Have you ever noticed a brand that has plenty of followers on social media, but very few people actually like or comment on posts that the company page puts up? This is a sad reality for digital marketing managers who are in charge of such handles. This is due to a poor engagement rate.
An important metric that measures how much interaction social content earns, in relation to reach or other audience figures, engagement rate is the number that reveals whether your audience is actually interested in what you’re saying. Any brand can today purchase thousands of likes and boast of a ‘massive’ social media presence. But look at their engagement numbers closely. 1 million followers, but less than 1000 likes or comments per post? Doesn’t make sense. But to have genuinely high engagement rates is tough. This is something digital marketers cannot put money into to grow directly.
What is Engagement Rate?
A formula that measures the amount of interaction a piece of content earns on social media, vis-a-vis other metrics like reach, etc, engagement rate is a term that includes reactions, likes, shares, comments, direct messages, saves, click-throughs, mentions, etc. Referring to ‘active actions’ on social media, ‘engagement rate’ shows you how much your audience cares about your content. A good engagement rate = a strong and healthy relationship with your social media followers. People who are taking time out to like or comment on your posts may well be prospective customers.
What Are The Metrics Considered while calculating Engagement Rate?
As social media has grown over time, the way we interact online has also changed. Limited to just likes earlier, Facebook now has multiple reaction emojis. There are new emojis being developed too, as we speak. There’s a list of interactions on social media posts that qualify as engagement. Some of them are
- Reactions, Likes, Comments, and Shares.
- Post Saves.
- DMs as a result of posting.
- Mentions in other posts, whether tagged or untagged.
- Clicks on the CTA button as well as clicks on the post.
- Profile visits because of the post.
- Replies to a particular post.
- Retweets of content or someone quoting your content.
- Twitter Direct Messages.
- Link Clicks
- Phone Calls and Texts (SMS or WhatsApp)
- Sticker Taps for Instagram Stories.
6 Ways To Calculate Engagement Rate
Represented by a sum total of likes, reactions, comments, shares, favorites, views, retweets, and even clicks, engagements can be calculated by applying certain formulae. They are –
Engagement Rate By Reach (ERR)
A very common way to calculate engagement rate, ERR gives you the percentage of people that interacted with your content after viewing it. There are two formulas.
The first one will give you the engagement rate for a single post.
ERR = (Total Engagements Per Post/ Reach Per Post) X 100
To find the average engagement rate across multiple posts, add the ERRs from all the posts and divide that figure by the total number of posts.
Average ERR – Total ERR/Total Number Of Posts
This method of finding the engagement rate has some advantages and disadvantages.
Reach is a great measurement of engagement because not all followers see everything you post. Moreover, you might have found some new audience members who are non-followers.
On the other hand, reach could differ widely, with low reach churning out a high engagement rate and vice versa, so ERR might not be the best bet. However, it is quite a useful way to arrive at a ballpark figure for an engagement rate.
Engagement Rate By Post (ER- Post)
Giving you the specific engagement rate by measuring followers on a specific post, gives you the rate at which followers are engaging with your content. Quite similar to the previous method, i.e ERR, its formula is
(Total Engagement on a particular post/Total followers)X 100
Once again, you can get an average of the ER. All you need to do is add the total ER and divide it by the total number of posts.
The formula for Average ER by Post – Total ER by post/Total number of posts.
This formula has some advantages over the first one. It replaces reach with followers, regarded as a more stable metric. Having said that, it doesn’t reveal the complete picture, because it excludes viral reach. Your rate of engagement might go down if your follower count increases. Coupled with growth analytics, it is a useful metric for digital marketers.
Engagement Rate By Impressions – ER Impressions
It is great to measure how many people are seeing your content. What’s better is finding out how often that content appears on their screen. Engagement rate by impressions can give you this figure.
Calculate ER impressions by (Total engagements on a post/Total impressions)X100.
If you want to find the average – Total ER Impressions/Total Number of Posts.
Useful for digital marketers running paid campaigns, this formula may however give an engagement rate lower than ERR and ER, post equations. Impression figures tend to be slightly ambiguous, so, couple this method with reach for better results.
Daily Engagement Rate – Daily ER
Daily Engagement Rate gives you data about how often your followers interact with your page on a daily basis. It’s formula –
Daily ER = (Total Engagements Per Day/Total Followers)X100.
Average Daily ER = Total Engagements for N number of days/(N Days X Followers) X 100
Great for calculating the frequency of your follower’s interaction with your account, this formula doesn’t give you any post-specific data. It takes engagements on both new and old posts into the equation. This formula can be applied to individual cases. If you only want the data for daily comments, adjust ‘total engagements’. This method leaves a fair margin for error. It can’t differentiate between one follower that may engage 10 times a day or 10 followers that may engage once.
Engagement Rate By Views – ER by Views
This is great for brands that rely on video as a primary platform to reach potential consumers. You would want data about the number of people engaging with your videos, post views. If you want to generate engagement, this is a great metric to track it. The formula for ER by views is
ER by Views = (Total Engagements on a video post/Total Video Views)X100.
Average ER views = Total ER View/Total Posts.
The only drawback of this method is that view aggregates often include numbers that are repeated because a single user has seen the same video again. These are non-unique views, because that viewer may watch the video a number of times, but may engage only once, or not even at all.
Factored Engagement Rate
This is a variable way of calculating engagement rate. Different ‘factors’ are valued accordingly. Some marketers value comments more than likes, saying 1 comment is as useful as 2 likes. The resultant equation would be –
Comment Weighted ER = (Total Comments X 2)+ (All Other Engagements/Reach Per Post)X100. Because of this technique, the engagement rate sometimes gets inflated which is why it can be complex to calculate.
In conclusion, no matter which method you choose, you should arrive at certain figures, which will tell you how healthy your brand’s social media presence is. Around 1% to 5% is considered a good engagement rate. The more the number of followers, the harder it is to get a good engagement rate. Read our blog about how to use influencer marketing to improve your brand’s reach.