Social media benchmarks every marketer must know

Karishma Borkakoty

November 7, 20239 min read

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Imagine this: you're the social media manager at an online store selling handcrafted artisanal soap. You've dedicated hours to crafting high-quality content and visuals and are actively engaging with your followers. However, you observe that your engagement rate is not on par with that of your competitors. This raises a few questions:

  • Is your content not in line with your audience's preferences?

  • Is the posting cadence less than optimal?

You should be concerned if you're unsure whether your efforts are producing the desired outcomes.  

What do you do in such a scenario? Here's what we recommend: social media benchmarking. 

A good social media benchmarking solution compares your social media performance with that of competitors and against industry standards. With the resulting data, you can clearly understand the strengths and weaknesses of your current strategy. 

In this article, we'll cover all things social media benchmarking. We will discuss the key performance indicators (KPIs) you should monitor and present industry-specific benchmarks to help you assess your social media approach.  

Table of Contents

What are social media benchmarks? 

We covered what a social media benchmarking solution is used for. But what exactly are social media benchmarks? They are standards or reference points used by businesses and marketers to evaluate their social media performance against industry norms, competitors or their own historical data. They help determine the effectiveness of your social media campaigns and strategies, offer insights into areas for improvement and tell you how your brand stacks up against its peers.  

You can leverage social media benchmarks in the following ways: 

  • Performance evaluation: You can evaluate your social media performance with the help of benchmarks. They help in assessing key metrics like engagement rates, follower growth, click-through rates and more. This evaluation provides a clear picture of what is working and what needs improvement. 

  • Competitor analysis: You can compare your brand’s social media performance to that of its competitors. By understanding how well your competitors are doing, you can identify areas where your brand lags behind and develop strategies to overcome them. 

  • Goal setting: Benchmarks help in setting realistic and achievable social media goals. You can establish specific targets based on industry standards and competitor performance. These goals provide direction and focus for all your social media marketing efforts. 

  • Strategy development: By analyzing benchmarks, you can fine-tune your social media strategies. You can identify industry best practices and adapt them to your own social media efforts, optimizing content, posting schedules and ad campaigns.  

  • Identifying trends: Evaluating how your social media metrics compare to benchmarks can reveal emerging trends and shifting customer preferences. This information can guide your business in adapting to changes in the social media landscape.  

  • ROI measurement: By understanding industry standards through benchmarks, you can gauge the effectiveness of your spending and make adjustments to maximize your social media return on investment (ROI)

  • Report and communication: Last but not least, benchmark data is often used in reports and presentations to stakeholders, management or investors. It provides evidence of your social media performance and helps in justifying marketing strategies and expenditures when needed. 

Top KPIs for social media benchmarking

Here are the top KPIs for social media benchmarking you should be paying attention to.

1. Engagement rate

This is an effective social media KPIs that measures the level of love your content generates among followers. Are people liking, sharing and commenting on your social media posts? It also tracks shares, clicks, likes and even brand mentions. A high engagement speaks volumes about the relevance and resonance of your social media content.    

Engagement rate is calculated using the formula: 

Engagement Rate (%) = (Total Engagements (likes, comments, shares) / Total Number of Followers) × 100 

2. Reach

Reach is crucial in determining the spread of your message, be it organic or paid. It shows if you are connecting effectively with your audience. For instance, a high organic reach is valuable. It indicates your content resonates well with its intended audience.   

However, if you notice a sudden drop in organic reach, it signals an issue. Perhaps something isn't right with your audience's connection. You might be producing relevant content, but what if your paid reach metrics don't reflect that? It could hint at problems with your targeting approach. By analyzing these metrics, you can pinpoint areas of concern. This analysis lets you tweak your social media strategy for better results. 

Deep Dive: Organic vs paid social media: Choose the right channel

3. Conversion Rate

Knowing your conversion rate is critical in calculating your social media ROI and understanding whether your content is performing. For example, if you aim to drive more sales for your e-commerce store, your post should include product promotion with clear CTA links leading users back to your e-commerce store. This improves your conversion rates. 

Conversion rate can be calculated using the formula: 

Conversion Rate (%) = (Number of People Taking Desired Action (e.g., clicking links, buying products) / Total Number of Engagements with Content) × 100 

4. Impressions

Impressions refer to the total number of times your content was displayed to users. They are a crucial KPI to track revealing how many people have seen your message, helping gauge its overall reach.  

Although they offer valuable data for assessing reach, they can sometimes be misleading. For instance, if your content is frequently displayed but receives little engagement, it might not be resonating with the target audience. In such cases, a strategy review is needed.  

Your KPI should provide insights into crafting quality, relevant content that genuinely engages audiences, rather than just showing numbers that might only represent scale versus genuine reach. (Do keep in mind that impressions typically aren't something you calculate, but rather a metric you directly measure and report.)  

Also Read: Social media reach vs. impressions: What's the difference?

5. Click-Through Rate (CTR)

Click-through rate, often known as CTR, is a vital metric showing how engaged your audience is with your message and how well your call-to-action works. If you want to boost CTR, your content needs to be captivating with unmistakable call-to-action cues. Say you're promoting a blog. Your social post should have an engaging headline to catch the reader's attention have a well-placed and clear CTA that leads them to said blog.   

The formula to calculate CTR is:  

CTR(%) = (Impressions / Number of Clicks) × 100

Benchmarks by industry for social media success

Understanding your industry's specific performance metrics on social media is key to refining and optimizing your strategy. While each industry may have unique benchmarks based on factors like audience demographics, content type preferences and platform preferences, here are some general benchmarks by industry.  

Here's a quick breakdown for a few sectors. 


The above graphic is from “Social Customer Care Benchmarking Report: 2022 Retail Leaders.”*

The above infographic is from “Social Customer Care Benchmarking Report: 2022 Retail Leaders.


The above graphic is from “Social Customer Care Benchmarking Report: 2022 Health & Pharma Leaders.”

The above graphic is from “Social Customer Care Benchmarking Report: 2022 Health & Pharma Leaders.”


The above graphic is from“Social Customer Care Benchmarking Report: 2022 Financial Services Leaders.”

The above graphic is from “Social Customer Care Benchmarking Report: 2022 Financial Services Leaders.


The above graphic is from “Social Customer Care Benchmarking Report: 2022 Technology Leaders.”

The above graphic is from “Social Customer Care Benchmarking Report: 2022 Technology Leaders.”

Food and beverages

The above graphic is from “Social Customer Care Benchmarking Report: 2022 Food & Beverage Leaders.”

The above graphic is from “Social Customer Care Benchmarking Report: 2022 Food & Beverage Leaders.”

Media and entertainment

The above graphic is from “Social Customer Care Benchmarking Report: 2022 Entertainment & Media Leaders.”

The above graphic is from “Social Customer Care Benchmarking Report: 2022 Entertainment & Media Leaders.

*The Social Customer Care Benchmarking Report: 2022 Industry Leaders is a proprietary and independent analysis for businesses to compare their own social media-based customer support against industry peers. The report consists of data from Sprinklr’s publicly available digital sources, along with survey responses from top brands across six industries. 

How social media benchmarking helps to improve your strategy 

Benchmarking in the realm of social media is akin to a seasoned marketing consultant guiding your marketing strategy. It's not just about understanding where you stand but about carving out a niche in a crowded market. Here is a deep dive into how benchmarking serves as a crucial touchstone for your social media strategy: 

1. Identifying areas for improvement

Every B2B company aims for operational excellence, and social media benchmarking sheds light on those areas that might need some tightening.

For instance, if your content engagement rates aren't matching up with industry standards, it might be an indication that the content is not resonating with the target audience or perhaps it's not aligned with their pain points.

Also Read: 7 key social media metrics to track

2. Goal setting based on real-world data

By comparing your performance metrics with industry peers, benchmarking provides a clear picture of what's achievable. This, in turn, allows for crafting strategies that are ambitious yet rooted in the market's realities. 

3. Optimizing social media ROI 

For any brand, every penny spent needs to justify its value in terms of returns. If your cost per lead or cost per conversion is significantly higher than industry benchmarks, there's room for refinement.

By identifying areas where spending could be optimized or performance could be improved, companies can ensure a more efficient allocation of resources, ultimately enhancing the bottom line.

Deep Dive: Social media ROI: How to measure and improve your ROI 

4. Maintaining a competitive edge 

The marketing landscape is fiercely competitive. Companies are constantly vying for a larger slice of the market pie. Through social media benchmarking that involves competitive analysis, businesses can gauge their performance in comparison to competitors.

This not only offers insights into areas that might need attention but also provides a roadmap for strategies that can help maintain or even expand market share. 

Did you know: AI-powered insights to competitive benchmarking: features you need in your social listening tool 

Effective steps for meeting social media benchmarks 

Navigating the social media landscape demands careful planning and consistent action. If you're aiming to nail your social media benchmarks, consider these steps: 

Develop a clear social media strategy 

Start with a clear plan for your social media reporting strategy. First, outline your objectives, know your audience, determine your content requirements and set a budget. Having a defined goal focuses your decision-making process and aligns it with key performance benchmarks. 

Prioritize quality content

It's essential to focus on producing high-quality content that grabs your audience's attention and speaks directly to their interests. To make your posts more engaging, use clear images and compelling videos that complement your message. This tactic can help increase your audience's engagement with your content gradually and consistently. 

Also Read: Comprehensive Guide on Social Media Content Creation

Use social media analytics to your advantage

Leverage the power of social media analytics by consistently monitoring your performance metrics. These tools offer valuable insights into how your posts are doing, which can help fine-tune your approach and sharpen your overall social media strategy for better results. 

Stay updated on trends 

Social media is a constantly shifting terrain, marked by regular algorithm and platform updates and the rise of new trends. Prioritize staying informed about the latest developments in platform features, industry standards and cutting-edge tools to ensure your social media presence remains both relevant and impactful. 

Did you know: 11 important social media trends you need to know in 2023 and beyond 

Engage consistently with your audience

To boost interaction on social media, it's crucial to be an active part of the conversation. Aim to reply quickly to comments, show your appreciation for your followers, celebrate their contributions by sharing their content and thoughtfully incorporate their feedback into your social media strategy. This kind of engagement helps foster a lively and connected online community. 

The powerful AI-powered tool that will provide you with a competitive edge

Understanding your business's presence on social media can be a transformative journey. Here’s how Sprinklr's benchmarking features can assist you to elevate your online presence: 

Deep dive into analytics 

Dive deep into multi-channel analytics to understand your social media performance. Measure your results against industry norms and competitors, discovering areas to enhance and achieve your desired milestones. 

Eye on the competition 

By evaluating your metrics against competitors, you'll gain insights into areas where they might have an edge and adjust your strategy accordingly.

Deep Dive: What is competitive benchmarking and how do I get started?

Guided by advanced insights 

Harness the power of advanced insights driven by machine learning. Receive actionable recommendations in real time to optimize your performance, aligning your approach with your benchmarks. 

Unified management of social media platforms

Imagine managing all your social platforms seamlessly from one central hub. Sprinklr's cross-channel integration makes it possible to manage your social media presence across multiple channels from one centralized platform, making management simpler while creating consistent branding and messaging across channels. 

Comprehensive analytics 

Comprehensive analytics enables you to monitor and assess social media performance across multiple channels and campaigns. Compare social media metrics, against industry standards and competitors for an in-depth evaluation, then identify areas of improvement to meet social media benchmarks. 

With these features at your fingertips, you'll be well-equipped to excel in the cutthroat world of social media. 

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