Do industry standards exist for social?

We’ve been talking a lot about the importance of benchmarks to give your social media numbers some context— both why that context is important, and how you can get it for your brand.

We thought we’d discuss the idea of an “industry standard number” (meaning a standard number for social as a whole) in a little bit more depth since we get some questions around that.

Got more questions, or something we missed? Tell us about it on Twitter @UnionMetrics.

The industry standard doesn’t exist

We sometimes get asked how someone’s numbers compare “to the industry standard” and that’s an impossible question for a few reasons:

  1. “Social” can be very broad and encompass different things to different brands
  2. Importance of different metrics will vary between brands and industries
  3. Building an engaged, dedicated following takes time and work

The latter is especially important, because you shouldn’t get discouraged if your brand is newer to social or rebranding and relaunching your social presence and you’re not in the same place as other brands who have been cultivating an online presence and strong community for years.

Your focus on different metrics might also shift as platforms introduce new features, and as your social presence evolves and your goals for each platform evolve as well. Your audience is always changing and your social presence should be too; that’s why we always recommend testing new things- content, formats, etc- to see what resonates.

Why it wouldn’t matter if it did

The reasons we listed above cover things mostly, but there’s another very important reason that comparing your numbers to any one “industry standard” wouldn’t matter: You should only be comparing your numbers to yourself, and to the select competitors you want to outcompete. 

Averaging in the numbers of every megabrand and celebrity on every social platform- not the mention the platforms that pop up for a few weeks only to be quickly forgotten- wouldn’t tell you much about how your small local brand is performing.

There is simply too much out there to compare yourself to it all, so concentrate on growing the metrics that matter to you based to the goals you’ve outlined for your social presence.

And let us know if you need help with any of that.


Photo by Jeroen den Otter on Unsplash