Industry Benchmarks for Social Media Marketing

Mar 27, 2020

The 21st century’s roaring twenties are in full swing. Billie Eilish and Lizzo top the charts, Presidential hopefuls campaign with memes, and everyone’s drinking White Claw. But pop culture isn’t all that’s changed—commerce, marketing, and social media continue to evolve, which means the tactics brands are using must follow suit.

We curated a series of industry-specific benchmarks to help brands understand what to measure and how to action those insights to optimize your social marketing strategy this year. Download the benchmark reports here.



D.R.E.A.M. (Data Rules Everything Around Me)

We’re calling it: 2020 will be the decade of data. Gone are the days of lengthy guesswork and overspending to create campaigns that convert. Data-driven insights are front and center for savvy marketing teams and are key to unlocking ROI. When it comes to marketing channels, Instagram is still king for both awareness and conversions—especially with the advent of shoppable images. But big changes to the channel have left many brands wondering how to measure success.

Likes are still a big part of the equation, but Instagram’s decision to remove the public facing like count from posts has changed the way many users interact with content. So, how do you know what’s working and what isn’t? For starters, there are four KPIs to pay attention to:

  • Engagement
  • Effectiveness
  • Growth
  • Weekly Earned Reach

Keep in mind, your stats don’t live in a vacuum. It’s crucial to understand how brands in your industry perform across the metrics as well. It gives you a frame of reference to determine whether or not your strategies are working in a competitive context. That’s where benchmarks come in. We’ve broken down each metric to explain what it means, why you should measure it, and the numbers top brands are pulling to contextualize your performance.

Engagement vs. Effectiveness

Dash Hudson’s effectiveness rate measures the percentage of users who saw your post and engaged with it. This formula takes likes, plus comments, saves, and video views, and divides them by reach. While engagement factors only your followers into the equation, effectiveness accounts for users who had the opportunity to engage with your content via the algorithm. It provides a more accurate measure of how that content is performing across the channel as opposed to your profile alone. Both KPIs are important and you need both to get the big picture on where your brand stands in the social space.

Best Practices

It’s one thing to have the KPIs, it’s another to know how often to monitor them. Every brand and industry is different, so best practices depend on several factors. Some marketers like to get granular and look at their stats on a daily basis to see what’s working post to post. Others generate weekly, monthly, or quarterly reports to understand trends over longer periods of time (hot tip: Dash Hudson automates these reports and sends them straight to your inbox 😏). Ultimately, you’re looking for spikes in followers, likes, comments, and views, as well as periods of follower loss or dips in engagement, effectiveness, and reach. Whether you prefer to dig into the details of an individual image or judge success based on an entire campaign, we’ve got the data to help you make future decisions and achieve your marketing goals.

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Header image: @armanibeauty


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Haley Durkee

Marketing Coordinator at Dash Hudson.