Which ER is Good? Everything you need to know

Which ER is Good? Everything you need to know

ER (Engagement Rate) is an indicator that reflects how actively the audience interacts with your content: likes, comments, repost, and so on. The higher the ER, the more interested the subscribers are. For example, if more than 2,000 people are following an account, and posts are collected at most 20-30 “hearts”, then this is an abnormal situation. So which ER is considered good? Let’s figure it out!

What is ER

For a while, the effectiveness of social media use for businesses was measured by the number of followers. These and other absolute indices expressed the “power” of the profile. Allegedly, the more people subscribed to page updates, the cooler and more interesting the brand. But it was not there. At a certain point, everyone began to ask a completely logical question: “How does the number of subscribers affect the success of the company?”

Often, the negative effect of the size of the audience was experienced by insta accounts dedicated to the sale of goods. It turned out that subscribers are not always the people who want to buy something from you (40 thousand followers are simply lost in the feed due to the mass of posts from many similar online points of sale). Also, often the main incentive to subscribe is a promotion or a one-time interest, which quickly dies down, and after a while people unsubscribe, or become “dead souls” indifferently scrolling through your publications.

The situation is aggravated by an algorithmic feed that displays community updates, depending on their current popularity among users. Simply put, those who instantly have a large number of reactions go to the top, and less popular publications generally have no chance of rising in the SERP .

To do this, account owners have to stay ahead of the curve and form a loyal community around the brand that is really interested in the content. In this case, even a page with a small number of subscribers has every chance of being a winner (if the publications very quickly cause a lively reaction and movement). Then the community posts will not be lowered in the search results, but, on the contrary, will appear in the feed of a wider circle of followers.

The owners of groups and business accounts are faced with the question of bringing subscribers into an active state – they should benefit the community, and not lie “dead weight”. Benefit is interest, attention, or more accurately, engagement.

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This is where we come to the main topic of our article.

Engagement Rate (ER) is a metric that helps to assess the effectiveness of content policy and communication on the site. In simple terms, ER allows you to determine how actively the audience engages with your posts. An active reaction is considered :

  • like;
  • repost;
  • comment;
  • save the publication.

They can be counted individually or together depending on the goals of the marketers.

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Why is it important to know the Instagram engagement index?

The engagement indicator allows you to judge about many parameters important for promotion on Instagram:

  • Level of brand trust . By how actively users react to posts, you can understand whether you have managed to establish a trusting relationship with them. On a subconscious level, people are not ready to interact with the content, or initiate a dialogue if they expect some kind of deception.
  • Popularity. We have to admit: nothing is more indicative of audience popularity than the number of likes, comments and reposts. This is where ER will help you. The metric will allow you to determine how much progress you have achieved over a certain period of time.
  • Content virality . Virality is a content characteristic that determines the likelihood of readers wanting to share a post. Viral content is actively distributed by users in social networks, instant messengers and other channels.
  • “Instagram” . ER indicates how interesting your product is within Instagram.

By calculating your engagement rate, you can also understand :

  • which posts followers are actively responding to and which they skip;
  • how to make your profile as effective as possible, even without a huge subscriber base;
  • at what stage in the development of your content strategy you might have made a mistake;
  • is it worth introducing additional categories or integrating new engagement mechanics into the content.

How to calculate ER on Instagram

There are 2 ways to calculate engagement rate: you can do it manually, knowing a few basic profile metrics, or you can use the trendHERO service, which will do everything for you.

Try trendHERO for free


One of the most popular approaches is calculating ER per post. Or the average engagement rate per post. The formula looks like this:

  • ER = (likes + comments) / followers * 100%.
  • For example, in a month on an account with 1,000 subscribers, we posted 30 publications that received a total of 2,000 likes and 100 comments. It turns out 2000 + 100/30 = 70 reactions per post. Accordingly ER, 70 reactions per post / 1000 subscribers * 100% = 7%.

    Another formula that is popular when calculating ER: instead of the number of subscribers, the reach that the post received is taken into account.

    ER = (likes + comments) / post coverage * 100%.

    Let’s say our last publication got 90 likes and 10 comments, and the post coverage was 400. It turns out ER = (90 + 10) / 400 * 100% = 25%. This is an excellent indicator.

    Via trendHERO

    Do you want to bother yourself with long calculations? Then take advantage of the trendHERO service, which provides over 90 metrics for comprehensive account analytics. All you need to do is provide a link to your profile and run a check. ER will be displayed in the first window.


    The graph shows changes in the Engagement Rate of the account. Demonstrates how audience engagement rises and falls.

    Norm – a chart in waves with fluctuations of 1-2% percentage points. For example, from 10% to 12% and back to 8%. This is because some posts are liked by the audience and some are not. It is much worse if the chart is even – this is one of the markup indicators.


    Which ER is considered good

    Unfortunately, it is rarely possible to say with certainty which Engagement Rate is high and which is low, since this indicator is influenced by many factors: the specifics of the page, the composition of the audience, the time of day, and so on.

    But still, there are rough guidelines that are considered the norm in the circles of marketers and SMM specialists:

    • less than 1% is a bad indicator;
    • from 1% to 3.5% – average;
    • from 3.5% to 6% is a high rate;
    • over 6% is a very high rate.

    Naturally, all these figures are approximate. Each specific account must be considered on an individual basis. For example, it is much more difficult for a page that specializes in creating and selling products for the B2B segment to achieve good engagement rates.


    Frequently Asked Questions

    Why has the focus now shifted from subscribers to engagement rate?

    There are actually several reasons:

    • Requirements for the audience have increased. Everyone began to understand that business goes to Instagram not only for beautiful numbers, but also for a loyal audience . Brands that sell products and services successfully saw the relationship between reach and activity.
    • The higher the engagement, the more chances the profile has to get to the top. This will allow you to get more organic traffic
    • User activity is a direct indicator of audience interest in content.

    How to increase ER?

    The most effective ways:

    • use stories by providing them with interactive elements: widgets, stickers, gifs, and so on;
    • go live more often and upload videos to IGTV;
    • try to publish as often as possible;
    • periodically run contests for the most active subscriber;
    • find the perfect time to post (to do this, look at posts by week, month or year, and collect statistics);
    • use calls to action (“like”, “leave a comment under the post”, “bookmark if helpful”);
    • actively respond to comments;
    • get rid of bots (to increase ER, you can simply get rid of those who spoil statistics – from bots and inactive accounts);
    • provoke a discussion on a hype topic.

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    Your audience is real people who want to receive feedback from your favorite brand. By following the simple rules outlined above, you can not only increase engagement, but sales as well. Instagram never sleeps, and you won’t oversleep – work, surprise, experiment and give your followers feedback.

    Try trendHERO for free

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