What Is Engagement Rate?
Engagement rate is a marketing metric to determine the number of people actively engaged with a particular content or brand from the pool of the entire audience or reach on a social media platform or website. The engagement is based on likes, clicks, comments and social sharing of the content.
This rate is considered a vital indicator of the level of interest the audience shows in a brand, specific post, or particular content through liking, sharing, and commenting on it. Based on the engagement rate, an individual, company, or marketing firm can track past performance and make amends in future content creation.
Table of contents
- Engagement rate assesses the rate of people interacting with a post, content, or brand online on a website or social media platform.
- The interaction is accounted for as the sum of the total number of likes, comments, clicks, and sharing.
- The engagement rate helps brands track audience behavior and make appropriate changes.
- Apart from businesses and content creators, all the social media platforms are constantly competing and comparing with each other based on their engagement rate.
Engagement Rate Explained
The engagement rate is the response of people over an ad campaign or created content posted online on a platform or website. In the age of digital marketing, every brand has a social media presence maintained across multiple platforms. Whenever content is uploaded, irrespective of its format, whether it is a reel, photo, blog, video, or advertisement, it is expected that the people following the business page will interact with it, basically reacting to it in the typical ways of liking, commenting, and sharing. To calculate the engagement rate, the interactions are summed up and divided by the total number of followers, multiplied by 100, to reach the rate expressed in percentage.
When operating online, a business or a content creator has to ensure that people are reacting to the posts. If the engagement rate is low, it means that either the company does not have the reach to its target audience or the audience is not interested in the content. Based on what is deduced from the engagement rate, businesses make changes to improve their digital marketing strategies. There are other ratios and metrics that are studied and equally important, such as click-through rate, bounce rate, conversion rate, etc.
Nowadays, some businesses only operate online and take orders from social media platforms. For companies with no physical presence, this rate becomes more crucial to understanding customer behavior, increasing sales, giving offers and discounts, and checking how people react to it.
Let us look at the formula used to calculate engagement rate:
Engagement rate = Total number of interactions / Total number of followers x 100
The total number of interactions = like + comments + share
Check out these examples for a better idea:
Suppose Synthia owns a bag company and creates a social media page for its promotion. She manages the page herself and takes online orders from customers who interact with the pictures on the social media page. In three weeks, the page has 45000 followers, but the number of likes, comments, and shares is only 900.
The engagement rate = 900/45000 x 100 = 2%
Synthia believes that the engagement rate can be increased. Therefore, she hires a photographer to click better pictures of the product (bags), and along with that, Synthia starts adding information about size, color, availability, and price in the caption. In the next four weeks, the interaction with posts increases to 2700, but the followers remain the same.
This time, to calculate the engagement rate, Synthia applies the new data,
2700/45000 x 100 = 6%.
It is a simple example that shows how companies, brands, and social media marketers use engagement rates.
Rival IQ, a platform that provides social media analytics worldwide, released its annual social media benchmark report for 2023. The data covers engagement analytics from Facebook, X, TikTok, and Instagram for over 2100 companies across various industries and sectors. The report suggests that between 2019 to 2022, the overall engagement rate on X, Facebook, and Instagram has dropped.
Individually speaking, for Facebook, it dropped to 0.06% in 2021; for X, it was reported a drop of 0.01% between 2019-2022. But a more significant drop has been observed in Instagram from 1.22% to 0.47%, even when the weekly posting on the same has hiked from 4.3 to 4.5 posts per week. For Instagram, the insights indicate that businesses should focus more on reels, photos, and carousels in terms of content creation; whereas for X, the Tweets with links tend to have the lowest rate.
Advantages And Disadvantages
The advantages of engagement rate are –
- It helps in tracking the audience’s behavior.
- Businesses can make amendments and appropriate changes based on the engagement rate to improve the overall interaction.
- It is an important metric to compare the audience involvement of the same business on different platforms.
- Often, it is coupled with other metrics, such as reach rate and call-to-action elements, to create useful insights.
The disadvantages of the engagement rate are –
- A person may be more likely to share content or post rather than liking it; the engagement rate does not consider that.
- The metric is the sum of likes, comments, and shares, but they all must be individually catered.
- Every platform or business has a different medium and importance, so the engagement rate always varies from one channel to another.
Engagement Rate vs Bounce Rate vs Click-Through Rate
All three metrics are crucial when it comes to digital and social media marketing but showcase different information; the key differences between the three metrics are –
- Engagement rate is the percentage of audiences’ engaged sessions. The bounce rate is the opposite and indicates the sessions in which there was no engagement. In contrast, click-through rate is the ratio of the number of times a link has been clicked to the number of times a post or ad has been shown.
- The engagement rate measures the involvement and interaction of the audience. In comparison, the bounce rate reflects the ignorance of the audience. The click-through rate determines the success of an online ad campaign.
- The higher the engagement rate and click-through rate, is better from the marketing and content perspective, but the bounce rate for any website, page, or post must be low or negligible. A high bounce rate means a lack of interest and publicity.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Although both metrics play their role in marketing strategies, reach is defined as how many people came across a particular post or content on their newsfeed. In contrast, engagement determines the number of people interacting with it in some form of action, typically liking, sharing, or commenting. The engagement ideally remains lower than the reach.
It is agreed that an engagement rate between 1% and 5% is considered good for any social media platform. In this context, the higher the number of followers, the more challenging it becomes to achieve a good engagement. Ideally, not all people who follow like to interact with the content.
In social media marketing, followers are the number of people following an account, brand, or content creator. At the same time, engagement is most post-centric, defining the number of people interacting with the account through likes, comments, and social sharing. Therefore, having many followers is good, but getting the maximum number of people to interact with the content is more important and difficult.
This article has been a guide to what is Engagement Rate. We explain its formula and calculation along with examples, and advantages and its comparison with bounce rate and click-through rate. You may also find some useful articles here –