One of the simplest and most effective ways to ensure success for your social media marketing campaigns is through effective competitor analysis.
Businesses have now grown to understand the potential that social media offers as a marketplace. However, due to it being so mainstream, many are unwilling to invest time and energy into planning and preparation.
One of the biggest mistakes that can be made in the preliminary stages is launching forward without defining clear goals and establishing what tactics will help achieve those goals.
Like a great deal many things, planning is key to success on social media. Competitor analysis is a key part for this. It not only allows you to garner ideas, it also gives you a clear idea of benchmark expectations for growth and engagement. These can then be cross-referenced with your own results further down the line.
Many businesses on social media forget competitor analysis when they launch their social media pages. But the truth is competitor analysis often turns out to be one of the most useful and valuable studies that a marketer can undertake before getting going.
The key points below will help you better know what to look for when conducting competitor analysis for social media...
1. Identify your competitors and what Social Networks they use
You probably already have a good idea of who your competitors are, however, it’s a good idea to double check that these are the same on social media. Those who you consider less prominent competitors in general may have cracked social media on a bigger scale than others!
Look across absolutely all networks to see which they use. Remember that Facebook and Twitter aren’t the be all and end all of social networks. Some businesses get an awful lot of their brand awareness and engagement from things like Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and (particularly for B2B) LinkedIn.
2. Consider their Social Media voice and rates of activity
Social media was created by humans for humans. If they have cracked it, your competitors voice on social media will reflect that and differ from their general professional voice. It will generally be more personable.
Do they use humour? Have they opted for a friendly, helpful tone to encourage interaction? Whatever it is, consider how it might effect audience engagement. After that, analyse the frequency at which they post on each network.
3. Consider following and engagement ratios
This step helps you to gather the sort of data that will help you to analyse your results further down the line. Analysing engagement rates also gives you a good idea of how popular each competitor is with their audience in comparison to each other.
Depending on how thorough you want your analysis to be, this can again be a time-consuming process. If one competitor has lower engagement on their posts by their followers than others, consider why. Do they engage actively with them? Is there something about the content that could be affecting it?
4. Identify the style of content that works for them
Content! It's a golden word. It’s what entices your audience to engage with your brand and increases your reach. By measuring how successful each content medium (video, live, graphics, polls, competitions, etc.) is with their fans you can give yourself a better idea of the kind of things that might work for you.
5. See how they integrate their channels
It’s important to remember that social media was created to be integrated! Many companies are successful on social media because they create great blog content on their own website and share it through their social channels. Chances are that if that content is popular with their audience, it could be for you too.