Social media is becoming a crucial tool for businesses in the digital era to contact their target customers and achieve a competitive advantage.
However, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd when there are so many businesses vying for customers’ attention.
That’s why conducting a competitive analysis on social media is crucial to understand what your competitors are doing and how you can do better.
A social media competitive analysis involves examining the content, engagement, and overall strategy of your competitors across various social media platforms.
By doing so, you can gain valuable insights into what’s working and what’s not in your industry, identify gaps in your own strategy, and develop a more effective social media marketing plan.
12 Steps to conduct a social media competitive analysis:
1. Identify your competitors:
To conduct a social media competitive analysis, you must first identify your competitors.
You can start by listing the businesses or brands that you consider to be your main competitors.
Look for companies that offer similar products or services as your own, target the same audience, or operate in the same geographic area.
Once you have your list, take note of the social media platforms they are present on.
2. Analyze their content:
The next step is to analyze your competitors’ social media content.
This includes the type of content they are posting, the frequency of posts, and the engagement levels of each post.
Take note of the topics they cover, the tone of their messaging, and the types of visuals used.
This will help you understand what type of content resonates with their audience and what you can do differently.
3. Evaluate their engagement:
Engagement is a key metric to analyze when conducting a social media competitive analysis.
Look at the comments, likes, shares, and followers of your competitors’ social media accounts.
Take note of the types of posts that generate the most engagement and the ones that do not.
You can also use social media listening tools to monitor your competitors’ mentions and conversations to better understand their audience.
4. Assess their branding:
Social media marketing requires strong branding.
Analyze your competitors’ branding elements such as their profile picture, bio, and messaging.
Look for consistencies across all platforms and note any differences.
You can also evaluate how their branding aligns with their products or services and what emotions or values their brand evokes.
5. Determine their social media strategy:
To understand your competitors’ social media strategies, you must identify their objectives, tactics, and tools used to achieve their goals.
Look at their call-to-action messages, promotions, and campaigns.
Also, check for paid advertising and sponsored content.
You can also analyze their hashtags, frequency of posts, and content themes.
6. Use tools and templates:
There are many tools and templates available to help you conduct a social media competitive analysis.
You can use social media analytics tools like Hootsuite, SEMrush, or Sprout Social, to gain insights into your competitors’ social media metrics.
Additionally, templates such as those available from HubSpot or Sendible can help you organize your data and simplify your analysis.
7. Create an action plan:
Based on your analysis, create an action plan that outlines your next steps.
This plan should address any gaps in your social media strategy and identify opportunities to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
You may also want to incorporate new ideas based on what you learned from your analysis.
8. Look for influencers:
Influencers can play a significant role in social media marketing.
Research which influencers your competitors are collaborating with and the type of content they are creating together.
Analyzing influencer partnerships can help you identify new opportunities to expand your reach and target new audiences.
9. Monitor social media ads:
Paid advertising is an important component of social media marketing.
Analyze your competitors’ ads, including their target audience, messaging, and visuals.
Determine which platforms they are using to run their ads and the frequency of their campaigns.
You can use this information to identify gaps in your own paid advertising strategy and refine your targeting.
10. Evaluate customer service:
The use of social media in customer service is crucial.
Analyze your competitors’ response times, quality of responses, and overall customer service experience.
Look for opportunities to improve your own customer service strategy and identify new ways to connect with your audience.
11. Keep track of trends:
Social media trends can change quickly, and it’s essential to stay up-to-date with the latest developments.
Keep an eye on trending topics and hashtags related to your industry, and analyze how your competitors are leveraging them.
Additionally, monitor emerging social media platforms and features to ensure that you are prepared to adapt to changing trends and consumer preferences.
12.Monitor your competitors’ website:
Your competitors’ websites can provide valuable insights into their overall digital strategy.
Look for new products or services, promotions, and calls-to-action.
Analyze their website design and layout, and assess how they are integrating their social media channels with their website.
Conducting a social media competitive analysis can provide valuable insights into your competitors’ strategies and help you identify new opportunities to differentiate yourself from the competition.
By using the right tools and templates, you can gather and analyze data on your competitors’ social media presence, including their content strategy, engagement metrics, and audience demographics.
By evaluating all of these factors, you can gain a comprehensive understanding of your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses and use that knowledge to refine your own social media strategy.
Remember, a social media competitive analysis is an ongoing process, and it’s important to regularly monitor your competitors’ activities and adapt your strategy accordingly.
With the right approach and tools, you can stay ahead of the competition and build a strong, effective social media presence for your business.