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Engagement rate is an assessment measure for the level of engagement followers’ interaction generates from content creation or a brand campaign. Engagement rates are determinants of a campaign’s success on social media. Determining the effectiveness of a strategy in use is equivalent to follower interaction with the campaign. There are different types of engagement metrics that influencers and companies use to check on their product engagement.

What is Engagement?

Engagement is a measure of the frequency with which the audience or account followers are interacting with your posts, as well as how many followers you have. Different platforms have various types of engagement metrics or different naming conventions, such as retweets versus shares. High engagement rates indicate exciting content. Different engagement metrics include likes, shares, retweets, and comments. You will be able to see the total number of engagements concerning a campaign.

Post engagement rate is the ratio of post interactions to the total number of account followers. This is useful in determining if the followers resonate with the content and eventually turn into prospective clients. Account mentions are also an essential factor in engagement because mentioning or tagging a brand on your platform without prompting indicates good brand awareness.

Combining different engagement metrics is a great way to learn and identify what you need to achieve your goals. For instance, a post with many likes and no shares and comments is not that bad. The post’s intention could have been for a beautiful, strategic image and not for a call to action. A call to action with few or no comments and shares would mean a need to re-strategize and work on a better campaign.

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If post engagement is your goal, you should sort by the most engaging posts, identifying the similarities amongst these posts, so you can determine which of these posts appeal most to your audience and optimize your future content.

Image via Flickr by Shahid Abdullah

Types of Engagement Metrics

There are different types of engagement metrics that you can use for a successful brand campaign or brand awareness. These include :

1. Awareness: Impression and Reach

If your focus is on mass brand awareness and perception, impression and reach are the main focus metrics. An impression is the number of times a post is displayed on a screen, while reach is the number of viewers a post has. Here, the number of followers counts, and the brands with more followers would have higher brand awareness.

If your goals are to increase awareness and educate your audience, you would want to combine both impressions and engagement metrics. A post with solid images, count, and low engagement rate means your post did not match the interest of your audience for them to take action after seeing it. A post with a high reach, measure, and engagement rate equates to viral content and consequent brand awareness.

2. Social Share of Voice

This is a preferred metric used in public relations or a combative analysis, or a paid brand advertisement. It clearly outlines the intensity of online activity your brand is partaking in, like how many people are talking about your brand online compared to your competitors. With this, you will see what is most associated with your brand and where you can make improvements or capture more attention. You will not always maintain the most significant share of voice, but you can always keep track of how it flows in a period and look at the factors for that change.

3. Referrals and Conversions

This metric deals with both sales and marketing goals. Referrals are ways in which a user lands on your website. Conversions are the purchases people make from your website. Click-through rate in ads and posts goes hand in hand with referrals and conversions. Click-through rate compares the number of times one click on your content as compared to impressions. A high click-through rate means that an ad is effective.

4. Custom Care: Response Rate and Time

This concerns the customer’s experience with your brand, including the response rate and time to queries. This metric tracks how fast your team responds to messages and how many messages you answer. For instance, if your strategic goal is to respond to everything in 8 hours, and the report says otherwise, then you will know what to improve on.

Engagement Rate Calculation

The engagement rate is generally calculated by dividing the total engagement by the total followers then multiplying by 100%.

Engagement rate=Total Engagement /Total followers  × 100%

Total engagement refers to the total number of interactions whereby the measurement depends on the platform, be it shares, comments, likes, or retweets. For instance, total engagement on Facebook would comprise the total amount of shares, likes, comments, and reactions. In contrast, the total engagement on Instagram refers to the total amount of likes and comments, while total followers refers to the total number of individuals following the account or page.

There are, however, different methods of calculating engagement rates.

1. Engagement Rate by Reach (ERR)

This measures the percentage of your audience who chose to engage with your content after seeing it.

ERR = Total engagement per post/reach per post X 100%

You can calculate the average engagement rate by reach as:

Average ERR = Total ERR / Total posts

This can be a more accurate measurement since not all followers will see your content, and some non-followers may see your content through shares or hashtags. However, the reach can fluctuate due to several reasons, making it very difficult to control.

2. Engagement Rate by Post

This method measures engagement by followers on a specific post. It indicates the rate at which followers engage with your content.

ER post = Total engagements on a post/Total followers x 100%

You can achieve the average by adding up all the ER posts divided by total posts. For example:

Post 1(3.0%) + Post 2(2.0%)/2 = 2.5%

If your reach keeps on fluctuating, use this method to measure a post by post engagement more accurately.

3. Engagement Rate by Impressions

Engagement rate by impressions tracks how often your content appears on the screen.

ER impressions = Total engagements on a post / Total images x 100

Average ER impressions = Total ER impressions / Total posts

This method is beneficial if you are running a paid content and assessing how effective it is considering the number of appearances.

Engagement rate by appearances can, however, be inconsistent.

4. Daily Engagement Rate

The daily Engagement rate gives you a sense of how often your followers interact with your account daily.

Daily ER = Total Engagement in a day/ total followers x 100%

Average Daily ER = Total engagement for X days / (X days x followers) x 100%

This formula is suitable for assessing how often your followers engage with your account daily due to taking old and new posts into the equation. This method does not consider that a follower may engage five times in a day versus five followers engaging once in a day.

5. Engagement Rate by Views

If video is your primary level, you will want to know how many people interact with your videos after viewing them.

ER view =Total engagements on a video post / Total video views x 100%

Average ER view = Total ER views / Total posts

If one of your video’s objectives is to generate engagement, this might be a great way to keep track of it. However, a viewer may watch a video multiple times but may not engage numerous times; thus, view count may be from a single user.

6. Factored Engagement Rate

Factored engagement rate adds more or less weight to an equation. For instance, you may wish to place a higher value on comments than likes, weighting every two observations versus one. The equation would therefore look like this:

Comment weighted ER = (Total comments x 2) + all other engagements / reach per post x 100

This formula increases the resulting engagement rate that can be misleading.

There is a need to connect with your target audience in every project, thus bringing the importance of  Instagram engagement. Instagram engagement rate helps you identify whether your social media efforts are paying off. It also assists and guides you towards building better and deeper connections with your followers. Any time a follower takes action in response to one of your posts, then that is engagement. The standard metrics for Instagram engagement posts engagement metrics include likes, comments, saves, and shares. Other metrics are direct messages, and link clicks, mentions, hashtag usage, and story sticker interactions.

Calculating Instagram Engagement Rate

There are different ways to calculate Instagram engagement rate depending on the outcome you want.

1. Public Engagement Rate

This is the most commonly used method in calculating the Instagram engagement rate.  When benchmarking against competitors, you are limited to viewable public engagements only. This is like and comments. Therefore

Post ER = (likes + comments) / followers

Here you divide by followers and not reach as reach is a private metric that is not available for the public. Reach can only be seen by the profile owner or others through admin access.

2. Private Engagement Rate

Post ER = (likes + comments + saves + 3 second videos) / reach

This method is useful in benchmarking yourself over time, let’s say, a month to month.

Private engagement rate (likes and comments only)

Some marketers base their engagement rate on likes and comments only. This is why likes and comments are fundamental interactions, whereas saves are not visible to public view.

Post ER = (likes + comments) / reach

3. Private Engagement Rate Based on Impressions

Post ER = (likes + comments + saves + 3 second videos) / impressions

This is the least common approach as you will end up with a low engagement rate which is most probably not the best thing

Different factors affect the Instagram engagement rate. The way people engage with your content or posts, that is, likes versus comments vs. saves, posts about different themes and subjects as people have different thoughts on different things. The time of the post also affects the engagement rate. Posting different media types that are video or photo, tagging others in a post, mentions, and using hashtags, dramatically contributes to an engagement rate.

How To Boost Your Instagram Engagement

Use different tactics that will help you boost your Instagram engagement. Experiment with different content types to identify what your target audience resonates with better.

  • Experiment with different formats. You can share your content on Instagram using other formats, such as single-image posts, Instagram reels, or Instagram stories. Using various formats gives you a chance to see which form is the best fit for your audience. A post with a mix of images and videos may result in a high engagement rate, although this may vary from business to business.
  • Make it a conversation. Don’t just throw your content into the world and sit back and relax. Allow your audience to have a back-and-forth interaction with you. Include questions or a call to action to encourage your audience to comment. Posing questions is a great way to engage with your audience. You should make sure you talk back by responding to direct messages and comments to keep the conversation going.
  • Look beyond likes. It is usually tempting to focus on the amount of likes a post garners, as much as there are Instagram metrics to watch. Previously, content was measured mainly by likes and follower counts, which has since shifted to the number of saves and shares. Preferences are, in a way, passive as you scroll, double-tap, and move on to the next thing. Other Instagram metrics besides likes say more about your audience interacting with your content.
  • Use Instagram interactive features. In your stories, make use of interactive Instagram stickers. Stickers such as questions, Instagram polls, and the sliding scale allow your audience to engage with your content. With Instagram stickers, it only takes a second for a person to vote in a poll or rate a photo; for instance, a photo of a cute kitten rated with maximum heart eyes. Such quick actions encourage your followers to engage with your content.
  • Be consistent. The Instagram algorithm favors active users, and frequent posting will help get your content to a larger audience. Work on your scheduling to discover the best time to post on your Instagram to reach a more vast audience. Your posting consistently allows boosting your Instagram engagement. When users interact with your content, it signals Instagram to show those people your content often. More is not necessarily better.
  • Analyze what’s working with the kind of content that resonates with your target audience. If you want to boost your Instagram engagement rate, analyze your content to resonate with your audience. Once you know what kind of content is getting more engagement, you can start to plan and deliver more content in that style. To analyze your content, work out the engagement rate for each of your posts within a week or a month and take notes on which posts have the highest engagement rate.

Before you decide your engagement rate is good or bad, think about what makes engagement valuable to you. Giveaway posts may get you high engagement rates, but do they lead to more sales? Do likes translate to more customers? Instagram engagement can be great for your ego, but it’s much more important to consider how that engagement translates to business. A reasonable Instagram engagement rate is good enough if it progresses over time and creates traffic. Be keen on the content that gets a higher engagement rate and work towards increasing it.

Instagram Boosting Tools

In the engagement game, the strongest survive the market. Finding aid in keeping your Instagram game using Instagram marketing tools is a plus and makes your account powerful.

Union Metrics

Union metrics is a marketing intelligence platform that assists brands in tracking their owned media and industry trends. It provides a detailed report which includes your top hashtag, an analysis of your most dedicated followers, and average post engagement. Brands can use this tool to get a better understanding of their account analytics.


This is a real-time conversation tracker that provides hashtag analytics perfect for social media contests, brand campaigns, and other marketing, besides showing how many times the hashtag appears on posts. Keyhole includes extra information such as top posts containing your hashtags, the most engaging posts, and related hashtags.

Instagram Insights

This covers impressions, reach, engagement, top posts, amongst other metrics. You will be able to access followers analysis and demographics, which will help you determine what percentage of your audience are male or female, age group, and even their location. You might target a specific audience, and the only way to know and reach this audience engaged with your posts is by checking your Instagram analytics.


This is another analytic tool suitable for agencies and brands managing multiple accounts. Its features include the competitive hashtag and a growth track. This tool also offers free audits for businesses’ Instagram profiles, ensures a complete profile for a company, and sticks to the platform’s best practices. The audit assesses your 30 most recent posts and the general account settings.

Instagram Phlanx

Instagram Phlanx is an influencer marketing platform designed to help public relations. Professionals work hand in hand with influencers to boost engagement rates across the social media platform. Phalanx provides a calculating feature that enables businesses to measure audience engagement on Instagram. It also allows teams to keep up with the influencer directory and conduct audits on accounts to identify active and passive followers and generate contracts on a unified interface.

Checking the engagement rate is very important while analyzing the honest quality of your content. A brand with fewer followers and more engagements and commerce means they have high-quality content, unlike a brand with more followers and fewer engagements.

The engagement rate may indicate a mismatch between the content you are producing and your audience. You are receiving a low engagement, and you have many followers. You may have gained a large following that is not your target customer, or you have been able to reach a following from brand recognition only, but you are most probably not creating the content that your audience wants.

Your business goal may be to increase conversions. Therefore your social media goal becomes increasing conversions by those who visit your site via posts. You can now clearly decide on a metric to measure and the time frame for measuring and, for example, increasing conversion by 20% within two months. To achieve this goal, you decide to run a campaign that will include ads and influencers. You will look at the conversation rate from posts in your website analytics.

When you plan to start an influencer marketing campaign, you need first to find reliable influencers. You may have a fantastic product and offer, but if you cannot discover the right influencers to work with, your campaign may not succeed. To find reliable ones, look at their influencer engagement rates. The reason for doing this is to avoid mimicking influencers who buy likes and followers. They have lower engagement rates, and their audiences may not match your target audience. Partnering with them may not be beneficial to your brand, and your target audience will miss out on the product or campaign you are running.

Influencer engagement rate helps you decide which brand influencers to work with for proper product publicity. With the influencer engagement rate, you will find out how well the content created by the influencers performs on various platforms. Influencer engagement rate can also help you figure out the returns you can get from your influencer campaigns. The rate enables you to determine how well the audience responds to their content.

You can use the influencer engagement rate to see whether your campaign succeeded or not. If the engagement rate for your campaign results to be higher than the average rate, it means your campaign is a success and has reached the target audience.

Engagement brings people to your business while reach spreads awareness. Therefore you have to find the right influencer who can deliver both engagement and reach. Brands usually reach out to social media influencers to increase awareness, and if they want to generate more sales, they partner with micro-influencers. Micro-influencers charge less and have a high engagement rate. This will make the cost per engagement to be lower.

The engagement rate provides an accurate representation of how content performs than simply looking at the usual measures such as likes, shares, and comments. Make sure to check which interactions count as engagement to be sure you are on the right track.

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