Pardon the bluntness, but if you’re focusing on follower count as opposed to engagement rate—you’re absolutely doing it wrong. Gone are the days when brands are wowed by that number. The reason being: Influencer Marketing affords brands and marketers the opportunity to track the efficacy of their efforts. Unlike billboards, which don’t do much aside from stroking one’s ego; we’re able to gauge how many are people who’ve seen the post are converted into customers. That’s why that big number doesn’t hold as much water as it used to; what good is it if none of the alleged followers are there to see it?

And that’s what Engagement Rate specifically means. It’s the average of all the interactions that occurred on your posts. It tells brands and marketers that people care (or do not care) about an influencer, and its what sways them towards collaborating (assuming the other metrics geographical, gender, what have you, line up).

How does one calculate Engagement Rates?

Lucky for you, Engagement Rates are listed on every REP Profile. We do the math for you and pull your audience’s interests, so the brand doesn’t have to.

But if you still want to understand the math, here’s the equation:

Let’s say your total likes were 137 and you had 10 comments.
  1. Add them all up (137 + 10 = 147). Take the number and divide it by your total followers (for the sake of this example, let’s say it’s 2,500), and times it by 100 (to give you the percentage).
  2. 147 / 2,500 x 100 = 5.88%

Now that you understand how the math works, let’s move on.

What is a good Engagement Rate?

It all depends on the number of followers you have, naturally. Here are the averages broken down by size of following. Obviously, the higher the better, but if you’re numbers pale in comparison to the below, rethink your strategy, and make adjustments. You’ll need to improve if you wish to advance in this field.

Nano Influencers (1k-10k) 8%
Micro Influencers (10k-100k) 3%
Macro Influencers (100k+) 1.7%

Fool Me Once, Shame On You…

It’s time now to get into the exhausted real vs fake conversation. As the saying goes, “Fool me one, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” There are a number of influencers who eschew hard work for the easy way out, buying followers, buying likes, using engagement bots, etc. But what they don’t realize is: Brands and marketers alike are catching on. Yes, there isn’t a universal tool used to sniff out the fakes yet, but comments like “Amazing pic!” aren’t fooling anyone. And if you happen to sneak past one brand, you won’t get past the next. More than likely you’ll be blacklisted from the apps and tools you’re using, and so will end your career as an influencer.

In fact, because the aforementioned magic authenticator tool hasn’t been built yet, it’s not uncommon for marketers to do a deeper dive into the influencer’s profile, read beyond the comments, and see who is actually liking the posts. Users with lopsided follower:following ratios, or otherwise bobo accounts, of which there are many—won’t get you far. So if you’re using bots, or the hilarious Kylie Jenner Instagram Algorithm Hack, it’s probably best to stop.

What To Do Instead

First, make sure you’re posting quality content. (More on that here.) Then, once you’ve got your profile dialed in, find likeminded users and engage with them! Like, comment, DM if you’re so inclined! Do more than put a fire or heart emoji; actually put thought into the comment, write something that’s longer than 3 words—and you’ll get some love in return. And if you do that, you’ll see your Engagement Rate climb, and trust us, brands will pay attention!


For further reading: You might also enjoy this piece called “How to Increase Sales – 25 Tips from the Pros” which featured us.