Today, you’d be hard pressed to find a company that doesn’t have some kind of a social media presence.
Everybody understands the importance of being active on social media and engaging your audience through content.
And that means it’s no longer enough to merely show up online if you want your social media strategy to be effective – you can be sure that all of your competitors are also on the same social media platforms, engaging the same target audience.
So how can you measure success?
Today, even if you have thousands (or even millions) of subscribers and followers on social media, that won’t mean much if you’re not generating measurable results.
But in order to understand if your social media strategy is working, you need to measure it against something.
That’s where social media benchmarking can be so helpful.
What is Social Media Benchmarking?
You can’t really draw any conclusions from your social media data if you don’t have anything to compare it to.
After all, how can you know if your results are good or bad if you don’t know what to aim for? For example, if you didn’t know how top websites and social media pages were performing in terms of unique social media page views or comments, it would be impossible to set realistic goals and make consistent improvements.
That’s where social media benchmarking comes in – it allows you to measure your key social media performance metrics against a meaningful standard.
Having a benchmark for tracking your performance on social media is essential for measuring success and making steady improvements that help you form a stronger connection with your audience. What’s more, social media benchmarking can help you figure out the specific areas of your strategy that need to be addressed in order to move forward.
But what exactly should you measure?
Well, there isn’t a simple answer to that question – it will ultimately depend on what your business goals are and what are you trying to accomplish through social media.
But here are a few social media benchmarking strategies that can help you get started.
Evaluate Your Content Performance
There are many different goals that your content could have when shared on social media – you could use it for lead generation, educating your audience, converting prospects into customers, improving customer satisfaction, or just positioning your brand against the competition.
But to do all of that, your content needs to be relevant and interesting to your target audience.
But how can you measure the performance of your content?
Well, on social media, the basic indicators are obvious – by looking at your likes, comments, shares, and views, you can get a pretty good idea of whether it’s generating the desired results.
But it gets a little more complicated when you want to figure out if your performance is on par with what’s typical in your industry.
Even if you do manage to get a few dozens of likes and shares, that won’t matter much if your competitors are getting tens or hundreds times more, right?
Luckily, there is a rather simple way to keep your finger on the pulse of how the top content in your industry is performing, which can give you a good indicator of what to aim for.
By using a competitive analysis tool like BuzzSumo, you can analyze the leading content for different keywords and even see the exact amount of shares and engagements it got on social media.
Image Source: https://buzzsumo.com
Using these insights, you can not only gain a better understanding of what to aim when creating future content but can also get ideas of what type of content tends to garner the most attention on social media.
Keep Track of Your Mentions
Social mentions are one of the best ways to gain ground on social media.
The reason they work so well is that they’re entirely organic – once you reach a certain level of recognition in your field, other companies and your target audience will start to mention your brand and products on their own, without the need for manual marketing efforts.
And because social mentions can be so powerful, you need to know precisely when and where they’re happening. This can help you cater your content and branding efforts in a way that encourages more social mentions in the future.
But how can you find out when you’re mentioned on social media?
Well, once again, this job is made much easier by various tools that are available today. And perhaps the most powerful and useful tool for finding mentions about your brand is Social Mention.
Image Source: http://socialmention.com
As the name suggests, it’s a search engine that can help you find mentions about your brand, your products, or anything else that relates to your company.
It provides a wide range of customization options, allowing you to specify the exact social media platforms you want to search, and even showing info on the context, most prominent keywords, and much more. You can even extract all of the information in a convenient spreadsheet.
An added benefit of knowing where you’re being mentioned is the ability to engage your audience and actually respond, which gives your brand a much more approachable feel.
You should use this tool to check on your competitors as well – seeing how and when they’re being mentioned can give you plenty of ideas on how to improve your own social media efforts and see what results you could expect.
Find the Most Prominent Influencers in Your Industry
Influencers are the most powerful figures on social media – at the end of the day, they are the ones who decide what’s worthy of shares and likes, and what isn’t.
Because they’re just regular social media users that have become authority figures in their field, they have a deep understanding of what their audience responds to.
And this information can be invaluable when trying to increase your own influence on social media.
If you can identify influencers in your industry, you can study what they’re doing and gain a much better understanding of what your target audience responds to. This can not only help you come up with endless ideas on how to tweak your own social media strategy but can also provide you with a better idea of what you could potentially expect.
You could even take it a step further and reach out to some of the more prominent influencers with a business proposal. If you could get them to review your product or give you a shout-out on their social media channels, it could provide your social media efforts a huge boost.
Choose the Right Resources for Finding Benchmarks
Finding reliable benchmarks that are relevant to you can be difficult, so you need to be extra careful when choosing the ones that can be useful for your social media campaigns.
That’s why it’s so important to thoroughly study various benchmarking resources and pull together data from different sources to get the most complete picture possible.
Raw numbers from your social media analytics don’t show any context regarding your performance, which can make it almost impossible to draw any useful insights for improving, especially when you have to analyze your social media data on different platforms.
Luckily, there are plenty of social media marketing tools that can help you gain a much more diverse understanding of your performance.
One of these tools is Buffer social media manager – it comes with a range of powerful tools for performance analysis, allowing you to manage all of your social media accounts in one place.
Using Buffer, you can set your social media benchmarks and then, after some time has passed, come back and review your average number of clicks, likes, shares, and comments per post.
You can analyze this data against your past performance or your competitor’s benchmarks, identifying trends and insights that help you improve your strategy and produce content that’s more relevant to your audience.
About the author:
Dave Schneider is the founder of LessChurn, churn reduction app. In 2012 he quit his job to travel the world, and has visited over 65 countries. In his spare time, he writes about SaaS and business at DaveSchneider.me.