How to Calculate Your Engagement Rate

How to Calculate Your Engagement Rate | Ethical Influencers

Being an influencer these days doesn’t require thousands of followers. In fact, here at Ethical Influencers, we don’t believe follower counts matter at all. Our ethos is “no-one can influence everyone, but everyone can influence someone.”

You may be a grandmother showing us how to cook seasonably, or a model who only wears ethical fashion; either way, you’re spreading a positive message, and that’s what counts.

When it comes to working with brands, there is still going to be a need to look at the effectiveness of your communication channels. Many brands and PR agencies look at follower counts, or readership figures, but we’re hoping to change that.

Instead, we think engagement rates provide a better idea of how well your audience connects with you, and how likely they will engage with the brands you work with too.

This guide has been designed to help you to calculate your engagement rate, compare it to the average rate, and provide you with a metric that will impress the brands you work with in the future.

How do I calculate my engagement rate on an Instagram post?

To begin this tutorial, we’re going to look at the most popular social media platform that Ethical Influencers members use: Instagram.

In order to calculate your engagement rate, you need three key figures:

  1. Your follower count
  2. Your number of comments on a chosen post
  3. Your number of likes on a chosen post

Your engagement rate can be calculated by adding together the number of likes and comments on a post, and then dividing them by your follower count.

For example, say you have 1,000 followers. Your latest post received 50 likes, and 10 comments. To calculate your total number of engagements:

10 + 50 = 60

You then need to divide the total number of engagements, 60, by your total number of followers, 1000:

60 / 1000 = 0.06

And finally, to make this number into a percentage, multiply it by 100:

0.06 x 100 = 6%

This means you received an engagement rate of 6% on that individual post. This seems low, but in fact it is far higher than the average engagement rate of Instagram!

What is the average engagement rate on Instagram?

Instagram is often the standout platform when it comes to engagement, which is due to the way it has been designed (rather than the content shared on the platform).

Instagram does not release statistics such as its average engagement rate across the platform, however the best estimates sit somewhere between 1-5%. One survey of over 30,000 users found an average engagement rate of 4.7%, which seems to hold true.

We like how influencer marketing agency Scrunch uses the following scale to rank engagement rates:

  • Less than 1% = low engagement rate 
  • Between 1% and 3.5% = average/good engagement rate 
  • Between 3.5% and 6% = high engagement rate 
  • Above 6% = very high engagement rate 

Obviously, as Instagram continues to develop the platform, these ranks may change – and they don’t take into account Instagram Stories, TV, or the use of hashtags.

And interestingly, the larger the following, the lower the average engagement rate. For micro-influencers, who have between 1,000 and 5,000 followers, the average rate is 5.6% according to Phlanx. This reduces as follower counts go up:

  • 1k – 5k: 5.6%
  • 5k – 20k: 2.43%
  • 20k – 100k: 2.15%
  • 100k – 1m: 2.05%
  • 1m+: 1.97%

So it really is worth taking note of your engagement rate, rather than simply your follower count!

(It’s also worth knowing that Instagram creates the most engagement of all social platforms. In comparison, Twitter and Facebook average 1-2% average engagement rates).

How do I calculate my average engagement rate – on any social channel?

In order to calculate your average engagement rate on Instagram or other social media channels, you can use tools such as:

  • Dovetale, an influencer campaign site which connects to Instagram
  • Influencer Marketing Hub, which provides many useful influencer tools alongside their engagement rate calculator
  • Phlanx, a professional online marketing platform
  • Triberr, an influencer campaign management site

Interestingly, when we tested these four tools, each provided different figures – so take them with a pinch of salt.

If you’d prefer to calculate your average engagement rate yourself, try applying the same method as used in the example to all of your posts in the last 30 days. Add the results together, and divide them by the number of posts you’ve looked at, for a true average (that’s also up-to-date!)

How to boost your engagement rate

If you’re looking to boost engagement across all your posts there’s a few ways you may wish to do this:

  • Use a Business Instagram account, by linking your Instagram with a Facebook Page
  • Refer to Instagram Insights, which will show the days and times that your audience is most active
  • Post at the most popular times and days for your followers
  • Use relevant and specific hashtags for each of your posts – you can use up to 30 hashtags per post

And of course – have fun with it! It’s easy to get sucked into metrics and social media, but consider your message – you’re promoting something more positive than simply popularity and trends!

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