September 22, 2021

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Tip And Trick About Social Media, Email Marketing and SEO

6 Ways to Calculate Engagement Rate (Free Calculator)

Engagement rates are the currency of the social media marketing industry.

Sure, vanity metrics like followers, likes, and impressions count for something. But engagement metrics like shares and comments give your social media performance perspective.

That’s why engagement metrics are often used as selling points in social influencer media kits, or to gauge a social campaign’s return on investment. Yet oddly, there’s no standard formula for calculating engagement rates.

So, it’s time to do the math. Add these formulas to your social media toolkit so you can be sure you’re using the right equation in the correct context.

Bonus: Use our free engagement rate calculator to find out your engagement rate 4 ways fast. Calculate it on a post-by-post basis or for an entire campaign — for any social network.

What is engagement rate?

Engagement rate is a formula that measures the amount of interaction social content earns relative to reach or other audience figures. This can include reactions, likes, comments, shares, saves, direct messages, mentions, click-throughs and more (depending on the social network).

“Engagement” on social media generally refers to actions that are more active than passive (such as views or impressions).

There are multiple ways to measure engagement rate, and different calculations may better suit your social media objectives.

Why should you track engagement rate?

When it comes to social media analytics, follower growth is important, but it doesn’t mean a lot if your audience doesn’t care about the content you post. You need comments, shares, likes and other actions that prove your content is resonating with the people who see it.

Your engagement rate does just that — shows how much your content is resonating with your audience. It also shows that your relationship with your followers is strong and healthy. If they are willing to take the time to comment on your post, they are paying attention and likely willing to turn into a customer one day.

Common engagement metrics

Now for the age-old question: what counts as engagement? We’ve already hinted at it above, but here’s a more extensive list of interactions on your social media posts that could count as engagement. You may choose to include all or some of these engagement metrics in your equations.

  • reactions
  • likes
  • comments
  • shares
  • saves
  • direct messages
  • mentions (tagged or untagged)
  • click-throughs
  • clicks
  • profile visits
  • replies
  • retweets
  • quote tweets
  • regrams
  • link clicks
  • calls
  • texts
  • sticker taps (Stories)
  • emails
  • Get Directions (Instagram only)
  • use of branded hashtags

6 engagement rate calculation methods

These are the most common formulas you’ll need to calculate engagement rates on social media.

Total engagements typically represents a tally of likes, favourites, reactions, comments, shares, views, retweets, and sometimes include clicks, depending on which platform you’re using.

1. Engagement rate by reach (ERR)

This formula is the most common way to calculate engagement with content.

ERR measures the percentage of people who chose to interact with your content after seeing it.

Use the first formula for a single post, and the second one to calculate the average rate across multiple posts.

  • ERR = total engagements per post / reach per post * 100

To determine the average, add up the all the ERRs from the posts you want to average, and divide by number of posts:

  • Average ERR = Total ERR / Total posts

In other words: Post 1 (3.4%) + Post 2 (3.5%) / 2 = 3.45%

Pros: Reach can be a more accurate measurement than follower count, since not all your followers will see all your content. And non-followers may have been exposed to your posts through shares, hashtags, and other means.

Cons: Reach can fluctuate for a variety of reasons, making it a different variable to control. A very low reach can lead to a disproportionately high engagement rate, and vice versa, so be sure to keep this in mind.

2. Engagement rate by posts (ER post)

Technically, 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.

Most social media influencers calculate their average engagement rate this way.

  • ER post = Total engagements on a post / Total followers *100

To calculate the average, add up all the ER posts you want to average, and divide by number of posts:

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

Example: Post 1 (4.0%) + Post 2 (3.0%) / 2 = 3.5%

Pros: While ERR is a better way to gauge interactions based on how many people have seen your post, this formula replaces reach with followers, which is generally a more stable metric.

Bonus: Use our free engagement rate calculator to find out your engagement rate 4 ways fast. Calculate it on a post-by-post basis or for an entire campaign — for any social network.

Get the calculator now!

In other words, if your reach fluctuates often, use this method for a more accurate measure of post-by-post engagement.

Cons: As mentioned, while this may be a more unwavering way to track engagements on posts, it doesn’t necessarily provide the full picture since it doesn’t account for viral reach. And, as your follower count goes up, your rate of engagement could drop off a little.

Make sure to view this stat alongside follower growth analytics.

3. Engagement rate by impressions (ER impressions)

Another base audience metric you could choose to measure engagements by is impressions. While reach measures how many people see your content, impressions tracks how often that content appears on a screen.

  • ER impressions = Total engagements on a post / Total impressions *100
  • Average ER impressions = Total ER impressions / Total posts

Pros: This formula can be useful if you’re running paid content and need to evaluate effectiveness based on impressions.

Cons: An engagement rate calculated with impressions as the base is bound to be lower than ERR and ER post equations. Like reach, impression figures can also be inconsistent. It may be a good idea to use this method in conjunction with reach.

Read more about the difference between reach and impressions.

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 on a daily basis.

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

Pros: This formula is a good way to gauge how often your followers interact with your account on a daily basis, rather than how they interact with a specific post. As a result, it takes engagements on new and old posts into equation.

This formula can also be tailored for specific use cases. For instance, if your brand only wants to measure daily comments, you can adjust “total engagements” accordingly.

Cons: There’s a fair amount of room for error with this method. For instance, the formula doesn’t account for the fact that the same follower may engage 10 times in a day, versus 10 followers engaging once.

Daily engagements can also vary for a number of reasons, including how many posts you share. For that reason it may be worthwhile to plot daily engagement versus number of posts.

5. Engagement rate by views (ER views)

If video is a primary vertical for your brand, you’ll likely want to know how many people choose to engage with your videos after watching them.

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

Pros: If one of your video’s objectives is to generate engagement, this can be a good way to track it.

Cons: View tallies often include repeat views from a single user (non-unique views). While that viewer may watch the video multiple times, they may not necessarily engage multiple times.

6. Factored Engagement Rate

In rare cases some marketers use a “factored engagement rate.” As the name suggests, factored engagement rates add more or less weight to certain factors in the equation.

For example, a marketer may wish to place a higher value on comments versus likes, weighting each comment as two versus one. The subsequent equation would look something like this:

  • Comment-weighted ER = (Total comments x 2) + all other engagements / Reach per post *100

Obviously, this technique inflates the resulting engagement rate and can be misleading, especially since the use of factored engagement rates is not widespread. For this reason, Hootsuite does not recommend its use.

How to calculate cost per engagement

Another useful equation to add to your social media toolbox is cost per engagement (CPE). If you’ve chosen to sponsor content and engagement is a key objective, you’ll want to know how much that investment is paying off.

  • CPE = Total amount spent / Total engagements

Most social media ad platforms will make this calculation for you, along with other object-oriented calculations, such as cost-per-click. Make sure to check which interactions they count as engagements, so you can be sure you’re comparing apples to apples.

Free engagement rate calculator

Now that you’ve reviewed all the formulas, are you ready to calculate your engagement rate? Try using our free engagement rate 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.

To calculate the engagement rate of a single post, input “1” in “No. of Posts.” To calculate the engagement rate of several posts, input the total number of posts in “No. of Posts.”

Bonus: Use our free engagement rate calculator to find out your engagement rate 4 ways fast. Calculate it on a post-by-post basis or for an entire campaign — for any social network.

How to track your engagement rate automatically

If you’re tired of calculating your engagement rate manually, or you’re simply not a math person (hi!), you might want to consider using a social media management tool like Hootsuite. Most social media management tools provide some sort of analytics tracking, but obviously we’re biased towards our own product, which allows you to analyze your social media engagement across platforms from a high level and get as detailed as you want with customized reports.

Here’s an example of what looking at your engagement data in Hootsuite looks like:

And here’s an example of what an Instagram specific engagement report looks like in Hootsuite.

Instagram engagement rate report

In both reports, it’s super easy to see how many engagements you got over a period of time, what is being counted as an engagement for each network, and compare your engagement rates to previous time periods. You’ll also get to see stand out posts that performed well in a given time period, and use that information to create more engaging posts in the future.

Pro tip: You can schedule these reports to be created automatically and remind yourself to check in as often as you want.

What is a good engagement rate?

Most social media marketing experts agree that a good engagement rate is between 1% to 5%. The more followers you have, the harder it is to achieve. Hootsuite’s own social media team reported an average Instagram engagement rate of 4.59% in 2020.

Now that you know how to track your brand’s social media engagement, read up on how to boost your engagement rate.

Use Hootsuite to track and improve engagement rates across all your social media channels. Try it free today.

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The post 6 Ways to Calculate Engagement Rate (Free Calculator) appeared first on Social Media Marketing & Management Dashboard.