Why is Average Engagement Rate so important on social media?

Numbers… numbers everywhere!


When you get into measuring your social media analytics there’s probably a reason why you’re doing it. Whether that’s to report to senior management, track progress against your marketing plan or simply out of interest. Whatever that reason may be, there’s a lot of data to filter through.


Many people are drawn straight to followers, reactions, comments and shares which is understandable. But, we believe, one underrated metric is the Average Engagement Rate.


To be clear, before we get too deep into this, no single measure will categorically prove that you’re doing the right thing.


Never focus on just one social media metric

So, this is a slight caveat before we get into why we’re such big fans of average engagement rate.


When it comes to reporting analytics, you’re trying to paint a picture. By focusing on one metric, you’re hampering your ability to understand the wider context.


For example, you might be tracking post reactions and you start to see a decline. You panic. Everything you’ve been working on is crumbling around you. But wait. If you had been tracking comments too, you would have seen they were increasing. And this is a much tougher type of engagement to attract.


Lower reactions and higher comments could mean that what you’re saying is sparking conversation. Debate even. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing!


Whatever the reason for the change in this totally hypothetical situation, it does highlight why tracking just one metric can mean you miss out on context.


Time to take a look at your Average Engagement Rate

To begin with, let’s take a look at what Engagement Rate is.


Engagement Rate is a measure of how many people interact with a piece of content compared to the number of people who have seen it. Typically, this will be expressed as a percentage on an analytics report.


The Average Engagement Rate, however, is taken across multiple posts or a period of time.


Now, why do we love it so much?


Well, in the long run, it’s tough to maintain let alone grow.


Why?


Let’s assume you create content that is more engaging and generates more interactions than usual. The knock-on effect of this is that the platform will show that post and future posts to more people. This means, to maintain your average engagement rate, you need more people to interact with those posts. And if they do, well… the cycle starts again.


That’s why, if you can grow your followers, impressions or reach AND maintain your average engagement rate, you must be doing something right.