Social media is a fantastic tool to find competitors, analyze competitors, compare competitors and find out what they are doing, what’s working for them and what’s not so you can just model success instead of going through the slow process of trial and error.
The other reason why it’s important to find competitors and analyze competitors is to make sure you are providing more or at least the same amount of value to your audience than they are.
The first step when performing competitor research is to identify your 5 top competitors and look them up on the main social networks: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin.
After your find competitors, collect the following information about them for each social network:
Their audience size
Their engagement rate
Their engagement method
Their posting frequency
Once you’ve performed your competitor research and have collected enough information to compare competitors, you will have a clearer picture about how to improve your social media communication strategy.
Then, to monitor your progress against your competitor’s progress and make sure you remain ahead, use social media competitor analysis tools depending on which platform you’re using.
For example, should you have a Facebook page for your business and so do your competitors, we recommend using the built-in Facebook competitor analysis tool called “pages to watch”. This feature allows you to add any page you’d like to monitor against yours and easily compare competitors against you.
The great thing about this competitor research tool is that your competitors won’t be notified that you’re monitoring them. Plus, this competitor research tool also suggests similar pages to watch.
On Twitter, a tool to analyze competitors we recommend is Klout. Klout is a tool that gives you a score from 1 to 100 which rates a Twitter account’s social media influence. Most businesses have an average score of 40, however, influential accounts will have a score of 50 and above. Ideally, you’d like to have a higher Klout score than any of your competitors.
Another social network analysis tool that is useful to analyze competitors is Twitter lists. Twitter lists are the equivalent of folders to categorize and manage Twitter accounts. Users can either create their own lists and make the lists “private” or “public’. Should you be using Twitter lists to monitor your competitors, make sure it is private so only you have the ability to view the list.
This will allow you to check the activity of your competitors all in one place, see what they’re up to, what they’ve been tweeting, etc... and as a result improve your own social media communication strategy.
When it comes to monitoring your competitors on Instagram, we recommend the social network analysis tool Talkwalker.
Once you’ve collected all the information necessary that you need in order to have a clearer picture of where you stand compared to your competitors, don’t let that information go to waste. Instead, fine tune your campaigns accordingly. So you can remain one step ahead.
The key when monitoring your competition and using social network analysis tools is not collecting too much information or else it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Always improve your social media marketing efforts one step at a time.