Social media benchmarking focuses on comparing a brand’s performance against the average performance of the industry.
By using campaign benchmarking, you can also find out where your brand is situated in your niche based on your competitors’ success.
Social media benchmarks can fuel your efforts to become better at designing your social media marketing strategy, keeping your goal in mind.
Today we’re going to find out more about campaign benchmarking and how you can compare to the rest of the industry you’re part of.
Let’s dive in!
A complete guide to social media benchmarks
Social media benchmarking: A step-by-step guide
3.1. Analyze your social media needs
3.2. Decide on metrics: what are good social media metric benchmarks?
3.3. Decide on social media networks to analyze
3.4. Write down actionable insights for your industry
3.5. Create a presentation
Social media benchmarking is an average result which gets used as a reference by other businesses in the same industry on social media.
The benchmark represents the rule, the norm that businesses all follow. When it comes to social media benchmarking, all businesses plan to reach a particular performance.
By comparing your brand to your competitors, to the whole industry, or to your previous performance, you get insightful data that helps you adjust your marketing strategy to fuel your growth.
Through social media benchmarks, you get to check your social media KPIs and see where you stand compared to previous performance of your own brand or others.
Social media benchmarking is essential to help your brand evolve based on the comparison with other brands or the entire industry.
In fact, without benchmarking, it is tough for businesses to know where they stand their respective niches.
Quarterly or yearly social media benchmarks may help you to:
- Improve your content strategy that resonates with your target audience. You and your competitors share the same buyer persona, and a social media competitive analysis helps you identify the areas that need improvement.
- Uncover your competitors' strategy on social media networks.
- Get better at budget planning.Stay up-to-date with the latest industry trends.
When developing social media benchmarking, you have to look at a lot of data and check the factors that could influence your marketing campaign’s success.
Keep in mind the fact that social media benchmarking also helps you find out whether your audience resonates with your content strategy.
If not, benchmarking offers you actionable insights that direct you towards improving.
Social media benchmarking resembles a lot to a social media audit, where you use the same process to look at your brand’s performance over a certain timeframe.
To look at accurate data, you need to use a third-party analytics tool that provides you with a lot of in-depth social media metrics.
Here is the step-by-step guide you need to follow in order to develop social media benchmarking.
Before starting your social media benchmarking, you have to assess the reason why you need to do it.
- Is it because you want to see how much you’ve progressed in the last 3/ 6/ 12 months?
- Is it because you want to see where you stand in your industry compared to your competitors?
- Do you need a content analysis for your brand?
- Do you want to compare your content’s performance to the overall industry?
Depending on your needs, you can develop a social media competitive analysis to learn more about your competitors’ performance or you can benchmark yourself against the entire industry you are part of.
This type of in-depth analysis will help you comprise your social media audit as well. Moreover, part of the benchmarking also constitutes some social media listening skills.
It’s important to identify the missing piece from the puzzle and see exactly what data you lack and would wanna know.
In our latest study on social media industry benchmarks, we analyzed 12 of the most active industries on social media and looked into million posts across Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok.
Our need was to define which social media channel is the king of social engagement and where brands should invest (more) budget next year.
To understand the potential of each industry on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok, you need to take a look at the average engagement rates per post.
As you can see in the chart above, TikTok still has the highest engagement rate compared to the rest of the social media platforms included in the study.
However, the engagement rate’s value for TikTok is 4.25%, being lower than the one registered the previous year, when it registered 5.96%.
You need to identify which stats matter most to your social media strategy. Your social benchmarking depends on your business goals.
You have to decide whether you want to analyze general metrics or industry-specific metrics.
- Total engagement
- Average engagement
- Reach/ impressions
- Growth fans/followers
- Post types distribution
- Posting frequency
- Top performing posts
- Video views
When performing social media benchmarking, it’s best if you start with key metrics.
First, focus on those related to engagement, next look at those about community growth, and then progress to metrics like the frequency of posting or types of posts.
Do you know what's the difference between the average and the median of an industry?
You can opt out to compare your performance based on the average or the median of the industry.
The average is where you add all the values of a certain metric, and then divide the sum by the number of values available. On the other hand, the median is the middle value on the list.
Once you have correctly identified your social media needs, the next step that you need to do is to identify what social media channels you should includ in the social media benchmarking process.
It is advisable to analyze the social media platforms where your target audience is most active and engaged.
It is also important to look at data for the social media networks that your competitors use to reach out to their audience. Always remember that you are all targeting the same audience.
This way, you'll know exactly what they are doing right and learn from it. Don't waste your time implementing a social media strategy to a network that doesn't provide value to your business.
Let's say you're managing the social media presence for the health industry and your competitors aren't on Pinterest.
You could exclude this platform from your analysis unless you're launching a new product which is matching with the Pinterest audience.
Most companies understand the value of social media data. However, they often lack the ability to turn them into actionable insights.
Once raw facts have been processed and split into clusters that are more user-friendly and easy to follow, it needs to be analyzed in order to draw actionable insights.
Actionable insights are valuable because it will help you rethink a particular angle of your marketing strategy or take a different direction to improve productivity.
Make a list of all the actionable insights you discover during social media benchmarking and include them in your next social media campaign.
Once you have successfully analyzed all metrics, it’s time to put together all the data gathered in one place.
You need to develop a social media benchmarking report to keep count of the progress you’ve made, regardless of whom or what you’re comparing your brand to.
Include all the metrics you want in your presentation before showing it to your client or managers. This way, it will be easier for them to interpret the results.
Moreover, the report can then be used as a standpoint, using actionable insights to adjust your social media strategy for a better performance.
Looking at all the data you need for social media benchmarking might be tiring, especially if you have to search for it in multiple places, having a lot of tabs open.
With the help of third-party tools, you get to see all the key metrics you need in one place and you can even download the report after checking the data.
Socialinsider offers you the chance to craft a benchmark competition including your brand and your competitor, developing a head-to-head comparison with the Benchmark feature.
By comparing with your benchmark competitors, you will find out where you stand and how much effort you need to put into your work to become better than your benchmark competition.
With the Cross-platform feature from Benchmarks, you can analyze your brand’s performance on multiple social media platforms. This benchmark will show you what's working and what's not.
With the right social media benchmarking tool, you can develop a campaign benchmarking and see exactly how a selected campaign performed.
I’m gonna show you how to do this. Let’s take for example Starbucks and their famous coffee drink known as Frappuccino.
After I added Starbucks’ social media profiles for Facebook, Instagram and TikTok into the dashboard, I went straight to Posts.
First, I selected two different time spans in order to compare the evolution of the same campaign in two different years.
In the first time frame, January 2022 - May 2022, I discovered 6 posts were published with the keyword “frappuccino”.
This year, between January 2023 and May 2023, Starbucks published 22 social media posts with the hashtag “frappuccino”.
This indicates that the coffee brand decided to up their game and focus more on this campaign since they saw that the audience likes their drink.
For the posts you see here under the Posts tab, you can get individual social media metrics like engagement, impressions, reach, likes, comments and engagement evolution.
If you go to Strategy and click Campaign Benchmarks, you can look at the evolution of the campaign unfolding throughout the whole timespan.
And so I did! I clicked Strategy and this is what I’ve got for the frappuccino campaign in January 2022 - May 2022.
There were only 3 posts on Facebook and 3 posts on Instagram. However, this year, Starbucks decided to push more on this frappuccino campaign.
In 2023, they’ve published 9 posts on Facebook, 10 posts on Instagram and they’ve started posting about this campaign on TikTok, having 3 posts.
All these campaign benchmarking insights help you learn about your content performance and the evolution of your campaign.
This is how you will understand more about your audience’s preferences and how they change over time, from one year to the next.
By finding out these actionable insights, you will know what to focus on next in your campaign.
Social media industry benchmarking can also help you find out where you stand compared to your industry.
Socialinsider also has a feature that helps you compare your brand’s performance with the whole industry.
Today’s scenario implies beauty brands. I created a project called “beauty” and I added some social media platforms for Haus Labs and Rare Beauty.
After comparing these beauty brands’ performance in Benchmarks, as part of a competitive benchmark, I decided to compare Haus Labs’ performance to the performance of the entire beauty industry.
In this section called Industry you can perform a social media industry benchmark and see metrics about posts evolution, posts by type, time to post, engagement evolution, post types ranked by engagement, and top hashtags used.
The amazing thing about it is that the results of this beauty brand Haus Labs contribute to the industry’s overall performance.
Social media benchmarking can help you obtain important data on how your business is performing compared to the industry’s best practices.
In this case, any bit of insight can go a long way when it comes to results.
Follow the framework above for the social media benchmarking process.
In addition to that, add the social media benchmarking tool that fits your needs, and you're set for your first, in-depth social media competitor analysis.