Most Engaging Instagram Postsengaging

What does a very successful Instagram post look like? Since we all want more engagement, let's look at what the most engaging posts have in common.

We took the top 15% of posts (based on engagement rate) from our sample. Here are the trends we found.

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  • —Hashtags

    Highly engaging posts contain 5.44 hashtags on average.

  • —Likes

    Highly engaging posts receive on average 6,314.42 likes

  • —Images

    Images make up the majority of highly engaging posts.

  • —People tagged

    These posts tag an average of 1.6 users per post.

Type of Post in Top 15%

By far the most common post type among these posts is images. This ratio (85/11/4) almost exactly matches the ratio found for all of the posts in our sample. In other words, image posts are no more or less likely to be engaging than video or carousel posts - there are just more of them.

[Reminder: we saw above that videos may be more likely to attract comments, but the rate of likes is the same. And likes vastly outnumber comments.]

Number of each post type in top 15%

  • Video
  • Carousel
  • Image
H_engaging_graph_01 3.6% 10.9% 85.5%

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Size of Following for Top 15% of Posts

We'd expect that the most engaging Instagram posts come mainly from power users. Certainly any post of from a major Insta-celebrity is going to receive attention. So does our top 15% of posts only come from users with the most followers?

In short, yes. There are no posts in our sample from users with fewer than 4,000 followers. And remember, 70% of Instagram users have fewer than 1,000 followers, so already we've eliminated a vast number of users.

But 54% of these posts come from users with between 10,000-50,000 followers. These users only make up 5.2% of our total sample, but they're over-represented here. This clearly shows that micro-influencers can have a huge effect on Instagram, and it makes sense to target them for marketing campaigns.

Frequency VS Number of followers

  • Frequency
H_engaging_graph_02 20k 10k 0 30k <4K 4k - 10k 10k - 50k 50k - 100k 100k - 500k 500k - 1M 1M - 10M >10M

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Average Engagements for Top Posts

We've said that highly engaging posts are those that make up the top 15% of our study (for engagement). So how much engagement does it take to be in that top 15%?

The average number of overall engagements (likes + comments) is 6325.58

  • Minimum likes


  • Maximum likes


  • Average likes


  • Minimum comments


  • Maximum comments


  • Average comments


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Minimum and Maximum Engagements

If we look at the bare minimums, we see that it doesn't take too many likes or comments to make this list. In fact, some of these posts had no comments at all. But a post with no comments needs a very high number of likes (and vice versa).

To appear on this list, the minimum number of engagements (likes + comments) for a post was 1,001. So if a post had zero comments, it needed at least 1,001 likes to be considered highly engaging. Download full report (57 pages)

Engagements for top posts

  • Minimum engagements


  • Maximum engagements


Share Graph

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Most Engaging Instagram Posts