Cities have town squares, countries have monuments, the world has the internet, and the internet has social media. It is the hustling, bustling hub of communication, where the praises sung by one group can be echoed a thousand-fold.
For businesses, making the most out of social media involves staying ahead of trends and most importantly, understanding their competition. One of the best ways of doing this is through a social media competitive analysis. In this guide, we will take you through why it’s essential, how it works and the steps to conduct an effective social media competitive analysis.
In simple terms, a social media competitive analysis is the process of identifying your key competitors and investigating their strategies, performance, and tactics on various social media platforms.
Through this process, your business can benchmark its performance against industry leaders, learn from their successes (and failures) and identify opportunities to differentiate your brand among shared audiences.
As the adage goes, "keep your friends close, and your enemies closer. " The idea is to understand what your competitors are doing right, where they are falling short and how you can fill that gap.
Consider these benefits:
Raise your own game: See what's working elsewhere, replicate and better it. Stay dynamic: In the ever-evolving world of social media, this practice keeps you on track with the latest trends and consumer preferences. Spot gaps: It could be a minor detail or a gaping hole – from visuals, tone, content formats, to engagement methods. Measure your success: Gain a sense of perspective in terms of where you stand against competitors.
Now let’s discuss the step-by-step process of conducting a social media competitive analysis.
Identify Your Competitors: The first step is to identify your top competitors. Consider both direct competitors (those who offer the same services) and indirect competitors (those who can solve the same problems, but through different means).
Pick Your Channels: Not all platforms will work for all businesses. Understand where your audience is and where your competitors are. The focus could be on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or a combination of these.
Analyze Their Presence: Review their profiles, bio, their posts, visuals, frequency of posts, type of content (images, blog posts, videos, memes, infographics, etc.), and engagement metrics like likes, comments, shares, and followers growth rate. Also, pay attention to their customer interaction: how do they respond to comments, both positive and negative, and how quickly do they respond to direct messages.
Measure Their Performance: Use this data to measure their performance. Some common metrics include engagement rate, conversion rate, share of voice, audience growth rate, average response time, post reach, and others. There are tools available (like Sprout Social, Buzzsumo, or Hootsuite) that provide these analytics.
Compare and Evaluate: Now that you have the data, it's time to look critically at your own social media performance compared to your competitors'.
Identify Opportunities: Based on your analysis, identify new strategies to test and opportunities to take advantage of.
Make a Plan: Develop a plan to make the necessary adjustments to your social media strategy based on your analysis. This might involve experimenting with a new content format, adjusting your posting schedule, or investing in paid social ads to boost your visibility.
Be sure to keep track of your processes and the insights you gain. This isn’t a one-and-done activity. Repeat this process periodically to keep your strategies fresh and relevant.
In the hyper-competitive digital space, there's no room for being passive. Regular social media competitive analysis can yield valuable insights, helping businesses stay up-to-date with industry trends, understand customer preferences, and ultimately break new grounds.
In a perfect world, everyone would have the resources and time to manually track and analyze their competitor's activity. Aomni bridges this gap, delivering real-time competitive insights and personalised content for your sales and marketing strategies in just 15 minutes, with zero manual effort required. Ultimately, social media competitive analysis is about constantly learning, growing, and evolving. Because the digital world doesn't stand still, and neither should you.