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Social Media ~ Engagement Rates

How Do You Calculate Your Engagement On Social Media

Social media engagement is a simple calculation used to help give social media experts a relative measurement of how many people actually like your content. You can have 1 million followers but if no one is engaging with your social media it shows brands that your platform will not have people discussing their product or service; which of course is the main goal of paying you to post about them. But how do you effectively figure out what your actual engagement rate is? Let's give it a go.....

The Calculation for one post:

  1. Add together # of comments & likes on your post

  2. Multiply that number by 100

  3. Divide that number by the number of your Followers


I have 204K followers on Instagram and on one post I had 9,876 likes and 55 comments.

That gives me a total of 9,931 engagements on that post from my audience. I divide that by my total followers of 204,000 and then multiple by 100; the result is my engagement on that post would be 4.86

9876 + 55 = 9931

9,931 / 204,000 = 0.0486

0.0486 x 100 = 4.868

Basically this means that almost 5% of my IG audience (followers) either liked or commented on my post. Take the time to practice this calculation on any account and post you see and you will start seeing trends and you will know when someone is doing well and when they are not doing well.

So, how does 4.8% compare to others? Well you could go one by one to everyone and calculate and compare but luckily social media researchers have already done this for us. Below are the average engagement rates for social media influencers with different ranges of followers.

What you may notice is that those with smaller accounts will have higher engagement rates. This is because they tend to engage more with their audience since they are smaller and more manageable. Eminem with 29.9M followers will not respond to his 2-5,000 comments per post since it would take all day.

Having a smaller following means you actually can get back to them and this actually increases engagement. Here is a trick: When you make a post, comment on every single comment assuming you have a manageable amount. It still counts towards engagement from IG’s logarithms so you actually get a boost that then makes it rate better meaning it will be shown to more users that are and are not already following you.

So if we look at Eminem with 29.9M followers and pick a more popular post that had 5,048 comments and look at his likes, you can calculate his engagement rate. Wait though, IG actually prevented people from seeing how many likes you have as a way to not make it as much of a competition. Because of this you will have to adjust our formula for just comments. From my experience there is a relationship between comments and engagement since comments are still a form of engagement so I simply leave out the likes and repeat the calculation:

For Eminem:

5,048/29,900,000 = 0.00016 x 100 = 0.016%

That means that only 0.016% of Eminem’s followers take the time to comment on his posts. Of course this number changes but you can always see trends. Now what about mine?

For Greg:

55/204,000 = 0.00026 x 100 = 0.02%

This means that our engagement rates are about the same despite the large difference in followers. For you young athletes looking to be an Influencer you need to know these numbers and be able to compare yours to others in your market so when you sit with a brand you can rattle these numbers of and make realistic conclusions for the brand.

Engagement isn’t everything and having a large following with little engagement still is better than nothing but don’t forget to stir up conversations on your social media to keep those numbers up. Remember, people go on social media for entertainment and the best accounts know when and how to ask questions to stir up a conversation and get to know their followers. The more you get to know your followers for who they are, the more likely they will listen to you when you ask them to do something, such as click a promo link to a brand that just paid you to tap into your online community. Thats why brands like to know your engagement.

It is the most basic measurement an Influencer can use to compare themselves to others. I do not think you should spend all day calculating and instead should be innovating your social media but once every month you need to go through and record your stats to make sure you can identify areas of improvement. The actual engagement rate will fluctuate so just look at it over time and notice the trends. The specific number is not as important as just seeing the trends. Go practice this calculation and use it to keep on track with your social media development.


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