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How to Set Social Media Benchmarks and Conduct Competitive Analysis in 2020

Competitive Analysis

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How to Set Social Media Benchmarks and Conduct Competitive Analysis in 2020

Wondering how to improve your social media performance?

A competitive analysis against top competitors might help you.

Learning how to figure out social media benchmarks and how to create kpis for campaigns will significantly improve your page's performance.

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 create social media benchmarks 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 are social media benchmarks?
  2. Why performing a social media benchmark is important for your business
  3. Social media benchmarking guide: how to set goals and measure kpis
    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: what are good social media metric benchmarks?
    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 are social media benchmarks?


Before jumping into the competitor analysis per se, 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 simply means comparing your process and performance metrics to industry best practices.

The primary goal of social media benchmark is to answer two crucial questions:

  • How is our social media strategy performing?
  • 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 business


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: how to set goals and measure kpis


Here are six steps we are using them to create reports and social media analyses.

For a more well-rounded picture, the first two steps are strategic ones, while the next ones have to do with your benchmarking 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, beauty 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

#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.

The viewpoint of the story can be: objective and subjective.

Objective viewpoint is used when you relate the facts but avoid showing emotion towards those facts.

Subjective viewpoint includes thoughts and emotions about the aspects you are describing or explaining in your 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:

  • how personal do you want your messages to be?
  • is your audience more interested in the factual aspect of your message, or do they need a more emotional connection to your brand values?

#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.

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, Instagram and Twitter, to better understand how to divide social media efforts between these platforms.

Instagram posts get the highest engagement rates


Find out more data about engagement on differnet social media platforms!


#3.4. Decide on metrics: what are good social media metric benchmarks?


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.

We asked hundreds of professionals what they consider to be the most important social media metrics. Here's the rankings:

  • Engagement Rate per Post - 5 (61.4% of answers)
  • Likes & Comments - 5 (48.7% of answers)
  • Total Reach Β - 5 (43.7% of answers)
  • Page/ Fans growth - 5 (42.4% of answers)
  • Reach Rate per Post - 4 (40.5% of answers)
  • Total Impressions - 3 (30.6% of answers)
  • Impression Rate per Post - 3 (29.7% of answers)

Social media experts rank their top metrics.


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 in the list.


#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 a particular idea or take a direction that will help improve productivity.

Identify actionable insights.


Get a quick glimpse of your Facebook data to see what insight you can extract.


#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 conducted 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, YouTube and TikTok.

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

Once you create your project, go to Benchmarks and have an overview of your data on each platform, or select the Cross-platform to quickly glance over how all of your social media accounts are performing.

You can also quickly download a client-ready, branded report of these stats.

Analyze your social media benchmarks.


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.

In this case, any bit of insight can go a long way when it comes to results.

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 Β 
  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?

Create social media benchmarks!

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Adina Jipa

Adina Jipa

co-founder @ Socialinsider

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

How to Set Social Media Benchmarks and Conduct Competitive Analysis in 2020
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