We Analyzed The Engagement Rate of 1,000+ Instagram Accounts From Different Industries – Here’s What We Learned
February 20, 2020 by kicksta
Last Updated: March 20, 2020
Instagram engagement is extremely important — it’s an essential metric for marketers, helping you figure out how much your audience cares about your brand. But if you’re not exactly sure how to analyze yours or how to get it higher, you aren’t alone! Many people struggle to figure out their Instagram engagement rate.
That’s why we’ve conducted an in-depth study of over 1,000 Instagram accounts in 22 separate industries. Here, we’ve compiled the data we found and explained what we can learn from it. No matter what industry you’re in, you’ll find something that’s helpful as you work to improve your Instagram engagement.
Instagram Engagement Data
Why Is Engagement Rate Important?
Your engagement rate helps you look legitimate to anyone perusing your account. It also gives you a lot of valuable information about how tuned in your audience is — and how likely they are to buy into whatever you’re selling. Knowing your engagement rate and seeing how it changes over time can inform your decisions about the way you run your account.
How can you find your engagement rate? There’s a simple formula:
Engagement = (Likes + Comments)/ Followers
You can also calculate your Instagram engagement rate by using Kicksta’s free and easy engagement rate calculator.
What counts as a “good” engagement rate? According to Scrunch, anything below 1% is very low and not a good sign. An average engagement rate is between 1% and 3.5%, and in general, this is a pretty solid number. Anything above 3.5% is a high engagement rate and means the audience of that account is very engaged.
Of course, you want your Instagram engagement to be in the average group if not high. The more engaged your audience is, the more likely they are to be loyal to your brand and continue making purchases.
To help you out as you work to see Instagram growth and engagement, we ran an in-depth study based around engagement in different industries.
Want to attract real followers to your Instagram?
Our Engagement Rate Data
Our study performed an in-depth analysis of 1,185 accounts. Our goal was to find the average engagement rate per industry, in addition to identifying possible factors that might affect Instagram engagement. In the study, we included accounts from the following categories and industries:
- Advertising and Marketing
- Arts and Entertainment
- Business (non-specific)
- Causes and Community Groups
- Creative Services
- Food and Beverage
- Health and Beauty
- Home and Garden
- Pets and Hobbies
- Public Figures
- Real Estate
- Shopping and Retail
- Software and Application
- Sports and Fitness
- Travel and Hospitality
For each industry, we’ve analyzed the average engagement rate in relation to the number of hashtags per post, the average hashtag usage in that category, and other key metrics. We’ve also pulled out the account from each category with the top individual engagement rate and taken an in-depth look at that account — how many Instagram followers it has, the percentage of posts that include hashtags, and other important notes. Then we’ve correlated those metrics to the engagement rate, including helpful information that you can use as you plan your own hashtag strategy and hopefully watch your Instagram engagement go up.
Data Per Category
Here’s the data we discovered in our study for the accounts in each category:
Advertising and Marketing
The average engagement rate in the advertising and marketing category is 2.04%. The top account in the category has an engagement rate of 3.84% and has 20,390 followers and 35 posts. This account uses 14 hashtags per post, which is the highest number of the hashtags in the category. From this detail, we can infer that if your account is in the advertising and marketing industry, using more hashtags can make your engagement rate go up. Many people like to see marketing tips on Instagram; try creating educational content based around advertising or marketing concepts and using hashtags such as #marketingtips or #marketinghelp to get seen.
The average engagement rate in the art category is 3.08%. For the top account in this industry, the average engagement rate comes in at 8.05%. The top account is in the middle of the pack when it comes to follower count (32,531) and total number of posts (107). This account also has 107 posts total. We can definitely take away, however, that consistency with including hashtags is key. Use hashtags that are more specific to help your posts be visible — #art, for example, has 596 million posts, so yours might get buried in the deluge.
Arts and Entertainment
The average engagement rate in the arts and entertainment category is 2.85%. The top arts and entertainment account has a much higher engagement rate at 20.08%; this account has 16,138 Instagram followers, and used one hashtag in only one post out of its total number of posts (39 posts). Based on the high engagement rate, you may think this account has more followers than any other, but that’s not the case — the largest account in this category actually has 771,303 followers. That account has an engagement rate of 1.96%, using 11 hashtags per post with .98% of posts including hashtags.
Just because an account has a lot of followers doesn’t necessarily mean it has high Instagram engagement, and a small group of committed Instagram followers is much better than a large number of followers who aren’t engaged. Find followers who will engage with your content by using as many specific hashtags as possible — the arts and entertainment industry is a broad one, so narrow down the way your posts are categorized to attract followers who care.
The average engagement rate in the auto category is 2.88%. The top auto account in our study has an engagement rate of 13.17%. This account uses .33 hashtags in each post and adds tags to 6.28% of posts, and at the time of our study, it had 17,172 followers and 207 posts. Interestingly, this account also has the highest percentage of posts with mentions (.88%), so that’s something that can help your engagement rate rise. Collaborate with other auto accounts to increase your brand awareness and engagement.
The average engagement rate in the blogging category is 2.57%. The top account has an engagement rate of 12.07%. This account typically uses 25.5 hashtags per post and puts hashtags in 84.91% of posts — and when it comes to Instagram followers, likes, and comments, this account is pretty average compared to others in the category, with 10,392 followers and 53 total posts. You can see higher Instagram engagement by using more hashtags rather than less. Tags such as #ontheblog and #blogpost attract people who are looking to read longform content.
The average engagement rate in the general business category is 2.39%. The top account in this category has an engagement rate of 9.75%; it uses .57 hashtags per post, with 42.86% of its posts including hashtags. This account has an average number of followers (12,925), likes, and comments compared to other accounts in the category — letting us take away that if you use hashtags on the majority of your posts, your account will most likely see more engagement. Create a list of relevant hashtags, looking at your competitors if you need ideas, and use those hashtags on each one of your posts.
Causes and Community Groups
The average engagement rate in the category for causes and community groups (for example, local organizations who advocate for a certain social cause) is 2.23%. The top account in this category has an engagement rate of 3.75%, adding hashtags to 51.94% of posts and using 1.67 hashtags per post. Interestingly, however, this top account only comes out first in engagement rate, not overall account size — the account with the second highest engagement rate in this category (3.15%) has the most number of followers, comments, and likes. The top account has just 21,643 followers and 129 posts. Having less Instagram followers than your competitor is completely okay as long as your followers are highly engaged. Engagement equals more people being aware of your cause — and not only are they aware of it, but they’re ideally donating and helping out, too.
The average engagement rate in this industry is 2.15%. The top account in the creative services category has an engagement rate of 19.46%. This account typically uses seven hashtags per post, with hashtags on 38.89 percent of posts; it has 19,038 followers and 36 posts. Instagram is all about creativity, so accounts in the creative services industry have a chance to really promote their brand. Promote yours by finding the number of hashtags per post that works for you.
The average engagement rate in the education category is 1.43%. The top account in this category is a winner in both engagement rate and follower count, with a 2.06% engagement rate and 39,710 followers. This account adds hashtags in 76.92% of posts and uses about 9.9 hashtags per post, with 195 total posts on its account. It also has the second highest number of likes and comments. Like this account, be consistent with hashtag usage to grow your followers and your Instagram engagement.
The average engagement rate in the fashion category is 3.37%, and the top account in this category has a 19.65% engagement rate. This account uses 18 hashtags per post and adds tags on 73.91% of posts. When it comes to Instagram followers, likes, and comments, this account is in the middle, with 11,508 followers and 23 posts. Hashtags are important in the fashion industry, so make sure to use plenty of tags on your fashion posts.
Food & Beverage
The average engagement rate in this category is 2.75%. The top food and beverage account from our study has an engagement rate of 5.19%, with .41 hashtags per post and 35.94% of its posts including hashtags. This account has an average number of followers, coming in at 12,819, in addition to an average number of likes and comments. It also has 64 total posts. If using less hashtags per post rather than more seems to work for your food and beverage account, go for it!
Health & Beauty
The average engagement rate for the health and beauty category is 2.76%. Our top account came in with an engagement rate of 9.05%; using hashtags on 75% percent of posts with 11.38 hashtags per post on average, this account is in the middle of the pack as far as followers, likes, and comments, with 12,612 followers and 48 posts. If you’re a health or beauty brand, try using several hashtags (10 or more) per post to get more Instagram engagement. The Instagram search feature can help you find longtail hashtags that work for your brand, like #beautyblogger or #beautyproduct.
Home & Garden
The average engagement rate in the home and garden industry is 2.10%, according to our study. In this category, the top account had an engagement rate that landed at 4.37%. This account uses 16.98 hashtags per post and uses hashtags on 100% of its posts (119 total posts). Interestingly, however, this account has the lowest number of followers at 11,133 (and an average number of likes and comments). This account is most likely attempting to grow its following by using more hashtags — and in general, this approach is a good one.
The average engagement rate in the industrial category is 2.55%; the top account in this category has an engagement rate of 8.03%. This top account uses 29.23 hashtags per post and 100% of its posts include hashtags. It also has 22,305 followers and 40 posts. We highly recommend using hashtags on every post — this will make your account more visible, and as your account grows with high-quality Instagram followers, your engagement rate will go up!
The average engagement rate in the media category is 2.10%. Out of the media accounts we analyzed, the top account came in with a 6.73% engagement rate. This account uses .88 hashtags per post and adds tags to about 88.71% of posts; it has 45,011 followers and the lowest number of likes on its 62 total posts. The account in this category with the most followers has 135,178. In the media category, it didn’t seem to matter that the top account didn’t use multiple hashtags — because it still ended up with a high engagement rate. If you’re in the media industry, simply focus on posting high-quality content and experimenting with what content types work best.
Pets & Hobbies
The average engagement rate for pets and hobby-themed accounts is 2.85%. The top account in this industry has a higher engagement rate at 3.33%, with 18.21 hashtags per post and hashtags on 93.15% of posts. It has 11,517 followers and 715 posts. This account also uses mentions on 36.22% of its posts. Be consistent by using hashtags on all of your posts, and your Instagram engagement may go up. The pet industry on Instagram is a vibrant one, with popular hashtags including #dogsofinstagram, #petstagram, and others. Pair these tags with high-quality content based around the topic of your account.
The average engagement rate for public figures is 2.60%, with the top account of this category coming in with a 12.93% Instagram engagement rate. This account uses .09 hashtags per post and includes hashtags on 9.23% of its posts and 65 posts total. It’s also a mid-size account, with an average number of followers (55,329). This account might get more Instagram followers if it used more hashtags, but even with a small number of hashtags, you can still have a good engagement rate if you post quality content.
The average engagement rate for the real estate category is 2.58%. In this industry, the top account has an engagement rate of 8.23%. This account uses four hashtags per post and adds tags to 94.38% of posts. It has the lowest number of followers at 11,276; it also has the lowest number of likes, and the second lowest number of comments. Finally, it has 89 posts total. Again, you can have a small number of followers but still have a great Instagram engagement rate if those followers are committed. In the real estate industry, we recommend using local hashtags to promote your business in the surrounding area.
Shopping & Retail
The average engagement rate in the shopping and retail category is 2.48%; the top account in this industry comes in at 4.05%. This account uses 7.53 hashtags per post and never misses a beat—100% of posts have hashtags. It has 42,781 followers, putting this account in the middle of the pack as far as follower counts with its peers. This account also has 40 posts total. Being consistent with hashtag usage can help you grow a healthy following on Instagram.
Software & Application
The average engagement rate in this industry is 3.17%, and the top account in this category has an engagement rate of 3.69%. It uses 4.36 hashtags per post with hashtags on 55.65% of posts. This account has the highest like count, but the least amount of followers (11,994) and comments. It has 124 posts total. An account with a small number of followers can still have a good engagement rate — but to see Instagram growth, use well-chosen hashtags more consistently. It’s also essential to post content that’s well-made and choose types of content that are popular (such as videos).
Sports & Fitness
The average engagement rate in the sports and fitness industry is 2.62%. The top account in this category has a very high engagement rate of 31.54%. This account uses 1.84 hashtags per post and adds hashtags to 65.63% of posts; its number of followers, likes, and comments are average compared to similar accounts (31,387 followers and only 32 total posts). Like this account, post content that’s high-quality and engaging and you can generate lots of engagement even if you don’t have many total posts.
Travel & Hospitality
The average engagement rate in the travel and hospitality category is 2.43%. The top account in this category has an engagement rate of 3.87%. It uses 21.64 hashtags per post — more than any other account in the category — and uses hashtags on 99.12% of hashtags (also the highest in the category). This account has the lowest number of posts (114) and an average number of followers (17,925). The travel industry is hugely popular on Instagram, and to get your brand seen, you may need to select smaller hashtags that don’t have as much traffic.
Want to attract real followers to your Instagram?
Instagram Engagement Rate
Through completing this study, we discovered a few key things. First, consistently using lots of hashtags is a good way to help your Instagram engagement go up. Second, you can still have a good engagement rate even if you don’t have many followers — in fact, it’s often better to have a small number of committed followers rather than lots of followers who aren’t engaging with your content. And finally, many industries have very similar engagement rates, with many categories landing around 2.85%.
We also took a look at which top three industries had the best results. The three categories with the highest engagement rates were:
- Fashion: The fashion industry takes the cake: The average engagement rate in this category is 3.37%, which is a higher engagement rate than any other category we studied. The top account in this industry has a 19.65% engagement rate and uses lots of hashtags (18 per post).
- Software and Application: With an average engagement rate of 3.17%, software and application takes the #2 spot. The top account in this category has an engagement rate that’s even higher at 3.69%, even though its follower count is a little lower.
- Art: 3.08% is the average engagement rate in the art category, and we discovered that the top account in the industry has an engagement rate of 8.05%. This account is consistent with adding hashtags to posts.
No matter what industry you’re in, you can increase your Instagram engagement, too. Follow a solid hashtag strategy, post high-quality content, and engage with your followers. These are some of the best strategies to help your engagement rate rise!
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