Is your business competitive? Your products and services, prices, sales, marketing, customer appreciation and special programs… are they competitive? Do you understand what the competition is doing enough to answer these questions?
First things first, do you know who your competitors are? Can you list at least 5 local competitors? Real competitors, not big name brands that you can’t very well compete with. I’m referring to local or regional competitors similar in size, scope and the audience you serve.
How to Analyze Your Competition’s Social Media Efforts
One the best ways to give your own business a boost is to check out your competition. Your competition, even if your business is more popular, can give you a lot of insight to your audience and how you can improve to make your business even more profitable.
If your business is less popular, collecting intel on the competition can offer insights into what you may be lacking, thus giving you fuel for growth.
One way to do that is to analyze your competition’s social media efforts. Here’s how.
Follow Them on All Social Media Accounts
See how they are using each social media account to give information to their audience and how they get more followers. Does it seem that they are using automation software?
Sign Up for Their Email List
Email lists are a really good way to check out your competition and see how they’re using their email in conjunction with social media to market their products and services.
Read Their Blogs Often
Set up their blog on RSS feed so that you can keep track of the type of information they’re disseminating to their audience. Do they ask their audience to share blog posts? Do they make it easy to share?
What Do They Share Using Social Media?
What does their goal seem to be using social media? Do they try to lead you back to their email list, blog, other social media accounts, or something else?
How Do They Get People to Like or Follow Them?
Did they give their audience incentives to like or follow them on multiple social media accounts? If so, are they giving new or the same information on each account?
How Often Do They Send Out Updates?
Track how often your competition sends out updates. Are they weekly, bi-weekly or monthly? Are the updates distributed regularly, or are they spradic at best?
Track What Time Your Competition Sends Updates
What time is the most common time that your competition sends out updates?
What Is the Reaction of the Audience?
Is the audience engaging with your competition based on their updates? Are they liking, sharing, retweeting, and commenting on their updates? Is your competition talking to dead air?
Understand First, Track Second
As you ask these questions, you will need to keep track of the answers. Some good ways to do so are to:
Create a Spreadsheet
Enter the information you collect into a spreadsheet to keep track of the questions you have about how each of your competition uses social media.
Evernote is a great way to keep track of different things that you would like to try that your competition is doing. Create a note book for competitor research, make note of the things you like, then add your spin to them and implement your ideas.
Write a Report
Taking each of your competition separately, write a report for your eyes only, with the information so that you can easily look at it for future reference.
Tracking what your competition is doing, as well as how your audience responds to the competition, will help you know what to do more of in your own social media marketing efforts.