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Guide to benchmarketing on Social Media

social media benchmarks

4 ways to benchmark your social media stats

One way that has been really helpful for me to think about benchmarking is splitting it into four key segments:

  1. Aspirational
  2. Trended
  3. Earned
  4. Competitive

I first heard of this method from Kevin Shively at Simply Measured. His blog post goes into great depth for each of the four types of benchmarks. Here’s a quick explanation:

1. Aspirational Benchmarking: Learning from social leaders.

2. Trended Benchmarking: Setting goals, projections, and standards based on previous activity.

3. Earned Benchmarking: Comparing campaign or promotional efforts against a standard for success.

4. Competitive Benchmarking: Setting goals and baselines for performance and growth based on your direct competitors.

The only edit I’d consider for the list is possibly changing competitive benchmarking to inspirational benchmarking, thereby including influencers in the mix along with competitors.

One of my big questions when I’m benchmarking is whether or not I’m doing it right. Seeing that there are four different ways to do it, chances are good that I’m following one of the four methods above!

Now before we explore each method in depth, there’re a couple questions to ask at the start.

Question 1: Which stats will you benchmark?

The first step for creating benchmarks is deciding which stats matter most to your social media strategy. Social media plans can differ greatly, so it’s likely that your specific metrics will depend greatly on your specific goals.

One possibility, brought about in a journal article by Mullen Advertising, is that you might seek to build relationships with your customers. In that case, quantitative measures like followers/fans and comments/replies would matter greatly.

smm goals

Traditionally, some of the key metrics on social media involve overall engagement, reach of your content, and clicks back to a website (and conversions beyond the clicks). In these cases, the stats that matter may include:

  • Total engagement (the sum of all likes, reshares, replies, and clicks)
  • Reach/impressions
  • Clicks

Question 2: What should these stats look like?

In my experience, I’ve tried many different ways to glean insights from social media metrics, and I’ve come to see these metrics as falling into three phases.

  1. Stats per day, e.g. total clicks
  2. Stats per post, e.g. average clicks
  3. Stats per follower, e.g. click rate

Stats per day aggregate your total number of, say, clicks into one big number. You can compare Monday’s clicks to Tuesday’s clicks, and so on. It’s great for a big-picture view of your social media success, though it fails to account for variables like the number of times you posted or the day of the week (Monday vs. Saturday, for instance).

Here’s an example of a clicks-per-day graph available at Twitter Analytics.

clicks per day

Stats per post take things one step further, normalizing the numbers according to each post you share. Instead of identifying really good days of sharing, you can now see your very good shares themselves. Often stats per post is calculated as a per-post average from a sample size of data.

In the example below, in looking at the clicks-per-post column, you might choose to find the average clicks based on the data here.

clicks per post data

The one missing piece here is that over time your audience may change. If a 200-click post was seen by 400 people, that’s awesome! If that 200-click post was seen by 4,000 people, the story changes a bit.

Stats per follower, then, seem to be the most consistent and true measure of a post’s success. Simply divide your chosen stat by the number of followers. If reach/impression data is available, even better: divide the metric by the number of people who saw the post.

Again, reference Twitter Analytics, the engagement rate graph shows engagements divided by impressions.

engagement rate

1. Aspirational benchmarks

How to set benchmarks to match your top influencers

I love the phrasing of “aspirational” benchmarks—goals and standards that you aspire to achieve. How motivating!

When you create these benchmarks, you’re encouraged to dream big. Aspirational benchmarks are often made by looking at the metrics for industry leaders—Fortune 500 companies, the Inc 5000, or Forbes 100 best small businesses, for instance.

To find the aspirational benchmark that’s right for your brand, you can keep an eye on the latest social media studies, which often use these large companies and large sample sizes for their data. A Google Scholar search is one of my favorite ways to track new social media studies.

Simply Measured puts together monthly studies on how the top brands, both large and small businesses, use social media. Here’s a chart.

simply measured report

2. Trended benchmarks

How to set benchmarks based on your own history

By looking at your own data, you identify a standard that you want to achieve.

In the above sections, I mentioned the value of finding per-follower stats, so let me show you the process of setting trended benchmarks based on these.

With Twitter, you can take either your total follower count or use the impressions data that Twitter gives you via Twitter Analytics. For instance, in the past 28 days, my tweets have received 73,556 impressions and 1,782 total engagements. Dividing the total engagements by the total impressions gives me an engagement rate of 2.4 percent.

My benchmark for Twitter engagement, then, is that 2.4 percent of those who see my tweet should click, favorite, retweet, or reply.

3. Earned benchmarks

How to set benchmarks for campaigns and promotions

This third type of benchmark deals specifically with campaigns and promotions, which are likely to differ from the standard you content you share—both in message and in goals.

The simplest way to set up earned benchmarks is to refer to how your campaigns have performed in the past. The performance of a previously successful campaign becomes the benchmark for your campaigns going forward.

For instance, we often promote our Buffer jobs page on our Twitter account. In my Buffer dashboard, I can see check out the clicks on each of these hiring tweets, come up with an average, and I’ll have a benchmark for future hiring updates. In our case, the hiring tweets average near 250 clicks per post—an awesome benchmark to aim for!

job openings

Not only can you dig into your own campaign archives for statistics, you can also learn from the case studies and transparent learnings of others. When you hear about a campaign that performed at a certain level, you can borrow inspiration for setting your own campaign goals.

4. Inspirational benchmarks

How to create benchmarks based on your competitors and influencers

Especially for those looking to gain a foothold in a new industry, inspirational benchmarks can be really useful. They share a bit of DNA with aspirational benchmarks as well—you’re setting standards that will motivate you to perform better.

To create an inspirational benchmark, you’ll need some data on the competitors/influencers in your niche or industry. Chances are you might know a few names of social leaders off the top of your head. If you aren’t sure about the influencers in your area, there are a few tools that can help.

  1. Perform a BuzzSumo Influencer search for your topic or industry
  2. Search Twitter bios via Followerwonk.
  3. Browse LinkedIn’s Pulse discover section to see the names of relevant influencers

Once you’ve identified influencers, the second step is to benchmark their statistics.

Let’s start with Facebook, which makes this process super easy. As a page administrator, you have the opportunity to watch other Facebook pages and to pull the high level stats from these pages directly into your own Facebook Insights.

At the bottom of your main Facebook Insights page, you’ll find the Pages to Watch section, and you can click on the Add Pages button to search and find the pages that inspire you.

facebook pages to watch

On Twitter, you can try a bit more of a manual process. (The process is the same for Facebook stats you might want to benchmark that aren’t shown in the Pages to Watch section.)

Go to an influencer’s profile, and jot down the notes on how their recent tweets have performed, according to the metrics that matter. For instance, if we were to check out Rand Fishkin’s Twitter profile, we’d see that a recent tweetreceived 34 retweets and 19 favorites. Combined with other posts from his account, you could create an average per-post metric and use this as an inspirational benchmark.

Of course, one of the easiest inspirational benchmarks to set is followers. Look at the other pages and profiles in your industry, average their follower count, and—-bingo!—you’ve got your benchmark for followers for your own accounts.


Knowing at-a-glance the success of your new social media updates is a huge time saver (and one of our best tips for managing multiple social media accounts). Whichever of the four benchmarking methods you choose, you’ll find a great standard to aim for with your new tweets.

  1. Aspirational – Shoot for the stars by benchmarking with some of the biggest and best brands
  2. Trended – Aim to meet the high standards you’ve achieved in the past
  3. Earned – Track new campaigns side-by-side with successful campaigns from before
  4. Inspirational – Find inspiring, influential accounts in your field and seek to reach their level

I’d love to hear how this process feels for you and if there are any questions about how to set up benchmarks for your social media strategy. Let me know in the comments! I’d love to chat more.

Image sources: The Noun Project, Blurgrounds, Unsplash, JIAD, Simply Measured

+complete note

Want To Be Taken Seriously? Become a Better #Writer

The number of poorly written emails, resumes and blog posts I come across each month is both staggering and saddening. Grammar is off. There are tons of misspellings. Language is much wordier or more complex than necessary. Some things I read literally make no sense at all to me.

Writing is a lost art, and many professionals don’t realize how essential a job skill it is. Even if you’re not a writer by trade, every time you click “Publish” on a blog, “Post” on a LinkedIn update, or “Send” on an email, you are putting your writing out into the world.

Your writing is a reflection of your thinking. Clear, succinct, convincing writing will differentiate you as a great thinker and a valuable asset to your team.

If you want to be thought of as a smart thinker, you must become a better writer. If you want to be taken seriously by your manager, colleagues, potential employers, clients and prospects, you must become a better writer.

It’s not just you who must become a better writer- it’s all of us. I’ll be the first to admit, I too have had to learn to become a better writer. So here are five ways that I’ve become a better writer over the last several years:

1) Practice, practice, practice. The old joke comes to mind: A tourist in New York asked a woman on the street, “How do I get to Carnegie Hall?” and she replied, “Practice, practice, practice.” The truth is, the best way to get better at anything is to do it repeatedly. Write a personal blog or begin that novel you’ve always wanted to write. Offer to write some content for your company’s marketing team. Write a short, interesting LinkedIn update each day. The more you write, the better you’ll become at writing. That’s why I write here on LinkedIn every Monday and Thursday, no matter what.

2) Say it out loud. I read all of my articles and books out loud before I publish them, and many of my emails out loud as well. It’s great to hear my writing the way others will “hear” it as they read. Especially since tone in emails is difficult to convey, it’s valuable to say what you’re writing aloud, and then consider a quick edit, before you put it out there.

3) Make it more concise. Less is often more, so during my editing process, I’ll often ask, “How can I say the same thing in fewer words?” People don’t have time to read a long email, or memo, or article, so out of respect for your intended audience, practice making your writing short and sweet. I’d even argue that tweeting has helped me a lot with this, as it obviously limits you to 140 characters. If you’re not on Twitter yet, this is another reason to get tweeting.

4) Work on your headlines. A mentor once told me that 50% of your writing is the headline. So, spend equal time and energy working on your headline as you do the piece itself. Whether it’s the headline of a blog post or an inter-office memo, or a subject line for an email to a sales prospect, your headlines will either grab your reader’s attention, and get them interested in what you have to say, or not. Lists and questions work very well as headlines and subject lines. Practice them.

5) Read. Besides practicing writing, the number one way to improve your writing skills is to read great work. I read at least one book per month, at least 20 articles per week, and countless tweets, Facebook posts and emails per day. I know we all have limited time, but truly the best way to become a better writer is to become a better reader.

These are my methods for becoming a better writer. Now, I’d love to hear from you! Do you agree or disagree with me that all business professionals can work to become better writers? How important is good writing to you? And how have you become a better writer over your career? Let me know in the comments below!


Dave Kerpen loves writing. You can read more of his writing here on LinkedIn by clicking the Follow button above. Check out his bestselling books, Likeable Business and Likeable Social Media, or read more on his personal blog and Likeable blog.

El CTR de los anuncios de Facebook, increíblemente bajo

01-02-2011 (16:53:34) por Redacción

La búsqueda del modelo publicitario perfecto es uno de los “Dorados” de las marcas. Sin embargo un estudio elaborado por WebTrends, firma especializada en soluciones de marketing digital, informa que los anuncio por clic a través de Facebook están suponiendo una caída en la partida de ingresos por publicidad. No obstante la red social tiene unas previsiones de facturación para 2011 de 4.000 millones de dólares, loq ue supone duplicar los ingresos del pasado año.

El análisis elaborado por WebTrends se realizó sobre 11.000 campañas publicitarias en Facebook y los resultados no dejan de sorprender; los anuncios publicitarios en la red social generaron la mitad de clics que los anuncios online tradicionales.

Las cifras invitan a la reflexión; mientras el promedio de clics (CTR) de los anuncios en Facebook fue del 0,051% durante 2010 o lo que es lo mismo un clic por cada 2.000 impresiones, el CTR de la industria tradicional es de 0,1%, un clic cada 1.000 impresiones.

El CTR en Facebook se redujo durante 2010 hasta un 0,063% mientras que el coste por clic, CPC se elevó de los 27 centavos de 2009 hasta los 49 centavos en 2010, por lo que mientras el CRT desciende, el coste por clic aumenta.

Una relación inversamente proporcional muy propia de éste modelo publicitario en la que los costes aumentan, desciende la demanda de los usuarios y viceversa, tendencia que seguirá aumentando en el tiempo, por lo que a pesar de los resultados, el coste de anunciar en Facebook se incrementará.

Mientras se tenga un CTR bajo en comparación con los anuncios publicitarios estándar, los anunciantes podrían tener algunas complicaciones para optimizar el ROI de sus inversiones publicitarias en redes sociales. No se debe olvidar que la audiencia de la red social es enorme y sigue en ascenso, por lo que la innovación publicitaria es necesaria hacerla aquí y ahora, si es que las marcas quien aprovechar la eclosión de la red social.

Una de las alternativas que se barajan son la erradicación de los anuncios publicitarios en Facebook, sin embargo, la pérdida de competitividad para las marcas, unido al aumento del desempleo como factor macroeconómico externo, llevan a pensar en lo erróneo de ésta decisión. No en vano, las marcas más consolidadas han aumentado en 10 veces sus inversiones publicitarias, según informa WebTrends.

Las claves por lo tanto parecen estar en aprovechar los datos para el análisis, a fin de mejorar la eficiencia de las campañas publicitarias.

Otros datos de gran interés: El estudio de WebTrends también entrega importantes datos que sirven de guía a la hora de considerar los anuncios Facebook en una estrategia de marketing online:

Los usuarios a partir de 65 años son menos propensos a hacer clic en los anuncios publicitarios de Facebook.

Las mujeres son más propensas a hacer clic en los anuncios Facebook que los hombres.

Actualizaciones de contenidos, medios de comunicación y ocio son las categorías de mejor comportamiento; la actualización de contenidos tiene un CTR de 0,165% y un CCP de 12 centavos, mientras que los medios de comunicación y el ocio en general tiene un CTR de 0,154% y un CCP de 25 centavos.

Los anuncios de peor respuesta se centran en las categorías de salud y software. La asistencia sanitaria tiene un CTR de 0,011$ y un CPC de 1, 27 dólares y el software, un CTR de 0,021% y un CPC de 1,03 dólares.

Para finalizar, un dato de relevancia que pone de manifiesto la importancia que tiene para el usuario el seguimiento de la comunidad, los anuncios publicitarios de Facebook con mayor CTR son aquellos que han sido recomendados por un amigo. Las marcas ya han comprobado que utilizar la red de contactos en una campaña publicitaria prolonga sustancialmente la vida útil de la campaña, debido a que la recomendación llega de alguien a quien conoces.

Con los datos obtenidos por el análisis realizado por WebTrends las marcas tienen en su haber numerosas variables que conjugar y en cuyo equilibrio, radica la clave del éxito.


Redes sociales. Cantidad Vs Calidad

13-09-2012 (16:41:30) por José Llinares
Ando tiempo molesto con como se está entendiendo esto de las redes sociales. Más molesto cada vez que hablo con más clientes y su absurda obsesión por los “me gustas” (antes “fans”) y los “followers”. Parece que a día de hoy, esto de las redes sociales consiste en tener más “me gustas” y “followers” que mi competencia, ese parece ser el único objetivo por el cual se valora el trabajo realizado en redes sociales.

Pocas métricas son tan engañosas y manipulables como la creación de esos “me gustas” y “followers”, si esa es tu obsesión opta por el camino fácil y barato, no te hace falta tener una estrategia, ni un plan de contenidos ni un community manager . También puedes optar por premios y concursos… esa parece la única respuesta que se sabe dar a día de hoy para cualquier estrategia de captación “¡Hagamos un concurso!”.

Tras la reflexión inicial, uno ya empieza a entrar en razón… quiero “fans” pero naturales, de calidad. Y ahí es donde radica el “quid de la cuestión”, la calidad y ahí es donde debería estar la obsesión. Las redes sociales no tratan de cantidad, tratan de calidad. ¿de qué valen miles de personas suscritas a mi canal que no les interesa ni lo que digo, que no comprarán mi producto? Pues no valen de nada.

Esta obsesión por la calidad, será la que nos empiece a hacer pensar en las preguntas adecuadas. ¿Por qué alguien va querer suscribirse a mi canal de redes sociales? ¿cuáles son las motivaciones de los usuarios para contactar conmigo? ¿voy a saber responder a mis clientes sus dudas? ¿tengo cosas de interés que ofrecerles?

Pensar en la calidad, es la que nos lleva a entender bien cual es la función real de las redes sociales a día de hoy.

  • Dinamización y credibilidad. De nada sirve decir que tienes el mejor producto del mundo, existen otros muchos medios donde puedes decirlo. El factor diferencial que ofrecen las redes sociales, es que el mensaje será transmitido por personas, haciendo el mensaje mucho más creíble (no creo a una marca que dice tiene el mejor producto, si creo a un usuario que lo dice).Tener muchos fans “promocioneros” que se quejarán si no ganan o les dará lo mismo lo que tengas que decir después es arriesgado. La gente que no presente afinidad con tu marca, jamás te ayudará a distribuir tu mensaje.
  • Elección de canales. Facebook está muy de moda… pero muchas veces nos estamos olvidando de foros y comunidades. ¿Por qué obsesionarte con fans en Facebook cuando existen comunidades segmentadas con tus usuarios? ¿Si soy una marca de coches, por qué ha de primar Facebook frente a los foros de usuarios de coches? Parece que nos hemos olvidado del valor que existen en foros y comunidades, gente muy activa online auténticos expertos en ciertos campos con quien podemos tratar de comunicarnos y nos pueden dar la información de mayor valor.
  • Servicio de asistencia al cliente. Si hay algo para lo que nos pueden ayudar las redes sociales, es para resolver las dudas de nuestros clientes. Las redes sociales son un canal de comunicación abierto y los usuarios lo aprovechan para demandar información. Los usuarios que tienen dudas sobre tu producto, ya son tus clientes, preocúpate por ellos, si ellos están contentos se encargarán de recomendarte.
  • Fidelización. Unido con lo anterior, un buen servicio de asistencia fideliza, pero no nos limitemos a ello ofrezcamos herramientas de valor que hagan la vida de dichos usuarios más fácil.