Did you know that engagement rates on Instagram are becoming the second most important statistic next to follower count? An engagement rate is simply the total number of engagements (likes + comments) divided by current follower count. influence.co uses the last 45 days of posts on Instagram to calculate engagement.

Whether you are a professional influencer or a brand marketer, you should know how to interpret engagement rates. This general overview will help you better understand how the different engagement rates rank influencers. 

Less than 0.5%: Horrible engagement. Usually represents an account with fake or purchased followers or a very large audience who’s mostly lurking (e.g. NSFW content where people would be embarrassed to comment or like). Brands tend to avoid these accounts at all costs.

0.5% – 1%: Poor engagement. Usually represents really big audiences where most people are onlookers or an account with poor content that is heavily promotional (e.g. a nightclub’s Instagram where every post is about which DJ is playing that night) or highly diffuse in theme. Brands will only work with this engagement rate for very large accounts.

1%-1.5%: OK. Not good but not bad. If a brand has a choice of two accounts with other items being equal (follower count, rate, category) they will tend to avoid this range. Usually reflects poorly thought out grids, mediocre photography, or highly varied subject matter.

1.5%-3%: Fine. Brands will generally accept engagement rates in this range without question and focus on other items such as aesthetic fit, rates, and audience size in their decision process.

3% -5%: Great. Highly engaged followers due to excellent content, highly responsive owner of the account, excellent photography or aesthetics. Brands tend to overpay for posts on accounts with this engagement rate.

5% – 8%: Excellent. Everything about this account is working well from aesthetics to content focus to photography to the influencers engagement with their audience. Brands love to work with these accounts as their audience really listens to the recommendations they make.

8%+: Rare. These accounts, especially with bigger follower counts are rare and usually reflect superior photography or an account owner with a level of celebrity that engenders such engagement. Brands pay top dollar to be on these accounts but these account owners rarely do collaborations.

As you can see, engagement rates are a very important statistic to know as an influencer and to take into consideration as a brand marketer.