How to beat your competition and stay ahead of the game on social media? This is where social media analysis comes in.
As the name implies, it is a practice of analyzing your existing and potential competitors, their marketing strategies and the results they get. It also lets you compare the strengths and weaknesses of other brands to your own.
For example, you can find out what kind of videos are uploaded by your competitors to increase their YouTube views.
Simply put, social media competition analysis delivers you valuable insights into what works in your industry, where your strategy stands, and how to create your strategy moving forward.
Based on those data-driven insights, you can make informed decisions and determine which strategies work best as well as avoid those that fail.
So how to get started with your social media competitive analysis? You need to understand the right competitors to track as well as the aspects of their business that are worth analyzing. You then need to determine which audience, engagement, and content metrics are useful in your specific case.
Identify Your Competitors:
First of all, identify your social media competitors and check out which platforms are used by them. Maybe you have a general idea of your main rivals. But this shouldn’t stop you from doing further research on your competitor. Look for the competitors that actively use social media marketing.
These would be the key brands you can learn from and compare to. Don’t waste your efforts and time in benchmarking against the brands that have little to no social media presence. The point is here to focus on your key competitors who use social media as an important part of their marketing strategy.
The easiest way to identify your competition is through a Google search. Search for the phrases used by customers to find your business. For example, if you sell gym equipment, you can Google “gym equipment”. You can ignore the top online marketplaces like Amazon.
Look for the websites belonging to your specific industry instead. Pick some top 4-5 of them and check each of them to find out if they are active on social media, and which platforms they use.
Analyze their Data:
Once you identify your top competitors, research what they do on social media. Visit their profiles and note down the following things.
- Which social media platform is used by your competitors actively?
- How many followers do they have?
- What is the balance between their text, photos, and videos?
- How often do they share content?
- How much engagement do they get on their post?
- What is their content tone? Formal, conversational, or casual?
- Have they partnered with any influencer or industry expert?
- How many hashtags do they use?
- Do they have paid campaigns?
Check all of these things on your social media handles too. It can be overwhelming and time-consuming to gather this data manually. So you can use social media tools such as Hootsuite Streams, Brandwatch, and Mentionlytics to simplify the process.
Use the Data for Benchmarking:
Now that you have gathered all of this data, it is time to put it to use. Using the social media analytics of your brand, you can compare your profiles to the competition. This will help you understand the strength and weaknesses of your competitors in relation to your brand, and create a marketing strategy to get a competitive edge.
Perform a SWOT Analysis:
The next step includes running a SWOT analysis. SWOT stands for Strength, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats.
Your strengths and weaknesses are internal aspects. To determine these, analyze your business and figure out where you are doing well and what do you lack.
But opportunities and threats are external factors. You have to analyze your competition to identify ways to enhance your strategy and note down the potential issues you might face.
Here are the steps to perform SWOT analysis with each individual factor:
- Your STRENGTH is determined by your engaged community, clear branding, having more followers than your competitors, and a number of viral posts.
- To check your WEAKNESSES, look at the areas where do you lack in.
- To identify OPPORTUNITES, check what the things you can take advantage of are. For example, you can find new platforms like SoundCloud and TikTok which ensure you a great boost with less competition.
- To identify the threats, look at the new competitors in your niche who have achieved immense growth. Besides, pay attention to the negative comments about your brands.
Keep Your Analysis Updated:
To keep your social media competitive analysis updated and “trustworthy”, make sure to continually add new information about market trends and any new competition. And this should be done regularly, as part of your quarterly or yearly reports.
The Bottom Line:
Keep in mind that social media competitor analysis is a vital aspect when it comes to creating successful marketing strategies. Clear objectives and a little bit of “sneak peek” into your competitor’s marketing efforts can help you a lot in the long run, whether you manage a YouTube channel or want to be successful on Instagram.
The life and blood of any marketing strategy is data, and it is lying in front of you. All you need to do is research using some good social media tools. Once you are done with social media analytics for your brand, you will be aware of what your competitors are doing and which strategies can work for you.
Best of luck!