A short debate about the Engagement Rate Formula
The Engagement Rate is always topic of long conversations and for some people it is like the pursuit of the holy grail. Many clients also want to know if their page is engaging well or not or even want to know if Twitter works better than Facebook or wether their engagement rate on Facebook has decreased or increased compared to 1 year ago.
WTF engagement rate is?
As a good internet user, let’s check Wikipedia’s Definition. I’ve found a definition for ER inside of Social Media Measurement article which describes it as:
ER, or engagement rate, measures how well your fans/followers interact with your social media content.
And also shows a formula, developed and used by Social Bakers and revealed in one of their articles.
So, as you can see, it is possible to measure the ER on Facebook and Twitter. Let’s assume you find a ER of 23% for Facebook and 12% for Twitter. Is it good or bad? Which is your best Social Media Channel? There are many things we need to consider before taking actions with these two metrics (yep, metrics have to be actionable, othewise they are worthless and useless). One of the main problems with these formulas I see, is that they consider different things. Furthermore, what happens if you need to measure you Instagram’s or Google Plus Engagement Rate?
Creating a framework to Measure Engagement
I remember last year I read a very inisghtful article from Avinash Kaushik, one of the biggest webanalytics professionals in the world, proposing a way to measure social media based on common elements among them. On his blog post he talks about three different metrics for Social Media: Conversation, Amplification and Applause rates. (he also describes the economic value as a metric, but I’m not going to use it in this article)
- Conversation Rate would be, basicaly, the number of comments your posts receive on each Social Network.
- Amplification Rate, as the name says, the ability of amplifying your message, so the share count.
- For last, the Applause Rate, is the sum of likes, favs or similar actions that give a praise to your message.
Another important piece of information that we should consider is the number of messages published on each channel. Do you agree that the chances of getting a bigger sum of applauses with 10 photos published on Instagram is bigger than if you publish only one? So, in my opinion, the number of posts directly interfere with the ER.
Last but not least, we should consider our audience, represented by the number of followers, fans, likes, circles or whatever is the number of people receiving your updates in some sort of stream.
Finally, the so pursuited formula!
With all these metrics in our hands, it’s time to calculate our engagement rate. The formula I propose is the following:
In order to achieve 1, or 100% if you feel like multiplying per 100, of engagement rate, each user in your audience should interact (applause, conversation or amplification) with each of your published posts at least once, in a given period of time.
So, if you want to calculate your ER for Twitter, just grab your favorites counts (applause), retweets (amplification), replies (conversations), ammount of sent tweets and number of followers (audience). For Facebook you should consider the number of posts you’ve made, likes, comments, shares and number of fans. For the other channels, just identify how the applause, amplification and conversation rates are translated in each social media channel, sum and use them! It’s as simple as that.
On a future article I’ll talk about some practical uses for this formula, some analysis you could make with this rate, and also about some negative points and misinterpretations when using it.
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