Why Instagram Engagement Rates Matter Most for Small Businesses

By: Cori Widen, Product Marketing Lead at Boosted by Lightricks

Not all Instagram engagements are equally important for your business. There are a lot of different types of Instagram engagement metrics such as follows, likes, comments, video views, profile visits, etc. but there is one Instagram engagement metric that matters most for businesses: engagement rates.

So what exactly is an Instagram engagement rate? There are a few different ways to calculate an Instagram engagement rate, but it’s essentially the amount of people who interacted with a post or account divided by the amount of people who might have seen the post. Certain industries and types of businesses might have higher engagement rates, but a general rule of thumb is that around 2-3% is a good engagement rate. 

5 Reasons Why Instagram Engagement Rates Matter for Small Businesses

Out of all the Instagram metrics, engagement rates matter the most for businesses. It might seem like an extra step for your business to begin monitoring engagement rates for your Instagram account and individual posts, but there are several significant benefits to doing so.

1. Attract New Customers Achieving a good engagement rate means your business is more likely to attract new customers. How? Users who are liking, commenting and sharing your posts are helping boost your Instagram account, which will help new customers discover your business.

2. Conduct Market Research Monitoring engagement rates can also be a very easy way to conduct some basic market research to really understand your customers and their interests better. Check out your Instagram posts with the highest engagement rates to understand which types of content and topics are the most interesting to your customers and keep these topics in mind when creating your social media content calendar.

3. Prioritize Social Media Efforts By measuring Instagram engagement rates and understanding what types of content and posts typically perform best, you will be able to better prioritize your social media efforts. For example, if your Instagram videos are getting the best engagement rates, you’ll know that you should be creating more video content.

4. Provide Credibility It is detrimental for a business to only care about a high follower count, while not working to maintain a good engagement rate. Customers pay attention to these things if a business has a lot of followers but not many people are commenting and liking their posts, customers might wonder if they have fake followers. Maintaining a good Instagram engagement rate will help make your business more credible to customers.

5. Increase Sales So how exactly does your Instagram engagement rate affect sales? When customers love your social media content and engage with it frequently, this can help increase sales in two ways. First, by engaging frequently with your content, your business will be top of mind for your customers. Secondly, having high-quality social media content that users love helps customers trust that your products and services are high-quality as well and they will be more likely to purchase from your business.

Which Instagram Metrics Matter (and Don’t Matter) For Businesses

Besides engagement rate, the second most important Instagram engagement metric might just be video views. Instagram posts with videos generate twice the engagement of static photo posts on Instagram (Hubspot). Creating high-quality marketing videos is much easier than you might think! Check out the Boosted app for ready-to-go video templates to help you create custom Instagram videos in 3 minutes or less.

And finally, when it comes to an Instagram metric that doesn’t really matter that much to businesses, you might be surprised! A lot of people think follower count matters most to their business, but it really isn’t that important. Yes, you will want to continue to grow your community over time but it’s actually better to grow your follower count slowly and maintain a high engagement rate. In fact, if your business has a lot of followers who aren’t super engaged, this will hurt your engagement rate and your account won’t be viewed as often. 

The Takeaway: There are so many different types of Instagram engagements but not all engagements are equally important to your business. Prioritize a high engagement rate on Instagram to help your business understand your customers better, connect with new customers more often and most importantly make more sales!

Cori Widen is the Product Marketing Lead at Boosted by Lightricks. She has been leading product marketing campaigns and doing qualitative market research in the tech industry for 10 years.

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