When you want to measure your social media performance, context is just as important as numbers. Without knowing the context, how would you decide if 100 likes is a good number or a bad one?

This is why benchmarking is so crucial, as it gives you a way to look at your numbers in context. It allows you to compare your numbers against a meaningful standard so you can look at the bigger picture. And in this post, we show you how to create social media benchmarks for your social media store.

What is social media benchmarking and why do you need it?

Social media benchmarking involves comparing your numbers and processes against the industry standards. It looks at metrics such as number of posts, follower growth rate, engagement, etc. And it compares those metrics against those of your competitors so you can get a 360-degree of your performance.

As such, social media benchmarking answers important questions such as – What does my social media performance look like? Are my efforts good enough? What can I do to improve these numbers?

With social media benchmarks, you can get a clear idea of how you stack up against the competition. And this benefits you in a number of ways:

  • First, you can get a better understanding of your competitors’ strategy. What are they doing differently? How can you implement those strategies to improve your performance?
  • You can also find out how your current content strategy resonates with your audience. This helps you figure out which areas need improvement and how you can create even better content.
  • It helps you stay up to date with the latest trends that dominate your industry.
  • You can figure out how to improve your budget planning. Are you wasting money on areas that aren’t very important? Could you allocate more funds in areas that need it?

Getting started with social media benchmarking

Now that you know the importance of social media benchmarks, let’s find out how you can start creating them. Here are the basics of creating benchmarks for your social media store:

1: Figure out your needs and goals

Start by figuring out “why” you’re on social media and why you need to benchmark. Do you want to attract new customers to your social media store? Perhaps you want to drive more sales or even return customers. Whatever your needs and goals are, make sure you have it all figured out before benchmarking.

This is necessary to understand exactly what you’re measuring and how to proceed with your benchmarking. For instance, your goal may be to optimize your social content strategy. In this case, you’ll want to look at how your existing posts are performing and compare those numbers against the competition.

Keyhole’s Social Media Reporting tool gives you a detailed look at your social media performance. It also keeps track of your top posts to help you understand what resonates with your audience. So, these insights and metrics will make sense for this particular social media goal.

2: Decide on which platforms to analyze

To better focus your benchmarking efforts, you should also narrow down on the most critical platforms to analyze. Try to focus on the social media channels where your target is the most active. But if you’re looking to expand, you could also analyze the platforms where you’re falling behind the competition.

And don’t forget to analyze the platforms where your competitors are getting a lot of traction. All of this will help you understand what they’re doing right and how you can improve. Most importantly, make sure to focus on platforms that bring or have the potential to bring value to your business.

3: Outline the metrics you want to benchmark

Next, decide on which metrics make the most sense to benchmark right now. There are plenty of metrics that you can analyze and benchmark. But for now, focus on the metrics that are relevant for a specific goal and social media strategy. For competitive analysis, for example, you could benchmark metrics like follower growth rate, posting frequency, post engagement, and so on.

According to a SocialInsider survey, engagement rate per post is the top social media metric that professionals follow. Metrics like likes and comments, total reach, and page/fan growth are also popularly followed.

Social media metrics for professionals

Besides these, you could also keep track of metrics like average engagement, post type distribution, posting frequency, and more. The idea is to focus on the metrics that are most relevant to your current social media needs and strategy.

4: Choose the right benchmarking tools

For accurate social media benchmarking, you need to use the right tools. There are plenty of social media analytics tools that can assist you with benchmarking. Ideally, you should choose something that can give you access to historical data and competitor data. Plus, you need to make sure that it can provide accurate data (try double-checking with native analytics data, if need be.)

Keyhole is an excellent option for this as it gives you both real-time and historical data on your performance. It can measure all kinds of crucial metrics such as top posts, sentiment, social media post types, and more. Plus, it also lets you compare your performance against that of the competition.

5: Pick out actionable insights based on data

Based on the benchmarking data, figure out how to turn those numbers into actionable insights. For instance, let’s say you found out that your competition is getting tons of engagement for videos. In this case, your actionable insight may be to “create at least 4-5 social media videos each month.”

Growing your social media store

Now that you have the basics to start social media benchmarking, it’s time to step into action. Start measuring and benchmarking to optimize your strategy and grow your social media store. Whether this involves creating more user-generated content or overhauling your entire strategy, it all starts with accurate benchmarking.