Engagement rate is a fundamental metric used in social media marketing, to measure the performance of a piece of content on a social media platform such as Instagram & Facebook. Engagement rates are often used by social media marketers to define the success of a campaign, as well as social media influencers as evidence of their engaged audience.
Traditionally, this social media engagement rate was always calculated by using the engagement (interactions) on a piece of content divided by the number of users following the account and then multiplied by 100. For an Instagram post, as an example, the number of public interactions are the number of likes and comments but can also include private interactions such as saves and shares, along with visits to your profile or clicks to your website.
According to a post by Aurelie Sauthier, writer for Forbes, this classic formula doesn’t give you your real engagement rate.
‘By looking only at the engagement rate, based on the number of followers (i.e., the classic formula), we completely ignore the fact that only a portion of our followers see our posts (on average, 10% to 30% of our followers on Instagram). We include in our measurement inactive followers, followers who were not reached by the platform’s algorithm, etc.’
‘The engagement rate you get from using the traditional formula is an important indicator to look at, to compare your performance to your industry’s average. Still, it is imperfect for understanding and analysing your different posts to know the needs of your community and address them well.’
‘To go further in your analysis and to enable you to make better decisions, we recommend using the advanced formula to calculate your engagement rate. The advanced engagement rate formula provides the true indicator of the quality of the post itself (i.e., appreciation by those who actually saw it).’
To calculate the real engagement rate of a post, you can use the following formula: the number of interactions divided by actual reach and multiplied by 100.
Would you like to know more about your social media performance? Or maybe you just need a bit of help with its management? Austin Marketing can undertake a range of bespoke, detailed ‘one-off’ social media audits focusing on some or all aspects of traffic such as SEO, usability or user engagement. We will be happy to uncover and explore who you are competing with online, how they perform and what can be done to improve your own social media performance and strengthen your position.