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Social media is the heart of modern communication. It gives business owners the power of outreach and the ability to spread beyond the simple means of selling at a community market or relying on the word-of-mouth of friends. Although the use of social media to gain product hype is not a new concept, the use of competitive analysis is still relatively contemporary. Using this tactic as part of your social media strategy is a crucial element that will help you shape your competition and understand how to market your product or service.
What is competitive analysis?
Competitive analysis is the evaluation of your competitors, the assessment of their strategies, the determination of their strengths and weaknesses and how it all compares to your business. In the context of social media, it’s looking at your competitor’s social accounts and better understanding the methods that they are using to create a social media landscape within your industry.
How do you conduct a competitive analysis?
In order to understand the scope of your competitor’s success on social media, you will first need to gather as much information as you can on them. Who are they following? How often are they posting? What kind of content are they posting? Which social accounts are they using? Once you’re able to answer these questions, gather the data together and compare between each competitor and your current social media strategy.
How do you find out who you competitors are?
For many businesses this is an easy answer, but for others you may need to do a bit of digging around. Just remember that Google is always a good tool to help answer your questions. By typing in keywords or phrases you will be able to see who ranks above you — BAM, your competition. Be very specific in your search efforts and also take into consideration that your competition may not be local.
Another great method that will aid you in determining your competitors is to use your audience’s social following. Chances are they are following brands that are similar to yours and might be exceeding you when it comes to sales.
Once you make a pool of potential competitors, narrow your list to a few of the strongest ones. From there you can start investigating.
- What social networks are they on?
- How big is there following?
- How often do they post?
- Are their followers engaged?
- What are their strengths/weaknesses?
- How are they a threat to you?
- Where are your opportunities to grow?
After you have gained some useful information on your competitors, your creative process will begin. Remember to be inspiring and not merely duplicating what your competition is already doing well. Also, it is best practice to look for a bold, unconventional and unique way to approach your future engagement. Stay organized and keep at it. Establishing a strong social media presence takes time and competitive analysis is only a single step in your journey.
If you need a little motivation to get started, consult with a professional about your social media strategy and have them dedicate the time to complete a competitive analysis for you!
Did you find our tips helpful? Tell us in the comments section below.