The social media engagement rate is significant because being on social media as a brand is not just about popularity but about making meaningful connections with current and potential customers, which will boost your brand online and offline. Furthermore, it’s also a sign that you’re making an impact in the market. When your followers engage with your content, it shows that your relationship with them is strong and healthy. They are paying attention and likely willing to turn into customers and become brand advocates one day.
The engagement rate provides a more accurate representation of content performance than simply looking at absolute measures of social media engagement such as likes, shares, and comments.
Suppose a brand has millions of followers but only receives a few interactions per post. In that case, they’re likely, not producing high-quality content. While a brand that only has a few thousand followers gets tons of shares and comments every time. This will mean high-quality content that would gain a high engagement rate.
“Engagement rates are the currency of the social media marketing industry.” – Hootsuite.
What is a reasonable engagement rate?
The truth is that the average engagement rate differs from one social media platform to the next. However, most social media marketing professionals agree that a reasonable engagement rate is between 1% and 5%. The more followers don’t engage with your content, the harder it is to achieve.
However, the best advice I would give you in determining if your engagement rate is good or bad – is that it must be benchmarked against something else and measured against a predefined objective.
Keyhole advises that you consider the following points when determining your engagement rate against a particular benchmark or objective.
- How your content performs in a given period (benchmark against your engagement rate over time)
- Compares your performance against competitors (benchmark against your key competitors)
- Create a benchmark for your industry social media engagement performance (benchmark against top industry players)
- Compare your performance on different social media platforms. (benchmark against your own social media profiles)
Engagement rate pros and cons, as noted by the Corporate finance Institute.
Engagement rate pros:
- Gauges the level of audience interaction
- Gains insight into the quality of the content
- Provides a more accurate representation of content performance than simply looking at absolute individual measures such as the number of likes, comments, shares, etc. It is a more comprehensive metric
Engagement rate cons:
- The engagement rate is unable to differentiate between interactions that are more important than others. For example, an individual may consider a “share” on a Facebook page more important than a “like.” However, the engagement metric does not account for that – both interactions are “equal” in the calculation.
- The metric must be customized to provide deeper insight
5 formulas for calculating the social media engagement rate
1. Engagement rate by reach (ERR)
ERR measures the percentage of people who chose to interact with your content after seeing it.
2. Engagement rate by posts (ER post)
This formula measures engagements by followers on a specific post. In other words, it’s similar to ERR, except instead of reach, it tells you the rate at which followers engage with your content.
3. Engagement rate by impressions (ER impressions)
While reach measures how many people see your content, impressions track how often that content appears on a screen.
4. Daily engagement rate (Daily ER)
While engagement rate by reach measures engagement against maximum exposure, it’s still good to have a sense of how often your followers are engaging with your account daily.
5. Engagement rate by views (ER views)
Suppose video is a primary vertical for your brand. In that case, you’ll likely want to know how many people choose to engage with your videos after watching them.
Free engagement rate calculator:
Now that you know the standard formulas for calculating the engagement rate to save yourself a lot of time, the guys at Hootsuite developed an engagement calculator that you can just populate the interaction numbers, and it will generate the engagement rate for you.
Click here to access the Hootsuite free engagement calculator; all you need to use this calculator is Google Sheet. Click the “File” tab and select “Make a copy” to start filling in the fields.