Social media benchmarking puts context around your performance metrics. It is significant for 2 foremost reasons:
- Determines whether performance is increasing or decreasing over time
- Enables actionable insights for what to do next
Without performing social media benchmarking you’ve got no method to gauge success on social media and even understand what represents “good” or “bad” performance.
There are two ways to benchmark your social media marketing:
- Historical benchmarking against yourself over time, i.e.: month on month, week on week
- Competitor benchmarking against a gaggle of competitors that you identify
Most stakeholders and clients lack a reliable framework for how you can evaluate social media marketing (i.e.: what’s the return on their investment?). Measuring interactions and growth is positive but without benchmarking, you’re measuring in a silo and unable to inform a coherent narrative of performance over time.
In addition to this, social media benchmarking strengthens the general business case for social media marketing and will even assist you change perceptions in your organization. Perhaps social is viewed internally as an expense but over time you’ll be able to change that perception in order that social is viewed as a substitute as an investment that yields a tangible return.
Finally, social media benchmarking provides essential competitor intelligence and helps you understand what sort of content works in your area of interest or industry. This isn’t about simply copying tactics that work for competitors but more about understanding how audiences react to different content, different media types and why. These sorts of insights can really help shape your future social media strategy and enable you to take a more data-led approach relatively than one based on intuition and guesswork.
How to Do Historical Benchmarking?
Arguably the preferred social media metric that marketers care most about is Engagement Rate (ER). It’s not an ideal metric but ER is sweet for gauging the extent of engagement across your posts on any social channel.
If your Facebook Engagement Rate is 1.09% (shown in the instance below), how do you realize if that’s good or bad? Month-on-month reporting can provide the needed context and can help you view the evolution of your metrics over time.
Figure 1: Historical social media benchmarking
Not only are you able to benchmark performance against yourself over time, but in addition cross-channel. For example, Facebook vs. Instagram vs. TikTok.
Another useful data source is broad benchmarks just like the Facebook Engagement Rate Benchmark powered by the a whole bunch of hundreds of profiles indexed every day by Social Status:
Like any benchmark, the monthly average moves continuously so it’s essential to grasp the broad trends on the channel level and the way they could or may not impact your individual performance. This can also be super-useful for explaining performance changes to stakeholders or clients.
How to Do Competitor Benchmarking?
The second method to perform social media benchmarking is against competitors. Many marketers attempt to search for “industry averages” but benchmarks like these are at all times quite skewed and could be misleading.
Let’s say you run a small independent production studio. Does it make sense to benchmark yourself against the “Entertainment” industry benchmark which incorporates brands like Universal and Sony Pictures? Probably not. This is why it’s best to “roll your individual” benchmark and define the competitors yourself. That way, your comparing apples with apples and getting a more accurate and relevant view of the prevailing average.
If you don’t know who your competitors are, it’s time to do a little analysis! Look for brands and organizations that talk to the identical sorts of goal audiences that you just do. It’s especially useful to discover competitors in your country or region since performance metrics are quite different globally as a result of how audiences behave and react on social media world wide.
Figure 3: Competitor social media benchmarking
When benchmarking against competitors, you’ll be able to analyze individual post performance (like in the instance above) or have a look at profile-level performance. Either way, you’ll ascertain a competitor’s average quickly. You can then use this to either prove how well you might be performing vs. competitors or set a goal to extend performance to not less than the competitor average.
Integrating Social Benchmarking as a part of Reporting
Social media benchmarking isn’t only a one-off exercise. It needs to be used as a continuing reference check as a part of your ongoing weekly, monthly or quarterly social reporting.
Leaning on historical and competitor benchmarks provides stakeholders with the added context and removes any second guessing that is perhaps incorrect.
When delivering your social media reports, you’ll want to control the narrative and guide your stakeholders down pre-determined logical conclusions. Some of those is perhaps the necessity to increase resources to create more prime quality content or the necessity to adjust publishing frequency vs. content quality or the necessity to increase paid social spending.
All these conversations grow to be easier and more data-driven in case your social media reporting backs up your argument and states a robust business case.
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