What is a Good Engagement Rate on Instagram?

Data-Driven Marketing Social Media Best Practices

In 2023, Instagram continues to garner higher engagement rates than Facebook or Twitter.

However, with the decline in organic engagement across all platforms, and the growing popularity of video platforms like TikTok and YouTube, it can be challenging for marketers to keep up with what’s considered a good engagement rate on Instagram these days.

To ensure you’re up to date on the latest rates and best practices, let’s go over how to accurately measure Instagram engagement and what the benchmark is for a good engagement rate on Instagram across industries.

We’ll also highlight a few examples of brands that are performing well on the platform so you can get an idea of ways to increase 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 2023?

According to our 2023 Social Media Industry Benchmark Report, the overall median engagement rate on Instagram is 0.47%. 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 0.47% is the overall median engagement rate, 1.05% 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 2.99%. This rate is nearly twice as much as the second highest-performing industry, which is Sports Teams at 1.48%.

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 James Madison University. This carousel post received an engagement rate of 17.6%, which is nearly seven times higher than the median rate for the higher education industry on Instagram.

A Rival IQ analysis of an Instagram post from James Madison University. The image shows a vibrant sunset over the JMU campus and earned the school and impressive Instagram engagement rate.

One look at that colorful, picturesque sunset and it’s easy to see why this carousel racked up over 13K engagements. Campus glamour shots like this are one of the top trends that schools and universities use to lure in likes and comments from current and former students alike. JMU regularly shares stunning shots of its school on Instagram — often in the form of a carousel — which has undoubtedly helped it rank in the top 10 schools and universities across all social media channels. 

Another top-performing school that earns a good engagement rate on Instagram is the University of South Carolina, Columbia. The photo below earned the school an engagement rate of 14.5%, which is 5.6 times higher than the median rate for Higher Ed and a whopping 30 times higher than the all-industry rate.

A Rival IQ analysis of an Instagram post from University of South Carolina, Columbia. The image shows fireworks lighting up the night sky over the school's football stadium which earned a high Instagram engagement rate.

This post combines two winning trends in one: a campus glamour shot and a celebratory shoutout. The photo is a zoomed-out night shot of the school’s football stadium after securing a win, fireworks and all. For schools, celebrating sports wins and congratulating student achievements are surefire ways to earn an impressive engagement rate. Whether you’re a current student, a proud alum, or just a fan of their football team, it’s hard not to love this photo. 

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 resonate with everyone from prospective students to the local community.

Sports Teams

Sports teams tend to perform well on Instagram with a median engagement rate of 1.48%. 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.

Seattle’s women’s soccer team OL Reign hit it (or rather, kicked it) out of the park with this top-performing Reel. The short video, which was an introduction to one of the team’s newest players, earned an engagement rate of 33.5%, which is 22 times higher than the median rate for sports teams and a whopping 71 times greater than the all-industry average.

A Rival IQ analysis of a Reel shared by soccer team OL Reign. The Reel features a new player introducing themselves which earned a good Instagram engagement rate.

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 fifa world cup being the most engaging at 2.86%.

Soccer team Atlanta United FC employed this strategy by using the engaging #FIFAWorldCup hashtag in one of its relevant posts. The photo post earned an engagement rate of 7.72% which is five times greater than the median Instagram engagement rate for Sports Teams. This celebratory image also gave the team an engagement rate lift that was three times higher than similar posts for Sports Teams.

A Rival IQ analysis of an engaging Instagram post from soccer team Atlanta United FC. The post is a graphic celebrating one of its players being a World Cup champion.

Influencers

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 content creator Megan Batoon. The post below received viral levels of engagement with over 8.5 million impressions, 528K likes and comments, and an engagement rate of 69.2%.

A Rival IQ analysis of an Instagram Reel from influencer Megan Batoon. The video is a short clip of Megan dancing in the middle of a grocery store aisle. The viral video earned a high Instagram engagement rate of 69.2%.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how or why a post reaches viral levels of engagement like this, but Megan’s video could’ve performed well because it was a great representation of her personality. The video is a short clip of her dancing in the aisle of a grocery store — from the POV of the store’s security camera. It’s a simple yet unexpected moment, but it’s also a glimpse into her day-to-day life, which followers love to see from influencers.

When you’re putting yourself out there as an influencer or content creator, people expect you to be real and authentic. In fact, one survey found that 61% of consumers prefer relatable influencers over any other influencer personality type. If you want to engage your audience, tap into what makes your brand unique and experiment with different post types like video.

Nonprofits

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 Chicago-based dance company Joffrey Ballet earned the nonprofit an engagement rate of 114%, which is a whopping 181 times higher than the average rate for nonprofits on Instagram.

An analysis of a Reel from the nonprofit Joffrey Ballet. The video was a compilation of dance clips which earned the nonprofit an impressive Instagram engagement rate of 114%.

When the hashtag #balletcore started trending, Joffrey Ballet was quick to join the conversation, While the term “ballet core” doesn’t have to do with dancing as much as it does with the aesthetic, the ballet nonprofit decided it was the perfect opportunity to showcase what their organization is all about. Staying tapped into trending terms paid off for Joffrey Ballet as this video earned over two million impressions and received an engagement rate lift that’s 212 times better than similar videos from nonprofits. 

Social media trends, hashtags, and topics move fast so it’s important to have a process for staying in the know so you don’t miss out on relevant content opportunities. Use a tool like Rival IQ to get notified about trending hashtags in your industry. For example, this overview of popular topics and most-used hashtags for the nonprofit industry provides insight into how many brands are joining in on these conversations and how engaging the hashtags and topics are.

An overview of Rival IQ's trending hashtag and popular topics tool. Here you can see which hashtags and topics your competitors are using and how much engagement each hashtag gets.

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 0.47%, which is the median rate across industries. The median posting frequency is between 4.6 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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