5 Ways to Benchmark on Social Media

Published 23rd of September 2014 ,

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Measuring your company’s performance on social media is a critical process and should never be left to guess work. However, simply measuring the reach and engagement on your social content is only half of the process – how do you know if the numbers you get are good or not?

This is where benchmarking comes in. In order to effectively measure your performance you not only need to track things like reach and engagement, you also need to compare those numbers to something to see what they really mean. Presenting social metrics against a series of benchmarks will provide the critical perspective that is needed to understand performance and provide guidance on where to improve.

Corporates have been benchmarking their internal processes and competitor activities for decades, but when it comes to the efficacy and share of voice on social media, benchmarking has been grossly underutilised.

Social media platforms are digital, which means they are measurable on various levels. Measurement is critical to benchmarking. These measurements allow us to use benchmarking to guide social media strategy, reputation management, reporting and ultimately insights.

The downside of the measurability is that the myriad platforms and the matrix of metrics on each pose a very complex problem on what to measure and when to measure it. Your social media strategy should always guide what you consider important to measure and the context within which the measurements are used.

The upside to having a measurable platform and community is that benchmarking will help you understand previous performance, set goals and objectives, and track your progress. It will give you a better understanding of the online landscape and your share of voice online.

While measurability is key to accurate benchmarking, there is a qualitative piece of work that needs to take place to determine social media efficacy.

Irrespective of what software you use or how you go about gathering your data and insights, there are 5 ways to benchmark on social media that will ensure you measure what matters:

  1. Direct Competitor Benchmarking
  2. Indirect Competitor Benchmarking
  3. Landscape Benchmarking
  4. Historical Benchmarking
  5. Platform Benchmarking