• Meriem Belhiba

No more hail mary processes, Benchmarking is the key! [2020 updated]


Table of Content:


  1. What is a social media benchmark?

  • What do we mean by social media benchmarking?

  • What are the types of social media benchmarking?

  • What is the importance of social media benchmarks for your brand?

  1. What are the metrics you need to follow for your social media benchmark?

  2. How often should you benchmark yourself?

  3. How to use KPEIZ and Market insight for benchmark?



Photo by Elena Mozhvilo on Unsplash



What does it mean to receive 1k reaction on a post? What about a 500 fan growth last month? Can you extract meaning from mere numbers? Except boosting your self-esteem and ego, you can extract nothing from raw numbers without linking them to a specific context.


Social media marketers should be endowed with the analytics skills and the necessary tools to be able to draw concrete conclusions. One way to do so is to carry out social media benchmarking. Benchmarking allows you to outperform your previous results as well as your competition’s.


It’s a key component in any compelling and successful social media strategy. But, do you really sure you know everything about benchmark? Since the launch of our Market Insights feature, questions invaded our email inbox. Our prospects and clients kept asking questions about social media benchmarking. And, we found ourselves in the urgent need of explaining things from scratch.


In this article, we will be compiling all the questions we received and answer them in a clear way.




1. What is a social media benchmark?





  • What do we mean by social media benchmarking?


First things first, we need to understand the term “benchmarking”. For this to be fully grasped, we need to resort to a dictionary. We know you may be one of those who hated linguistics classes in high school. But, guess what? Linguistics is very important in digital marketing.


You need to understand the denotation of each term and contextualize it in its digital landscape. The Macmillan Dictionary defines the act of benchmarking as “the use of external standards to assess performance”.The Oxford dictionary adds an insightful meaning to its definition by defining it as “to judge the quality of something in relation to that of other similar things”.


These two explanations sum it all. Try to think of these definitions in social media context. Digital marketers do “compare”, “judge” and “assess” our “current metrics” to other “metrics” to know how well or bad we’re doing in our social media accounts.


Benchmarking involves looking externally (outside a particular business) to examine how others attain their performance levels, and to understand the processes they are using. In this way, it helps in explaining the processes behind excellent performances. When solid benchmarking exercises are applied appropriately, they facilitate improving performance in critical functions within the business.


But, beware! When we talk about social media benchmarking, we usually understand that we’re assessing our performance to our competition’s. It’s true and in most cases, when you type “benchmark” on search tab or talk about it with marketers or friends, you get it revolving around competition benchmark.


But, social media benchmarking encompasses more than this. And, it has types you need to know about.

  • What are the different strategies of social media benchmarking?




Social media experts usually split social media benchmarking into 4 main strategies or segments. This categorization was made first by Kevin Shively at Simply Measured and then advocated and popularized by Kevan Lee at buffer. Benchmarking involves four strategies to do it:


  1. Aspirational benchmarking: it’s when you juxtapose your results and metrics to those of your industry’s leaders. The term “aspirational” is very encouraging here. You pick up the leaders of your industry, those who rule it and set standards for it, and start comparing your results to theirs. One day, you’ll reach that list and make these metrics. This very social media benchmarking is done to make you see the big picture and also to dream big. You can choose to follow big international competitors or restrict yourself to national competitors. Find out how you stack up against your National competition using KPEIZ Market Insights!

  2. Trended benchmarking: this strategy relies on your own previous metrics or results. It’s when you set your objectives and goals based on your previous results. For example, if you’ve reached 200k fans on Facebook. You may be in need of setting an interaction goal based on it. You can work on making 10% of them click, repost, comment or like your posts.

  3. Earned benchmarking: This type of benchmark is mainly done for campaigns and promotions. And, obviously, you shouldn’t compare a campaign with your monthly posts or organic ones. A previous successful campaign is your standards to assess a current campaign. Think of this like an athletic record that keeps changing and challenging you to break it each time you launch a campaign.

  4. Competitive benchmarking: This is the most common social media benchmark, marketers and mentors talk about. This benchmarking relies on your direct competitors and those you can reach their level and even beat them one day.

Want to get inspired by your competition's content? Try out our benchmark solution!


  • What is the importance of social media benchmarks for your brand?


Benchmarking will help you to see through your stats in a pragmatic and actionable manner. Using benchmarking effectively means you can measure and optimize your efforts. Having stats to compare with will add a real vision to your own results.

It is very wise to think about benchmarking as a way to :

  • Gain an independent perspective about how well you perform compared to other companies

  • Clearly identify specific areas of opportunity

  • Prioritize improvement opportunities

  • Set performance expectations

  • Monitor company performance and manage change

  • Develop a standardized processes and metrics

Let’s dive deeper into what benchmarking can do throughout social media:


The top line performance of a brand’s social media efforts can be measured through a social network’s inbuilt analytics. However, brands and agencies do not have ready access to competitor’s data. Without spending days of effort, there is no way of even approximating how a competitive brand is performing on social media.That’s why, brands need a tool, to analyze their own performance and others’.Social media benchmarking helps you assimilate how your content strategy is resonating with your followers, and if it is not, benchmarking can guide you to areas where there is room for improvement



What are the metrics you need to follow for your social media benchmark?


Each social media channel has its own metrics. You need to adjust your KPIs tracking to the specificities of the social media channel. If you’re carrying out facebook benchmarking, you can’t neglect some important metrics. And, it’s the same case for Instagram. You should follow relevant metrics depending on the channel to have a successful social media benchmarking.


To make it easy for you, we’ve compiled a list of the metrics you should be tracking


Facebook Benchmark metrics:


  • Fanbase size

  • Fan growth

  • Engagement Rate

  • Interaction Rate per day/post

  • Users post on brand’s page

  • Admin Participation

  • Average page interaction

  • Average post interaction

  • Total Reaction

  • Total of shares

  • Total of comments

  • Frequency of posting

  • Average click-through rate (CTR) on Facebook by sector

  • Average conversion rate (CVR) on Facebook by sector

Instagram Benchmark metrics:

  • Number of followers

  • Number of followed accounts

  • Post Number

  • Score of likes

  • The Number of comments

  • Instagram engagement rate.

  • Post Frequency

  • Engagement Rate



How often should you benchmark yourself?


There is no right or false answer here. We know you feel so pissed off when you read this very type of answer. But, this really depends on the size of your business, whether you have an in-house marketing team or not, and the scope of the benchmark you want to carry out.


If you run a small business and still cannot afford having a dedicated marketing team, you can conduct benchmarks every now and then. Social media benchmarking, at this point, will clear the vision in front of you. So, you will be enlightened about what you competitors are doing and how they are doing whatever it is.


If your business largely depends on social media, you need to have social media benchmarking in your monthly to-do list. You can’t go blind on social media if you’re relying on it to generate leads, increase visibility and build your brand. But, we can understand if you have a lot on your plate to deal with and you cannot keep this very time-consuming task conducted on a regular monthly basis. All we can say is that you can put social media benchmarking on your shelf but never forget it when you launch a new campaign. Pre and post campaign benchmarks are primordial to assess the efficiency of your digital campaign and pinpoint your standing within the industry.



How to use KPEIZ and Market insight for benchmark?


At Kpeiz, we assess the relative level of performance in key areas or activities of social media accounts in comparison with others in the same sector, and eventually we find ways of closing gaps in performance. We provide all information needed for a company to assess its performance and to know their positioning in the market. In the picture below, we took Market Insights of car brands as an example:





You can adjust the ranking to the metric you want to track. Here we chose to compare Tunisian car brands according to their total fans.


Just keep in mind that benchmarking is the key to get closer to someone’s business and sector. In order to upgrade the quality of a product, it is crucial to understand your supply and demand as well as your competitors’ performance.







Summary:


Social media benchmarking is the backbone of any successful social media performance and presence. It may sometimes feel draining due to the huge amount of effort you need to invest. But, always remember: investing your efforts in the right task is never deemed a waste.


#market #competitors #Benchmarking #Facebook #socialmedia #competition #kpeiz #performance

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