How to Perform Competitor Analysis for Social Media
We’re all aware of the power of social media. While it’s a channel to connect and stay up to date with customers, it plays a pretty big role in assisting conversions with as many as 80% of shoppers researching a product online before making their purchasing decisions. It provides a free and easy means of gaining your target audience’s attention but is not to be taken advantage of.
Recent research has found that while as many as 86% of social media users follow a brand, over half (60%), are annoyed with the number and frequency of their promotions. To do social media marketing right, a strategy is essential, and you can take many valuable lessons from your competitors. For example, you can learn about the type of post that does well with your target audience, identify gaps in the market so that you can position yourself correctly and differentiate for a competitive advantage. What you can also take away are your customers’ pain points and insights on when to post.
How To Do a Social Media Competitor Analysis
You can’t carry out a competitor analysis without knowing who your actual competitors are. These can be either direct or indirect. They can be found with Google and social media searches relating to the products and services that you provide. You will then have a list of businesses whose handles you can investigate. To filter them so that you have your ideal benchmark, tools such as Keywords Everywhere (a chrome extension) can give you traffic insights that appear right next to each search result.
Once you have your chosen competitors, it’s time to collect your data. You will need to decide on metrics so that you can easily cross-examine against yourself and other players within your niche. For this, you will want to think about your goals and KPIs. We’ve included a few below for some inspiration.
- Follower count
- Social media ad insights
- Their share of voice
- What their organic traffic looks like
Things to Consider
Now that you know what you’re using as your metrics to keep an eye on the competition and how well they’re doing, let’s think about what you’ll need to study. You will need to look into their content strategy – the different forms of content that they focus their efforts on and how well they do. As you’re doing this, you will want to think about the SWOT framework, looking at your competitors’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
Think about the kind of content that they post. Is their content more aspirational, promotional, informational, or comical? With each update that we’ve seen across the platforms, we have seen new forms of content introduced. You can choose from a range of different formats from carousels to text only posts.
Hashtags are not to be ignored either. They can boost engagement by as much as 29% on Instagram. You can use them to get involved in conversations as well as keep up to date with trends and competitors. Many use them as ways to find products and services and researching which your competitors use can help you to find the right opportunities to go after.
Other Forms of Content
Other types of social media content that you will want to consider are sponsored posts, paid ads, collaborations, and influencer marketing. These may be trickier to find as they may not be shared across their social networks and are off-page activities. They work well for customer acquisition and growing reach.
There are tools out there to make things a little easier such as Sprout Social and Social Bakers that will compile much of this information for you. They will come at a price and is a trade off that you will need to make based on the added value for your business.
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