Engagement, you’ve probably heard of it. If you do a lot of social media, as we do, this is a very important metric and goal of social media strategy. Engagement is the total number of likes and comments on a post. Do you ever look at your engagement rate? And how do you score compared to this average? And curious how to boost that engagement rate on your channels a bit? Then read on…
How do you calculate engagement?
To calculate the engagement rate, we divide the total number of likes and comments by the number of followers of the account in question. By speaking in percentages, you can compare accounts. It doesn’t matter then whether an account has many or few followers, it’s all about the ratio. Research shows that globally, the average engagement rate on Instagram last year (2021) was 5.86%.
Tips to get engagement “up” on your channels.
Tip #1: Make sure you vary a lot and use (especially on Instagram) different types of posts/content. Consider a mix of posts, videos, reels, and slider posts (carousels). Variety, that’s what it’s all about. This way you not only make sure your posts are boring, but the Instagram algorithm wants you to take advantage of all the features!
Tip #2: It helps to ask questions or otherwise provoke responses in posts so that people will “engage” on your content. Or, for example, saving your posts when they contain a good tip or knowledge.
Tip #3: Always put a caption (text) under your post! So even if you post a video that is fairly self-explanatory, you should put something of an explanation in the description. By the way, according to research, the length of the text does not matter. So long posts on Instagram are also just fine.
Tip #4: Add an emoji to your message! At least one, but several are allowed too! Research shows that this also generates more engagement.
Tip 5: Use hashtags under your posts. Hashtags on niche topics, used only under few posts, work best!
Tip 6a: Try to post a story regularly! Perhaps because of Instagram’s algorithm, a post may not always be seen immediately by your followers. Stories are located directly above the feed, so even if someone doesn’t see your post back in the feed, chances are you’ll be seen at the top! The simplest way is to share a new post in your stories with “new” post. That way you also don’t have to design a story layout every time.
Tip 6b: Create engagement in your stories too! For example, ask a question via a poll sticker or question sticker. You can create a quiz for your stories. This also ultimately creates more engagement on the rest of your account.
Tip #7: Instagram reels are HOT! Reels are now pushed by Instagram, i.e., reels have on average much more reach than a “regular” post! The beauty of Instagram Reels is that they have a longer duration, by which I mean: even after 48 hours, you can still get views on your reels. Often up to weeks after placement!
You can now pocket the basic tips for increasing engagement on your channels. But you also want people to respond. Then it’s good to know when your followers are online and how often you need to post to “engage” them.
How often to post
Okay, so you want people to respond to your post, share it, and engage with each other in the comments. Social media accounts with consistently high interaction often have good reach!
So it is actually very important to be social on social media 😉 So that means listening to your target audience, seeking interaction and building relationships with your followers. Respond to comments you receive, participate in discussions, comment on customer posts and share stories from your customers, for example.
So the answer to how often you should post really also lies with how many content ideas you have or can come up with and how active you yourself are in terms of responding and seeking interaction.
When to post?
So now it can also make a difference when you put a post online. Several factors can influence this, such as when your followers are active, when they are most receptive to your posts, what other content is posted at any given time and, of course, the algorithm!
Now there was a study the other day that did come up with some “averages” in terms of times to post that are, on average, beneficial.
Facebook & Instagram
According to Sprout’s analysis, the best times to post on Facebook are Monday through Friday at noon and Tuesdays at 10 am. In the early mornings and between 9 a.m. and noon on weekdays, Facebook users seem to be the most active, so that may be a great time to try out what works best with your followers.
The team at Sprout says Tuesday through Friday are the best days to post and you want to avoid Saturday altogether. Engagement rates are generally low on Saturdays and Sundays.
Sprout says Monday at 11 a.m., Tuesday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and Thursday and Friday between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. are the best times to post on Instagram.
So mid-morning Instagram seems to be a gold mine.
In terms of days, Sprout says Tuesday and Wednesday see the most IG activity, while Sunday is not good.
Continuing to look individually
Now the most important thing is always to keep looking closely at your individual results. Your followers and your accounts. Perhaps the best times for you are very different.
It is always good and interesting to delve into this. It can only have a positive impact on the content you are working so hard on!