When it comes to social media, you often hear about engagement and engagement rates. And with all the metrics out there, it is normal to feel confused.

More than that, even if you use a social media analytics tool, you may discover that not all tools use the same formulas for these metrics.

Let’s unravel the mystery and discover what’s the magic recipe that Socialinsider uses.

Engagement for all social media platforms

The engagement for a post will be a number that shows the reactions received for that specific post in the given time period.

Take a look at how Socialinsider defines engagement for all platforms:

Facebook - The sum of reactions, comments, and shares received for the posts published in the selected time period.

Instagram - The number of likes and comments received for the posts published in the selected time period.

Twitter - The number of likes and retweets received for the tweets published in the selected period.

LinkedIn - The number of likes, comments, clicks, and shares received for the posts published in the selected time period.

YouTube -  The number of likes and comments received for the videos published in the selected time period.

TikTok - The number of likes, comments, and shares received for the posts published in the selected time period.

NOTE! We know that on Instagram, the saves are usually added to the engagement. However, Socialinsider doesn't use this formula because Instagram API doesn't offer access to the saves metric for competitors' profiles. In this way, without adding the number of saves, you're able to perform a quick social media competitor analysis and get insightful social media industry benchmarks.


What is engagement rate

As you have already seen, engagement means that people interact with your content. And that's exactly what you want.

Whether we're talking about likes, comments, or shares we all want to see a higher engagement when posting on social.

And engagement rate is the one and only metric that will always tell you if your content resonates with your audience.

Since we're dealing with content and audience, it's safe to say that it's time to do the math: the engagement rate will be the total engagement divided by the total number of followers, all multiplied by 100.

Engagement rate = (Total engagement/ Total followers) x 100

Engagement rate calculation methods

There are multiple ways to get the data you want. Marketers tend to use different types of formulas, depending on their interests.

  • Engagement rate by reach

This metric measures the percentage of people who interacted with your content after seeing it.

ERR = (Total engagement per post/ Reach per post) x 100

From this formula, you can even get to the average engagement rate by reach:

Average ERR = Total ERR/ Total posts

  • Engagement rate by impressions

Since impressions show how many times your content was seen by other users, this metric could be useful for you.

ERI = (Total engagement on a post/ Total impressions on a post) x 100

You can translate this into the average engagement rate by impressions as follows:

Average ERI = Total ERI/ Total posts

  • Engagement rate by posts

This shows the engagement rate on a specific post that was published.

ERP = (Total engagement on a post/ Total followers) x 100

The average engagement rate by posts will be:

Average ERP = Total ERP/ Total posts

NOTE! Socialinsider calculates the engagement rate by the number of fans/followers.

Engagement Rate on a Post = (Total Post Engagement/ Total Followers) x 100

TikTok is the only platform that makes an exception in this case. Since we're talking about video content here, it would make more sense to include the number of views somewhere in the formula.

Engagement rate/post (TikTok) - The sum of likes, comments, and shares of that post divided by the number of views. The result is shown as a percentage.

Digging deeper

As you have previously seen, to get even more insights, you should definitely take a look at the average engagement rate on the social platform that you're interested in.

That's because it will tell you what's the average engagement of your activity on social media.

You'll see that marketers will have different ways of approaching this issue. Some of them will want to calculate it based on the number of followers, reach, or impressions.

Of course, this also depends on the platform.

Take a look at how Socialinsider calculates the average engagements for each social media platform:

  • Facebook

Most marketers report the average engagement rate on Facebook by the number of fans since reach and impressions are only available for the owned accounts.

Average engagement rate per post by fans on Facebook by Socialinsider

However, Socialinsider estimates reach and impressions for your competitors as well. This way, the average engagement rate by reach and by impressions is valid.

Average engagement rate per post by reach on Facebook with Socialinsider

Average engagement rate per post by impressions on Facebook with Socialinsider

  • Instagram

The same story is encountered on Instagram as well as on Facebook: reach and impressions are only available for your own account.

That's why on Instagram the average engagement rate by followers is the usual formula:

Average engagement rate per post by followers on Instagram with Socialinsider

Socialinsider estimates reach and impressions based on known metrics for the non-own profiles.

Average engagement rate per post by reach on Instagram with Socialinsider

Average engagement rate per post by impressions on Instagram with Socialinsider

  • Twitter

As seen before, the average engagement rate by followers on Twitter is:

Average engagement rate per post by followers on Twitter with Socialinsider

The native Twitter app doesn’t measure reach, but it can give you information about the number of impressions.

Average engagement rate per post by impressions on Twitter with Socialinsider

  • LinkedIn

People engage a lot on LinkedIn, so we should all take a look into the average engagement rate:

Average engagement rate per post by followers on LinkedIn with Socialinsider

  • YouTube

Being the second-largest search engine globally, YouTube is a very attractive place to share some content right now.

Average engagement rate per video by subscribers on YouTube with Socialinsider

  • TikTok

The platform of the moment deserves some attention. That's how Socialinsider calculates the average engagement rate by followers:

Average engagement rate per video by followers on TikTok with Socialinsider