How effective is your social media content? One widely used metric of effectiveness is the engagement rate – a measure of the number of interactions your audience has with your content relative to your audience size. You can calculate this metric for a specific post, a set of posts over time, and for an account overall. In this article, you will learn how to calculate and improve your social media engagement rates across multiple social media channels.
Calculating and Assessing Your Engagement Rate
Your engagement rate can be found by taking the total interactions a piece of content has garnered on a social media platform, divided by the number of followers on that platform, with the result multiplying by 100. On Facebook, you add up the total amounts of likes, shares, and comments to give you the total number of interactions, while on Instagram, you add up only the total number of likes and comments. On Twitter, it’s a combination of Retweets, comments, and likes.
This metric allows you to compare the relative rate of engagement among firms and influencers with large or small followings. You can easily see whether a follower with a large following is more engaging than one with a smaller following on the same platform.
But how engaging is engaging exactly? What’s a good engagement rate?
According to digital marketing firm RivalIQ, in 2019, the median engagement rate across industries was:
- 0.09% on Facebook;
- 0.045% on Twitter, and
- 1.22% on Instagram.
It stands to reason that engagement rates above these numbers are good, and rates below them are bad, right?
Not necessarily. There is, of course, variation across industries. The median engagement rate on Instagram for those in the higher education space was a whopping 3.57%, so it’s essential to look at average engagement rates relative to your industry or niche.
It’s also imperative to understand your engagement in context. A consistently high engagement rate can demonstrate high visibility and credibility while facilitating increased sales conversions and word of mouth marketing. Or, your engagement rate could be propped up by a few popular viral posts or negative posts with no clear calls to action. Although these posts technically boost your engagement rate, it may also diminish your credibility, brand loyalty, and sales efforts.
Without context, the engagement rate can be considered a vanity metric.
Metrics such as likes and shares are often referred to as vanity metrics – a large number of likes and shares look good, but do not inherently result in greater sales, brand awareness, or brand loyalty. Before assessing your engagement rate, examine why consumers are engaging with your content the way they are. Understanding this is vital to crafting better content for your various target audience segments, which contribute to growing your business, brand awareness, loyalty, and sales. When you are leveraging these insights, your engagement rate can be an effective measure of how well your social media strategy is working over time.
Improving Your Engagement on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
There are many ways to increase your Facebook engagement, over the short-term and long-term, such as:
- Encouraging dialogue. You can do this by merely asking a question, posting a poll, or holding a contest, among other methods. Responding to user comments can also increase engagement.
- Varying your content by type and length. If you’ve been posting multiple posts a day, scaling back to one, well-designed, compelling post a day may boost engagement rates. If your posts are usually one line of text and a photo, incorporating video, or perhaps writing a very long Facebook post, may garner extra attention.
- Going Live. Posts with live content enjoy the highest rates of engagement of any other types of content.
These tactics also generally work well for Twitter and Instagram.
On Twitter, engaging with follower content can have a dramatic effect on your engagement rate. Also, while liberal use of picture and video content is important, consider incorporating appropriate GIFs and memes to showcase your brand’s personality as well. Unlike on Facebook, where explicitly asking for likes and shares can lead to your page being down-ranked by Facebook, on Twitter, it’s perfectly acceptable to call on your followers to Retweet your content.
On Instagram, engaging with influencers in your industry can help increase your audience’s interactions with your content. Before and after you post your own content on Instagram, engage with your followers to drive traffic back to your post. Include captions on your posts with calls to action, as well as hashtags. And reply to those who comment as soon as possible, to boost your overall engagement rate.
Have more questions about your social media engagement rates? Reach out to the expert team at Tiny Planet Digital today!