2021 Social Media Marketing Benchmarks for Every Industry

Jan 05, 2021

It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that 2020 changed the face of marketing. COVID-19 decimated and propelled the growth of industries in equal measure, so brands across the spectrum had to update their Instagram tactics to accommodate new audience needs. To help marketers understand COVID’s impact, Dash Hudson curated a series of industry-specific social media marketing benchmarks with a focus on what to measure, and how to action those insights to optimize Instagram strategies in 2021.

Download the benchmark reports here.


The Data that Matters

We’re calling it: this 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 central to strategies focused on awareness and conversions—especially with the advent of shoppable images.

The shift to e-commerce for sales means more brands have been leveraging Instagram for the customer journey. But, what does success in today’s landscape actually look like? There are five KPIs to pay attention to:

  • Engagement
  • Effectiveness
  • Growth
  • Weekly Owned Reach
  • Weekly Number of Posts

Keep in mind, your stats don’t live in a vacuum. It’s crucial to understand how brands in your industry perform across 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 social media marketing 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.

Measurement 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 social media reports to understand trends over longer periods of time (pro 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.

Put your best content forward in 2021 and download the report.


Header image: @aninebingofficial


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Haley Durkee

Content Marketing Manager at Dash Hudson.