We’ve already discussed engagement – or how to tell if you’re reaching your fans and followers. You can plot your progress as the months go by, to see if you’re gaining an audience and if they’re interacting with your posts and messages.
Another tool to use is benchmarking, where you set goals for your growth, and perhaps take a peek into how your competitors are doing in order to refine your aspirations.
Is the Sky Really the Limit?
What kind of growth can you expect? How many potential followers are out there?
A good way to see if you’re on track with your goals is to compare your social media accounts to others in your field. Check out competitors’ pages to see not only how many fans or followers they have but what is engaging them. See if you can determine what characterizes their high-engagement posts. Tristan Handy, in this guest post for Social Media Explorer, notes that “outliers,” posts that have an extra boost of engagement, can add fresh perspective to an overall social media plan.
Find Your Own Growth Curve
In this post from Quintly, Sarah Gottschling explains the advantages of comparative benchmarking with others in the same market, but warns of simply adopting the methodology of competitors, which can create missteps and wind up alienating your hard-won fans.
Measuring social media success is a long-term process that isn’t simply raw numbers. (Fans who follow or like but don’t engage afterwards may be unfavorable to your Facebook reach.) Tracking month-over-month growth and analyzing the success — or failure — of individual posts, campaigns, photos, polls, or tweets will help you refine your social media offerings in order to reach your goals.
Have you used benchmarking as a way to refine your social strategy? Tell us about it!