Wise Metrics pointed out four flaws with the current method of calculating Facebook engagement, as well as providing a formula of its own, in a post on its blog.
- All interactions are not included: Playing videos, viewing photos, and clicking through on links can make up as much as 80 percent of interactions with some pages, yet they are not included in this commonly used formula, which is a major reason why many pages see engagement rates as low as 0.02 percent.
- Only Facebook users who have liked the page count: As Wise Metrics said in the blog post, “Facebook’s great promise is in viral marketing (touching friends of fans), not in the number of fans you have.” Engagement should factor in the number of Facebook users reached, whether they have liked the page or not.
- Mixed data: The current engagement metric works on a ratio of interactions by fans and non-fans divided by the total number of fans, which Wise Metrics likened to comparing apples and pears.
- Pages that post large amounts of content are favored: The current formula favors quantity over quality, and the more posts on a page, the more opportunities exist for engagement.
Based on our previous comments, we’ve devised the following formula. The formula presents the following benefits, which makes it a lot more accurate:
- It includes all type of interactions: photo views, video plays, link clicks, quotes — not only likes, comments and shares.
- It compares fans’ and non-fans’ engagement (users engaged may or may be not fans) with total number of fans and non-fans reached.
- Only people who had the opportunity to see your content (thus, the opportunity to interact with it) are included.
- The impact of publishing rate is isolated.
- And at the end, it really answers the question: Does my content engage my community or not?
Using this formula, you may expect engagement rates of 30 percent, 40 percent, 50 percent, or more.