How to Calculate & Boost Engagement Rate

Forever has a nice…RING to it💍.
Oh wait, that’s the wrong type of engagement

Engagement rate (ER) is an important metric that gauges the success of your social media and marketing efforts. 

It offers more profound insights into your followers’ relationship with your brand.

And in the world of SaaS, B2B marketing, and social media management, monitoring engagement rates could make or break many businesses. 

But worry not!
We’ll go over everything you need to know to make this a match made in heaven.

This Article Contains:

Let’s dive in!

What Is Engagement Rate and Why Is It Important?

Engagement rate reveals the mean number of interactions (likes, shares, etc.) you receive per individual. 

Any company with an active social media presence, or marketing campaign should be tracking its engagement rates. This information is crucial for guiding your online efforts in the right direction. 

To stress its importance, online viewer engagement leads to:

  • Greater brand visibility👁️
  • Brand rapport🤝
  • Brand Credibility ✅
  • Better customer relationships🫡
  • Referrals 🤸‍♂️
  • Social sharing and word-of-mouth marketing 🗣️

Your engagement rate can shed light on your marketing effectiveness and can help you identify ways to enhance your campaigns (more on that later).

Let’s now go over how to calculate it: 

How to Calculate Engagement Rate: 6 Main Formulas

As engagement rate is typically a social media-centric metric, we’ll be covering how to calculate it in that context here.

To calculate your average engagement rate, you must divide the total number of social interactions (such as a like, comment, and share) by the number of followers you have. Then, multiply by 100 to view the figure as a percentage.

The formula is:

  Engagement rate = Total no. of interactions / Number of followers * 100

For example, let’s say you have 2,000 likes this month and you have 7,000 Instagram followers. Your engagement rate would be:

  Engagement rate = 2,000 likes / 7,000 followers * 100 = 28.57%

However, this formula is typically not enough.

Afterall, there’s more to engagement than likes, and your post can reach people who aren’t following you right?

That’s why you can dive deeper to uncover a better understanding of your content’s engagement by using six different formulas:

1. ERR (Engagement Rate by Reach)
2. ER Post (Engagement Rate by Posts)
3. ER Impressions (Engagement Rate by Impressions)
4. ER Views (Engagement Rate by Views)
5. CPE (Cost Per Engagement)
6. Daily ER (Daily Engagement Rate)

Let’s take a closer look at each formula and when it’s best to use them. 

1. ERR (Engagement Rate by Reach)

Engagement rate by reach is the most common way to calculate public engagement with social media content. It measures how many people engage with your social media content (be it a Facebook post or Instagram story).

Who knows, maybe it’s love…

Essentially, reach equates to how many unique individuals have seen your content.
There are two ways to calculate it — by single post and by post average (for multiple posts).

To calculate ERR for a single post, divide the total number of engagements for that post by its reach (in other words, how many people chose to interact with your content after seeing it).

The formula is:

   ERR (single post) = (Total no. of engagements) / (Reach / views of the post) * 100

Now, let’s break down how to calculate the average engagement rate by reach:

First, use the above formula to figure out the single post-ERR for every post you want to measure, then add them all together. Then, divide this sum by the total number of posts (or Instagram story posts) you’ve included in your calculations.

The formula is:

Average ERR = Total sum of ERR / No. of posts * 100

You can include as many posts as you like in your calculations. For simplicity’s sake, let’s say you want to determine the average ERR of two specific posts.

For example, if one post has an ERR of 5.6% and the other has an ERR of 2.8%, add them together to get 8.4%.

Your average ERR calculation is:

Average ERR = 8.4% / 2 * 100 = 4.2%

Pros of ERR by post: More accurate than follower count. This is because, naturally, not all of your followers will see all your content.

Cons of ERR by post: Aside from being tedious to calculate, these rates can fluctuate as your interactions figure isn’t stable (which isn’t the case when you use ER below). 

2. ER Post (Engagement Rate by Posts)

Whether you’re monitoring the impact of your latest post or gauging the success of a new marketing strategy — calculating the engagement rate by post allows you to track single post engagement rates.

ER post is excellent for monitoring your Instagram engagement rate or the performance of your last tweet. 

Here’s how to calculate it:

ER (single post) = Total no. of engagements on a post / Number of followers * 100

Alternatively, you can search for a reliable Instagram engagement calculator online. 

Pros of ER by post: Allows you to replace reach with a more stable metric – followers. This is more effective for gauging interactions based on post views.

Cons of ER by post: Doesn’t account for viral reach, occasionally leading to false data. 

3. ER Impressions (Engagement Rate by Impressions)

If you’re looking for an effective way to measure the engagement of paid ads and content, you’ll love engagement rate by impressions.

In a nutshell, impressions are the total number of times your content has been displayed on a social media platform – regardless of if they see it or not.

Here’s the formula to calculate the ER impressions of a single post:

 ER Impressions (single post) = Total engagement  / Total no. of impressions * 100

To find the average ER impressions, the formula is: 

Average ER Impressions = Total no. of impressions / Total no. of posts

Pros of ER by impressions: Useful for monitoring paid content because it allows you to evaluate its effectiveness.

Cons of ER by impressions: Similar to ER by reach, ER by impressions may be inconsistent since it does not account for fake followers. We recommend calculating them both for the best results. 

Still, cons aside…

4. ER Views (Engagement Rate by Views)

ER by views is how you measure the engagement of videos (social and marketing) on platforms like YouTube or on Instagram (like Instagram live videos).

Unlike reach, which calculates how many unique individuals have seen your content, views are a generalized measurement of the total times people have seen your content (including repeated views). 

To calculate ER by views, divide the total engagement of a video (shares, likes, comments) by the number of video views times 100. 

The formula is:

 ER by views = Total no. of video engagements / Total no. of video views * 100

To calculate the average ER by views, divide the total ER views by the total number of video posts.

The formula is:

 Average ER by views = Total ER views / Total no. of posts * 100

Pros of ER by views: Great for tracking the success of marketing videos or video outreach campaigns.

Cons of ER by views: It doesn’t account for repeat views by viewers. 

5. CPE (Cost Per Engagement)

If you’re into influencer marketing, CPE is a handy way to calculate the cost per click of engagement. Luckily, a social media platform like Instagram will calculate this for you automatically when you start doing paid content and advertising. 

No formula is required!

When comparing them to other metrics and data, just ensure that you identify which interactions count as engagements.

6. Daily ER (Daily Engagement Rate)

If you plan to analyze your content engagement long-term, then daily ER is your bread and butter🧈.

To calculate the daily ER for a post, divide the total number of engagements that a post receives within the desired timespan you want to measure by the number of followers per day during this period times 100.

The formula is:

 Daily ER = Total no. of engagements for x days / (x days no. of followers) * 100

Now, to calculate the average daily ER for all posts, divide the total daily engagements for X days by the number of days times your followers, then times that by 100. 

The formula is:

 Average Daily ER = Total no. of daily engagements  / (x days no. of followers) * 100

Viola! You now have an arsenal of formulas in your back pocket to calculate and monitor engagement rates. 

Next, we’ll take a look at the relevant factors worth monitoring for engagement in each online platform. 

Common Engagement Rate Factors for Online Platforms

Aside from emails, most major online platforms’ most common engagement factors are undoubtedly likes and comments.

That said, each platform has its own unique aspects of engagement to consider:

  • Website Engagement:
    • Average page views
    • Bounce rate
    • Shares
    • Average time spent on page
    • Form conversions
    • Scroll depth
  • Email Campaign Engagement:
    • Click-through rates
    • Open rates
  • Facebook Engagement:
    • Shares
    • Impressions
    • Reposts
    • Mentions
    • Clicks
    • Follower increases
  • Twitter Engagement:
    • Use of branded hashtags
    • Retweets
    • Mentions
  • TikTok Engagement:
    • Saves
    • Shares
  • LinkedIn Engagement:
    • Impressions
    • Reactions
    • Follower/connections gained
    • Reposts
    • Private message shares
    • Clicks 
    • Custom button clicks
  • Pinterest Engagement:
    • Impressions
    • Pins
  • Instagram Engagement:
    • Shares
    • DMs
    • Taps on story stickers/polls
    • “Get Directions” button clicks
    • Saves
    • Profile visits
    • Branded hashtag uses
  • YouTube Engagement:
    • Downloads
    • Shares
    • Saves

Now, let’s cruise through the best ways to use engagement rate data for your benefit.

5 Ways to Utilize Engagement Rate Data

Here are five ways your marketing teams can use engagement rate data to skyrocket your business’ growth. 

1. Assess Social Media Performance 

You can see which platforms host the majority of your target audience. For example, if your business offers video editing software, you may have a higher TikTok or Instagram engagement rate than Twitter engagement rate.

You’ll also be able to uncover which types of content receive the most attention per platform. For example, video content will typically be more apt for TikTok when compared to Linkedin.

2. Direct Content Creation and Marketing Campaigns

ER data allows you to quickly assess which content strategies impact your audience engagement most. This information can help you prevent wasting time and resources on ineffective campaigns.

You can also use this knowledge to plan future content and campaigns based on past success that increased your brand’s user engagement.

3. Reach the Right Audiences for Your Brand

Engagement rate data can reveal insights into the demographics of viewers who interact with your content (e.g., age and gender). 

So what?

You may find that the general demographics of your engaged audience don’t match that of your ideal user persona.

For example, you may want to target middle-aged people for your ‘self-improvement app,’ but your Instagram engagement rate reveals that you’re mainly reaching teenagers. 

In this case, you can leverage your recently gathered data to adjust your content strategies and target a new and more engaged audience!

Tip: If you’re specifically looking to monitor your Instagram post or Twitter page engagement, we suggest utilizing Instagram insights and Twitter analytics.

The Instagram insights feature on the mobile app helps you learn more about your account’s followers and performance — without having to do calculations. Twitter analytics works similarly. 

4. Leverage Influencer Marketing and Brand Advocates

Seeing which accounts regularly engage with and invest in your brand opens the possibility of them being advocates or affiliates for your brand. 

Take it up a notch by reaching out to an influencer in your niche with a large following on your preferred social platform (E.g., an Instagram influencer).

Along with bona fide customer reviews/testimonials, influencer engagement offers powerful social proof (and possibly an overall higher engagement rate👀).

5. Measure Marketing Campaign Success 

Ever wondered what people’s first impressions of a new product launch or advertising campaign were?

Now you can find out!

An engagement rate metric (like ER Impressions) lets you know exactly how people feel when they engage with your new releases, campaigns, and services.

And there you have it — the basics you need to master engagement rates and step up your social media presence.

But what does a good engagement rate look like?

To wrap it all up, we’ll answer that and more below.

3 Engagement Rate FAQs

Here are the answers to some common engagement rate questions you’ll want to save for later.

1. What’s a Good Engagement Rate?

Many social media marketing experts agree that a 1-5% engagement rate is a good range — with 6%+ considered a high engagement rate. Unfortunately, the larger your follower count grows, the more challenging it’ll be to reach these figures.

2. What Does a Low Engagement Rate Mean?

A low engagement rate (less than 1%) indicates a lack of rapport between your account and its followers. While you may have plenty of followers, most of them have little to no interest in your content.

Additionally, it could mean that the content you share doesn’t encourage follower engagement. 

3. How Do You Increase Your Engagement Rates?

If your user engagement rates are lower than you’re comfortable with, here are a few ways to increase them:

  • Host giveaways and competitions: Everyone loves a competition — almost as much as winning them! Hosting a competition where all someone needs to enter is to like, share, and follow is a sure way to skyrocket engagement.
  • Frequently post content: Consistency builds rapport. A steady flow of content teaches your followers to expect your next post, building anticipation, which builds engagement.
  • Share memorable content: Spending 5 minutes slapping together some clip art post or linking to a poorly written blog will likely make your followers scoff and scroll on. To keep them hooked, share high-quality content and treat it like a reflection of your brand — even if it’s a simple tweet.
  • Optimize your content and headlines: Many social media marketing experts agree that including catchy, thought-provoking headlines leaves your followers begging for answers and insight!

    This, in turn, results in more engaged sessions (time spent viewing content).

    For example, “Did You Know These 5 Mistakes Are Losing You Followers?”

    Enticing, isn’t it?
    If you saw this title at the top of a blog or Instagram post, it’d probably drive you crazy.

    Well, that’s the desired outcome. Unfortunately, coming up with enticing headlines is only the tip of the iceberg. You still need to write your copy AND optimize it for SEO.

    Luckily, there’s an easier way.

    If you’re looking to generate and optimize high-quality content for your website or social channels, reach out to Startup Voyager!
  • Including CTAs in your content: CTAs (call-to-actions) are a popular way to nudge people into engagement with content. They include discount count-downs, promotions of your new service or product, competitions or giveaways, and more.
  • Encourage engagement with questions and polls: If left to their own devices, most people won’t be willing to contribute to your post engagement. 

    But by giving them the opportunity to do so, most people can’t help but share their opinion on a topic or vote on a poll. Take our word for it. Polls = engaged sessions!
  • Regularly respond to comments and questions: People love feeling that their thoughts and opinions matter, especially when they reach out to their favorite social media page. Responding to a user’s comment or question fosters loyalty and trust.

Unlock Your Business’s Potential With Higher Engagement

Depending on the engagement metric you use will allow you to gain more control over the ways you plan, create, and manage your online content.

Whether it’s for improving your next marketing campaign or your social media efforts, a relevant engagement rate metric is a vital tool — if you know how to measure them correctly.

So now you can calculate engagement rates without breaking a sweat. 

About the author

Startup Voyager is a content and SEO agency helping startups in North America and Europe acquire customers with organic traffic. Our founders have appeared in top publications like Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Inc, Huffpost, Lifehacker, etc.