How to track and calculate your social media engagement rate

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 12 December 2022

Published 29 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Engagement rate (ER) plays a significant role in assessing the quality of content on your social media platform. Likewise, calculating your engagement metrics can help you gauge your social media campaign's return on investment and determine areas for improvement. If you're a marketing and sales professional, understanding how to calculate your engagement can help you strategise your social media marketing. In this article, we define an ER, the importance of tracking it, the formula for calculation and how to calculate your social media engagement rate.

What is an engagement rate?

Engagement rate is a metric to weigh your customers' engagement or interactions on your social media content. What determines your ER is the number of watch hours for every one of your videos, the number of likes, and the number of shares and comments on your post. Irrespective of the number of followers you have, you can determine how well your content performs by identifying how well your audience engaged with the post.

Accurate measurement of ER can help several businesses properly customise content to best suit their business type. Highly engaging content can keep the audience fixed on your content until it's exhausted. Engagement rates are not only beneficial to social media influencers; marketing and sales professionals can also apply the engagement metric as part of their business strategy.

Related: How to become a social media manager: A step-by-step guide

Importance of tracking engagement rate

Engagement aims to scale up your leads and turn them into paying customers. Therefore, providing valuable content to keep them engaged with the brand is essential. Below is the importance of tracking your engagement rate:

Increases awareness

Awareness is the first step to getting engagement with your content. At this stage, you're announcing your presence and what your business represents. Therefore, tracking your engagement rate can help you strategise to know your strengths and weaknesses to improve on. Through awareness, leads can facilitate referrals to other users to find business content through advertising or web pages. The awareness stage is vital because it's the first perimeter to measure the interaction between a brand and its customers.

Related: 14 social media metrics for tracking campaign success

Facilitates engagement

The higher your engagement metrics, you can experience a greater potential reach of your brand. After a business has gotten a level of awareness, it can attract customers to engage with the brand's content. Customers can be so engaged to ask questions about the content, how to share that content and even send a direct message to the brand to make a purchase or begin a conversation.

Tracking your engagement rate can facilitate engagement between leads and customers. They become interested in what the brand offers and they can reach a milestone to leave positive feedback on the company's brand and the value they offer.

Related: 30 social media engagement questions to boost your strategy

Lead to conversion

Sometimes a brand can put out content without monetising such an offer to keep customers or attract prospective clients. Customer awareness and engagement with such an offer can build trust. Keeping track of your engagement rate can help you know when you can monetise products that are still relevant to customers. When your customers become acquainted with the value you offer, they can also advocate for those products and services. This can automatically increase your brand audience and help you reach out to more clients.

Related: What is lead tracking? (With definition and benefits)

Identify your competitors

On the surface level, the market is highly competitive in all niches. Therefore, tracking your engagement is a great way to know who your competitors are. When you begin to have low engagement, you can check out other brands to understand their offerings or their strategy to attract a huge customer base. This way, you can create a new strategy for your brand's offerings to improve your reach to your target audience.

Related: How to create an effective brand communication strategy

Formula for calculating engagement rate

Start by calculating your engagement rate as total engagement divided by your total followers, then multiply by 100%. Here is the ER formula:

ER = (total engagement / total followers) x 100%.

When using this engagement rate formula, know that total followers are the number of people following your social account, and total engagement is the total of all interactions on your post, such as comments, likes, shares and reactions.

Example: Look4This Inc. has about 5,000 subscribed customers who post content on their social media platform, which generates 300 likes, 200 comments and 80 shares. This means that the company's total engagement is 580 (300+200+ 80). To calculate the company's ER, use the formula (580 / 5000) x 100% = 11.6%

Related: How to become a social media consultant in 8 steps

How to calculate your social media engagement rate

A basic understanding of how to calculate your social media engagements can go a long way to boost your social activities to reach your target audience. Below is how to calculate social media engagement:

1. Apply the engagement rate formula

The engagement rate formula is a helpful tool to apply as a business owner, social media influencer, brand ambassador and even on your personal accounts. This formula applies to all kinds of content posted on your social media platforms to help engage them. The formula is the number of engagements on the post divided by the total number of page followers x 100%. Divide 5000 by 10,000 and multiply the amount got by 100%. For example, for content that has 10,000 followers with at least 5000 interactions on that content, the total engagement rate is 50%.

This means about 50% of your followers have come in contact with your content, while you did not reach 50% of your followers. To help you keep track of your engagement rate, consider monitoring the month-to-month graph of your ER. This can determine if the engagement rate is on the increase or decrease. It's important to keep your customers abreast with changes you intend to carry. Enlighten them on the fresh changes and how beneficial they are to them. This can help to eliminate the risk of losing more audience or customers.

Related: User engagement: definition, benefits and how to measure it

2. Improve the value you offer to followers

You can begin by understanding and gaining adequate knowledge in your niche or area of specialisation. Then proceed to provide your followers with high-quality content. This way, you're not only increasing the value of your brand but also reaching a wider audience and bringing prospective clients to your doorstep. The more value you provide to your followers, the higher your chances of keeping them engaged and the total engagement rate would increase. Your ability to give value to your followers means helping them meet specific needs. This can include:

Introducing them to a new skill or knowledge

You can intentionally create content of educational value for your customers. This can be in form of a skill, trends, history, products or even the government. You can host online conferences, free webinars or zoom classes to elaborate on these trends. You can go the extra mile to bring resources and personnel. This can help to increase your value and help you reach a wider audience. Naturally, followers tend to stay glued to the content they have little or no knowledge about.

Related: A guide to content ideas: definition, examples and tips

Helping them save time

People get engaged with different activities daily. Hence, customers are often keen to search for a particular product and find helpful information. Providing content, links and informative posts on a specific product can help limit customers' search. They can further share such posts to reach more people who may need such information. Naturally, these clients come back for more helpful content because it saves time.

Related: 13 social media best practices (with definition and tips)

Providing entertaining content

Aside from informative posts, educational content or business posts, entertaining content can also be an excellent way to provide value to your customers and reach a wider audience. Customers appreciate content that instils humour and, at the same time, is thought-provoking. You can increase your engagement rate and followership by creating content in that line and getting your customers engaged on such posts.

Related: Content creation: tips and steps to create quality content

Creating content for followers to connect with others

Providing valuable content provides opportunities for followers to interact with the brand and helps to strengthen the relationship between the brand and its followers. It also creates a healthy platform for users to interact with themselves. They can come together to share their experiences in using the brand products and share tips on the lessons they have learned and the positive effects of the brand or content. This way, the brand or content creator knows they're meeting their target and, in turn, they can channel resources to keep the comments flowing.

Related: What is a brand representative? (And how to become one)

3. Ask for feedback

An important way to calculate your engagement rate is to know your followers' opinions of your brand or content. You can allow your followers to inform you of their expectations, needs and even reviews. You can request feedback from them concerning a particular product or content displayed. To employ an effective feedback system from your followers, apply the poll strategy to organise live streams for a question and answers section.

You can also go a step further to send personal emails to your followers to get their opinion. Your followers' feedback allows you to see content or a particular product from their point of view. It can also inform the quality of the value you offer because you can note the area of weaknesses to improve on.

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