How to Calculate Your Social Media Engagement Rate

You’ve been active on social media. You’ve invested in social-media marketing tools and social campaigns. But do you really know how to calculate your engagement rate and use the correct formula in the right context? Let’s take a look at a few different ways to measure engagement rate, and dissect their pros and cons.

In social media marketing, engagement rate is a formula used to measure the performance of a piece of content on a social-media platform. It measures the amount of engagement/interaction the piece of social content earns in relation to its reach or other audience figures. There are multiple ways to measure social media engagement rate, and depending on your social media needs, different calculations may better suit your objectives.

Engagement Rate by Reach (ERR)

Calculating your engagement rate by reach is the most common way to measure engagement with content. This formula measures the percentage of people who chose to interact with your content after seeing it, such as shares, likes, comments.

Here’s how ERR is calculated:

ERR = Total engagements per post / Reach per post * 100

If you’d like to know your average ERR, divide your total ERR by the total amount of posts:

Average ERR = Total ERR / Total posts

Pros: ERR measures your engagement by reach, not by follower count. Since not all your followers will see your content, and some non-followers may have been exposed to your content through various other means such as hashtags and shares, ERR can be a more accurate measurement than measuring by your follower count.

Cons: Reach can fluctuate quite a bit for a variety of reasons. A very low reach sometimes can lead to a high engagement rate, and vice versa.

Engagement Rate by Posts (ER Post)

Engagement Rate by Posts measures engagements by followers on a specific post. Similar to ERR, it measures the percentage of people who chose to interact with your content after seeing it, but instead of dividing it by reach, it tells you the rate at which followers interact with your content.

Here’s how ER Post is calculated:

ER Post = Total engagement on a post / Total followers * 100

If you’d like to know your average ER Post, divide your total ER Posts by the total number of posts:

Average ER by Post = Total ER by post / Total posts

Pros: ER Post is typically a more stable metric, because it measures by your follower counts, instead of reach. Therefore, if your reach fluctuates often, ER Post offers a more accurate way to measure your post-by-post engagement.

Cons: Although ER Post provides a more stable way to measure engagements on posts, it doesn’t always provide the full picture for your engagement, since it doesn’t take into consideration for viral reach. To get a more holistic view of your engagement rate, view your ER Post alongside your follower-growth analytics.

Engagement Rate by Impressions (ER Impressions)

We’ve measured engagement rates using reach and followers as our base audience metrics above. Take a look at another base audience metric: impressions. While reach measures how many people have seen your content, impressions measure how often your content appears on a screen.

Here’s how ER Impressions are calculated:

ER Impressions = Total engagements on a post / Total impressions * 100

If you’d like to know your average ER Impressions, divide your total ER Impressions by your total amount of posts:

Average ER Impressions = Total ER Impressions / Total posts

Pros: ER Impressions can be very useful if you want to know how effective your paid content is, based on impressions.

Cons: Similar to reach, impressions can be inconsistent too. And an engagement rate calculated with impressions is bound to be lower than ERR and ER Post formulas. Therefore, to get a more holistic idea of your content performance, use ER Impressions alongside ERR.

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Daily Engagement Rate (Daily ER)

Daily Engagement Rate (Daily ER)

You’ve gotten a good idea of what your engagement rate is against maximum exposure through ERR, now it’s a good time to evaluate how often your followers are engaging with your content on a daily basis. That’s where Daily ER comes in.

Here’s how Daily ER is calculated:

Daily ER = Total engagement in a day / Total followers * 100
Average Daily ER = Total engagements for X days / (X days * followers) * 100

Pros: Instead of only looking at interactions on one specific post, Daily ER accounts for engagements on your new and old posts, so it’s a good way to measure how often your followers interact with your content on a daily basis. Daily ER can also be tailored for specific use cases. For example, if you only want to measure daily shares, you can adjust your “total engagements” to “total shares.”

Cons: Daily ER can leave some room for inaccuracy. For example, it doesn’t take into consideration the fact that the same follower may engage with your content 10 times a day, versus 10 followers engaging with your content once. Daily ER can also vary depending on the amount of posts you share per day, making it fluctuate frequently.

Engagement Rate by Views (ER Views)

Videos are getting more and more interest on social media platforms nowadays, and if video is a tool you use often for your brand, you’ll likely want to know how many people interacted with your video after watching it.

Here’s how ER Views is calculated:

ER View = Total engagements on video post / total video views * 100
Average ER view = Total ER view / total posts

Pros: ER Views is a great way to track how much engagement your video generated.

Cons: ER Views doesn’t take into account the factors of unique views or non-unique views. In other words, a viewer may watch the video multiple times, but may not engage with the video multiple times.

Cost per Engagement

Now that we’ve talked about a few useful ways to measure your engagement rate, you might want to know how much your investment in your sponsored content is paying off. Cost per Engagement (CPE) can offer you some insight.

Here’s how CPE is calculated:

CPE = Total amount spent / Total engagements

Most social media platforms today will calculate CPE for you. Check which interactions they count as engagements, so that you can evaluate your investment in the right context.

Jody Ordioni, author of the award-winning book “The Talent Brand” solves business challenges through defining and marketing organizational culture to the people who drive business forward. With experience working across a wide range of industries from retail and tech to non-profit and healthcare, she is best-known as the founder and chief branding officer of Brandemix, a branding and communications agency with deep expertise in employee recruitment and engagement communications that keep the relationship between the employee and employer authentic, engaging and true to the company's brand. In 2018, she launched achieve employee engagement, a community dedicated to bringing trends, and though-leadership to Employee Engagement. She has recently been named among the top 100 Employee Engagement Influencers.

 

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