What is a Good Engagement Rate on Instagram?

Data-Driven Marketing Social Media Best Practices

In 2024, Instagram continues to garner higher engagement rates than Facebook or Twitter.

However, with organic engagement declining across all social media platforms and the meteoric rise of video-centric platforms like TikTok and YouTube, staying on top of what constitutes a good engagement rate on Instagram can be daunting for marketers.

To ensure you’re in the know about the latest metrics and best practices, let’s delve into how to accurately measure Instagram engagement and what the current benchmark is for a good engagement rate across various industries.

We’ll also spotlight a few standout brands excelling on the platform, providing you with actionable insights to boost your own Instagram engagement rate.

How to measure Instagram engagement

At Rival IQ, we define engagement as measurable interaction on organic and paid social media posts. Instagram metrics include likes, comments, shares, and reactions.

The formula for calculating Instagram engagement rate is measurable interactions plus total follower count.

Instagram engagement rate is calculated based on all of these interactions divided by total follower count. Here’s the formula to calculate your brand’s Instagram engagement rate:

Instagram engagement rate = [engagement total] / [total number of followers]

While there are a few different ways to calculate engagement rate, we find that dividing by the number of followers paints a more accurate picture of how your brand’s engagement rate stacks up against similar brands in your industry — regardless of audience size.

What is a good engagement rate on Instagram in 2024?

According to our 2024 Social Media Industry Benchmark Report, the overall median engagement rate on Instagram is 0.43%. This median rate applies to all industries, from food and beverage brands to hotels to nonprofits.

When it comes to how often you should be posting, we found that, on average, brands across all industries post a little over four times per week.

For top-performing brands, their engagement rates on Instagram are even higher. Our report found that the overall median engagement rate on Instagram for brands in the top 25% is 1.05%. These brands also post at the same frequency at around 4.7 times per week.

So while 0.43% is the overall median engagement rate, 1.02% or higher is considered a good engagement rate on Instagram for brands that want to aim higher.

Overall rate across industries:

Overall rate for brands in the top 25%:

Instagram engagement rate by industry

While the median Instagram engagement rate is a great starting point to benchmark your own data, every industry is a little different.

Let’s take a look at some of the industries performing at an above-average rate and see what they’re doing right so you can take note of a few ways to boost your brand’s own Instagram engagement rates.

Higher Education

Schools and universities consistently outperform every industry on social media (check out our latest report if you’re interested in detailed insights on Higher Ed benchmarks).

Higher Ed has the highest Instagram engagement rate across all industries at 2.43%. This rate is nearly twice as much as the second highest-performing industry, which is Sports Teams at 1.57%.

While this number is impressive, it also means that schools have to get creative if they want to stand out above their fellow educational establishments on Instagram.

A great example of an Instagram post with high engagement comes from Angelo State University, our D2 overall winner in this year’s Higher Education Social Media Engagement Report. This carousel post received an engagement rate of 8.34%, which is more than three times higher than the median rate for the higher education industry on Instagram.

Angelo State University's Instagram carousel post inaugurating the new Soccer Complex

Joyful campus celebrations like Angelo State’s ribbon cutting on a new soccer complex are sure to stir up excitement from followers on and off campus, and this post is no exception. The carousel rocked a killer engagement rate and nearly 25K impressions. Followers love a good reason to celebrate, and campus investments like this are sure to engage alumni who remember their own days on the soccer pitch fondly. Carousel posts are an especially effective posting strategy for maximizing engagement, since each frame of the post is served to a user until they engage with it.

Utah State University ranked in our D1 top ten thanks in part to stellar carousels like this one celebrating a big basketball win.

The Aggies celebrating their win holding up Mountain West Campion Placards on the court

The carousel post earned a 10.1% engagement rate by follower, which is more than 4x the average Higher Ed rate for the year. Posts about big wins are a tried-and-true tactic across industries like Higher Ed, Sports, and so many more since it’s hard to resist the excitement of your favorite team or school doing something awesome. The takeaway from Utah State’s success? Never miss a chance to brag.

Both of these examples display how schools and universities consistently secure a good engagement rate on Instagram by appealing to a wider audience with engaging images that are heavy on celebration.

Sports Teams

Sports teams tend to perform well on Instagram with a median engagement rate of 1.57%. Sports teams also post the most often out of all industries, which makes sense given that the content typically includes real-time game highlights and frequent team updates during the playing season.

Instagram Reel thumbnail with a dad-son duo on the rink

Play by play updates are a great use for social media, but tugging at the heartstrings can also work like a charm. This post from NHL team the Carolina Hurricanes earned an impressive 14.6% engagement rate by follower, which is nearly 10x the Sports Teams average. The adorable Reel features one of the ‘Canes skaters bringing his young son to work and delivers on its promise to be the cutest thing you’ll see today. Fans and followers love a chance to peek behind the curtain of any industry–especially when it’s this adorable.

Reels are a winning strategy for most Sports Teams on Instagram. If you want to earn top engagement, we’ve found that Reels bring in higher engagement rates than any other post types for Sports Teams.

A graph that ranks Instagram metrics by post type for sports teams, with Reels being the most engaging type.

Another way that Sports Teams can earn engagement from fans is by tapping into buzzworthy conversations and hashtags. It’s no surprise that timely event-inspired hashtags like #worldcup are some of the most engaging hashtags among Sports Teams. As you can see in the chart below, there are also opportunities for teams to give fans a glimpse behind the scenes with the hashtag #training as well as tap into always-popular holiday conversations.

A chart from Rival IQ that ranks the engagement rates of Instagram hashtags used by Sports Teams with the hashtag throwback thursday being the most engaging at 4.9%.

Seattle’s women’s soccer team OL Reign made the most of superstar Megan Rapinoe’s impending retirement with posts of her earlier days throughout the season. This carousel featuring Rapinoe more than a decade ago earned an impressive 17.9% engagement rate, more than 11x the Sports Teams average engagement rate on Instagram this year. It also grabbed tons of encouraging comments and more than 460K impressions thanks to an extra lift from the #ThrowbackThursday hashtag, which helped soccer fans who weren’t yet following OL Reign find the post.

A striking photograph of Rapinoe on the filed in the team's uniform


Influencers are another industry that earns above-average engagement rates on Instagram. Influencers and creators use the platform to share their creative content, provide product recommendations, and give followers a glimpse into their personal lives using carousels, photos, and Reels — which are all equally engaging post types for this subset of creators.

A chart that ranks the most engaging post types for the influencer industry with Reels and Carousels being nearly equal in terms of engagement.

While highly produced Reels and polished photos can help influencers earn likes, comments, and shares, sometimes the most engaging content is also the most simple. One example of this comes from influencer and travel content creator Adventurous Kate. The post below received viral levels of engagement with over 2.5 million impressions, 154K likes and comments, and an engagement rate of 5.96%.

A Rival IQ analysis of an Instagram Reel from influencer Adventurous Kate. The Reel is about where Italians vacation. The viral video earned a high Instagram engagement rate of 5.96%.

The Reel echoes the copy of the post with stunning recommendations for Italian vacation spots slightly off the beaten path. The post performed well by pairing a gorgeous Reel with seriously informational text that gave followers a comprehensive answer to Adventurous Kate’s question about where Italians go in Italy whether they stuck around for the whole Reel or not. In an era of clickbait, Kate’s strategy of delivering the full value within the post’s body is nontraditional, but engagement rates like these say her gamble paid off.

When you’re putting yourself out there as an influencer or content creator, people expect you to be real and authentic. And if they’re turning to you for travel advice, you’re going to want to add “helpful” to that list. If you want to engage your audience, don’t lose sight of what types of content your followers turn to you for in the first place.


Marketers at nonprofits have the important job of using Instagram to secure donations, engage volunteers, or simply raise awareness about their organization’s mission. And achieving high engagement rates can have a direct impact on those initiatives.

Like many other industries on Instagram, nonprofits found success in using Reels to reach a bigger audience and earn more engagement. This Reel from New York-based dance company American Ballet Theatre earned the nonprofit an engagement rate of 98%, which is a whopping 158 times higher than the average rate for nonprofits on Instagram.

An analysis of a Reel from the nonprofit American Ballet Theatre. The video was a behind-the-scenes shot from Swan Lake which earned the nonprofit an impressive Instagram engagement rate of 98%.

Performing arts nonprofits have an edge over some of their peers when it comes to social media visuals, and ABT makes the most of it in this behind-the-scenes Reel from Swan Lake. This simple video shot from the wings during a performance took off, earning a quarter of a million engagements and 13M estimated impressions, not to mention that unbelievable engagement rate. Followers jumped into the comments to wish the ballerinas well and to praise ABT for their backstage content.

Pairing the algorithmic power of Reels with content unique to your nonprofit can help your videos go further. And of course, elegant ballerinas in shiny costumes doesn’t hurt.

Speaking of unique content, National Geographic spent five years running camera traps to capture this once in a lifetime shot of an alligator ceding its territory to a female Florida panther.

An analysis of a Reel from the nonprofit National Geographic. The video earned the nonprofit an impressive 1.58 million estimated impressions.

The Reel rocked a 13.3% engagement rate as nature nerds everywhere jumped into the comments to root for one animal or the other, and to celebrate NatGeo’s tireless commitment to capturing moments in nature most people would never otherwise be able to see. Not every nonprofit has the resources to sink five years of camera traps into shots like this, but using social media to bring truly special moments to phones around the world has certainly expanded NatGeo’s reach beyond their magazine.

With so many worthy causes vying for attention and fundraising dollars, nonprofits are more pressured than ever to demonstrate their value. Many are using Reels to place their supporters and donors in the driver’s seat when it comes to their missions, from backstage to riverbanks and beyond.

How to increase Instagram engagement

If you’re feeling inspired to up your Instagram engagement after seeing the examples above, here’s a recap of the tactics these brands used to achieve their great engagement rates.

Wrapping it up

To sum it up, a good engagement rate on Instagram is 0.43%, which is the median rate across industries. The median posting frequency is about 4.2 posts per week.

These are the numbers to aim for if you want to create content that stands out above the competition.

To achieve a good engagement rate on Instagram, lean into what’s proven to work for your brand while experimenting with different post types. As long as you continue to measure and assess what your audience is engaging with, you’ll be on your way to reaching stellar engagement rates on Instagram in no time.

This post was originally published in July 2022 and has since been updated.

Sam Lauron

Sam Lauron is a freelance writer based in Austin, TX. She currently works with creative brands and B2B companies to support their content writing efforts and SEO strategy, and has a writing expertise in digital marketing, branding, and entrepreneurship. When she’s not writing, she spends her time listening to true crime podcasts, tackling DIY projects, and soaking up the sunny Austin weather.

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