Influencer Engagement Rate Calculator
Marketers and social media users alike grow less impressed by follower counts alone; instead, authentic content and engagement signal a new era of creator validation.
In other words, a creator’s follower count may or may not be significant, depending upon the kind of social media relationships that creator maintains with his/her followers. Authentic engagement demonstrates the quality of those relationships, because everyone can see positive feedback by way of post likes, comments, shares.
That’s why we’ve customized a free tool to help you look beyond follower counts and evaluate a creator’s engagement. These calculations will help you partner with the right creators and give you insight into what motivates their audiences.
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How to Measure Influencer Engagement Rate
What Is an Influencer Engagement Rate?
At the risk of oversimplifying, most engagement rates take the number of post engagements (likes, shares, and comments) and divide that number by a creator's follower count.
But many marketers closely examine social media algorithms to understand how a creator's content reaches audiences. These insights cause marketers to view engagement in a few different variations.
For example, some analysts claim that Instagram does not automatically prioritize placing creator content in follower newsfeeds. Rather, these observers claim that content from friends and family is most likely to show up on newsfeeds. If this observation is true (and remains so in the face of frequent algorithmic changes), then engagement rates might need to be calculated in other ways.
Despite these hair-splitting controversies, an engagement rate generally expresses the same data quality. That is, there is an audience and then there is audience response. The volume of that response against the backdrop of all impressions from views, followers, etc. represents an engagement rate.
What Does an Engagement Rate Tell You About a Creator?
A creator's engagement rate demonstrates that audiences weren’t content to merely view a piece of content. The creator’s content was compelling enough to merit a response, whether that response be a like, comment, or share.
When a creator produces consistent, positive responses from other social media users, their engagement rate climbs. And influencer marketers note that creators with high engagement rates very likely nurture audiences that view the creator’s opinion very highly.
For DTC brands, engagement is one of the strongest indicators of influencer ROI. High engagement metrics typically show brands that a particular creator has the skills and relationships to leverage on behalf of the products and services that they love.
A Word About Fake Influencers
Unfortunately, fake influencers exist. And with the growing popularity of influencer marketing, fake influencers exist in two forms.
The first - and most notorious - version of fake influencers are those that purchase followers and likes. These fake influencers will manufacture engagement to appear more valuable to brands. They may even go so far as to partner with individuals or agencies to manufacture post comments and shares.
Spotting this first category of fake influencers is simple if you take a closer look at their profile and post engagements. Typically, they have an inordinate amount of likes to comments and shares. Of the comments that do exist, the grammar is poor and the comment substance is shallow.
The second category of fake influencers are those that initially build a strong audience but lose their authenticity in an effort to make money with brands. These influencer audiences are usually real, but the influencer’s engagement rates begin to take a nosedive once followers weary of the inauthentic content.
Influencer Engagement Among Followers
Calculating engagement rates based on follower counts is the most common method among influencer marketers. See the formula below:
Post Engagements / Number of Followers
A creator's followers represents the widest pool of social media users with a likelihood of engaging that creator's posts. This calculation method tracks a creator's rapport among his/her active audience.
Followers’ repeated and meaningful engagements on creator posts demonstrates that that creator has a strong connection with their followers. This approach is the best way to understand how easily creators like influencers consistently appeal to their followers.
Influencer Engagement Based on Views (Reach)
In an influencer campaign, marketers may want to examine engagement rates for specific posts. Using this metric, brands can gauge how well a creator's post performed compared to that creator's other content or past campaign posts.
Post Engagements / Number of Views or Impressions
Additionally, measuring reach allows your brand and influencer team to tweak your use of messaging and hashtags to generate more views for each post. The greater your reach, the more opportunities there are for meaningful engagement.
Important Influencer Engagement Rate Metrics - What Is an Engagement?
In restricting engagement to likes, comments, and shares, you might miss opportunities to track different kinds of engagement. This begs the question - what exactly is engagement?
Engagement is a meaningful post interaction. On its own, a social media platform offers the three standard engagement types (likes, comments, and shares). TikTok offers challenges and duets. Followers can also direct message brands and creators.
But your influencer marketing program can offer more opportunities for users to engage. Analytics demonstrates many scenarios in which a follower refrains from hitting the like button, sharing, or commenting, but that follower will click a link to make a purchase or claim a discount. Without the proper tools, some brands may never realize these additional engagement opportunities.
Links within posts give audiences more ways to engage a creator post. Whether these links direct to a landing page, ecommerce store, or request for more information, tracking them can give you a better idea of how well your creator's posts are performing.
Audience Post Comments
The opportunity for ongoing user-generated content makes post comments significant. Often, audience members have questions or feedback regarding a brand or product showcased in a creator post.
Both the brand and the creator have the opportunity to engage those followers with helpful information. These comments can also initiate fruitful conversations that generate additional engagements from other social media users.
All to say, by paying close attention to post comments, your marketing team and creator may want to encourage ongoing discussion within an influencer post. This activity will continue putting the creator post back into follower newsfeeds and even attract outside audiences.
Website Traffic Through Affiliate Links
It’s common practice for creators on Instagram and YouTube to curate a post (or set of posts) and refer followers to an affiliate link in their profile. This approach is most common among brand ambassadors because they tend to nurture long-term relationships with their favorite brands.
By noticing when certain affiliate links convert, you can match the web traffic to a particular campaign and track those engagements for a more accurate influencer engagement rate.
Branded hashtags are yet another way to note engagements beyond the traditional like, comment, or share. Many followers and influencer peers will follow an influencer’s lead in promoting a branded or custom hashtag for your campaign or marketing event.
Most social media platforms allow you to search for hashtags and find out how often someone used your hashtag to promote your brand. These hashtag shares demonstrate quality engagement.
Use This Engagement Rate Calculator to Find the Best Influencers for Your Brand.
The quality of your creator vetting process can make or break your influencer marketing campaigns. Using our free engagement rate tool above, you can measure the quality of a creator's relationship with their audience.
Strong relationships between creators and their followers increases the chances for more conversions during an influencer marketing campaign. By understanding how engagement rates work, you can also use this information to improve the quality of your influencer marketing campaigns over time.
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