How To Create Social Media Benchmarks And Competitive Analysis For Your Brand

| Competitive Analysis | Adina Jipa

Wondering how to improve your social media performance? A competitive analysis against top competitors might help you.

I know that conducting competitive benchmarks can be overwhelming. It requires some analytics skills, statistics, and you need to have an intimate knowledge of the industry.

Today I'm going to share with you how to perform a social media benchmark for your brand and business, what metrics you need to include based on your social media needs and how to choose the story for your analysis.

Let's dive in!

Social media benchmarks guide

Social media benchmark guide

  1. What is social media benchmark?
  2. Why performing a social media benchmark is important for your brand
  3. Social media benchmarking guide:
    3.1. Analyze your social media needs carefully
    3.2. Choose the viewpoint of the story you'd like to share
    3.3. Decide on metrics
    3.4. Decide on social media networks to analyze
    3.5. Write down actionable insights for your industry
    3.6. Create a presentation that indicates key metrics
  4. How to choose the right tools for social media benchmarking
  5. How to perform a social media benchmark with Socialinsider

#1. What is social media benchmark?

Before jumping into the process of performing social media benchmarks for your brand or business, let me define what's benchmarking.

As the guys from Kune Creative noted: "A benchmark is a comparison to the standard. It allows us to weigh the performance of an action by comparing it to a previous accomplishment."

Social media benchmark is a process of comparing your process and performance metrics to industry best practices. The primary goal of social media benchmark is to answer two crucial questions: how are we doing and what can we do to improve our performance? It acts as a yardstick and allows businesses to gauge their performance.

#2. Why performing a social media benchmark is important for your brand

Benchmarking is important because it allows you to measure your performance and compare it with your competitors or the overall industry performance.

In fact, without benchmarking, it is tough for businesses to know where they stand their respective niches. Performing a quarterly or yearly benchmarking helps you:

  • 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.

#3. Social media benchmarking guide:

Here are six steps we are using them to create reports and social media analyses. Don't be scared by this number the first two steps are strategic ones, and the next ones are execution. Check it out

#3.1. Analyze your social media needs carefully

The first thing that you need to do as a social media manager is to determine the main reason why you need to conduct social media competitive analysis. Before you start measuring performance, it is essential to know exactly what you are measuring.

That is why it is important to carefully analyze your social media needs before you begin the process. This process can only be successful if you correctly identify the missing piece from your puzzle. For instance, do you want to perform a content analysis? Or do you want to understand the engagement rates from your industry? Collecting data and analyzing the stats help you performing the right actions on social.

For instance, when Maria and I analyzed these four business verticals on social media: automotive, fashion, food and food we wanted to know how these businesses perform on Facebook vs. Instagram, what type of posts they shared during the third quarter of 2018 and how often they post on Facebook vs. Instagram.  

Our need was to define which social media channel is the king of social engagement and where brands should invest (more) budget next year.

As you see - Instagram is the king of engagement in our Q3 social media competitive analysis

👉 You can read the study's results here.

#3.2. Choose the viewpoint of the story you'd like to share

Working is marketing requires to wear more hats, and the storyteller hat is mandatory for every job description.

Working in marketing requires to wear more hats, and the storyteller hat is mandatory for every job description. The viewpoint of the story can be: objective and subjective.

Objective viewpoint "is used when the narrator (in your case you are the narrator) relates facts but avoids emotion. Subjective viewpoint incorporates a object's thoughts and emotions into the storytelling."

Your viewpoint is the precise way you choose to tell your story. The aspect that you choose should be inline with your business goals and future projections. Plus your story needs a settle time.

#3.3. Decide on social media networks to analyze

Once you have correctly identified your social media needs, the next step that you need to do is to identify what social media channels should be included in the analysis.

You need to analyze the social media networks where your target audience is active. It is also important to analyze social media networks that your competitors use to reach out to their audience because you are all targeting the same audience. In this way you'll know exactly what they are doing right that you are not. Don't waste your time with a networks which it 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.

In our case, we decided to analyze the average engagement rate on Facebook and Instagram for the third quarter of 2018.

Social Media Use in 2018 by Pew Research

#3.4. Decide on metrics

You need to identify which stats matter most to your social media strategy. The metrics that you decide to analyze ultimately depends on your business goals. For instance, do you want to analyze industry-specific metrics or general metrics?

Some of the key metrics to consider include for a competitive

  • total engagement
  • average engagement
  • reach/ impressions
  • growth fans/followers
  • post types distribution
  • posting frequency

Start with benchmarking important metrics like community growth then progress 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 metrics then divide it by the number of metrics available. On the other hand, the median is the middle value in the list of metrics.

Here's a snap from our latest social media study

#3.5. Write down actionable insights for your industry

Most companies understand the value of social media data. However, they often lack the ability to turn them into actionable insights.

As a social media manager, you will be a task with making important decisions on behalf of the company and you need analytics to support your historical knowledge.

Once raw facts have been processed and organized into a format that is more user-friendly, it needs to be analyzed in order to draw actionable insights. Actionable insights are valuable because it will help the industry rethink on a particular idea or take a direction that will help improve productivity.

Q3 Social Media Benchmarks - Takeaways

Read the full study here 👉 Third Quarter 2018 Social Media Benchmarks: Automotive, Beauty, Fashion, Food Industries

#3.6. Create a presentation that indicates key metrics

Once you have successfully analyzed all metrics, you need to draw infographics or a presentation that includes all key metrics before presenting it to your client or managers. This will make it easy for them to interpret the results of your findings.

#4. How to choose the right tools for social media benchmarking

Thanks to advance in technology, there are many tools that you can use to obtain all data needed when conducting social media benchmarking. Here are some guidelines to follow and choose a tool for competitive analysis:

  • they need to give historical data: posts data, Instagram Stories data, engagement evolution, posts types distribution, etc.
  • data accuracy. If needed double check the data with the native apps.
  • they deliver monthly or quarterly reports. Automatic reports are awesome.
  • use only white tools which get the data through the API. You can ask them how they get the data before proceeding a payment.

#5. How Socialinsider can be used for social media benchmarking

With the right tools, you can conduct social media analysis, benchmark your efforts and compare different strategies. Obviously, we realized our studies with the help of Socialinsider, and I think every social media strategist should have a dedicated tool for competitive analysis.

Socialinsider is a social media analytics tool which serves up a full view of a competitor’s digital strategy for Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.

Once you create an account, group your pages or profiles per industry or client, and uncover your competitors' actions on social media. Consider running social media competitive analysis for:

  • Industry benchmarking
  • Clients
  • Inspiration
  • Influencers

Run social media competitive analysis with Socialinsider

Final thought

In conclusion, social media benchmarking can help you obtain important information on how your business is performing in comparison with industry best practices. Follow this framework for the social media competitive analysis process:

  1. Analyze your social media needs carefully
  2. Choose the viewpoint of the story you'd like to share  
  3. Choose the social networks
  4. Decide on metrics
  5. Write down actionable insights for your industry
  6. Create a presentation that indicates the key metrics

Your turn. What metrics do you analyze within your monthly or quarterly social media benchmarks?

Report and analyze social media performance for multiple business profiles from one dashboard with Socialinsider! Create social media benchmarks for your clients or industry, generate .pdf or .ppt reports, and automatically send them to clients. - *For users on an Agency plan.

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Adina Jipa

Adina Jipa

Making successful mistakes as a co-founder @socialinsider. I love writing about social media strategies, psychology & consumer behavior.

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