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What is a Good Social Media Engagement Rate?

Blog Post Author – Alex
Alex15th May 2020

A good social media rate differs for every social channel. Twitter engagement rates tend to be lower than Facebook engagement rates, for instance.

That means there’s no hard and fast rule for what makes a good engagement rate.

But before we dive into the best engagement rates for each social channel, what do we mean by social media engagement rate?

Well, depending on which social channel you’re to be using at the time, it can mean a like, a comment, a share, a retweet, a click, an image expand, and many other actions.

1 contentcal tweet

It’s a calculation that factors in the total number of engagements on a social media marketing post. But where does rate fit into all this?

By rate, each social platform means the total engagements a post received, divided by the total number of impressions on that post. This is usually expressed as a percentage.

So a post that is seen on your followers’ Facebook page 1,000 times & receives 100 engagements has a 10% engagement rate.

We take a closer look at the four most popular social media platforms, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram, to see exactly what engagement rate should be, and what a good engagement rate looks like. Be sure to add this information to your social media plan.

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What is a good engagement rate for Facebook?

A good social media engagement rate on Facebook can be as little as one to two per cent according to industry experts.

But that generally refers to big brands, like Coca-Cola, who benefit more from the awareness of sitting on your feed un-clicked than a small business that’s trying to push you to a sale, for example.

1-2% is an OK engagement rate if you get handed a social account with a large, unengaged following. But who wants that?

An engagement rate of 5% is what you should be aiming for if you’re a small business that aims to use social media as a way of building a community.

7.5% is our stretch target at ContentCal, and although we sometimes fall short, it’s not for lack of trying.

Each of these stats assumes there is no spend behind your posts. As soon as you promote your posts, engagement rates tend to get skewed, depending on what type of promoted post you put live.

More often than not, adding spend to posts causes engagement rates to decline.

Should you focus on your Facebook engagement rate?

There’s actually a strong argument that says you shouldn’t focus on social media engagement rates when you look at Facebook.

Over the past years, Facebook has continually reduced the organic reach of posts that come from pages, like your company’s Facebook page. That means that the reach of your posts has probably declined.

facebook engagement post

Because your posts are being seen by a smaller, more targeted minority that the algorithm thinks is more likely to engage, the engagement rate will be higher.

Remember, the engagement rate is total engagements divided by total impressions.

An engagement on Facebook includes:

  • Likes
  • Comments
  • Shares
  • Post clicks
  • Link clicks
  • Video views
  • Image clicks

However, there are still good reasons to track engagement rates for Facebook.

When you see your friend like something, that recommendation is social proof. And a study from Nielsen showed that a friend’s recommendation was the most trusted out there.

Sharing from your social media calendar also means that your brand’s advertising potential – both for selling products and picking up new potential customers – is much bigger.

These are time-worn arguments for using Facebook, and though the organic reach is declining, they still hold true. However, by reducing reach, Facebook is encouraging you to spend more on ads to improve their engagement.

We find that engagements per post may be a more helpful metric than engagement rate, because - although it is dependent on a post’s reach - you’re not working with a metric that Facebook can directly alter when it chooses to.

How to improve your social media engagement rate on Facebook

Here are a few suggestions for improving your social media engagement rate on Facebook or social media management platform:

  • Use Facebook’s tools or ContentCal’s. You’ll find these under Facebook Insights on your page. Or on the Analytics tab in ContentCal. In order to know what your targets are, you should know where you are now.

2 facebook insights

  • Post more videos. Facebook stats show that videos get 135% more reach than photos. And if those videos are ‘live’, then even better. You can expect user interaction to jump by 6%.

video post facebook

  • Post when you know your followers are going to be online. That way they’re more likely to comment or share the content you have just uploaded. This is an important step when planning social. ContentCal Analytics allow you to see very clearly what your ‘best times to post’ are, ready for you to add to your Setup area as ‘Preset Publish Times’.

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  • Post content that’s interesting for your followers to read. Think about what they would share. It might be educational, funny, inspirational or informative. In other words, to get people to engage on social media platforms, you need to give them what they want. Don’t try to sell. But you know that already.

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  • Check out your competitor’s posts. Why do they get more engagement than yours? Is it their brand, or are they using tactics to improve engagement? If they don’t get more engagement than yours, well done! Think about how you can hone what you’re already doing better than the rest.

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  • Be relevant, light-hearted, and post amusing content from time to time. Your social media marketing doesn't always have to be serious.

5 ContentCal humour

How social media engagement rates could change on Facebook

Organic reach in the news feed has been decreasing year by year.

Facebook’s own algorithm prioritized ‘friends and family’ posts back in 2018, which meant other organic marketing posts just weren’t getting through to users – making it more difficult for brands to reach new users.

Last year the platform introduced a new button ‘why am I seeing this post?,’ making the user feel as if they had more control over what was appearing in their news feed and, for brands, more able to dismiss their content unless it amused or interested them…

6 why am i seeing ad

From a brand’s perspective, Live Video is growing on Facebook so expect to see more companies uploading real-time recordings events, presentations, and demos over social media platforms.

The reach of posts in engaged groups has also grown over the past couple of years too.

What is a good engagement rate for Twitter?

Engagement rates tend to be lower for Twitter than for Facebook.

Most would consider 0.5% to be a good engagement rate for Twitter, with anything above 1% great.

Smaller businesses with an engaged following should aim for an engagement rate that’s consistently more than that, though.

At ContentCal we see our Twitter engagement rates at about 1.5 - 2%, due to having a smaller but more engaged audience than many of our competitors.

Like Facebook’s engagement rate, Twitter’s engagement rate is calculated as the total number of engagements a Tweet receives divided by the total number of impressions on that Tweet.

7 contentcal tweet

However, it’s more difficult to achieve a good engagement rate on Twitter than Facebook because people and other brands tend to post to Twitter more often, so there’s more competition among posts.

Unless your account drives high levels of engagement over a sustained period of time, it’s going to be unlikely that your tweets get engagement vs 50 of the other Tweets your audience sees in the same session.

However, there are more ‘types of engagement’ on Twitter, which should help engagement rates appear closer to levels seen on Linkedin and Facebook.

On Twitter, an engagement can mean any of the following:

  • Clicks anywhere on the Tweet
  • Retweets
  • Replies
  • Follows
  • Likes
  • Link clicks
  • Clicks on cards
  • Clicks on hashtags
  • Clicks on embedded media
  • Clicks on username
  • Clicks on profile photo
  • Expansion of the Tweet

Why you should focus on your Twitter Engagement Rate

There’s a good reason to use Twitter, despite its lower engagement rates. A post on Twitter is more likely to go viral than on any other online platform.

Sure, it’s extremely difficult to get this done with a personal account, let alone a brand account, but if your business doesn’t struggle to produce a lot of content, it’s worth sticking with Twitter.

It takes a few good Tweets in a row for Twitter’s algorithm to promote your Tweets more readily to your active audience. Within a couple of months, you can build a strong community that you can engage with every day.

When you see engagement rates rise each week or month on Twitter, you know you’re building something worthwhile.

If you struggle to see a pattern like that, we’d recommend you look at engagements per post on Twitter to see where you can improve.

How to improve your social media engagement rate on Twitter

  • Check your current engagement with Twitter’s own engagement tool. You can access that here, or look at your analytics via ContentCal. You’ll see which posts are successful and what ideas you can ditch.

8 twitter insights

  • Respond quickly – especially to customers. Your customer satisfaction metrics will go through the roof. Around 85% of brands on the platform use it as a customer support tool.

  • Put photos and/or quotes in your posts. According to Twitter, posts with photos received 35% more retweets and those with quotes 19% more of the same.

9 ContentCal facebook post

  • Use hashtags and trending tags. They’ll get you in front of as large an audience as possible.

10 hashtags tweet

  • Add links to any blog posts you’ve written in your tweets. Certain Tweets are an opportunity to bring traffic to your site.
  • It may seem basic but – engage with other users. Respond to relevant Tweets and start a conversation
  • Ask questions. Add content that requires a response, such as a quote or the results of a survey.
  • Engage with influencers in your industry. Who knows, they may retweet your content to one of their thousands – or millions – of followers

11 influencer engaging

How social media engagement rates are likely to change on Twitter

The introduction of follow topics gives brands more of an opportunity to catch a potential customer’s eye by aligning to a topic.

It will also be possible to ensure only some of a brand’s social media marketing audience sees particular tweets. That helps the rest of the audience feel like the brand is still relevant to them.

Changes to targeting and brand alignment are likely to improve engagement rates but don’t expect these to fall in line with the other social platforms. Twitter has much less in common than algorithms for Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram, and engagement is harder to earn. That’s why so many people love using the platform.

Linkedin

What is a good engagement rate for Linkedin?

Linkedin is probably the best platform for driving engagement and poses the biggest opportunity for individuals and businesses that want to increase awareness of their B2B brand or recruit for their B2C company.

A good engagement rate for Linkedin is about 2%, however, this can climb all the way up to 5 or 6%, depending on the type of content you share.

Why you should focus on your Linkedin engagement rate

Linkedin is a great place to get improved organic reach without paying for ads and is where many business leaders choose to build their social profile.

Although engagement is somewhat muted for brands, in comparison to individuals sharing posts, Linkedin is where you’re most likely to get the biggest reach with a single post.

12 linkedin views

Linkedin’s engagement rate favors media like pictures, videos, and gifs, and like the other platforms, clicks onto this media improves the overall engagement rate.

The types of engagement Linkedin recognizes are:

  • Clicks on the update
  • Clicks on the image or gif
  • Link clicks
  • Comments
  • Shares
  • Reactions (such as likes, hearts, etc.)

How to improve your Linkedin engagement rate

There are so many ways to improve your Linkedin Engagement Rate. Here are a few ideas:

  • Add insightful comment to breaking news in your industry

  • Share company milestones, awards, new joiners

  • Focus on the people in your company, they are your brand on Linkedin

  • Add images to your social media marketing posts

  • Ask your team, or people you know, to like important posts within the first 30 minutes of them going live. This will help Linkedin’s algorithm identify them as worthwhile.

  • Add images and videos to your posts

  • Post entertaining things, like industry jokes. Not as many others are doing this, and these types of comments get better engagement

  • Reply to every comment on your posts, to improve the number of comments and encourage more conversation

  • Look at LinkedIn Analytics to see how your current posts are doing and to check followers, demographics, and trends.

  • Consider using Sponsored Content to grow your follower

It’s also worth avoiding certain habits, either because Linkedin’s algorithm tends not to reward them or because they tend not to resonate with people:

  • Don’t share you’ve posted on Linkedin Pulse (Linkedin’s own publishing platform)
  • Don’t share a post without adding any extra background information
  • Don’t share an article without also sharing why someone should read it
  • Don’t use overly formal language - just write like you would usually talk

How Linkedin’s engagement rate is likely to change

We’re likely to see Linkedin’s engagement rate for business pages decline over time as Linkedin prefers sponsored posts.

However, for now, Linkedin is an oasis of organic engagement that can effectively drive site traffic, viral growth, and even leads, where platforms like Facebook and Twitter don’t.

Instagram

What is a good Instagram engagement rate?

With 500 million active users, Instagram provides a big opportunity for companies who have a visual appeal, and especially those with a physical product.

Engagement rates are typically higher than Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook, partly due to the nature of the format. With one post per screen, you’re made to focus on the content, and either engage or scroll past.

Around 2% is seen as a good social media engagement rate on Instagram. Anything 3% or more is great.

In the survey conducted by Rival IQ, the Higher Education sector had a higher than average rate of 3.5% while Retail was lowest with 0.67% engagement per post.

To view Instagram insights, you’ll need a business account.

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How to improve your social media engagement rate on Instagram

  • Use the Stories **tool where you can upload visual content which vanishes after a day, rather than become a permanent fixture on your feed. Stories has become so popular since it launched in 2017 that Hootsuite’s Social Trends Survey revealed 64% of marketers include it in their social media strategy.

  • Use Post Insights to see which posts did best and analyze why. Then do what works more, do what doesn’t work less, and experiment to add to your best-practice handbook.

  • Turn a photo set into a carousel. When these tell a story they’re far more interesting to watch than stills.

  • Launch a photo competition to get followers to send their own images to your company hashtag, so you can curate the best shots. User-generated content is a big win for brands on Instagram - it showcases your fans ingenuity, gets them involved, and brings you closer to their lives.

  • Use hashtags. Most content on Insta is sorted and filtered with hashtags. In fact, studies show adding hashtags to content results in 12.6% more engagement. Use keyword tool to identify which are right for you.

  • Use Instagram Live Video within Instagram Stories. This allows followers to join you instantly when showing off a new item, event, or interview. There are two other options – ‘normal’ where the video is available for 24 hours and ‘Boomerang’ – a video that compiles a list of posted images.

  • Post often, but mix up your types of post

  • Take time to respond when tagged in comments or when you receive direct messages. If you turn on Post Notifications tracking that shouldn’t be a problem.

  • If the budget allows, call on influencers to help you market your products. Instagram is probably the best tool for this kind of promotion, according to Mediakix

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How social media engagement rates are likely to change on Instagram

The changes Instagram has made to its algorithm so far have all been geared towards giving the most engaging content as quickly as possible.

Moving from a chronological timeline to a highlight-focused timeline shows that, and it looks as though Instagram is going to continue on this path.

The platform’s promotion of engaging content goes beyond other social platforms. Unlike Facebook, for example, posts from business accounts and posts from individuals are treated exactly the same. That’s great news for brands, as long as it continues.

However, organic reach through Instagram is dropping, so you’ll need to work harder to get engagements on your posts.

By posting frequently on Instagram, you’ll get more consistent engagement. Take a break for a month and you’ll start to disappear from people’s feeds.

Where you should focus your efforts on improving engagement rates

Linkedin and Instagram are the best places to improve your engagement rates, while Twitter and Facebook are a bit more of a slog.

But whichever social platform you choose, engagement won’t just turn up. You need to earn it.

Hone your voice. It’s important that a company focuses on having a consistent voice that customers recognize. What’s your brand’s personality? Why is it worth listening to?

Listen to feedback. Responding to comments, noting which posts do well & why, and running tests to see what gets the most engagement, so you can repeat it are all key parts of running a social account.

Mix things up. What works today won’t work again tomorrow. You need to continually add new, improved types of content into the mix to show your audience that you’re leveling up your social accounts. You also need to be set up with the correct social media scheduler or perhaps looks at social media tools that are relevant for what you need.

It’s tough, but it’s worth it. Doing this right leads to more engagement, loyalty, brand awareness, and sales.


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