How to Measure Social Media Engagement on Your Platforms

Feb 9, 2024
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Engagement is the most vital metric to track on your social media accounts. It’s what adds value to the social part of social media. Engagement is the metric that shows your audience is interested in your content enough to act.While engagement doesn’t always directly bring in revenue, it builds a foundation for a loyal relationship with consumers. This relationship brings in far more revenue than short-term marketing approaches that look to make a single sale.Explore the key metrics to measure social media engagement and what engagement looks like on specific platforms.

Why Is Social Media Engagement Important?

Having thousands of followers on social media is pointless if none of them actively view and interact with your content. The same is true of your content. You might post twice a day every day of the year, but it wastes time and energy if no one engages with your content.Establishing engagement metrics and tracking your content’s performance as part of your social media engagement plan gives a more accurate picture of how successful your social media campaigns are. Without engagement, your social media account is just a media account.Here are three benefits of tracking your engagement rate.

Filters Out the Fake or Inactive Accounts

Engagement tells you whether your followers are prospective buyers or active accounts. Fake accounts are a challenge every platform faces. For example, Facebook removed over 2.2 billion fake accounts from its platform.Fake accounts are often created to mimic popular pages and steal people’s personal information. Some people sell fake accounts to grow a social media personality’s follower count quickly. However, these fake accounts are only a number and offer no value to a business because these accounts aren’t engaging with content or purchasing from your brand.Inactive accounts also offer very little value because users no longer visit their page or view content from their feed.

Shows How Well Your Content Performed

In addition to weeding out fake accounts, your engagement metrics also tell you which social media campaigns are most successful. Posts that have a high engagement rate are most relevant to your audience and can act as a guide for future content creation.

Increases Your Reach

Because of how much social media has grown, getting your content in front of your audience is much more difficult than in the past. As a result, many businesses are increasing their paid social media strategies this year because organic traffic isn’t enough.However, those with high engagement rates are the least affected by the dip in organic traffic. When your followers actively interact with content, you have a greater chance of showing up in searches, recommendations, or tags that put you in front of your target audience.

What Metrics Indicate Social Media Engagement?

Social media engagement refers to active interactions with a post or your page. Some direct social media engagement KPIs include:

  • Likes
  • Saves
  • Shares
  • Comments
  • Tags or mentions
  • Clicks
  • Direct messages

Consider how your audience might engage with your post as you create a content plan. For example, don’t just post aesthetic images but consider adding more to your pictures or descriptions to get people to react to the post and join a discussion.Using a friendly voice, responding to comments, and adding questions to your content are all ways of boosting social media engagement to have a more accurate view of your content’s performance and reach more people.

How to Calculate Your Engagement Rate

While you should measure and track your engagement metrics, your engagement rate is the most critical metric to monitor. It’s a percentage that summarizes your overall engagement compared to how many people saw your post.You can find your engagement rate by dividing your content's total number of responses (likes, comments, shares) by your total reach, then multiplying that number by 100. Remember not to count your comments in your engagement formula. For example, if you respond to every comment left on your post, divide the total number of comments in half to get a more accurate comment count.Using that formula, if your post reached 1,000 users and 20 of those viewers engaged with your post through comments, likes, or shares, your engagement rate for that post would be 2%.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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How Is Engagement Different on Paid vs. Organic Content?

Engagement metrics will be slightly different on paid content versus organic content. Organic content often doesn’t lead directly to conversion but builds relationships with consumers, nurturing them until they become loyal customers.However, paid content often has a more immediate financial objective. For instance, paid content often promotes a product or special deal. Because of the more significant financial investment of paid content, the most crucial engagement metric to track is often how many viewers are clicking on your product link. You don’t just want people to press a thumbs up, or heart then keeps scrolling. You want them to click for more information or to purchase a product so that you gain back the money you spent on the ad.Sometimes you might sponsor content to increase your following instead of selling a product. As your paid content brings in more followers, that will increase the engagement of your organic content. Therefore, you may want to track how paid content influences your organic engagement rate more than your paid engagement rate to know whether you are attracting active followers.

Image from Hootsuite

Key Metrics for Measuring Engagement on Each Social Media Platform

Explore the most popular social media platforms and what engagement metrics you should track to measure the success of your social media engagement strategies.

Facebook

Facebook is the most popular social media platform, with over 2.910 billion active monthly users.Most businesses say their average engagement rate on Facebook is 2.5%. Some specific engagement metrics to track on Facebook include:

  • Shares
  • Comments
  • Clicks
  • Follows
  • Reactions (Emoji reactions or likes)
  • Views

On Facebook, you can post videos, images, long-form or short-form content, Facebook live, Facebook stories, and Reels. Naturally, videos get the highest engagement.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is most often used by business professionals, especially in B2B marketing. It has over 830 million members.The average engagement rate across all profiles on LinkedIn is 0.35%. The ways your followers can interact with content on LinkedIn include:

  • Comments
  • Likes or other reactions
  • Shares
  • Sends
  • Clicks
  • Views (for videos)
  • Private messages

Like Facebook, LinkedIn lets you share images, videos, and LinkedIn LIVE videos. Again, smaller accounts saw the most engagement on images. In contrast, medium to large businesses got the most engagement on their video posts, especially live videos that engage with viewers in real time.

Image from Socialinsider

Instagram

Instagram has the highest engagement rate, ranging from 7.2% for smaller accounts to 1.4% for accounts with over 100,000 followers. The average engagement rate for all accounts comes out to around 3%.On Instagram, people can engage with your content through:

  • Saves/Bookmarks
  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Sends/Shares
  • Messages
  • Views

Because Meta owns Instagram, they have several overlapping features with Facebook. For example, Instagram lets users post short videos, images, and text on pictures or captions, reels, Instagram Stories, and Instagram Live.The content that sees the highest engagement on Instagram is their carousels. These are unique to Instagram and allow users to post up to ten images in one post. Then, viewers swipe left and right to view the images in a progressive storytelling fashion.Another popular Instagram feature that generates high engagement rates are stickers on Instagram stories. These stickers usually have an attached action like answering a question, donating to a cause, or clicking a link. Again, this turns a passive viewing activity into an active engagement opportunity.

TikTok

TikTok is quickly growing in popularity among Gen Z. It currently has about one billion active monthly users. However, since it’s primarily a video-sharing platform, you will measure your engagement slightly differently.Here are a few ways users might engage with your videos:

  • Comments
  • Shares
  • Likes
  • Views

On TikTok, videos often play automatically as users scroll, so counting views isn’t enough to measure your engagement. Instead, that number tells you your total impressions, and you can use it to calculate your engagement rate by comparing it to audience reactions.Your total playtime is a more valuable metric because it tells how many of your total viewers stopped long enough to watch your video. It can also tell you whether they grew bored halfway through so you can pinpoint what is hurting your viewership and engagement.

YouTube

YouTube is the second most popular social media platform, with 2.562 billion active monthly users. However, while it has many users, it isn’t the most engaging platform, with an average engagement rate of 1.7%.One of the reasons it has a lower engagement rate is that it has fewer ways to be social on the platform. The metrics you can measure include:

  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Shares

If you go on your YouTube analytics dashboard, you can access additional metrics, including:

  • Length of views
  • Number of views
  • Clicks

The only content you can post on YouTube is video. However, their recent launch of YouTube shorts opened up more options for creators who prefer short-form content like TikToks and reels. You can also see great success by live streaming videos on YouTube.

Twitter

Twitter sees about 528.3 million monthly active users and is the ninth most visited website. So even though it’s only the seventh most popular social media platform, just behind TikTok, it still remains relevant in 2022 as one of the social leaders.The average Twitter engagement rate is 0.5%. However, a brand with a good marketing strategy sees an average engagement rate between 1-3%.Some ways people can engage with your content on Twitter include:

  • Retweets
  • Replies
  • Likes
  • Bookmarks
  • Messages
  • Clicks on links
  • Hashtags
  • Viewing media
  • Expanding your content

Twitter’s character count makes it the best platform for short content, quotes, or links. The platform also lets you upload videos or images to your posts, increasing social media engagement.

Start Tracking Your Social Media Content

Take control of your social media accounts with advanced tracking and measurement. At Kubbco, we use the latest tools in the industry to measure social media success. Our experience has helped brands of every size increase their engagement and see measurable results.Contact us to learn more about our social media management solutions.

Andy Demjen
Associate Strategy Director

As an Associate Strategy Director I am responsible for leading the development and execution of organic and paid social media and content strategies for our clients at Kubbco.