Marketing & SEO

How To Conduct An Effective Competitor Social Media Analysis

MotoCMS Editorial 19 February, 2022

When you’re surrounded by competitors, it can feel overwhelming to try and figure out what’s working (and not working) for them. And when you can’t find those answers, it means you can’t find opportunities and gaps for your brand. But don’t fret – finding out what’s working for your competitors can be simple, even if there are 50+ of them. It all comes down to understanding how your competitors are using social media as part of their strategy to positively influence purchase intent among their customers. Your goal is to use what you learn to conduct an effective competitor social media analysis and refine your social media strategy so that you can enjoy greater rates of engagement and conversion.

In this article, we’ll go through what a competitor’s social media analysis is and how to develop one, so you can get to the bottom of the efficacy (or lack thereof) of your competitors’ social media strategies and subsequently improve your own. Let’s dive into the best ways that social media managers like yourself can conduct an analysis of competitor social media strategies as well as the most important questions that you need to consider when you’re evaluating the behavior of your competitors on their social platforms.

What Competitor Social Media Analysis Is & Why It’s Important

First thing’s first: let’s define what, exactly, a social media competitor analysis is. The most crucial takeaway when defining a social media competitive analysis is that it’s an analysis that defines the biggest strengths and weaknesses of your competitors’ social strategies. As a social media manager who oversees multiple social accounts for your business, you need to transmute those strengths into your own social media strategy while avoiding the weaknesses. Once you do this, you can better say to what extent those strengths and weaknesses are present in your own social strategy. This understanding not only clarifies for you how similar or dissimilar your social strategy is when stacked up against the strategies of your competitors, but it also lets you make the jobs of your sales colleagues easier.

Salespeople who understand what a social media manager is doing right when it comes to leading a social media strategy can influence a higher rate of customer interactions and conversions. That’s because the best salespeople intimately understand the hot buttons and pain points of the potential buyers they interact with; a sales rep who also grasps how your social strategy positively influences purchase intent can more easily close the gap between buyer challenges and the solutions their company offers.

If you know something is working for your competitors that you’re also doing as part of your social strategy, don’t be shy: share your discoveries with your sales colleagues as you conduct your competitor’s social media analysis. In order to measure your current social strategy’s successes and shortcomings against those of your largest competitors, then you need to perform a social media competitor analysis that’s as complete and thorough as possible. A complete analysis should show you the platforms your competitors use most often, the ways your competitors use their social platforms, how well your competitors interact with their followers on those platforms, and how similar your social media marketing strategies are to those of your competitors.

This insight can give you new ideas to improve your social engagement with your followers. You may come to find, for example, that there are ideal times to publish social media posts in order to optimize levels of engagement with your audience. Or, you may discover what your average rates of audience engagement are at any given time as well as the average number of followers you maintain across your social profiles. It’s even possible to generate a more consistent stream of ideas for content creation if you get to know what content resonates most with followers. There are plenty of discoveries social media managers like yourself can find if you conduct a social media competitor analysis. But where do you start?

Begin with Your Competitive Keywords

It’s a good idea to begin with keywords. Identifying your biggest competitive keywords as well as the competitors who rank for those keywords can help you determine who your biggest social media competitors are. To figure out who your biggest competitors are, you’ll need to put together an inventory of focus keywords. There are plenty of ways to research competitive keywords such as using free tools to identify keywords that relate to your business or using a list of your known keywords to generate lists of new, related keywords. Related keywords are useful if you’re identifying who your social competitors are as well as the competitive keywords they’re targeting with their social media strategies.

Compile a list of the keywords that are relevant to your business and your brand so that you can determine which competitors also rank for those keywords. Select five or ten keywords and use Google to search for your biggest competitors. You’ll soon be able to say which competitors rank most consistently for your relevant keywords, which means you can tailor your social media strategy around those keywords, too. You can, for instance, funnel more users toward more of your social accounts by incorporating your new list of relevant keywords in your usernames and profile names. It’s also a good idea to incorporate your most important keywords into your social profile bios. A keyword-rich bio and username provide you with much-needed visibility if you’re interested in one-upping your competitors’ social media strategies.

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You’ve now discovered the brands that rank well for your relevant competitive keywords in search engines such as Google. But you’ll also want to find out which of your competitors rank well for those keywords during social searches. Competitors that rank well for your competitive keywords on social platforms may not rank well on search engines and vice versa, which is a circumstance social media managers should take advantage of

Incorporate keywords as you see fit into your social strategies so that you gain visibility over your competitors during social searches. You’ll want to investigate the brands that are coming up the most for keywords searched for on social media so that you know who you want to overtake in terms of visibility. Use platforms like Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook to search for your competitive keywords and see which brand pages come up most consistently in your search results.

At this point, you should have a list of several competitors who you want to focus on. Choose the competitors that you deem to be heavy-hitters in your industry niche. You’re now in a good position to proceed with the next steps of your competitor analysis.

Find out What Your Competitors Are up to on Social Platforms

It’s time to do some digging on your target competitors to see how they operate on their social platforms. It’s important that you find out what your competitors are up to on their social platforms so that you understand how they engage their audience and how you can engage your followers in similar ways.

Start gathering intel on your competitors by visiting their websites to see which social networks they’re linked to. How big are your competitor audiences on different social platforms and what’s the rate at which that audience is growing, if at all? Do your competitors consistently post new content, or is their activity relatively limited? How well are they engaging their audience and what brand voice do they use? Peruse your competitors’ social accounts to see where you can one-up them in areas they’re slacking off in.

With the data you have in hand at this point, it’s time that you perform what’s known as a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) Analysis. This analysis is an incredibly effective way to settle on the best methods with which you can improve your social media strategy, and it provides insight into the hurdles you may run up against as you tailor your strategy in response to what your competitors are – and are not – doing right when it comes to engaging their social followers.

Keep a few things in mind as you conduct your SWOT analysis. First, your strengths: carefully analyze the metrics for which your numbers are greater than those of your competitors. These may take the form of engagement rates, your rate of posting, your top followers, the breadth of your audience — you should predicate these strengths on factors that are internal to your brand.

This is also a good opportunity for you to reassess how well you understand your clients’ expectations and needs as this understanding may either be one of your greatest strengths or one of your most glaring weaknesses. Utilizing a profit and loss statement template to provide a simple visual of your financial strength from current clients can come in handy here as well. The better you understand your client expectations from your brand, the better you can generate social content that aligns with those expectations and needs.

You can also anticipate how the client expectations of your social strategy may change by considering how the realm of social media and the tactics within are transforming. This anticipation can help you key in on likely upcoming threats to the success of your social media strategy as well. These threats, for instance, may take the form of small-but-rapidly-growing competitors that may attract the interest of your social followers or the presence of social competitors on platforms they may not currently be active on.

Keep Your Competitive Analysis Current

You’ve determined who your biggest competitors are by performing keyword research and you’ve gathered the necessary intel to stay on top of your competition’s activity. At this point, you’ll need to periodically update your social media competitive analysis with up-to-date information that you gather via social media monitoring. One of the best ways to maintain a steady supply of up-to-date data on your biggest competitors is by using social media monitoring. Social media monitoring refers to the regular tracking of social elements such as hashtags, mentions left concerning your brand, keywords, and any other intel that lets you stay abreast of your followers’ activity and interests.

Social media monitoring is so important to an effective competitor social media analysis because it provides you with both qualitative as well as quantitative information with which you can continuously tailor your social media strategy: metrics and analytics, as well as content creation ideas, make it much easier to determine your social share of voice, what your audience is talking about the most, and the relevant hashtags and keywords you may want to use in the future to expand your reach to new followers.

There are several other ways that social media monitoring is indispensable if you’re crafting a social media competitor analysis. As a social media manager for a brand with a specific product that interests certain followers, you likely are interested in engaging your followers with your brand’s product in new and exciting ways. Social media monitoring allows you to glean great ideas for social engagement from the conversations your followers have. These ideas may focus on features of your brand’s product that excite your followers or discussions regarding ways customers can overcome challenges they’re facing. facing, or ways to better engage your audience with content creation.

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Social media monitoring is also very effective if you need to generate new leads from social media – especially on platforms where your competitors may have an edge – or identify social influencers and advocates who can disseminate information about your brand to a wide audience with whom you may not yet interact. If you’re a social media manager who’s new to social media monitoring, you may not know which monitoring tool is best suited to your needs. There are thankfully plenty of social media monitoring tools widely available to businesses of all sizes. Monitoring tools often include features such as customizable search streams, filters with which you can monitor customer conversations across disparate sources of data, data visualizers that present interactive timelines and geolocation-based heat maps, and even multilingual keyword trackers to monitor your audience’s activity around the globe.

Take your time when researching social media monitoring tools as they will make a huge impact on how well you can keep your competitive social media analysis current. Remember that your social media monitoring shouldn’t have an end date: it’s a process that should be continuous and one that should become central to your daily activities. Regularly monitoring and engaging your social media activity can provide you with plenty of intel with which you can expand your brand and its visibility.

 Competitor Social Media Analysis – Conclusion

The amount of noise across social media platforms has increased substantially in recent years as more platforms gain more user profiles. Businesses therefore must understand how their competition is navigating social platforms if they are to maintain and improve their social media strategies. It’s no wonder, then, that conducting a competitor social media analysis is so useful when it comes to understanding how competitors achieve their results, or lack thereof, on social platforms in terms of customer conversions and audience engagement.

A thorough and well-thought-out competitor social media analysis should uncover the biggest strengths and weaknesses of your competitors’ social strategies. With these strengths and weaknesses laid bare for you to analyze, you can measure your social media strategy’s efficacy against the strategies your competitors use in detail. You’ll need to follow several important steps to create a competitor social media analysis that’s thorough and thought-out. Begin with your competitive keywords in order to determine who their biggest competitors are. Analyzing your competitive keywords gives you insight into which businesses are attempting to rank for the same keywords which, in turn, lets you see which competitors rank most highly.

From there, you can create a shortlist of competitors who you should most heavily target based on your keyword research. Find out what your competitors are up to on the social platforms they’re most active on and analyze their activity on their favorite platforms. Then, conduct a SWOT analysis to determine how you can do what they do on their platforms, but better. Remember to keep your competitive analysis current by regularly updating it with intel that you gather via social media monitoring.

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Tags: social media social media marketing social media presence
Author: MotoCMS Editorial
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