It is always important to examine what competitors are doing in social media, however so many businesses neglect analyzing their competitor’s social media channels. There are many reasons to take a deeper look at what your competitors are posting. For one, it acrtually may inspire new ideas. Analyzing a competitor’s social media page also gives you an inside look at what is going on with their organization.
Closer examination will give you an idea of how their fans are interacting. By finding the posts that create the most engagement and apply the same approach to your own social media channels. Make sure to customize your posts in the most relevant and meaningful way to your audience and customers.
When researching your competitor’s social media presence, there are certain questions to consider for each of the many channels:
-How many followers?
-How many likes, shares and comments do they receive?
– What is the general tone of the messaging responded to (positive or negative)?
-How often do they post?
-Do they post the same subject matter on each social media channel or specific content for each channel?
-What are they doing differently than your organization?
These questions should be considered when observing every social media channel. For the following individual social media channels, there are more precise questions to be applied to each specific channel.
-What type of content are they posting? Videos, Pictures, Links, Blog Posts, Articles, Text? Which of these specific mediums receive the most engagement?
-What is the brand’s voice; is each post consistent with the brand voice and brand identity? Is the brand humorous, irreverent or serious?
-Are the posts based on company news or industry research or news? Or a mix of both?
-Does the organization run surveys or contests? If so what are the inducements to participate and what are the general results? Is it possible to measure the success? What is the end goal of running survey’s and/or contests?
All of the questions asked in the above Facebook section should also be asked when analyzing a competitor’s Twitter page. Here are a few more questions to investigate:
-What is the ratio of followers to following? Social Media Monitor suggests that an account with 50,000 followers that’s following 500 users probably has more influence than an account with 50,000 followers that’s following 49,000 users, unless they bought followers.
-Is their content distinct to their Twitter profile? Is it posted on their Facebook as well?
-Does the brand voice overlap between Twitter & Facebook?
-Do they create Lists?
-What hashtags are they using? Do they create new hashtags of their own? Is there success of self-generated hashtags?
-For each post, how many favorites, replies and re-tweets are they receiving? What types of post receives the most of each of these?
-When are they adding media to the posts? What posts receive photos or videos? Which type of posts use links?
For Instagram, many of the above questions topics should be analyzed. Such as brand voice, contests /polls, ratio of followers, and hashtags used. Below are some other points that should be looked into.
-Are the photos professionally photographed or shot using a smart phone?
-Do they repost customer photos?
-Do they solely post photos related to their product or service or do they take a more general appraoach to posting photos?
There are many other social media channels that your competitors may be using. Examine which of the channels your competitor has an account set up for. See if they are still actively using these accounts. Many businesses create a social media account and will begin to neglect the account and only post on their Facebook account.
Channels to consider include LinkedIn, Pinterest, Youtube, Google+, Tumblr, Snapchat, and more. When examining these accounts, if applicable, apply many of the questions that were listed in the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram sections above.
While compiling a social media analysis of your organization’s competitors may take a large amount of time and effort, it will have a drastic effect on your organization’s social media strategy. It will allow your organization to find what is working with other organizations, and what should be dropped. It will let your organization gauge how successful your social media campaign has been thus far, and what needs to be improved.