What’s Competition Got to Do with ItWhen 84% of consumers say they will choose a brand they follow on social media over a competitor, the old adage, keep your friends close and your enemies closer seems true. Analyzing your competitors’ social media not only gives you an idea of your own strengths and weaknesses, but also your standing within the industry. In the past, we may have just compared growth in followers or engagement based on the numbers from the previous month. But nowadays, we understand that this benchmark is limited and we need a fuller picture of what’s happening around us. With a detailed profile of your competition, you can see which posts have resonated with their audience (that is undoubtedly similar to yours), thus providing inspiration for effective content that you may try to emulate. It could also expose which posts may have missed the mark, and therefore, you would do well to avoid. By using their data as a metric for your business, you can take on a new direction and create a successful social media strategy.
Come On CompareYou may already know which businesses are your direct competitors, but try to identify a varied range of other companies too. That is to say, not just the ones which are obviously similar to yours. It’s worth factoring in competitors that offer the same products and/or services, but are targeting a different price point or audience, as well as brands that are market leaders in your industry.
How To Find Your CompetitorsA simple way to do this is by using a custom search tool to help you look for businesses within your niche and location. You will also be able to see geo-restricted ads, meaning that any advertising will be visible to you regardless of your geographical location. If you are a bakery in Camden, you might try bakeries in Camden in the search bar, for example. You can not only see where the other bakeries are located, but more information about their business (opening hours, Google rating, price point and links to their website/social media). It is also recommended that you search for businesses within your niche, but in a different city to have a well-rounded understanding of your competitors. Once you’ve identified your competitors, two key questions you should ask yourself are:
- Which social networks are truly relevant for your business?
- Are they actively using the same social networks as you?
Every Data You TakeWatch every move and step your competitors make. It’s no longer just about the number of followers their account has, s0 dig deeper and think about:
- Are you using similar or different keywords as you?
- How are they using hashtags?
- What is the average time span between each post?
- Are they using a mixture of text, images and videos?
- Are they sharing/linking content from other sources?
- On average, how many likes, comments and shares do they have on their posts?
- More importantly, do they respond to comments and mentions?
- Has a particular post received more likes, comments and shares than others? If so, why?
- Do they have regular giveaways to entice customers?
- What percentage of their posts are promotional?
- Is there always a call to action to comment or buy?
Let’s Get AnalyticalLet me hear your data talk. With all the information you’ve gathered, it’s time to start evaluating your own performance against that of your competitors. In doing so, you will be able to see which areas you’re doing well in and which areas need to be improved. Do you need to…
- engage more with your followers?
- change the tone of voice?
- change your content plan?
- use another social media platform?
- What value would this add to my audience?
- How relevant is this post for them?
- Would the viewer come away knowing more information about the business?
- What is the most appropriate platform for my message?
- Are my followers accustomed to a specific type of content?