Social Media Benchmarking: Why You Need to Benchmark Your Social Media Activity
By Sandra BuschNov 9
Published October 25th 2023
Consumers are bombarded with information and messages on a daily basis. They face endless choices in highly competitive markets. Strong brand awareness can make all the difference.
Brand awareness is an indicator of how familiar and recognizable your brand is to consumers. It measures how well a brand is known in its target market and can greatly impact consumers' purchasing decisions. If consumers are familiar with a brand, they are more likely to buy the product instead of a competitor's product.
Some brands have achieved such widespread recognition that their brand names have become synonymous with the generic terms for their products. Notable examples include Band-Aid, Kleenex, Coke, and Sharpie. For instance, consumers often refer to any facial tissue as a 'Kleenex,' showcasing the immense influence and branding power these companies have achieved.
That's why brands spend a lot of money on brand awareness campaigns to get their brand in front of a wide audience, with the goal of consumers remembering their brand when they make a purchase decision.
One way to increase brand awareness is through sponsorships. Brands spend a lot of money to have their logo appear on the kits of major sports events. The airline Emirates, for example, spends 70 million euros a year on its sponsorship deal with the football club Real Madrid. It's unlikely that viewers watching the games will immediately book a flight with Emirates, but when they think about booking their next trip, they may remember Emirates and consider booking a flight with them.
It's important to build brand awareness in order to become recognizable to consumers and to attract new customers in the long run. However, brand awareness has always been one of the most difficult things to measure. Below, we take a look at the different ways you can monitor awareness.
Brand awareness is how familiar consumers are with your brand. The knowledge and perception they have about your brand influence their buying decisions. Ultimately, brand awareness leads to a better brand reputation, strengthens customer loyalty, and increases sales.
Brands need to be aware of how their customers and target audiences perceive their brand, products, or services. Without tracking your brand awareness, you don’t know how your brand is positioned in the market or if your campaigns and efforts have a positive effect on the perception of your brand. It’s like sending a message without caring for the answer.
Awareness is the beginning of every customer journey. Without awareness, your audience doesn't know about your product and how it can solve their problems. Without awareness, you don't get customers. Building awareness and making your brand memorable to your customers are the first steps to building a relationship with them.
By tracking your brand awareness, you can see how consumers view your brand, how you compare to your competitors, and how your brand awareness changes over time.
Changes in brand awareness can provide critical feedback on what is working well or what areas need improvement. These insights will inform your overall strategy and help you make smarter business decisions.
With an effective brand awareness measurement in place, you can answer the following questions:
Let’s take a closer look at how you implement brand awareness tracking and answer these questions.
Understanding how to measure brand awareness is key to any marketing strategy. It's about tracking the growth of your brand and the effectiveness of your marketing efforts overall. But how do you measure awareness? And how do you track changes over time?
In the digital age, measuring brand awareness online is crucial. With various tools available, it's now easier to track brand awareness. We will introduce you to four common ways of measuring brand awareness. These methods will help you understand your brand's current standing and track progress over time.
Let’s dive in.
Whether you conduct a survey via email, website, or phone, you can either ask existing customers how they heard about you or ask a random sample of people if they are familiar with your brand. The first approach will give you an understanding of how people have heard about you, while the second will give you insight into the number of people who can remember your brand out of context.
Here are some questions you can ask to understand your brand awareness.
Questions for brand awareness surveys:
Measuring your website traffic over time can provide insights into brand awareness. How are consumers getting to your site? They may type your URL into their address bar, use a browser bookmark, or search for keywords or your brand name.
Google Analytics can give you insight into whether there is more interest in your brand and whether your brand awareness campaigns are paying off. Ideally, you will see an increase in traffic to your website after a successful campaign.
Direct traffic in Google Analytics can be a great metric to get an overview of your current brand awareness. Consumers who come directly to your site by searching for your brand name are a great indicator of brand awareness. Instead of searching for products or services in your industry, they know your brand. The higher the percentage of traffic from people searching directly for your brand name, the better.
Use Google Adwords Keyword Planner and Google Trends to check the search volume for your brand name and track it over time to see if the search volume is increasing.
This can be a simple but useful tool. Keep in mind that the data may not be very accurate if your brand name is a generic term such as ‘Shell’ or ‘Seat.’
Perhaps the most effective tactic is to look where people are already talking – on social media and other websites
.Social listening tools allow you to tune in to organic online conversations about your brand on social media and the web, thereby increasing your brand awareness. Listening to these unsolicited opinions allows you to understand consumers' thoughts as they are naturally expressed.
This also overcomes one of the main problems with surveys, which is response bias. Response bias is where people may not give natural answers simply because of the format in which they are being asked. Brands using social listening platforms can enrich their survey data with social data, uncovering insights that they weren’t previously aware of.
Social listening tools like Brandwatch allow you to write your own refined searches that can overcome the problem of a generic brand name, allowing you to filter out all irrelevant mentions. You can see how people are talking about your brand, the words and phrases they are using, and the sentiment of their conversations.
These brand awareness tools are also great for tracking your brand mentions over time and seeing how the volume of mentions or sentiment has changed over time. You can set up searches around your competitors, too, and compare your brand performance to theirs.
Key performance indicators (or KPIs) for brand awareness are crucial when it comes to evaluating the success of your marketing efforts. These brand awareness metrics provide a quantifiable way to measure the impact of your strategies.
But what KPIs should you be focusing on?
In this section, we'll explore the key performance indicators and metrics for measuring brand awareness. We'll discuss how to quantify brand awareness, how to test brand awareness, and how to measure its impact on your overall marketing strategy.
Let's get started.
The brand awareness score is a number or value that provides a quick snapshot of how well your brand is known among its target audience. While not an exact science, it can provide a high-level indicator of how well a brand is known. Your brand awareness score can be based on surveys, social media mentions, traffic, or other sources. The metrics you choose for the score depend on your goals and what your company defines as brand awareness. The approach, therefore, is very subjective and varies from company to company.
Once you decide which metrics to track, you can use it as a benchmark to monitor your brand awareness. You can see how the score changes over time, identify areas for improvement, and see how your campaigns impact your brand awareness.
A good brand awareness score depends on the industry you are in and the stage of your business. The longer you are in the business the more likely you will have a good brand awareness score compared to a business that just started.
Here are some metrics you can use to measure your brand awareness score.
By simply counting the number of times your brand is mentioned online, you can discover the number of conversations your brand is part of and track any changes over time.
Importantly, you can also track conversations that do not include @mentions or that occur outside of your brand's official, owned channels.
Many brand-related conversations are happening outside your social media channels. If you only use inbuilt analytics platforms, you can only see a glimpse of how people are talking about your brand.
Reach is the total number of people who are exposed to your content. It gives you an idea of how many potentially see your posts. If someone with a million followers posts about your brand, it will spread brand awareness much more than a share from someone with 100 friends.
This is one of the reasons why influencers are often courted in marketing campaigns; their large audience means that anything they share has the potential to be seen by a lot of eyes.
While reach gives you an idea of how many people potentially see your content, engagement goes into more detail about how many interact with your content. On social media, this can be likes, shares, or comments.
Engagement shows you if people are interested in your content rather than watching it pass by in their social media feeds.
Standalone data and metrics are not very meaningful. You need to put them into context. Benchmarking data, be it historical data or competitor data, gives you insights into how your brand awareness is performing over time or compared to other players in the industry.
In order to track changes in brand awareness, you need to benchmark against your baseline metrics, looking at a long enough time period to spot any natural peaks and troughs, as well as any anomalies.
You can also see the impact of your campaigns on brand awareness. Has website traffic increased? Are more people searching for your brand and products or talking about you online?
With Brandwatch, you can easily measure and benchmark online conversations or compare your social media performance with that of your competitors.
Benchmarking your metrics will tell you if your brand awareness has increased, but it will not give you the full picture.
Comparing your brand awareness with that of your competitors can give you an idea of how you perform against other players in your market.
That's why it's important to track the share of voice. Share of voice is a KPI that gives you insight into how much your brand is being talked about compared to your competitors.
With social listening tools like Brandwatch, you can easily see how many conversations about your brand are happening in your industry. By tracking the share of voice and changes over time, you can add context to the data.
You can then identify potential areas for improvement to increase your brand awareness. For example, you may find that consumers are talking more about your competitors than your brand, which means they are aware of the industry but don't yet know your brand well. These insights can inform your future brand awareness campaign, and with a robust share of voice setup in place, you can easily measure the results of future campaigns.
Brand awareness is one of the most important indicators of how your brand is perceived.
Increasing the number of consumers who can recall your brand is an integral part of your success.
In the past, getting an accurate view of awareness was a challenge, but social listening has simplified the process while providing rich data. Using Brandwatch to track brand awareness gives you the tools you need to both monitor and grow the buzz around your brand.
Find out how Brandwatch can help you measure and understand brand awareness with a personalized demo.