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Social Media Strategy
8 ways to increase a brand's Instagram engagement rate
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8 ways to increase a brand's Instagram engagement rate

Social Media Strategy
January 24, 2024
Increase your Instagram engagement rate

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If you’re looking to build an engaged community on Instagram, there’s one KPI that stands above the rest: engagement rate!

In this blog, we’ll explore what engagement rate is, how to calculate your engagement rate, and 8 Instagram features you should use to engage with your community. Let’s dive in!

What is Instagram engagement rate?

Engagement rate helps you understand how your content resonates with your audience. It's a measure of interactions – likes, comments, shares, saves, and story replies – relative to impressions. 

So what's a good engagement rate to aim for? Instagram engagement rates will differ depending on your industry, content type, post frequency, audience demographics, and more. Typically, an Instagram engagement rate between 1% and 5% is considered good. Bonus points if your Instagram engagement rate is even higher. The higher the better!

How do you calculate your Instagram engagement rate?

Let's do the math. (We'll give you a moment to whip out your calculator . . . )

You can determine your brand's Instagram engagement rate using this formula: 

Engagement rate = (total engagements / total impressions) x 100

Alternatively, if you're not in the mood to do the math, you can let HeyOrca Reports automatically calculate your engagement rate. 

A HeyOrca report shows a 1.5% Instagram engagement rate.
HeyOrca Reports automatically calculates Instagram engagement rates for custom time periods.

8 Instagram features you should use to boost engagement rate

There are loads of general ways to improve engagement on social media, such as creating content your audience is interested in, using analytics, replying to comments, and more. But we’re going to stick to Instagram-specific features here.

Gone are the days when all you could do on Instagram was post a filtered photo in your feed. Now, there are so many additional ways to share content – and generate meaningful engagement.

Instagram Collabs

Co-author your Instagram posts with other brands or creators. Instagram Collab posts are great for harnessing the power of user-generated content (UGC), influencer marketing, or co-branded partnerships. Plus, it’s easy to invite collaborators and publish collabs from HeyOrca. Here's an example of an Instagram Collab post:

Instagram Stories

According to Meta, 33% of the most-viewed Instagram Stories are posted by businesses. Meta also reports that 57% of users in the US feel Stories foster a sense of community. Use Stories to engage your community by posting behind-the-scenes looks, quizzes, and Q&As. And be sure to make use of polls, shoppable links, and stickers for an extra boost in engagement. 

HeyOrca's poll asks, "Which Instagram update are you the most excited about: removing read receipts or sharing comments to stories?"
HeyOrca's posts a poll to Instagram Stories.

Instagram Polls

Instagram Stories aren’t the only place you can pop up a poll. In October 2023, Mark Zuckerberg confirmed Instagram is testing polls in comments. The platform rolls out new features slowly – so you may not have access yet. But if you are one of the lucky ones with access to this new feature, try it out to drive post engagement and learn something new about your audience.

Instagram Reels

Looking for a Reel-y effective way to generate engagement on Instagram? Statistics show Reels get 22% more engagement than standard video posts. 

Carousel Posts

Before Instagram Reels came around, carousel posts were considered the most engaging type of content on the platform. And they still generate high engagement rates! A single image or video tells a story, but multiple images and videos give you a chance to tell a longer narrative. Here are 3 carousel post ideas to get you started: 

1. The infographic

Capture attention with a hero image. Then add value with educational graphics.

2. The photo + video

Showcase a product up close and personal. Then show it in motion.

3. The seamless scroll

Break up a panoramic photo into two or more parts. Then swipe for a sweet surprise.

Instagram DMs

An active inbox tells the Instagram algorithm, “Hey, people love engaging with this account!” So keep the conversations going. Use Stories to encourage more direct messages from your audience – and make sure to reply to those DMs to prevent the communication from being one-sided.

Location Tags

Location tags – which can appear in stories, posts, and reels – help local audiences discover and engage with your content. They're great for promoting events, brick-and-mortar businesses, restaurants, and tourism offers. But be mindful of using location tags as an individual content creator. Safety first!

Ochacanada uses a location tag so audiences know where to find the donut shop.

Instagram Channels

Build a stronger community with Instagram's new broadcast channel feature. Instagram describes Channels as a "one-to-many messaging tool." You can send public messages using text, photos, polls, voice notes, and video. And followers can react to your content and vote in your polls. One thing to note: this feature is only available to Creator accounts, not Business or personal accounts. 

Instagram Posts

Last but not least – Instagram feed posts! Boost your engagement rate with compelling captions, striking visuals, and culturally relevant content.


If you’re building a community on Instagram, calculate and track your engagement rate to better understand how effective your content is. And use Instagram’s features – including polls, DMs, and Reels – to spark meaningful interactions with your audience. 

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