Need to know how your social media results compare against your competitors? Or perhaps you want to figure out if that influencer that just messaged you really has an engaged following? Then here’s a quick and easy way to benchmark social media engagement that compares apples with apples, regardless of how many fans or followers each account has.
How to benchmark social media engagement
Before we start, let me just say that this is NOT the best way to measure your own social media engagement rates. The way to do that is with a social media audit. What we’re doing here is comparing publicly available data in a way that allows you to benchmark your accounts – or those of an influencer – against any other account in the whole entire world. It’s not perfect because there’s a whole lot of numbers missing. We’re not factoring in how many people each post actually reached or how much reach is being paid for. And we’re not counting other engagement metrics like link clicks, other clicks, some video metrics and other numbers that aren’t publicly available.
In fact, there’s more wrong with this methodology than there is right with it, BUT it’s still a quick and easy way to get a snapshot of how a particular social media account is performing compared to other similar accounts on the same platform right now, without being blinded by how many followers each account has. We’re creating a level playing field so we can – well – compare apples with apples.
Right, now we’ve cleared up, let’s get cracking!
Step one: choose your accounts
Choose a minimum of three accounts to compare. To benchmark your own social media engagement, use your own account and at least two of your competitors. To benchmark an influencer, use their account and at least two other influencers that are in a similar category.
Make sure all the accounts are on the same platform – ie. all are Facebook pages or all of them are Instagram accounts.
Record how many followers each of the accounts have. For Facebook choose the highest number between ‘Page Likes’ and ‘Followers’.
Step two: count interactions
Count the number of publicly available engagements on the last 6 posts for each account. This will include reactions, comments and shares. You’ll find this information under each post.
You can use more posts if you like – and this might be a good idea if the accounts are particularly active. Add the engagement totals into your table, then calculate the average number of interactions per post for each account.
Step three: work out engagement rates
To work out the social media engagement rate, simply divide the ‘Average’ by the number of ‘Followers’ and multiply by 100 to create a percentage.
BUT What does it all mean?
Bigger isn’t always better. Account B may have the smallest number of followers, but they’ve got the most engaged community. So if you, or the influencer you want to work with is Account B, then keep up the good work!
On the other hand, if account A is yours, you might need to engage a social coach to help lift your results.
Similarly, if Account A belongs to an influencer you’re planning on working with, you might want to rethink those plans. Or perhaps include a few more accounts to get a broader view.
Easy as that!