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The Value of Instagram Engagement Rate in Increasing Sales

The Value of Instagram Engagement Rate in Increasing Sales

Reading Time: 12 minutes

Why do we focus on increasing Instagram engagement rates?

With over one billion users, it’s getting harder and harder to get your content seen by new eyes.

When you are new to Instagram, you might ask yourself, “how can this platform could help me with my business.” Isn’t this just for sharing photos and videos? How will this app help me boost my sales? 

Instagram is a goldmine for marketers and entrepreneurs. Every day, more and more people are joining Instagram. Due to its visual nature, it holds massive opportunities for businesses looking to showcase their products. 

But how can it make your sales increase? Well, engagement is the key. Instagram engagement includes all the ways users can interact with your content — through likes, comments, shares, and saves. When engagement is strong, your audience may feel enough of a connection with your brand to make a purchase.

Being social is the key to social media. Engagement = Trust. Trust = More Sales!

Danielle Wheeler, CEO - Wheeler Marketing Agency Tweet

You’ll be able to continually reach more and more rightful audiences who would be interested in your brand by increasing your engagement. Thus, it will make your content get prioritized by Instagram Algorithm.

Okay, there’s much to cover, so let’s dive in!

What is Engagement?

An Engagement is any sort of interaction with content.

Engagement is more than counting your views or followers. It’s about measuring the interactions that your audience makes with your content.

Instagram engagement includes all the ways users can interact with your content — through likes, comments, shares, and saves

It means liking, saving, and messaging. Think of it as having a conversation in person with someone. You engage in the discussion, contribute, and appropriately acknowledge what they said and your reactions. You engage in what they are saying, and the conversation continues. 

Four Main Types of Engagement

These are the 4 most common and valuable types of engagement:

  1. Likes – can be considered as a simple and helpful scorecard on the quality of the content you are posting. 
  2. Comments – talking directly to your audience is vital to turning them into loyal customers. 
  3. Share – Inspiring people to share your content is a cost-effective way of marketing.
  4. Click Through – getting people to click a link on your content is a fundamental marketing goal and often the most valuable type of engagement. 

Other Instagram engagement metrics include:

  • Saves
  • DMs
  • Link clicks/swipe-ups
  • Mentions
  • Hashtag usage
  • Stories sticker interactions

These actions prove that people aren’t just seeing your content. They’re actively interested in what you have to say. 

Why Is Engagement Important to Sales

The term engagement within marketing is part of a sales strategy—this is one of the methods of attracting followers to your brand. Engagement is used as the tool through which marketers entice users to connect to their products.

Engagement makes the sales process more consistent and frees up time for things that can’t be automated, like building relationships. Better engagement creates stronger connections between your audience and your brands. This gives you more opportunities to build brand loyalty, increase word-of-mouth recommendations, and increase sales. By effectively engaging with your target consumers in your content, you will be able to attract their attention and have them curious about your products or services. By simply giving attention to something in any form, a relationship has begun to form between the followers and the brand

Why Do We Care About Engagement? 

Engagement is probably one of the trends we’re seeing today that we may not be paying enough attention to. When you’re inundated with retention tips, it’s time to listen. 

Engagement works, so it’s getting a lot of attention these days. It helps inspire brand enthusiasm and increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. If you do, you are on the right track. You’re still missing an opportunity if you quit here or don’t work on engagement at all. Excitement, satisfaction, and retention aren’t the only ways customer retention benefits your business

According to the study of PWC, organizations using digital outreach techniques anticipate more significant revenue growth. Another research from Bain & Company found that highly engaged customers spend 20% to 40% more than others.

Schaffer and Debb (2020) revealed in their study that Instagram use has been essential in stimulating the growth and development of small businesses as it enhances the linkage between customers and business owners hence facilitating the increase of sales. 

Whether using social media, online community platforms, or email communication, higher customer engagement means more customer spending and more revenue per customer. 

How Does Engagement Affect Your Sales?

Instagram continues to grow and evolve as a marketing platform, and it’s more important than ever for businesses to build effective Instagram marketing strategies. And that means having a thorough understanding of the Instagram marketing landscape and measurable insights into what works and what doesn’t.

Starting to monitor engagement rates for your Instagram account and individual posts may seem like an extra step for your business, but doing so has some great benefits.

  1. Attract New Customers 

Achieving excellent engagement means your business is more likely to attract new customers. How? As people like, comment, and share your posts, they improve your Instagram account and help new customers discover your business.

  1. Conduct Market Research

Monitoring engagement rates can also be a straightforward way to conduct primary market research to understand your customers and their interests better. Take a look at the Instagram posts with the highest engagement rates to understand the content and topics most interesting to your customers. Keep those topics in mind as you manage the creation of your content calendar.

  1. Prioritize Social Media Efforts

By measuring engagement rates on Instagram and understanding which types of content and posts generally work best, you can prioritize your social media efforts. For example, if your Instagram videos have the highest engagement rate, you know you need to create more video content.

  1. Provide Credibility

Focusing on how many followers you have without striving to maintain a high engagement rate is detrimental to your business. Customers pay attention to these things. If your account has many followers but not many people commenting or liking your posts, your customers may wonder if you have fake followers. It helps increase the credibility of your business to your customers. How you engage with your audience will strengthen the audience to pay attention. Instagram engagement offers social proof of your business. It is so powerful that it can provide the same kind of social proof as a testimonial from a satisfied customer. This will makes people more likely to purchase your product or services.

  1. Increase Sales

How much does Instagram engagement rate affect sales? When customers love and interact with your social media content, you can increase your sales in two ways. First, frequent engagement with content puts your business at the center of your customers. Second, having quality Instagram content that users love gives customers confidence that your products and services are also high quality and more likely to purchase. Businesses can use Instagram engagement to improve their marketing strategies and also encourages a potential client to start conversations with you. Over time, those conversations become the foundation of their perception of your brand and greatly influence purchase decisions.

  1. It can help create a community among followers, encouraging users to return and share content.

When it comes to Instagram marketing, building a community is critical. A thriving community provides an engaged audience that can help spread the word about your business and its products or services.

The more you engage in liking and commenting on other accounts’ photos and reply to the comments on your own will likely increase your involvement in their conversation, encounter new accounts, and be seen as one of the group. You can perceive that Instagram is more likely to show the content to a broad customer, and you can engage more in the community.

There are so many types of Instagram engagements, but not all engagements are equally crucial to your business. Prioritize high engagement rates on Instagram so your business can understand its customers better, connect with new customers more often, and, most importantly, drive more sales!

Instagram Engagement Rate: What is it?

Engagement Rate (or ER) is the percentage of people who saw a piece of content or ad and engaged with it. 

Instagram Engagement Rate is a quantitative measure of how users interact with the content on your Instagram profile. 

It considers your number of likes, comments, followers, and shares. Engagement rates are calculated by dividing an account’s likes and comments by the follower count.

Engagement Rate shows you:

  1. How often are people engaging with content
  2. How fast people are engaging with content
  3. Which content is most interesting
  4. Which content is being noticed the most

Tracking your engagement rate is one of the best tools to identify which content types interest your audience the most. You can easily resonate more of that content into your strategy once you pinpoint what works best for your audience, 

Numbers prove whether or not your strategies are making a difference to your brand. Going through all the numbers and graphs may sound overwhelming, and you most likely hate doing it. To feel more prepared to deal with the data, you must figure out which metrics to focus on. 

Instagram notices if you have high engagement rates on your posts. They’ll be more likely to showcase your posts to users who consistently engage with your content, which means better reach. It can help with engagement, creating a positive upwards spiral that enables you to gain momentum on the platform.

Engagement & The Algorithm

As mentioned, engagement is a huge factor in working Instagram algorithms. But how do these two work hand in hand?

The Instagram algorithm dictates the order of the posts users see when scrolling through their feeds. It decides what content shows up. It prioritizes the best posts, pushing the most relevant ones toward the top and giving them the most visibility, while other content ends up being placed further down or never gets seen. 

Increased engagement increases the chance of being seen by the algorithm, which can significantly increase sales and profits by directing content to the people most likely to buy products or services. 

Engagement is vital to spark connections with your audience and increase your sales. People become followers because your brand is a trendsetter, you’re famous in their social circle, or you provide valuable content.

The Differences Between Instagram Algorithms of Stories, Feed, Explore, and Reels

The Instagram algorithm isn’t a single algorithm but uses various algorithms, classifiers, and processes, each with its purpose. This means each part of the app uses its algorithm. This ranking system ensures that users’ experience is significantly personalized according to their preferences.

Instagram Algorithm of Feed and Stories

The ranking process for these two is all about the recent posts shared by the people you follow. Instagram will take all the information about who made the post, what the post was about, and your preferences. These are called “signals.” After gathering all the specific signals, the Instagram algorithm then uses the data to prioritize posts. 

In Feed, Algorithm looks at the five interactions closely. It gathers information on how likely you are to spare your time on a post, comment on it, like it, save it, reshare it, and tap on the profile photo. The more you engage, the higher possibility you’ll see the post. 

Instagram Algorithm of Explore Tab 

Explore’s algorithm works differently. It was designed to help you discover new things. When you click on explore tab, it directs you to a grid that is made of recommendations. Opposite from Feeds and Stories, these photos and videos are from the accounts you don’t follow. 

To narrow down which post to rank for your explore page, the Instagram algorithm will look at the signals, like what post you’ve liked, saved, and commented on in the past. It will then look at who else likes the post and what other accounts those people are interested in. 

Instagram Algorithm of Reels

The purpose of reels is to entertain users. Like Explore, most of what you see is from the accounts you don’t follow. Algorithm source reels that you might like, and then rank them based on how interesting they are to you. 

In Reels, Algorithm focuses on what might entertain you. It makes a prediction based on how likely you are to watch a Reel all the way through. 

What Is a Good Instagram Engagement Rate?

Instagram engagement rate is one of the most important metrics to watch. It plays a vital role in Instagram’s algorithm and can tell a great deal about your post’s performance.

Engagement rate may vary significantly by industry. However, studies have shown that solid engagement falls around 1% to 5%. A good engagement rate can serve as a benchmark for your business. 

Why does a good Instagram Rate Matter?

  • If you have a high engagement rate, your audience likely sees you as a relevant source of information. 
  • They may favor your content over competitors because your content sets you apart.
  • These new users will take notice of your engagement — your followers, likes, and comments, and this will decide whether or not to follow you.

How to Calculate Instagram Rate

The formula to measure Instagram engagement for a post is to add the likes and comments you get per post, divide that by the number of followers you have, and multiply that by 100. 

See formula:

instagram engagement rate formula

For Example:

WMA posted on Instagram with 3700 followers and received:

  • 250 Likes
  • 260 Comments

ER = (Likes + Comments/ Followers) x 100

ER = (250 + 260 / 3700 ) x 100

ER = (510 / 3700 ) x 100 

ER = 0.138 X 100

ER = 13%

In this example, the Instagram engagement rate is 13%, which is exceptionally high.

To figure out your overall account engagement rate, simply do the formula above for the last 12 feed posts on the account. Then add up the engagement rate for each of those posts and divide it by 12 (the number of posts). This will tell you what your account’s current overall engagement rate is. 

Below is an Instagram standard guideline so you can benchmark results

  • Less than 1% = low engagement rate
  • Between 1% and 3.5% = average/good engagement rate
  • Between 3.5% and 6% = high engagement rate
  • Above 6% = very high engagement rate
 

According to the benchmark, an engagement rate on Instagram between 1% and 3% is generally reasonable. If the engagement rate is higher than 3%, that is a good sign that their audience is very engaged with their content, and if it is below 1%, it means their audience as a whole is not very interactive with their content

But the average rate varies significantly by niche. For example, according to Rival IQ’s 2022 benchmark, the average engagement rate for each niche includes the following:

  • Alcohol: 0.76%
  • Fashion: 0.36%
  • Financial Services: 0.45%
  • Health & Beauty: 0.32%
  • Higher Ed: 2.99%
  • Home Decor: 0.45%
  • Hotel & Resorts: 0.70%
  • Influencers: 1.18%
  • Media: 0.64%
  • Non-profits: 1.04%
  • Retail: 0.33%
  • Sports Team: 1.84%
  • Tech & Software: 0.59%
Source: https://www.rivaliq.com/blog/social-media-industry-benchmark-report/

If you want to know which niches are the best to get into, let’s see How To Find Your Perfect Instagram Niche in 8 Steps.

Buying Likes and Comments to Increase Engagement

If your engagement rate is below 1%, your account’s number of likes and comments is low. You might think of purchasing likes and comments to increase your engagement rate and drive your sale, but it is a big “NO” for several reasons:

  1. No return on investments

  • Fake likes and comments will never give you a meaningful conversation. It will also lead to a decrease in engagement, sales, and loyal customers. 
  • Fake comments and likes from computer bots may cause your profile to lose many followers and ultimately affect your page ranking. 
  1.   Damage your reputation

  • Buying likes and comments may cause you to lose your social credibility. It sometimes backfires and possibly hurts your reputation. 
  1. Quite costly

  • Buying Instagram comments and likes can be quite costly. You’ll need to buy a couple of thousand followers, comments, and likes if you want to quickly make a significant impact as you introduce your brand to the public, which can run up your bill. Plus, you’ll have to continue this cost as you post more content.
  1. Risk of getting shut down

  • Anyone who floods their posts with fake likes and comments will risk getting flagged by Instagram. It might be temporarily disabled or even deleted. 
  • Fake followers will never buy your products or earn anything aside from short-term engagement. If you are trying to increase your sales, they are worse than useless. 
  1. Instagram reach may suddenly drop

  • Fake likes and comments will cause a decline in your engagement. This may bring an impact on your profile performance and business. 
 

If you’ve fallen into the trap of buying your followers or engagement, I highly encourage you to check out these articles to help get you back on track: 

Grow Your Engagement

It’s a struggle to maintain a high engagement rate on Instagram. With over one billion users, it’s getting harder and harder to get your content seen by new eyes. Even if you have an impressive following, it can be hard to keep the attention of these followers with so much competition out there.

We’ve repeatedly proven that our strategy has increased our client’s Engagement rates, BUT it’s not just any growth… it’s the growth of an engaged audience. 

See this graph of our client’s Engagement Rate after consulting with us.

Anita Yokota – @anitayokota

Anita Yokota, one of our clients, had a problem with her account. Her audience consistently dropped approximately 1k followers/mo, and she is getting ready for her book launch at that time. Audience interaction is an essential signal across the board on Instagram.  WMA, as an expert in this field, did boost her audience. Following our strategies and plans, her number of followers increased, as also her ER. Now, She has seen a significant spike in her Amazon Pre-Orders. Wow! 

Zazubean – @zazubean

Zazubean hit the highest-grossing Q4 ever in 2021 while working with us. Amazing! WMA tips, tricks, and strategies are excellent!

Premium Growers – @premium_growers

Premium Growers started with no online or social purchases. In short, the business is not generating sales. Every salesperson’s nightmare! But they didn’t lose hope. WMA to the rescue! At the peak of our partnership, they were shipping over 200lbs hazelnuts a month via social sales. Voila!

Not only have our clients seen an increase in their engagement rate, but they’ve also had the benefit of increasing their conversions and audience numbers.

The Way to Growth is Through Increasing Your Instagram Engagement Rate

So how exactly does your Instagram engagement rate affect sales?  What’s the value of engagement in increasing your sales?

If you want to increase your conversions on Instagram, then you need more of the right audience to see your content and the way to do that is to increase your engagement. Engagement is one of the factors that Instagram uses to decide what appears in people’s feeds. When your followers regularly comment and like your posts, Instagram will see it as a sign that they want to see more from you. This will make your posts more likely to appear at the top of their feed.

When the audience likes your platform content and engages in it frequently, this can increase sales. Engaging usually with your content will put your business at the top of your audience’s mind. Having high-quality social platforms content that followers like assists the audience in trusting that your products and services are recommended high-quality as well, and they will be more likely to love and purchase from your business.

Prioritize a high engagement rate on Instagram to assist your business in understanding your audience better, connecting with your followers more often, and, most importantly, making more sales!

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