Spying on the competition is as old as competition itself. In business, gathering intelligence using publicly available data is not illegal, and not nearly as exciting as Jason Bourne’s life or half as dangerous as real international espionage is. It’s all business.
In fact, it’s the first rule of business to know your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses in order to stay ahead. Today, when all kinds of tools are available to do the job, there is no justification for not conducting solid competitor analyses in your industry.
That said, if you’re looking for information on how to get started with a social media competitor analysis, this post is for you. When you’ve decided on a monitoring tool to use (like a social network), the following are some of the points you should focus on.
(Note: we have no relationship with the companies that offer the services in this article; they are just handy tools we like!)
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Identify the Competition
You probably have your eye on your competition already but if not, the quickest way to find them is to search for them on Google and check popular forums in your industry.
Google the search terms and keywords people would use to find your business. Try combining your search with your geographical location, also. Then, check the sites you find to learn what social media channels they are using. Look for those social media buttons.
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Aside from Google, you can look at who your followers are following and take it from there.
Start small and pick three to five of the best competitors only. That way, you’ll be able to manage all the information easily and still have enough of a sample to benchmark yourself against or create a baseline with.
If you’ve just started your business or have only just opened your social media accounts, give your Follower count a good boost by buying social media followers. It’s a marketing tactic designed to influence people into following you. A large following will attract followers all on its own, and if you buy high-quality social media Followers that look real, then you’ll also be seen as an authority in your niche. Read our reviews to find the best provider for your social platform of choice.
Assess the Competition
Once you’ve identified your competition, it’s time to size them up. Assessing your competitors can be overwhelming and that is why you need to pick the right tools to make the job easier for you.
To that end, here are some of the metrics you should be looking at, with some of the best social media monitoring tools you can use to measure and analyze that data.
How big is their following?
Note how many followers your competitors have and how fast or slowly they are gaining followers. Measure their follower growth daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Are their followings going up or going down, and at what point does this happen?
Locowise also offers the ability to measure and analyze data within a date range, which is great for when you’re running a campaign and testing the effectiveness of it – or looking at how your competitors’ followings have changed over time. It interprets data for you and even suggests strategies you can use to improve your results.
This tool can help you schedule posts, monitor the number of impressions you get, measure engagement, and more.
How often do they post?
Determine how often your competitors post on their social channels and what platforms they post the most on. Use the information you’ll learn as a baseline for how often you should post, including what platform you should maybe focus on.
A good tool you can use to find out how often your competitors post is Fanpage Karma. It can perform a side by side comparison of your profile and your competitors and can analyze accounts across Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest.
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Some of the metrics the app measures include post frequency, growth, engagement, top posts, external links, and others.
What is their engagement rate like?
Knowing the engagement rate of a post is critical to advancing the content marketing strategies of any business. A low engagement rate is akin to being dead, as far as marketing your business is concerned. So, benchmarking your engagement against that of your competitors is not a bad way to make sure the market still finds your business relevant.
You can take a look at your platform’s built-in analytics to see how well your posts are being received or use a third-party social media tool that will include your competitors’ posts.
For social mentions, you can use an app like Google Alerts to track keywords not just on social media platforms but also across the web. Google Alerts is simple to use and easy to set up. It can track keyword and phrase mentions in your niche. It can even email you new results so you don’t have to “listen” to and monitor every keyword match as it comes along.
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What are their strengths and weaknesses?
Identify not just your brand’s strengths and weaknesses but also your competitors’. Monitoring the weaknesses of your competitors can present opportunities for you.
How wide is your competitors’ reach? On what metrics do they under-perform? On what platform do they have a weak presence? Do their followers grow faster than yours? Social media monitoring tools can help you answer these questions and more.
You can also consider using Buzzsumo. Buzzsumo can help you find popular posts and those posts that get the most shares. It can help you generate new ideas for content by looking at the most viral or linked-to posts. You can also learn which posts generate the most engagement across different time frames, or identify the people who engage the most with your competitors.
Image credit: Buzzsumo
If your problem has to do with a lack of follower growth, aside from using Buzzsumo or other monitoring tools for analyses, and aside from running a followers campaign, you should also consider buying social media followers – but not because they’ll become actual customers.
A high number of followers will draw other users to you. It’s one great way to grow your organic reach because your large follower count will tell people you are worth following, and they’ll be tempted to come check you out.
Keep an Eye On Your Competition!
Keeping an eye on your competition is necessary in order to know where you’re at within your niche. It’s one way you can improve your social media performance and bring in business to your company.
In today’s ultra-public world, it’s easy to keep tabs on your competitors with the many social media marketing tools available. Choose the right ones, and take advantage of the insights you can gain to grow not just your social media presence, but also your business.
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