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Published: February 25, 2013

Engagement Rate: A Metric You Can Count On

As you know, we’ve driven home the fact that brands’ should not just rely on one metric to measure their social media performance. We believe that all metrics must be taken into consideration when developing social media marketing strategies, including Fan Growth, posts from you and the Engagement Rate they generate, your users’ wall posts and the speed of your response.

However, since, in the last few months, bugs were discovered in the reach metric on Facebook, brands need to consider relying on a metric that is guaranteed to work and is publically comparable – Engagement.

Why is Engagement Rate the #1 Social Metric?

When we talk about Engagement, we are referring to the activity on your page, to fan interactions to your post types, etc. There are several types of Engagement metrics:

  • Interactions – Like, Comments, Shares, Replies, Rewteets, and so on.

  • Reach – the percentage of fans that have seen your post from your Page.

  • Engagement Rates – a formula for quantifying brands’ success

Engagement Rate is always relative to Page size. This means that brands with 1 M fans can still be compared to brands with 2 M fans, with unbiased results. Look what we did here – we compared the average post Engagement Rate over a 7 day and 30 day period of Lufthansa (1 240 236 fans) and KLM (2 940 250 fans). The graph shows that KLM has been more successful in engaging its audience over the past month on Facebook despite the fact that Lufthansa has a smaller Page size and should therefore find it easier to mobilize its fans. Also notice, that KLM has experienced quite a few fluctuations on a weekly basis whereas Lufthansa maintained a stable Engagement Rate.

Engagement Rate is a metric that we have developed and shared with many on the market. In fact, it has become today’s standard for measuring social media success. Like all components of the social media world, Engagement Rates will continue to develop over time, but still, we are happy with the comparative results the metric currently provides.

What to Look Out for When it Comes to Engagement Rate

1. On an average basis, if a Page doesn’t post much but is getting an oddly high amount of engagement, you may have to look more closely to see if it’s Engagement Rate is credible. You can do this by benchmarking it against a company of a similar size and posting frequency. Could it be that they are artificially boosting their Engagement Rate?

2. For Pages with smaller fan bases, the Engagement Rates may grow dramatically, especially if a post goes viral.

3. It can be argued that not ALL people interacting are necessarily fans, however, a clear majority of the responses, questions, and posts are done by fans.

Engagement Rates work just as well on Twitter as they do on Facebook. you can also apply them to Google+, Tumblr, and any other social networking site with connections and social interactions present on the channel. YouTube, however, works a bit differently – a metric we will discuss another day.

If you’d like to try Socialbakers’ Analytics and check out the Engagement Rates of some brand and media Pages, take it out for a spin.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on socialbakers.com. Any statistics or statements included in this article were current at the time of original publication.

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