WTF Is Social Media Engagement Rate?

An important metric for determining the effectiveness of your content and campaigns is your social media engagement rate.

Engagement rate can be a valuable tool to help you optimise your success on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more.

What exactly is it? How do you work out the engagement rate for your social media content, and why would you even want to?

What Exactly Is a Social Media Engagement Rate, Anyway?

In a nutshell, your engagement rate is a valuable metric that measures the level of interaction with your content.

There are many different types of social media content. The video you posted on Facebook showcasing your signature dish. The Twitter poll you created to test the waters for your new range of flavours. The new Pinterest board of inspiring shots of your products.

Whichever platforms you decide to use, your engagement rate will tell you precisely how much people are liking, sharing, and commenting on your social media posts.

Why Is Social Media Engagement Rate Important?

The higher the engagement rate for each piece of content, the more that content struck a chord with your audience.

This one metric alone can prove invaluable in determining the kinds of content your audience responds best to, therefore helping you create effective campaigns in the future. It can be used to demonstrate tangible ROI of your campaigns.

How Do I Work out an Engagement Rate?

The engagement rate for any piece of content can be worked out using the following formula:

Engagement rate = ( total engagements / impressions ) * 100%

Don’t worry, it looks more complicated than it is. Let’s break it down.

Total Engagements

An engagement is any instance of someone interacting with your content.

Typically, you’re likely to see four unique types of engagement on social media:

  • Reaction: Liking your Facebook and Instagram posts, tweets, or pins.
  • Communication: Commenting on your posts, retweeting your Twitter content with an added comment, using the @ symbol to mention you either in a post.
  • Amplification: Anything that spreads your content to a wider audience, such a retweet, a reblog on Tumblr, or a share on Facebook or Youtube, or a re-pin on Pinterest.
  • Action: Users actively take action as a result of your content, such as clicking through to your website, downloading an ebook, or buying a product.


Impressions are the number of times your content is displayed, regardless of whether or not anyone interacted with it.

Tools like Twitter’s Analytics or Facebook’s Page Insights will give you both the number of impressions (or reach) and the number of engagements for each piece of content. Apply these numbers to the formula above and you’ve got your engagement rate.

Track your engagement rate over time and use it as a simple measure of how your social accounts are performing.