How can brands benchmark their social media performance? This leads to a whole host of additional questions – which we’ll be examining in the post below!
So, which social media metrics are important, and why do some industries perform better than others? And which brands seem to get it right – and why?
This was the central topic in a recent discussion between Rival IQ’s Founder and Head of Product & Marketing, Seth Bridges and Mike Baglietto, Global Head of Market Insights at NetBase Quid. The webinar, titled Benchmark Your Social Media Performance for a Competitive Edge, drew insight from a recent Rival IQ report.
We have some takeaways to share below––and be sure to take a listen yourself for additional insight! Here are three key lessons to get you started:
Benchmarking Isn’t About Who Is Better
Many brands approach benchmarking from the wrong angle. Noting that many brands conflate benchmarking with ranking, Bridges seeks to dispel this notion. Benchmarking is a way to give us a relative comparison to understand the gap between where marketing is today and what optimal marketing looks like, he explains.
The industry averages show us the current state of marketing. Average brands operate at this level or lower, but above average brands aim higher. You want to know where the industry benchmark is, but this shouldn’t give you comfort just to hit those minimums.
Going deeper with competitive analytics, brands can reveal the performance of other businesses serving similar audiences and target those folks. And they should also watch their owned data, and aggregate it with other sources, as it often reveals so much more than brands realize. They may feel they’re competitively agile, but customer care call logs could indicate trouble on the horizon––something that they aren’t benchmarking for yet, as they aren’t aware of the problem until it looms large on the horizon.
As the pace of change accelerates and consumers have more options, brands must rethink how they approach their landscape in general, as they can’t keep up using traditional methods. Brands should focus on conquering the market with deep understanding of emerging themes; and in doing that they will conquer the competition.
Understanding Social Media Performance
Rival IQ’s 2022 Social Media Industry Benchmark Report sampled 2,100 companies from 14 industries to help brands understand the average activity on the various social media networks including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Some of the industries featured include Alcohol, Fashion, and Sports.
A key takeaway of the report is the rate of engagement this year compared to previous years. This is interesting as it reflects what has happened as consumers move from spending all of their time indoors to seeking experiences they have missed since the start of the pandemic.
Bridges focuses on walking the attendees through the data behind the report’s key takeaways and how they can use it to understand their own social media performance, including understanding engagement rate benchmarks on each site:
Did you gasp? Well, those numbers do look small, don’t they? But what is “small” (and what should you be impressed by) when you’re reading social media metrics? Bridges helps the audience understand performance numbers and how to look at such metrics objectively.
Performing Well on Social Media
But how can businesses improve their performance? One way is by maintaining a consistent posting cadence. Note that this doesn’t mean posting a lot. Rather, it is about consistency––and definitely make sure the content is high quality.
“High quality” implies a couple of things. First, it needs to be relevant to the brand. It has to speak to your target audience whether it’s focused on humor, education, or purely information. This type of content should be immediately identifiable to your audience––“on brand,” as this helps your brand attract attention on platforms such as Instagram where users are scrolling fast. Second, user-generated content is great for enhancing your internally generated content. It makes other consumers want to be involved with the campaign, which in turn drives more engagement.
Baglietto points out that brands need to be social. It’s really not an option to sit on the sidelines and hope customers find you. Getting your customers engaged with the content in a way that’s meaningful to them creates a connection that significantly influences their engagement with your brand. These and other factors shared emphasize the fact that you have to understand your audience if you are to perform well on social media.
The webinar attendees got a chance to hear in-depth about this and much more. They also got answers to their questions, with many interested on TikTok performance and how to optimize given that it is a relatively new platform.
Also, is TikTok a strictly social media platform or is it something else? There is a report coming out that may help clear this up for you. However, Bridges graciously shared one engagement rate metric from the unreleased report as well as his opinion on who the real competition is for TikTok!
If you missed out on this stimulating discussion, we saved a recording of the webinar and you can view it now by following this link: Benchmark Your Social Media Performance for a Competitive Edge. You will also be able to access the foundational reports for this discussion to get a closer look at the research. If you’d like to know how NetBase Quid and Rival IQ can help you realize better performance on social media, don’t hesitate to reach out for a demo.