Track your best time to post

Do you know what your best time to post is? If not, it’s time you found out! The best time to post on Instagram is the time that results in the most Instagram engagement on average for your account. To find out your own best time to post, you should experiment with different publishing times and monitor your data. To save time, you can also use Iconsoquare’s Best Time to Post feature, which tells you exactly what day and hour your posts get the highest engagement:

Conclusion

While an average Instagram engagement rate may be 4,7%, this benchmark is still quite individual. It depends on which industry and country you’re in, how big of an audience you have, and of course, how much time you dedicate to trying out various engagement tactics.

Want to see where you stand among competitors in your industry? Try Iconosquare’s Industry Benchmarks feature to find out!

What’s the average Instagram engagement rate for your account?

Olga Rabo: @olgarabo Olga is a LeadGen manager at Iconosquare, based in Berlin. She’s all about creating strategies, increasing clickthrough rates, and sharing her in-depth knowledge of content and social media marketing. She’s a big travel addict, a huge Katherine Ryan fan, and her favorite time of the day is brunch.
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