Are you having trouble growing your brand presence with social media marketing? Competitor analysis could be the perfect solution.
The social media landscape is crowded, and it’s hard to get an edge over your competition. When you’re first starting out, it’s nearly impossible to compete with businesses that have thousands of social media followers.
Your competition has likely spent time and money to create detailed social media strategies. They post new content on a regular basis and stick with a consistent message.
Competitor analysis helps you get a closer look at what your competition is doing. You can learn from their efforts and find new ways to reach your audience. You may even uncover areas that your competition hasn’t explored.
Here is a short guide on getting started with competitor analysis. Learn how to boost your social media efforts by checking out your competition. The process is simple:
- Find your competition
- Analyze their social media activity
Explore each of these steps in detail, and then perform your own competitor analysis.
Find Your Social Media Competition
As you go through these steps, you should take notes—starting with a list of your competitors.
You might already have an idea of who to include in this list. But you should do a little research before you finalize your list of competitors. Search Google for keywords related to your industry.
The sites that show up in the top few positions are the top competitors. But you will want to focus on the businesses that are within your reach.
For example, if you appear on the second page of Google search results for these keywords, then look at the competition towards the bottom of the first page.
Those companies are your direct competition. These are the businesses that you need to pass before you’ll ever get the chance to compete against the top two or three businesses—depending on the size of your niche market.
When you start filling out your list, you might find it easier to take notes using a spreadsheet. You can easily populate new fields and keep your data organized.
Learn More About Your Competition
Now that you know who your competition is, you need to learn more about their strategies. You will gather data by analyzing some of their social media stats.
Visit the Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages of each business in your competitor list. You can start with one business and go through all of its social media channels.
Analyze Facebook Statistics
Start with Facebook. When you view your competitor’s Facebook page, you can click on the “X people like this page” button. This will bring you to a page containing additional stats.
You will see the number of people who are currently talking about this Facebook page. You can also see the total number of people who have liked the page or checked in. Write all of these stats in your spreadsheet or notes.
Analyze Twitter Statistics
Next, you should find out how many followers your competitors have on Twitter. Using online SEO tools and programs, you can find out how many followers they have lost and gained in the past 30 days. Other stats to track include user engagement and overall influence.
The image below shows analytics that only the individual user on Twitter can access, but much of what it shows can be found using other tools.
Analyze Instagram Statistics
It is harder to gain stats about Instagram. But you can still do some research. In the search bar on Instagram, enter a hashtag with the brand name of your competitor. This will provide search results of posts talking about the company.
A lot of results is an indication that this company understands how to grow a brand on Instagram. Paying attention to their posting habits can give you some insight.
Make a note of the number of Instagram followers the company has. Include any details that stand out about its Instagram activity.
Take a Look at Social Media Activity
The next area to explore is the activity of your competition. You want to see how often they post and other details of their social media efforts.
Write down the last time that your competitors posted on each social media network. Determine how frequently they post. Also, find out if they respond to the comments on their posts. Write these details in your notes or spreadsheet.
You will now scroll their feeds on each network and make notes about the type of content that they share. They will likely have a mixture of promotional posts and curated content.
Curated content is simply content that is found on other websites. The brand believes that their followers will enjoy this content.
Calculate the percentage of promotional posts. To do so, you simply need to answer one question: how many of their last 10 posts were promotional? Multiply the answer by 10. So if they had 3 promotional posts out of the last 10 posts, 30% of their posts are promotional.
Putting It All Together
Now you simply need to determine which competitor has the best performance. You want to mimic what that brand is doing and incorporate it into your own social media strategy.
Go through the following list and write down what worked best for each area:
- Percentage of promotional posts
- Type of curated content
- Frequency of posts
- Responding to user comments
You can build your own strategy based on the research that you performed. You’ll know how frequently you should post new content and what type of content to post. Put this information to use and remain consistent in your posting strategy.
Competitor analysis can be incredibly beneficial. But you will need to repeat this process occasionally. Trends can change and overall public interest can shift. You will want to keep up with changes in your niche market.
Every quarter, you should conduct another analysis of your competition. Not only will doing so help you stay on top of new strategies but you can also verify that your efforts are paying off.
If your social media strategy is not working properly, you need to look at your competition. Perform competitor analysis, looking at their posting habits and overall user engagement. Use these steps to start growing your social media presence.
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