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Competitive Benchmarking in Social Media

Laura Buchholz
Competitive Benchmarking in Social Media

Over the last decade, social media channels have sprouted out of nowhere and have since established themselves as important marketing channels for brands and businesses.

The importance of social networks is growing continually and brings with it a big shift from one-to-many to many-to-many marketing. The online reputation of a brand is no longer dependent on their owned content only; it's also influenced by earned content from other sources while the lines between offline and online sources are blurring more and more.

That is why it's important to keep up to date with what people say about you and what can be done to use social media channels successfully. In order to measure this, there are two different disciplines available.

Social media monitoring, also called listening, helps you scan the social web for keywords to track every content that mentions your brand.

The other part consists of social media analytics, which help you track your success in numbers.

The whole procedure includes defining specific and measurable goals on how you would like to be perceived by target groups or the general public. To measure your success on reaching these goals there are a lot of KPIs and metrics available that you can track with numerous analytics tools.

By the Numbers

The numbers let you continually track your own brand’s performance and see, for example, which content works well and which does not, and how your campaigns help you gain more followers or interactions. However, knowing what exactly caused peaks or downs in your performance can be evaluated much more precisely if you compare your brand to a number of brands within your industry.

For example, there might be external events affecting the whole industry that can cause interaction highs or lows for many competitive brands, so it might not necessarily be a direct effect of your own campaigns in some cases. What is also of high worth is to analyze the industry’s posting times and the interaction rate peaks for the whole industry, or specifically for your direct competitors.

Competitive analyses like these can help marketers to optimize their posting behavior accordingly (such as, not posting during the highest peak times in order for the post to be noticed). Nowadays, especially in social media, competition has to be defined differently than in other marketing channels as your competition is not anymore only within your industry; you are also competing with a huge amount of other marketers that fill the timelines of social media users and consumers. Therefore, ranking content in accordance to your campaign goals and checking out what kind of content gains most of the likes, comment or shares, can help steer your campaign into the right direction.

How Do You Rank Amongst the Competition?

To know where you are standing amongst your competitors can bring you lots of valuable insights in order to find out where to adjust and what to maintain in your campaigns. With some tools, like social media analytics provider quintly, you can do competitive analyses in a very effective way. You can save lots of time if you track yourself against your competitors on an individualized dashboard in several metrics that are most important to you. With extra features like matching the graphs to the colors of your corporate identity and those of your competitors, the analysis gets even easier and faster.

quintly-social-stats Source

What can also be very useful are overall metrics that show your competitors’ performance on several social networks in one. It can help detect on which networks your industry is most prominent, where interaction rates are relatively high and where there might be gaps for you to fill.


So whether you would like to track the success of your social media customer relationship care, check your reply times on client questions or you would like to know which hashtags are worth using via hashtag detection, make sure you cover at least a few competitors in your analysis. That way, you can have some kind of benchmark and make sure your monitoring is as precise as possible.

Any other suggestions or tools you'd like to recommend? Let me know in the comments!

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Laura Buchholz is Social Media Manager and Allrounder at quintly. Apart from supporting Digital PR, she is active in finance, sales and customer support. She loves the social web, writing and kicker.
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