What can you learn from your competitor’s social media strategy?
It’s a fact – everyone is scared of their competitors. Whether you voice it out or not, it happens to all of us, especially when it comes to business. You always want to do better than your competitors – better sales, better customer service, better quality products, services and better marketing. Even if you’re not scared, your competitors and other industry top leaders are a huge asset, and many brands & agencies are not taking advantage of the example some competitors set.
When you’re thinking of ways to do better, to optimize your social media strategy, to impress your clients or to finally create that one post that goes viral, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Someone is already doing better than you, so go ahead: be bold and spy a little – there are endless opportunities out there, ready to be discovered.
This is why competitive benchmarking, or monitoring your direct competitors to set up goals and guidelines for your performance and growth, is an important aspect of any business, especially when it comes to social media. You have direct access to all public social media profiles & pages. And with the right tools, you can even analyse those pages and get some extremely useful insights from them.
Monitoring and analysing your competitors’ social media can be taxing and time-consuming if you don’t know the right resources. There are many social media analysis tools out there that can help you with such research so that you don’t waste too much time and effort evaluating everything manually yourself. So, instead of going through each brand and each one of their social media channel, page by page, you should use a tool which will give you clear, summarized reports for each brand you insert.
You want to be able to optimize your social media strategy and beat the competition, and learning about your competitors’ strategy is the way to do it.
The social metrics your clients & boss want to see, but don’t know to ask for
Who are the real competitors? The ones on social media might actually differ from the ones in real life. By comparing your social media performance to that of your competitors and other similar brands might reveal some surprising companies you weren’t even considering as competitors before. Some small brands with a strong social media presence and community can easily take on bigger industry leaders when it comes to growth and engagement. Watch out!
Which social media networks do your competitors use, and how are they helping them? They might be using Twitter and Facebook and be successful at that, while ignoring LinkedIn and Google+. Finding this out will help you to see if their chosen networks have been working for them and if so, how well has their presence been established on these networks. Are they strong somewhere you’re not present? Consider adding more social media channels to your strategy, if it seems that there’s a lot of conversation and many engaged followers you’re missing out on.
Learning how your competitors position themselves is important because this is what guides the voice and tone they use. Are they formal, cheeky or fun? Do they sometimes make fun of themselves? Has one of their posts gone viral? Sometimes the best tips are right in front of our eyes. Don’t be shy and take inspiration from the ideas that have worked for your competition. Use them as a guideline for some new content, but just make sure not to copy.
Monitoring your competitors also means you know when they are posting, and which times are best in terms of engagement. You can actually find out detailed insights when and how often other brands publish posts, on which days of the week or hours of the day, and how you compare against them. Is there a day when others have a high peak on engagement? Should you try starting to compete for that attention? All these insights can inspire you into changing your own publishing routine and could increase your engagement.
Many of the insights are extremely useful, whether you’re just trying to find a way to improve your own social media strategy, to get inspiration for new content ideas, or if you’re conducting a more thorough social media analysis. A competitor overview often surprises clients when you’re pitching for new business opportunities, or just want to impress the brands you’re managing their social media for. Competitor monitoring can offer endless business development opportunities – it’s up to you to start tracking and to utilize the information in the best possible way!
What else have you learned from your competitors? Which tools have you found helpful? We’d love to hear from you!