Knowing your marketplace is the cornerstone of any business strategy, social media competitor research can be a great way to understand your market and tailor your strategy to get ahead.
The power of this research is that you can conduct it from your computer, without letting your competitors know. In this spirit, we got the idea from this blog from a tweet we saw by someone else in our industry.
Here are a few simple ways to use social media competitor research in a strategic way.
Social Media Competitor Research – Profile Your Industry
The first step is to look at your competitors and what social media platforms they are active on and the success they are having in building an audience and generating engagement.
Whilst you may not have detailed access to their social media analytics there will be some clues to whether or not they are having success. These include the number of account followers/likes on the page and the shares/comments individual posts are generating. However, take this information with a pinch of salt, it may be that your competitors have bought likes or that they have not realised the opportunity.
This information interpreted correctly can be a good guide to the platforms that work within your industry and help guide the choice in platforms you use.
Target Their Audience
The openness of social media means it is possible to target the audience of your competitors.
This can be done directly or indirectly and methods could include; following their influential followers on Twitter or running Facebook ads targeted at those that like their page (if they are big enough).
Some businesses are more unscrupulous than others when it comes to these practices. We have had clients targeted by competitors who watch their Facebook page like a hawk and aggressively target anyone that comments. We do not condone this approach and instead advocate a softer approach to audience targeting.
Whatever your thoughts, keeping an eye on their audience can be a good way of building competitive intelligence and the thought processes of potential customers.
Set Up A Monitoring System
Monitoring your competitors on social media to see what they are posting and the interactions they are having can be hugely beneficial.
A platform such as Hootsuite will allow you to search for keywords or lists of competitors (Twitter) to see the content they are posting. This can help shape your competitive strategy as well as get the creative juices flowing around your own content.
Also, you can see how your target audience views your competitor, is their new product a hit, or are they getting lots of complaints?
If you would like to know more about profiling your competitors or your own social media email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01733 462030