No matter why you are on Instagram, at some point engagement becomes king. Individual members who don’t do advertising probably value engagement because it means that other people appreciate their content. Pictures are meant to be enjoyed, even if it’s just with close family and friends. On the other hand, people who want to become influencers find that engagement is king because it shows their influence is increasing and that sponsorship opportunities may be coming soon.
However, for us as marketers, Instagram engagement is critical to our mission. In particular, engagement drives our marketing engine. Not only does engagement aid and track the distribution of our content through the network, but it also gives us a view of overall effectiveness.
But here’s the problem: how can we keep track of engagement rates on Instagram? While social media dashboards and Instagram analytics give us some figures, this isn’t always enough. And, for influencer marketing, we need something that will show us how effective that influencer is. Fortunately, with an Instagram engagement rate calculator, finding out how well someone reaches customers is easy. Let’s look at what Instagram engagement rates are, then look at some of these tools.
For most purposes, an Instagram engagement rate is the percentage of people who see your content and respond to it in some way. These responses can include a wide number of interactions, such as likes, shares, click-throughs, comments, and many more. In a nutshell, engagement is any type of interaction with content beyond simply viewing it.
But how to calculate an engagement rate, when there’s such a wide variety of actions that can count as engagement? For the largest percentage, you can always count everything. However, if you have certain types of engagement that you’re aiming for, then you can count any combination of actions. Either way, the conversion rate is calculated as the number of desired actions, divided by the number of content views. If you’re using an Instagram engagement rate calculator, then you’ll want to check and see which actions they’re counting as engagement.
Further Reading: How to Calculate Engagement Rate in Social Media: The Definitive Guide
A good Instagram engagement rate is hotly debated. On top of the debate, there’s the difference of opinion about the actions that count as engagement. So, if you count everything, then your engagement rate will be much higher than if you only count like, comment, and share.
With that said, Hootsuite contends that a good Instagram engagement rate is between 1% and 5%. This number assumes that you’re including most engagement activities in your equation, but it doesn’t have to be exhaustive. Hootsuite claims that their own engagement rate is around 4.5%, so you can see that the 5% mark is really hard to get. If you’re getting less than 1% using several criteria and a good Instagram engagement calculator, then you need to improve.
Of course, getting that coveted 5% engagement takes work. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be a good rate. But, what does it take to get that level of engagement? Besides ensuring that your definition of engagement isn’t too narrow to be helpful, here are some tips.
People follow Instagram accounts because those accounts post regularly or because they have a personal connection with the account owner. Since the second reason won’t grow a branded account over time, posting regularly is key. In addition, posting regularly makes your Instagram account a destination-automatically boosting your chances of getting engagement.
Further Reading: When is the Best Time to Post on Instagram for the Maximum Engagement?
Even though Instagram has grown into a social network where you can share videos and even live streams, the core of the network is still photographs. Whether you choose to share pictures of your products in use, stills of your employees at work, or even inspirational memes, make them worth your audience’s time. Otherwise, they won’t feel compelled to engage with the content.
Having great pictures isn’t the only reason people stick around. Sometimes, the captions can do a lot more than provide hashtags to get the content discovered. Your captions can be descriptive, funny, informative, or otherwise compelling. If you do it right, then people will come for the picture, stay for the caption, and engage to show their friends.
Further Reading: Instagram Captions: 14 Tips on How to Optimize Them to Boost Engagement
Most of us would call this “authenticity” for individual accounts. Although Instagram has become a very commercial place, whether, through Instagram influencers or corporate accounts, it’s also a community. People hang out on Instagram to keep up with people, exchange ideas, and learn about their favorite products. So, in most cases, you want to use Instagram at least in part to build your relationship with fans. Let the advertisements be more salesy.
One thing that Instagram users love is special effects, like filters and stickers. While it isn’t always appropriate to use these, these effects make an ordinary picture into something special. And, for a brand account, adding your branding is a great idea. Not only does it encourage people to engage with your content, but as the post is shared you’ll spread your brand messages even more clearly.
Lastly, be sure to respond to questions and comments. Reward engagement. Show that your brand cares about its followers and fans so that they are encouraged to engage with your content. In addition, being responsive helps build a relationship with your audience and potential customers.
Now that you have some ways to boost your engagement rate, it’s time to discuss different Instagram engagement rate calculator options. These calculators help you and your team determine your engagement rate without the manual calculations of a traditional “actions over views” equation. In addition, you can use Instagram engagement rate calculators to evaluate an influencer, a competitor, or another relevant account.
Besides letting you easily find the engagement rate for other accounts, some Instagram engagement rate calculators let you control for certain types of engagement, such as likes or shares. Also, some calculators use different criteria from others. For this reason, make sure that you know what each calculator counts as engagement.
Note that if you were to do a search for Instagram engagement rate calculators, you’ll find a ton of them, but many of them either:
All of the ones listed here I have personally tested so you can rest assured they will work for free without any strings attached. However, as you will see in the screenshots, each calculator has its own unique algorithm as to how the calculation is made, probably based on how many of the recent posts they pull in. You’ll have to see the samples and finds the one that best fits your situation.
If that’s a hassle you can simply enter my username @nealschaffer to see the results]
With Grin, you can get an engagement rate for Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok accounts. On my results page, you see three basic stats: Followers, total posts, and engagement rate. Grin obviously pulls from a long time back, because I’m listed as having 2,800 posts. They also say I have 15,500 followers and an engagement rate of 1.56%.
So, the numbers show a relatively comprehensive review of my Instagram account to calculate my engagement rate. In addition, you can see that I fall on the low end of the “good” range discussed above. Among Instagram engagement calculators, this one is a bit more up-to-date due to the TikTok compatibility.
HypeAuditor doesn’t give as much information up front. However, unlike some other Instagram engagement rate calculators, it tells you how well you stack up against other users. On my results page, you see that I have an engagement rate of 1.67% and that they consider it “average.” Then, HypeAuditor gives you the option to share the page. If you want to know how many followers I have and how fast my account is growing, you’ll have to purchase a comprehensive report. Use this one to try and validate your “gut check” on the overall engagement rate.
Phlanx has a slightly different approach. My search didn’t say how many followers I have, but I got two metrics. First, I have a 1.61% engagement rate. Second, for each post, I found that I average 239 likes and 27 comments. By revealing the number of likes and comments, on average, Phalanx is strongly suggesting that these are the types of interactions that they’re counting for engagement rate. Additionally, this number is between the other Instagram engagement rate calculator numbers I’ve gotten so far. If you need to emphasize likes and comments, this is a good Instagram engagement rate calculator.
This one tells you how many followers an account has (15,500), the number of likes on average (216), engagement rate (1.55%), and estimated earnings per post ($163). You can also pay for more information about Instagram users, including their contact information and follower insights. With the advanced report, you have a great tool for influencer marketing since you can see their audience breakdown. In addition, if you want to see how well you stack up against your competition for earnings, it’s a great starting place too.
With Analisa’s Instagram engagement rate calculator, you get some different information from the others. Not only do you get my follower numbers, but you also get an engagement rate. In my case, this is much higher than the others I’ve covered so far, at 2.64%. Within this number, my “like” rate is 2.52% and my comment rate is 0.12%. Interestingly, they appear to be using the same definition of engagement as the others, so I assume they’re using a more restricted timeframe because most of us get very little engagement when first starting our accounts. Finally, you get a list of the most common hashtags and caption words.
Unlike some other Instagram engagement rate calculators, HashtagsForLikes uses a very limited scope for its information. In particular, the calculator specifically says that they use only the last ten posts to calculate engagement rate (2.5%), average likes (365), and comments (35). Plus, you’ll see how many followers I have. Since the engagement rate is so close to Analisa’s, it would seem to confirm that Analisa is using a limited sample as well. With that said, both are good tools to use if you want recent data without the past weighing it down.
Finally, there’s MightyScout. This Instagram engagement rate calculator is more comprehensive in some ways than others. You see how many followers I have, and how many accounts I’m following. You also get to see that I have 2783 posts, which is a long-term figure. They give me a 1.7% engagement rate, rated as “very good.” As for actual engagement, MightyScout notes that I average 238 likes and 26 comments, for a ratio of 9 likes to 1 comment. Finally, MightyScout gives my top hashtags and a sampling of my posts.
What I really like about this calculator is the relatively holistic listings. By showing some samples of my work and listing common hashtags, you can see a lot of what I share with fans. In addition, for many influencers, you can get a very good sense of their work without leaving the page. If you want to do influencer marketing, this is a great tool for vetting potential collaboration partners.
Further Reading: The 14 Best Instagram Hashtags Generators 
One of the challenges with Instagram engagement rate calculators is that their calculation criteria aren’t always obvious. While some of them clearly use all of your posts, at least one only considers the last ten. In addition, while they all appear to emphasize likes and comments, in some cases it’s hard to tell if they also consider other types of engagement. Despite these challenges, however, these calculators can be a valuable tool for influencer marketing, competitor surveillance, and strategy.