Social Media Engagement Rates have become a critical metric. But what does good look like? Read more.
Engagement is one of the most important metrics for evaluating a social media campaign. It can reveal the impact that your posts are having.
Understanding Your Engagement Rate
Engagement rates are measures of how people are interacting with posts.
The rate can include comments, shares, retweets, likes or other ways that people can actively engage with a post. You can look at the engagement rate for individual posts, but it can be more helpful to compare the average engagement rates for different types of posts, on different social media networks, or for different companies.
Engagement is important because it shows how effective the content is. When people take the time to actively engage with your content, you know that you’re having an impact.
However, it’s important to remember that the engagement rate alone doesn’t tell you anything about how people are responding to your posts. A negative response will be considered the same as a positive response, so it is possible to have a high engagement rate if people are complaining about the posts. The engagement rate simply reveals which posts are generating the most reactions.
Engagement rates can still be a simple metric to understand the impact of social marketing. Many social media tracking tools will enable you to compare your engagement rate with your competitors or the sector as a whole. It can also be helpful to compare engagement rates across different social media platforms to find out where you should be focusing your efforts.
Which Social Network Has the Highest Engagement Rate?
The way that people interact with content can vary between social networks and industries. It is important to have an idea of the average levels of engagement so that you know what you are aiming for. Knowing which networks generate the highest engagement rates in your sector can also help you to design a more effective marketing strategy.
Since many social media users are individuals rather than businesses, RivalIQ’s 2019 benchmarks based on more than 1800 brands provides a good estimate of engagement on each platform. The rates are calculated as the number of interactions as a percentage of the number of followers.
According to RivalIQ’s data, the overall engagement rates for each social network are:
- 1.6% for Instagram
- 0.09% for Facebook
- 0.048% for Twitter
What these figures reveal is that people are much more likely to interact with Instagram posts than with content on Facebook or Twitter.
Instagram engagement rates
Instagram engagement rates remain high compared to other social networks, with some analysts estimating the overall rate (for personal and business users) as high as 2.2%. The RivalIQ analysis found that the highest engagement rate was 3.96% for higher education institutions, but many other sectors were also achieving above-average rates.
On Instagram, nonprofits and sports teams both had engagement rates of 2.4% while influencers were achieving 1.97%.
Even the lowest engagement rate was still higher than for other social networks, with health and beauty brands having a rate of 0.86%. The lower Instagram engagement rate for this sector may be due to the oversaturation of these posts on the network. Fashion and health and beauty brands were making more posts than average but achieving lower engagement rates.
Facebook engagement rates
The RivalIQ analysis found that there were large differences in engagement rates between industries. The highest rates were for alcohol brands at 0.14% and hotels/resorts, nonprofits and sports teams all at 0.13%.
The lowest Facebook engagement rate was for fashion brands at just 0.04%.
The engagement rate for brands on Facebook has been dropping. One reason for this is that the newsfeed algorithm changed in 2018 to prioritise content from friends and family over businesses. Facebook is therefore becoming less important for many social marketing campaigns.
Twitter engagement rates
The average engagement rate for Twitter is very low, but it is important to understand that there are big differences between users. A study conducted by Mention found that the mean engagement rate (calculated as likes and retweets per post) was 1695.62. However, the median engagement rate was 0 because there were many posts that generated no interactions.
Twitter can generate very high interaction rates, but many users don’t generate any retweets or likes. It’s worth looking at the typical engagement rates for businesses in your sector rather than dismissing Twitter because of the low overall engagement rate.
YouTube engagement rates
Engagement on YouTube is often measured differently because the video format is inherently more interactive. Some rates will include views as interactions in addition to likes, comments, or subscribes.
It can be more useful to compare the number of comments or subscribes to the total number of views to evaluate the impact of videos. A study conducted by Influence4You found that the average engagement rate calculated in this way for sponsored posts on YouTube was 4.74%. However, for some videos the rate could be more than 15%. As with other networks, the impact of posts can vary a lot.