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Why You Need to Set Social Media Benchmarks

By June 25, 2019June 1st, 2022Digital

Most of us use social media in some form. 

According to Statista, the number of worldwide social media users has reached 2.34 billion. This is expected to grow to whopping 2.95 billion by 2020.

It’s pretty clear that social media channels get a lot of attention. This makes it absolutely crucial for your business to not only be present, but measure engagement.

Thankfully, there are plenty of metrics to track in order to get a good gauge of your brand’s online social interactions.

What to Measure for Social Media Analytics

Measuring social media metrics is all about context. To get the most accurate read on your activity, we recommend comparing numbers to industry-wide benchmarks.

Rival IQ points out comparative metrics in their 2019 Social Media Industry Benchmark Report. They examined a wide range of industries to get a true sense for how metrics stack up against posting frequency, post media type, hashtags, and more.

The well-rounded report shares the following metrics per industry:

  • Posts per day
  • Posts per week
  • Engagement rate

Engagement rate is determined by the amount of interactions posts earn in relation to reach. Interactions can be likes, reactions, comments, shares, retweets, and favorites.

Without context from industry benchmarks, your data is just a bunch of free floating numbers that doesn’t mean much. Social media benchmarks give a competitive analysis and more accurate read. You’re able to see where a posting strategy is working and where it could use some improvement.

Rival IQ compiles their industry benchmark report for social media each year.

The Rival IQ report examined 1,800 companies in 12 industries. Each had an active social media presence and a Facebook fan count ranging between 25,000 and 1 million.

Here’s a glimpse at their all-industry findings for a quick overall view. For a closer look at a particular industry, we recommend you review the benchmark report.

  • Facebook Engagement Rate: 0.09%
    Average engagement rate per post on Facebook.
  • Instagram Engagement Rate: 1.60%
    Average engagement rate per post on Instagram.
  • Twitter Engagement Rate: 0.048%
    Average engagement rate per post on Twitter.

We pulled out a handful of great highlights from the recent edition here:

  • Instagram outperforms Facebook and Twitter in Average Engagement Rate per post (even though post volumes on Instagram are consistently lower than Facebook).
  • The Media industry posts the highest volume of content on Facebook.
  • The Higher Education industry has the highest per-post engagement rate at about 4% on Instagram.
  • Tweets with a link tend to perform worse across industries. Include a video or photo instead for higher engagement.
  • Facebook had a significant decline in organic reach, likely due to the algorithm update. Fans are engaging more with posts from family and friends versus brands.
  • #NationalDogDay was the most used hashtag on Instagram with an engagement rate of 7.3% in the Higher Education industry. Followed by #Winter in second place for Food & Beverage, and #Support in third place for Nonprofits.

A Social Media Feed of Images on a Mobile Phone

How to Measure Social Media Metrics

Social media benchmarks fall under two common types of measurement:

  • Ongoing analytics
  • Campaign-focused metrics

Campaign-focused metrics help you understand the impact of targeted marketing initiatives. They will vary from campaign to campaign, depending on your goals for each. An effective social media measurement program will likely include both ongoing and campaign-specific measurement.

Social Media Advice from the HenkinSchultz Digital Team

Here at HenkinSchultz, our digital team monitors analytics on a daily basis.

“Ongoing analytics are necessary for keeping up with the overall pulse of conversations about your company,” says HenkinSchultz Digital Marketing Director Emily Sorenson. “Once your tracking system is set up, you can check in regularly to see how everything is going.”

However, we have our own marketing team that meets to review our industry benchmarks monthly. It’s that process that really allows us to do the same for clients.

“It’s really important to understand that engagement varies by industry,” said Digital Strategist Kaitlin Brodeur. “It also varies by content. You shouldn’t expect a post on Brand Building to have the same engagement as a post of a cute puppy.”

Besides benchmarks, engagements, and content type, a brand must set clear goals to know what social channels are meant to accomplish.

Approaching a Social Media Campaign 

Here’s how our HS Digital team approaches a social media campaign.

To start, we determine goals based on the intended communication strategy.

Social messages fall under three phases of the consumer decision journey:

  • Awareness
  • Consideration
  • Decision

Each phase directs the type of message we share and action we would like a specific audience to take.

Before kicking off the campaign, we make sure the measurement part is ready.

While social media platforms provide analytics, it might be best to use a third party tool to access your data easier. We enjoy using Sendible to measure social media analytics. There are plenty of other tools out there like Buffer, Hootsuite, and more that should do the job.

Reporting on a Social Media Campaign

Lastly, we report on the results of the campaign.

Collecting social media measurements of a campaign mean nothing if we don’t compare the results to goals and pull out insights.

We allow metrics to collect over time so we’re able to compare numbers month-by-month and year-over-year. Setting a schedule for consistent reporting is an excellent idea, whether that be on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. Data visuals and contextual information help add in loads of insight to reports.

A solid social media marketing plan and execution can take some trial and error. We recommend you try new things. Test out a scheduling platform similar to Sendible. Incorporate UTM tags for monitoring engagement after the click. Change up your strategy to see what works best for you and your brand.

Simply knowing how to post a message on social media doesn’t make you a digital marketing expert. Our HS Digital team knows how to create, coordinate, and measure impactful messages for your social media needs. We look forward to sharing more findings and best practices with you!

Want to learn more? We’re ready to talk any time about your social media strategy. Contact HS today!