04 Nov Observe Your Competitors’ Strategies [Social Media Tip]
I am by no means saying rip everything your competition is doing. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side, but taking a peek over the fence may provide insights on how to keep your strategy fresh, avoid methods that don’t work, or inspire new ideas. Make it a habit to take a look at your industry and observe what your competition is doing.
The things I look for when taking a look at the competition websites, social channels and strategies are:
- Content Type: Photos tend to get more interaction, but some how your rival gets tons of interaction on links. Take a look at how different content types perform on your competitor’s page. Perhaps they’re doing something you aren’t doing right or vise versa (yay you).
- Topics the brand shares. Maybe a certain topic category really gets your industry talking, and you’ve been missing out! Taking a look at what topics resonate on a competitive page may help you create your own form of tapping into the buzz.
- Influencers: Who’s information is your competitor sharing? Are you following these accounts also?
- Messaging : Take a look at messaging. Check out tweets that get a lot of engagement, you could be missing out on a great hashtag. Maybe your “voice” is off and checking out the competition and how they interact with their audience can give you a direction while writing.
- Special Promotions: I love seeing what kind of prizes can be associated with promotions that really get people engaged. I discovered pay with a tweet, and Starbucks’ “tweet a coffee” while researching for a client’s campaign.
There are many tools to help you keep an eye on your competition. Some of my favorites are listed in this article from Social Media Examiner. Tools like Quicksprout and SEMRush are great for tracking your opposition’s website traffic and social media shares, while others like Followerwonk and SimplyMeasured are more network specific (Twitter and Facebook respectively).
One competitive analysis tool is built right into Facebook Insights’ Pages to Watch. Plug in a few competitors and track their engagement, follower growth, and number of posts for the week. If you are having trouble with engaging your audience, or are looking to adjust the number of times you post a week, take a look at how often your competitors are posting and try it. This information also helps you benchmark your growth and set goals based on how others in your industry are pacing.
In all honesty, you should do a competitive analysis before you even create your social media profiles, but set time aside to look around at what influencers in your industry are implementing. Don’t limit yourself to your industry. Take a step further and checkout what top players in other industries are doing to get results, here is where you may find innovative ideas that haven’t been tested in your field yet.
It’s easy to get caught in your strategy and tracking analytics and adjusting strategy but remember to take a step back and look around the competitive landscape. Not observing your surroundings can get you left behind, and you may be surprised to discover that you’re doing better than you thought (and who doesn’t love that feeling?).