What does engagement rate (really) mean?

What does engagement rate really mean

Statistical analysis is key to a successful social media strategy. Among the various indicators that can be monitored, one seems inescapable: engagement rate.

Different formulas for the calculation of engagement rate

Theoretically, engagement rate is the ratio between the number of interactions made by a population and the size of that population.

In practice, there are several formulas:

  • The average engagement rate per post is defined, for a given post p, as the ratio between the sum of interactions i generated by the post and the number of users U who saw the post:

T (p) = [Σ (i) / U] x 100

  • The overall average engagement rate is defined, for a given profile P (page, account, profile) over a given period of time t (day, week, month, quarter, year), as the ratio between the sum of generated interactions i and the profile’s total number of subscribers A:

T (P) = [Σ (i) / A] x 100

The real meaning of engagement rate

Engagement rate measures several things:

  • How engaging is the content published on social media: do the teasers, titles, and images adequately encourage the audience to consume the offered content?
  • The intrinsic quality of the published content and its relevance to the target: once consumed, does the content itself generate interactions?
  • The dynamism of the brand’s audience: are the subscribers receptive to the published content?

On the other hand, engagement rate does not directly measure:

  • Virality of the content: this information is obtained by measuring the reach.
  • The ROI of the content: this information comes from the calculation of the different conversion rates for each implemented tunnel.

Engagement rate is a key measurement in a social media strategy and  just as important in a content marketing campaign; it makes it possible to measure the adequacy of the published content to the target audience. This is crucial information for the brand.

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