An in-depth look at what your competitors are doing is essential to your success. Without a competitive analysis, you won’t know how well you are performing compared to your competition or if you are meeting your targets.
Social media is a great place to get an insight into your competitors. To get a clear picture of what is happening in social media, you’ll need to gather, analyze, and interpret thousands of data points. Fortunately, there are effective online tools that can help you break down all the information you collect into something that is easier to understand.
Identifying Your Competitors
For some brands and businesses, identifying the competitors is obvious. But for others, especially new, online or international, you need to do some work first..
To discover who your competitors are, start by defining what your primary products or services are. Perform a Google search on the companies that sell similar products or offer the same service.
Who Does Your Target Market Follow?
Look at who your target market is already following on social media. If you identify any brands that offer products or services similar to yours, write them down.
Who Are Your Strongest Competitors?
Depending on your industry, you may end up with a list of potential competitors that is much too long for you to manage. Choose three to five that you feel are your strongest competition.
Competitive analysis allows you to discover how your competitors are using and positioning themselves, especially on social media. You’ll learn what they share and which updates get the most engagement, which social media networks work best for them, and how their audience responds.
What Social Networks Do They Use?
Most brands strategically prefer to focus their social media presence on only Facebook, Twitter, or both. Different brands mean different audiences who often prefer one social media network over the other.
How Big Is Their Following?
This is fairly basic, but to start off, analyze your competitors’ maximum reach, audience breakdown, and number of followers on Twitter.
Analyze Competitor’s Activity and Engagement
Digging further, once you’ve gathered the numbers, you’ll need to have a look at how your competitors use each platform. You’ll need to determine how active they are by analyzing the following:
- The last time they posted
- The spans of time between each post
- Do they respond to comments?
The holy grail of competitive analysis is the demographics of the competitor’s followers; parameters such as language, professions, age group and geography would provide great insight. Tweepsmap Influencer analysis provides that on every account in Twitter (competitors, partners, influencers, or whomever). Furthermore you can get the top associated hashtags with the brand, their top influencers and even a cross section with other accounts.
The SWOT Analysis
Conducting a SWOT (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis will help you determine your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses, reveal opportunities and identify threats. The data you have collected and analyzed in previous steps shall help you in this here.
Competitive Analysis Best Practices
Competitive analysis presents you with the opportunity to learn about your brand as much as it will about your competitor. By recognizing the gaps, you’ll be able to identify your own strategic opportunities. The useful insight you gain can help you differentiate your brand from your competitors.
Knowing what makes your competitor successful doesn’t necessarily mean that you should use the same strategy. Of course, you could try a variation of it or take what you’ve learned about what attracts and engages your mutual audiences and align them with your own brand goals and vision.