Definition: Engagement Rate [ER]

Engagement Rate (or ER) is the percentage of people who saw a piece of content or ad and engaged with it.

For example, if one person interacted once with an ad after it had 100 ad impressions, that will give you an ER of 1%.





What does Engagement Rate mean?

An engagement is any interaction with content. For example, engagements on a video typically include:

  • Pressing Play
  • Clicking through to another page
  • Making the video fullscreen
  • Unmuting

As well as ‘negative’ or neutral interactions such as pausing the video, muting a video, resizing the screen, or changing the volume.

Engagement is mainly used as a social media metric but is also used with traditional online advertising.

Engagement Rate defines how much, given the chance, users are engaging with ads. It is a helpful measure to gauge users’ interest in ads, as it shows that users have noticed the ad.

Although this is a very small win for advertisers, it is essential to building a relationship with a user. A higher ER means that people are more interested in a piece of content – or at the very least, they have noticed it more often.

Note: The number of measurable engagements alone is not as useful as the ER. This is because different amounts of impressions give different numbers of opportunities for engagement.




Engagement Rate Example

ER tells you how content with equal opportunities can perform. Consider this example:

Ad ONE seen 1,000 times and engaged with 30 times.
Ad TWO  – seen 10,000 times and engaged with 275 times.

As you can see, Ad TWO has had far more engagements than Ad ONE. However, it has also had ten times more opportunities for engagements.

If you multiply Ad ONE‘s engagements by 10 (so both ads had an equal opportunity for engagements), it would have had 300 engagements.

This shows why it isn’t fair to judge ads simply by engagements. Therefore you can use ER to compare pieces of content that have different amounts of impressions.

Instead of doing complicated maths to equalise the number of impressions, you can divide the engagements by the impressions to get the ER. In this case, we would get:

Ad ONE seen 1,000 times and engaged with 30 times. ER = 3%
Ad TWO  – seen 10,000 times and engaged with 275 times. ER = 2.75%



Engagement Rate Formula

As this metric can be used for either ads or content, the type of impressions used in the equation below means views.

This metric is occasionally used as the percentage of engagements per user; in this case, you would replace impressions with users in the equation below.


Engagement Rate Formula

Click to enlarge

Engagement Rate = Engagements x 100 ÷ Impressions



What Is A Good Engagement Rate?

According to data collected and analysed through our Engagement Rate calculator, the average engagement rate globally across platforms is 3%-4%.

The best marketers (the top 25%) average between 6%-7%, while the bottom 25% of advertisers get around 2%. These are very general benchmarks but useful if you need to add context to your performance.

If your results are…

  • above 6%, you should be very pleased
  • above 4%, you should be slightly pleased
  • below 3%, you should be somewhat disappointed
  • below 2%, you should be very disappointed

Most results are somewhere in the middle, so between 2-6%, you are more or less doing ok.

The best benchmark is always your past performance. If you performed better compared to the same time last year, then that is important. This benchmark is more beneficial for context than a direct comparison.


[Take a look at our Engagement Rate Benchmark Tool to filter these results and make them more relevant to you]




Top Tip

If the only way of engaging with an ad is by clicking on it, then the CTR is effectively the ER.



Different Types of Engagement Rate

If you want to compare ER across platforms, I recommend sticking with engagements ÷ impressions. However, platforms do not necessarily all use this formula.

Most notably, Instagram doesn’t publicly use an ER. This has led to different 3rd party platforms coming up with different ways of measuring it – which can be very confusing. Find out about the most common ways to calculate Instagram Engagement Rate here.

On top of this, different platforms measure impressions in different ways. Twitter, for example, wants you to feel like your Tweets have reach, so they measure when your Tweets appear in someone’s feed (even if they never come on screen). This has the effect of lowering your Twitter ER.

On the other hand, LinkedIn wants posts to feel effective, so they only measure impressions when they are at least 50% on screen for over 300 milliseconds. This is a more honest form of impression, but it also raises your LinkedIn ER.

Every platform is slightly odd like this, so when comparing ER results should be taken with a pinch of salt.



7 Things To Know About Engagement Rate

  1. Engagement Rate shows you:
    1. How often people engage with content
    2. How fast people are engaging with content
    3. Which content is most interesting
    4. Which content is being noticed the most
  2. TikTok has the highest ER of any social network BY FAR (It’s estimated to be at around 50% overall)
  3. ER is a better metric than just Engagements. For example, you would expect more engagement from a post with 1 million views than one with 1,000 views, but that doesn’t mean it’s more engaging.
  4. Instagram doesn’t even acknowledge engagement rate as a metric.
  5. Each platform considers different things to count as engagements. If you are buying engagements, make sure you know what is included.
  6. Platforms can increase ER by counting more things as an engagement. This is why some platforms include ‘negative’ engagements (such as muting a video) as an engagement. Find out how each social network counts engagement here.
  7. Platforms can increase ER by counting fewer impressions. This is why some platforms only count impressions when they are on screen for a period of time.



Other names for Engagement Rate (synonyms)

  • ER
  • Interaction Rate
  • Website Engagement Rate




Engagement Rate Definition



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