multiply your engagement by learning from others! – WAU

If you have an aligned marketing strategy, you certainly do not spare any effort in social media. In this scenario, benchmarking for social networks comes in, capable of showing how your performance is alongside your competitors. I bet you’ve already asked the question: “How am I doing in relation to the competition?” Benchmarking allows not only […]

If you have an aligned marketing strategy, you certainly do not spare any effort in social media.

In this scenario, benchmarking for social networks comes in, capable of showing how your performance is alongside your competitors.

I bet you’ve already asked the question: “How am I doing in relation to the competition?”

Benchmarking allows you to not only identify your highs and lows in front of the market, but also find out where other companies are hitting and failing.

Thus, you can learn from them and, finally, be able to make the best possible decisions for future actions.

In addition, checking your results out of context does not make any sense: what may be good for you may not be at the same level as the market. Benchmarking gives meaning to your analysis and allows you to make assertive conclusions about what is really satisfactory.

Want to know how you are in front of your competitors and learn to put yourself in front of them?

Read on and find out what benchmarking for social networks is and how to apply it to increase your engagement in this medium.

What is benchmarking for social networks

It is natural to compare your own work with that of other people to find out how you are doing, isn’t it?

The benchmarking principle is just that, but as a strategy of market intelligence.

Its about compare your company with your industry, some of his highlights and his competitors, in order to gain insights that will clearly show what you are doing today and how you can improve your actions.

The very meaning of the word benchmark has its origin in “reference”. You may not have thought about it yet, but data alone is completely subjective.

In every analysis you need to put perspective to understand the real results and know if your practices are equivalent to the best on the market.

You can compare yourself from quantitative and qualitative notions with other companies, with general averages in the sector and also with yourself.

It is possible that you do not have a defined strategy in this field, but you probably already have some practice in benchmarking.

Even with some occasional market research, it is necessary to have an established methodology so as not to be in the dark about its positioning.

The golden question that should you ask is “Is what we are doing enough?”. If you believe so, then keep up the good work.

If you think there is room for improvement, which happens most of the time, with benchmarking you will find insights to optimize your results based on actions that have proven to be successful.

Benchmarking for social networks works on the same principle.

But the object of study is the performance in social media of your company, your sector and the best players that are in it.

Why you need to do social benchmarking

While some metrics are totally unpredictable and private, the digital medium presents clear and largely public results, which ensures greater assertiveness in your research.

With an accurate measurement, it becomes clear what is bringing good results and where optimization actions should be applied.

In addition, the process in Digital Marketing is accelerated, which requires constant changes, as well as error correction. Social benchmarking allows you to identify trends and keep your strategy always up to date.

If you take the time to produce posts and publish them, you need to make sure you’re doing it right, and the best way to be sure is to evaluate side by side with other references.

Without this, chances are you are wasting precious time on actions that are not having the expected effects.

The process is valid for all segments. Large companies cannot risk making mistakes in their publications and burning their film, while small companies must know if the investment of time and money is paying off.

Even if it is necessary, it does not mean that this monitoring takes you hostage to the competition. The goal is to use your opponents’ data to your advantage.

Benchmarking is essential for your social media marketing strategy: it is able to indicate new trends, assist in decision making and lead to the development of new strategies and skills, promoting better results for your company.

There is a wide variety of methods and metrics that can be evaluated. You just need to establish a defined process and do it at regular intervals to identify your continued progress and come up with new ideas for further planning.

The 4 benchmarking methods for social networks

Benchmarking is about comparison, but this is very broad, right? After all, it is possible to compare yourself with other companies, with a whole sector in general, with yourself, with campaigns. Anyway: the possibilities are diverse. .

So Kevan Lee, director of marketing for Buffer, one of the best social media tools out there, has separated 4 methods based on the definitions of Kevin Shively, head of marketing at Simply Measured, a fantastic measurement tool.

Aspirational

In aspirational benchmarking, you must seek learning from market leaders, organizations with a greater presence on social networks and their best practices. Now, it’s time to dream big.

Its function is completely motivational. When you see structured tactics that generate engagement, you can dissect publications, get some applicable insights on your pages, and thus gain a page on the same level as the best.

Look for companies that are on the lists of the best companies, like Forbes 2000, or the best SMEs. The important thing is to be inspired by those you admire and learn how to do social media with them.

Trended

This form of benchmarking seeks to compare itself with past activities and, thus, define realistic goals and projections with these comparisons in mind. That way, it is possible set goals that you can actually achieve.

When looking at your own history, it should be noted which were the best results achieved so far. Based on what worked, it is possible to continue reproducing what has been done and to merge with new ideas to optimize your creative and executive process.

In addition, it is possible to check the average of its performance over time, identify how it grows and recognize which actions were responsible for this. It is essential to know what has been done in the past to aim for successes and not repeat past mistakes.

Earned

This method finds its object of analysis in campaigns. They don’t necessarily have to be from your previous promotions or other successful cases. The important thing is identify campaigns with good returns and find insights into what was done to achieve that.

More than a strategy monitoring, earned benchmarking seeks to show points to be adopted and avoided in campaign planning, in order to maximize its results.

With analysis of actions that have achieved engagement, it will be identified what is directly and best related to the consumer.

Your objective should not only be to reproduce what has already been done well, but to combine success points with innovations to create new social media moves.

Inspirational

Called competitive by Shively, this method seeks to establish goals based on lines of performance and growth of direct competitors. That is, your competitors are the source of research to find growth opportunities on social networks.

However, Kevin Lee thinks this is a little restricted. Thus, he switches from competitive to inspirational, and includes influencers and partners in his market as sources of inspiration.

That way, just like aspirational benchmarking, you will find extra motivation to formulate incredible goals. The only factor is that comparisons must be made with businesses in your industry.

Social benchmarking step by step

Comparison is natural, but you need to establish processes that allow you to identify opportunities and threats, how to apply new techniques and see growth in your performance. Comparing once is not enough, you have to side dish.

Therefore, there are some steps you can take to compose an organized and ongoing benchmarking strategy.

1. Select which companies you are going to analyze

According to the methods explained above, you must choose companies to analyze their performance on social networks. They can be market giants, partners, organizations you admire and direct competitors.

You must necessarily choose yourself as the object of research as well. How would you compare if you didn’t select yourself for analysis, right?

2. Define analysis indicators

After choosing the targets, it is necessary to make a cut of what you are looking for. To do this, you must choose metrics that are aligned with your goals. Those that are most relevant are the Key Performance Indicators, the KPIs, essential in every business.

There are several goals in social networks, such as increasing brand awareness, optimizing conversions, gaining more leads, promoting a healthy relationship with consumers, engagement with the community, among others.

Metrics make up an even more extensive list. You can check out the full list in our Social Media Metrics article: a practical handbook for learning what and how to analyze. Among them, it is worth mentioning:

  • Engagement
  • Reach
  • Frequency of publications
  • Channel growth
  • Number of posts
  • Mentions and what they are saying about your company
  • Answer rate

Starting with a practical example, if your goal is to improve the relationship with consumers, you will probably keep an eye on engagement metrics, such as the number of likes, followers, comments and interactions, and check qualitatively how it happens.

Goals and metrics are directly linked to each other. Before starting the research itself, both need to be set to save time and analyze only what will really make a difference.

Another tip is to prioritize fees, rather than gross amounts. That way, you will be able to see a linear performance. The most important thing for the strategy is consistency.

If a competitor already has 10 thousand followers and starts to have 12 thousand, he will have grown 2 thousand, a legal result. Now, if you go from 2 thousand to 4 thousand, even with an equal numerical growth, it is more significant, considering that you have doubled the amount of fans. Amounts may be relative, but rates are not.

Finally, remember that it is always good to analyze things that go beyond numbers. It is possible to analyze the tone of the communication, the design of the publications and the content that others are offering. All of this data will make a difference to your social media planning.

3. Collecting data: suitable tools

With companies and KPIs defined and ordered, it’s time to collect the data. It is important that the measurement is well done so that the comparisons are correct.

As it is a huge amount of data, it is not easy to calculate averages of performances in the hand. There are charts provided by some channels, such as Facebook Audience Insights and Twitter Analytics, but do not have the necessary depth.

The good news is that there are tools for monitoring social networks, some of which offer benchmarking services.

3.1. Quintly

Quintly allows you to follow several pages at the same time, benchmark with your competitors and, thus, optimize your performance.

With it, it is possible to analyze all your social networks in one channel and with the appropriate depth. In addition, it allows comparison with competitors and elaboration of several social media metrics, including some personalized ones.

We have already reviewed the tool, and in fact we can conclude that it is very flexible, complete and customizable. It is worth the investment if you want to win on social media, or at least test your 14-day free trial.

3.2. Buzzsumo

Buzzsumo is one of the most popular tools because it offers insights into what is working and how it is being disseminated. It identifies content with defined keywords and even when a competitor makes a new publication.

It makes detailed comparisons for your benchmarking and monitors various social networks, which is very interesting because it brings together several channels and analyzes of competitors in one place.

3.3. LikeAlyzer

Using predefined metrics, LikeAlyzer calculates the performance of your fan pages and compares them with the main pages in your industry.

Their method works through scoring ranging from 1 to 100 and points out aspects that can be improved in your efforts on social networks.

3.4. SocialBakers

SocialBakers has a fantastic performance in its paid version. She points out which are the biggest and most popular brands in her sector, considering her audience and the growth of her pages.

It measures, positions your company in the market and makes complete reports with trends on social media, in general and for specific sectors.

3.5. Simply Measured

With several interesting reports on its fan pages on the main social networks – Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – Simply Measured presents the content that is pumping and makes an analysis of competitors and their pages.

In addition to measurement, it is a great tool for monitoring shared content and conversions.

4. Comparison and analysis: opportunities and errors to be found

There, you have already selected the companies and the important data you needed. Therefore, the time has come to make comparisons and see how your performance is doing.

This interpretation follows from the perspective of market intelligence. When evaluating what you are doing well and what can be improved, you should document your strategy.

It is important that this data is passed on to your team, so that it is materialized in publications that optimize audience engagement and results.

The process must be done again to check what other companies have done in the meantime and what results your company has achieved on social media.

It’s not enough to do it just once, it’s a constant monitoring, which allows you to generate insights from others and learn from your own achievements.

The monitoring frequency is variable. It depends on how active a company is on social media, how its flow of publications is, what brand engagement it is and how much time is spent collecting data and comparing the chosen metrics.

There is no way to stop investing in social networks and the digital medium is becoming increasingly competitive. Therefore, wasting time on mistakes already made is not an option.

It is necessary to bet on actions that generate positive results for a performance ahead of its competitors.

Benchmarking for social networks is the way to enhance your efforts, get practical and applicable inspirations. So don’t let it go: use the techniques and tools to your advantage and be a master in social media.

In addition to comparisons with your competitors, you also need to know how your performance is facing the market. So be sure to check out the 17 best Marketing and Sales surveys in the world and get insights for your company.

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