How to Calculate Engagement Rate on Social Media

April 1st, 2021

Do you remember thinking your math classes were useless? That you weren’t going to need math in the real world? Well, we hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you need to know your math to calculate social media engagement rates.

Not to worry, we’ll help you with everything you need to know, including the formulas you may need in your social media career along with the most popular way of calculating engagement rate.

Introduction to Engagement Rate

So, what is the engagement rate? It's basically the currency of the social media marketing industry. It lets you know how your, or your client’s, accounts are doing and if they’re profitable.

Engagement rate is defined as a metric used to track how much your audience is interacting with your content and the effectiveness of your brand campaigns. You could have 1 million followers, but you won’t have a high Instagram engagement rate, for example, if only 10,000 of those interact with you sporadically.

An engagement rate over 2% - whether you’re calculating your Facebook engagement rate or other social media interactions - is considered pretty good. However, you’re doing an excellent job if you’ve got an engagement rate of over 3%.

There are several different formulas to figure out these various rates. Here, we’ll look at six of them to help make it easier for you to work with your, and/or your client’s social media accounts.

1. Engagement Rate by Reach (ERR)

This is the most common practice for calculating engagement rate on social media, especially for those accounts that choose to grow their following organically.

There are two formulas pertaining to this method. The first is for the first post, while the second is used across multiple posts. To determine the average in the second formula, you add up all of the ERRs and divide by the number of posts.

First Formula

  • ERR = total engagements per post / reach per post * 100

Second Formula

  • Average ERR = Total ERR / Total posts


  • Average ERR = Total ERR / Total posts

2. Engagement Rate by Post (ER)

This is very similar to ERR, but you’re measuring engagement with followers instead of the people your posts reach. This is how most social media influencers calculate their engagement rate, as most sponsors want to see that their followers are actually interacting with them.

First Formula

  • Average ERR = Total ERR / Total posts

Second Formula

  • Average ER by post = Total ER by post / Total posts


  • Post 1 (4.0%) + Post 2 (3.0%) / 2 = 3.5%

3. Engagement Rate by Impression (ER Impressions)

You may want to use engagement rate by impression if you’re running paid content, as it tracks how many times your content appears on a screen. This is effective for social media engagement, as Twitter and Instagram followers will scroll through your paid ads, creating an ER impression for you.

First Formula

  • ER impressions = Total engagements on a post / Total impressions *100

Second Formula

  • Average ER impressions = Total ER impressions / Total posts

4. Daily Engagement Rate (Daily ER)

It’s good to know how many people are interacting with your page and content, but knowing how often they’re interacting is important, too. This is where the daily engagement rate comes in. Having regular interaction is just as important as having a good percentage of followers interacting with you.

First formula

  • Daily ER = Total engagements in a day / Total followers *100

Second Formula

  • Average Daily ER = Total engagements for X days / (X days *followers) *100

5. Engagement Rate by Views (ER Views)

You’ll want to keep track of your rate of engagement by views if video is your main content. It’ll let you know how many people choose to engage with you after watching your videos.

First Formula

  • ER view = Total engagements on video post / Total video views *100

Second Formula

  • Average ER view = Total ER view / Total posts

6. Factored Engagement Rate

This could also be considered a weighted engagement rated, where there’s a points system for different types of interaction. For example, a comment might get two points, whereas a like may only get one point.

This type of engagement rate may not be for all social media platforms or account types as it shows some unconscious bias. However, it’s a method some marketers like to use when coming up with their engagement rate.


  • Comment-weighted ER = (Total comments x 2) + all other engagements / Reach per post *100

Bonus Calculation: Cost Per Engagement (CPE)

You may come across cost per engagement if you’ve chosen to sponsor content or you’re working with a client who has. If you’re working with someone and dealing with CPE, you need to know which engagement rate they want to use so that you can get them the best CPE.

The formula for CPE is: Total amount spent / Total engagements

There’ll be pros and cons with each calculation, so you should figure out what your needs are for your social media accounts. And if you’re dealing with a client, be sure to explain what each engagement rate is and help them come up with one that best fits their needs.