Benchmarking Social Data: The Key To Social Insights

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Benchmarking Social Data: The Key To Social Insights


Typically, when companies express an interest in brand health benchmarking, the discussion revolves around measuring a change in sentiment or share of voice over time. As they progress along the social maturity curve, their access to historical social data allows them to compare these metrics in subsets. A retailer, for example, might want to benchmark KPIs from the last quarter of 2015 to compare them to the metrics generated by the coming holiday season. However, there is so much more to benchmarking Social Data, as it can be valuable beyond comparing your data against your competitors or your own historical performance.

Benchmarking and tracking the health of sub-brands is integral to gaining visibility into the volume and emotional impact properties are having on the overall enterprise. It’s probably an oversimplification to say something like “every brand health benchmarking analysis is focused on three primary measurements: volume, time, and sentiment.” However, at its core, it’s the truth. These three measurements can be sliced together to create dozens of useful and strategic KPIs.

So what can Benchmarking teach us and what can we do with the data? I took a look at some of Amazon’s owned properties’ social data over time (, and to see where Benchmarking Social Data could help, and below are a few examples.


Need To Re-Engage Customers

Looking at the charts below, it’s clear that there is cause for concern over the drastic drop of volume in mentions of Zappos. The final three months of 2015 generated 85% of the mentions about the brand in the nine months I tracked it. For Zappos, a significant drop in word of mouth can translate into a serious drop in sales. Our benchmarking insight here is perhaps that it’s time to raise the ante on marketing and communications for Zappos – a company that built its reputation on innovative ways of reaching consumers.

Social Data Topics Share of Voice

Social Data Topics Share 2


KPI Shifts

The benchmarking of sentiment data at the end of 2015 allows us to generate insights from how sentiment trends over time. In the below charts, notice that despite the large drop in volume, sentiment remains constant. However, the real story here is the shift in negative sentiment for both (12.8%) and (10.5%). Without an initial measurement, the decline might not have been noticed as it slowly creeped downward over time. Thanks to benchmarking, there is a baseline to return to for context around shifts in KPIs.

Social Data Sentiment
Social Data Sentiment 2

There are many ways that benchmarking your Social Data can help your brand and business, it can even let you know what brands to stock and how much inventory you should have in your stores. If you want to learn more about how to benchmark your Social Data and find out more ways it can improve your business, take a look at our Benchmarking Social Data “How-To” guide.



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