Social Media Benchmarks, metrics and data that count.

When moving forward with a social media strategy, it is important to understand the value of having social media benchmarks regarding where you are at and where you want to be. If you do not set these benchmarks in the initial stages, you will fail to have accurate and measurable impacts.

To accurately capture and maintain brand ownership, these social media benchmarks will help identify how to capture related sites and entities around specific keywords and brand terms. There will be dozens of ideas to consider (basic ones include Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Slideshare.)  Additional profile sites and community accounts will be created on a case by case basis in support of campaign usage, search engine optimization, and brand ownership.

Over time these social media benchmarks will provide a system to monitor your progress, prove value, make alterations and maximize return.

Social Media Benchmarks have three core segments

Internal Benchmarking– include employee and client based metrics.

You need to ask these questions

  • what audiences do you have access to
  • what level of expertise do they have
  • what niches do they represent

You should tactically collect as many numbers as you can.
Examples include:

  • how many followers do they have
  • how many people do they truly influence
  • how much revenue can they affect

External Benchmarking – include consumer interest, conversational data and search volume.
You need to ask these questions

  • what consumer niches exists
  • what are the largest community groups in those niches
  • who are the most valuable influencers
  • what does the market talk about
  • what do they want to talk about
  • how many people are involved

Competitive Benchmarking- include both internal and external items like those above.
Look at three to five competitors and collect available data points

You need to ask these questions

  • are you a laggard, average or industry leader
  • have competitors left an unaddressed market
  • are there traffic sources you can harness
  • what are the top success points
  • what are the bottom failure points
  • what can your competitor teach you
  • are there industry partners that can build your empire

FINAL STEP: Apply your Business Benchmarks

All of the above data is completely useless unless you take action on it. Work with your department heads to review the initial data and benchmark information and apply as many current and existing business benchmarks to it. While the initial urge may be to silo your social media benchmarks in marketing or public relations, it is critical that you examine the top business impacts across your organization.

Examples of benchmarks you should examine

  • Human Resources – employee communication, corporate wellness
  • IT- data security, intellectual property sharing
  • Customer Care – average time of resolution, customer satisfaction index
  • Recruiting – candidate sourcing, cost per hire
  • Executive Communication – crisis management, team collaboration
  • Sales- prospect qualification, lead screening, sales follow-up process


While you can just jump into social media and learn from your mistakes, larger campaigns and organizations find tremendous value in learning from foundational mistakes that already exist in the marketplace. A well developed social media benchmark goes hand in hand with a good social media strategy; creating a basic understanding across departments and involved decision makers that there are certain metrics being targeted for improvement (and if we don’t target the right metrics that drive good business, what is the point?)