OK, so your chief competitor, by all accounts, is crushing it (and you) on social media.
Before you get too stressed about it, there’s some good news here.
These platforms are very public so conducting a social media competitive analysis is a relatively simple thing to do.
Just like choosing from among free website themes to establish your site, everything you’ll need can be found online. And, a lot of it is available at no cost.
Here’s what you do.
Learn Who Your Competitors Are
In most cases, it’s readily apparent.
If Gary’s Olde Town Tavern is consistently grinding your bar into dust, you’ve probably already ID’d it as your nemesis.
However, if your business situation is less clear-cut, you’re going to have to do a bit of digging to find out who’s munching your lunch every day.
Twitter, Instagram, Google and Facebook can help you with this at no cost—well, other than time.
Search for keywords essential to your endeavour and see who comes up in possession of them.
Use search terms describing what you do to see who pops up. You should also observe your followers as well, to see who they’re also following.
Determine How Well They’re Doing
Once you figure out whom to watch, look to see what social outlets they prefer.
Gauge the size of their followings on each platform and get a feel for the level of engagement they’re enjoying.
You’ll also want to look to see which influencers promote them.
Observe how frequently they post, as well as how many daily likes, shares, comments and re-tweets they generate on average.
Analyse their posts to see which ones get the most traction so you can come up with topics for blogs and posts capable of doing the some.
Analyse Their SWOTs
What are their Strengths and Weaknesses? Where are your best Opportunities? What Threats do they represent to you?
What are they doing well? Where could they be doing better? What possibilities to cut into their share do you see? What are they doing that could make life even more difficult for you in the long run?
Review Their Web Presences
In nearly every case, their overriding goal will be to drive traffic to their primary sites to convert followers into customers.
How does their website look in comparison to yours? What features does it provide? How is it reflective of the persona they project? You might have to revamp yours to exceed their effort.
Take advantage of customisable free website themes to accomplish this with minimal spend.
Build Upon Your Findings
Rather than looking at your competitors’ campaigns to duplicate them, you’re looking to find ways to build upon what they’re doing to enable you to stand out.
In other words, don’t replicate—accelerate.
Be careful to organise your findings systematically.
Avoid becoming anxious and jumping to early conclusions.
Take your time and review the information thoroughly. Are they doing anything unusual, creative or unconventional? How well do those tactics play?
Above all, look to see what they aren’t doing. This is where your greatest opportunities will lie.
Using social media to research competitors has the potential to generate a lot of data. You’re also going to be doing quite a bit of cross-referencing in your effort to be thorough.
The more organised your approach, the more successful your work will be.
If you observe carefully, your competitors will show you how to beat them.