A lot of the pain has been inflicted by the major social platforms who have been reluctant to make specific buckets of data available.
Instagram is a prime example. It is impossible to locate the most followed users by location because that data is not made available to the public. This specific example caused me a lot of frustration recently as I wanted to find out which users were generating the most traction in Australia in order to collaborate with them on a project. Instead of manually trawling through one million profiles (which was my only resulting option) I was forced to shelve a really solid idea.
Thankfully, social media's most powerful platform, Facebook, has made some very important data available recently and now we are seeing the value of it thanks to a brand new product from analytics and data tracking company, Socialbakers.
Before we get into the product, and the benefits it delivers for brands, let's take a look at the data we now have access to:
Data courtesy of Socialbakers.com.
As you can see, Socialbakers have been able to organise this data by local fan counts giving a true representation of page popularity in Australia.
For people representing local or global brands in Australia, this finally enables some competitor benchmarks to be set that actually mean something.
While I strongly believe benchmarking performance on popularity alone is futile, local fan counts at least provide a more valuable measure.
Take the Pringles Australia data above as an example - the 1.3 millon fan count is quite misleading as less than half are local fans (and this is an Australian page, not a global one with the local stats carved out).
Making these insights useful
Most brands have recognised they need to be active on social media because their customers are having conversations about them anyway and participating in these conversations gives them a chance to develop advocacy.
If a brand has not yet taken the jump, and they're are still a bunch out there, comparing key metrics against competitors is one of the most useful ways of measuring social media performance.
For brands who are active and already measuring the obvious metrics, it might be worth adding a column to your monthly / quarterly reports featuring local fan page growth against your key competitor set to gauge the health of your page(s).
Of course, there are a number of variables that can skew this data, but it is a much more useful metric than an overall fan page count.
Your resource pack
The Facebook Brand Statistics in Australia page at Socialbakers.com is your first port of call.
If you'd like to check out a global fan breakdown comparison between Coke and Pepsi, click here.
And there's also a useful Playstation versus Xbox comparison here.