Coming up with a social media marketing strategy is not an easy task.
You can have a better picture if you closely monitor your competitors’ strategies, use the things that work, and learn from their mistakes. It can help you turn an average strategy into a winning one.
Every marketing plan contains competitor analysis; your social media marketing plan does, as well.
In this article I collected the most important metrics you should watch when researching your competitors.
Find out who your competitors are
Your first step in creating a social media competitor analysis is selecting your competitors. For some businesses, it’s easy to identify them, but for others, it might take some research, especially if you sell your goods internationally. You will want to find businesses similar to yours, but not limit your analysis to competitors of a specific size.
Once you selected a few competitors, cut this list to the top 3 or 4. If you work with more, you will have so much data you don’t know what to do with it all. If you select less, you won’t have enough data to paint an accurate picture.
What social networks are they on?
Some organizations are only present on Facebook or Twitter. Others will be active on Instagram or Tumblr. It all depends on the brand, their objectives, and where their audience spends the most time.
Make a list of which competitors are active on which social networks.
How big is their following?
Look at how many followers your competitors have on each network. Then go back a week later and observe how many they have now. Do the same again after another week. Do they gain followers? How many?
What wording do they use in their social media bios and descriptions?
Writing a compelling bio – a description of your company – in only 200 characters (or less) is not easy. You might find inspiration by what your competitors say about themselves, and what tone and keywords they use.
If you can, squeeze your website URL in these bio descriptions to increase traffic.
What images do your competitors use?
While you can attach videos in almost every social network, photos are still popular, and sometimes the only option you can post (like Pinterest).
Images can be for branding purposes, illustrating a post, or even entertainment.
See how your competitors use images and find a creative way to brand your own social profiles and to use them in your posts.
Using the right images and video content is an important part of your social media strategy.
Do your competitors use images, video, or other media in their updates?
Nowadays you can post pictures, videos, animated gifs, gallery, or plain text. See how your competitors use the different media and which resonates well with their audience.
How often do they post?
A key component of social media content is timing.
Note how often your competitors post to their social media channels. You’ll probably find that some post a lot, others not enough.
You won’t be more successful if you post multiple times a day and flood your followers with content.
What are their engagement numbers like?
How many likes are they getting on their posts? How many retweets or shares? How many comments? Mentions? These metrics are extremely important because they show how successful their social media marketing is.
Note how they react for engagements. Do they respond to comments? Do they participate in conversations?
Even if they don’t, it’s always a good tactic to engage with your audience.
Every marketing plan starts with proper market research, and every market research analyzes the competition at some point.
The same applies when you create a social media marketing plan.
Researching your competitors give you valuable data that helps you figure out what works and what does not.
What other metrics are important for you when you conduct social media competitor research? Share with us in the comments!