Your perspective on competitors can tell a lot about you. Do you simply see them as mere opponents or important sources of information?
Regardless of what you might think, competitors are essential for knowing more about the customer landscape and understanding the industry dynamics in depth.
That’s why social media competitive analysis is an important element in making well-informed decisions. It gets to the bottom of the million-dollar issue — Why is your target audience preferring your competitors over you?
You can make better decisions by developing a systematic learning plan that incorporates your wins and losses, as well as the strengths and shortcomings of your competitors.
In this blog, I will list down the importance of social media competitor analysis and how to perform it.
Why is Social Media Competitor Analysis Crucial in 2024?
As a brand owner or a marketer, you must have come across questions like:
Why are your competitors outperforming you? What strategies are making them popular among your target demographics? What are they doing to harm the brand’s image? What are they doing to keep their ranking on the SERPs? And how are they doing it?
To get these answers, you need the help of social media competitor analysis. It can provide you with the facts needed to make data-driven decisions and construct effective marketing, development, and sales plans.
Let’s have a brief look at the benefits of social media analysis:
- Identify market trends and gaps: A detailed competitive analysis can help you understand the overall market landscape and spot business growth opportunities. As such, you can address segments that haven’t been your competitors’ priority so far.
- Work on your social media strategy: By checking what your competitors are doing on social media and how well the audience is responding, you can make changes to your own social media strategy.
- Determine focus areas for current and future investments: Doing multiple things at once can ruin your workflow. A social media competitive analysis will help you understand what urgently requires your attention and what can be postponed for the future.
- Benchmark performance: A social media comparison can help identify your strengths and weaknesses. You can set a benchmark and constantly monitor social media metrics to know if the strategies are working or not.
- Stay relevant in the long run: Social media is quite dynamic — what works today might not yield similar results tomorrow. A competitor analysis will help you know what’s currently trending and modify your plans accordingly.
- Find the best time to post: If you’re constantly monitoring the social activities of competing brands, you will be able to spot a time frame when the audience is most active and responding well to the content.
How to Perform Social Media Competitive Analysis?
Keep a close eye on the competition by following the seven suggestions below.
- Identify your competitors
- Examine the profiles of your competitors
- Take a look at their blogs and newsletters
- Examine their most popular content
- Frequency (and timing) with which your competitors post updates
- Watch out for any new content
- Keep an eye on their social media activity
Identify your competitors
Selecting your competition is the first stage in the process of developing a competitive social media strategy.
While listing down the opponents, don’t only include the big names. You should also consider emerging players to get information regarding possible new threats to your market share and position. Remember — It’s critical to include both direct and indirect competitors to get a complete picture of where you stand.
Let’s understand the difference between both:
- Direct rivals are companies who operate in the same or related industries as you and offer similar products and services. You’ll almost always be targeting the same demographics and solving the same client problem.
- Indirect competitors exist when there are significant gaps between your offerings, target market, or industry. However, you work in the same general field and may be able to share useful knowledge.
To find new competitors, find the Google keywords that are relevant to your company or project. Choose the results that appear at the top and search for them on social media.
With Vaizle, you can easily add competitors to your dashboard. Doing so will aid your initial research and help keep track of subsequent monitoring as well.
Simply click on ‘Add Group’ and Vaizle will give you a chance to select self brand and competitors.
Examine the profiles of your competitors
Active social accounts and pages are the foundation of a successful social media campaign. Here are a few things to look at while doing a social media audit of competitors to discover how they have set up their social media profiles.
Firstly, check how the competitors have phrased things — how are they describing themselves in the Instagram bio? What does the About section on their Facebook page say?
You want to know this because generally there are limited characters available to describe the company to a first-time visitor. As such, it is crucial to keep the explanation brief and highlight the value you provide. Examine what your competitors have to say about their businesses, paying special attention to the keywords they use.
And, regardless of what your competitors do, include your URL in your description to enhance the amount of traffic you can get from those networks. This strategy works especially well on Instagram because the URL in your profile is only shown in certain portions of the site, such as search results.
After comparing with the competitors, Vaizle lets you get quick insights on the brand’s activity and find optimal hashtags, keywords, and times to post.
What pictures do your competitors use?
Telling your brand story through images is the most effective way to get your message across. After all, the human brain can process images 60,000 times faster than text.
While images have always been an important part of social media, every platform now allows you to share native videos with your followers.
All images you post contribute to your social media branding. Look at how your competitors use photos and come up with a unique strategy of your own.
To see all your competitor’s photos and video posts in a single grid, use Vaizle. Through Vaizle, you can filter social media posts in the grid view by content type (picture, video, etc.), rival (to spot branding patterns, campaigns, etc.), or engagement rate.
Take a look at their blogs and newsletters
Monitoring your competitors’ blog content can help you come up with new ideas for your own. If they have a newsletter, sign up for it to stay up to date on their latest posts. Create rules in your inbox to guarantee that their emails are routed to specific folders, which you can then browse through at your leisure.
Make a note of any themes that are performing well to assist you in creating your own calendar. Consider how you may add something like any regular posts that perform well.
Examine their most popular content
Examining your competitors’ most popular content will let you find what the target audience likes these days. After analysing multiple brands, you will be able to get a general idea about any repeating content patterns.
To look for the most socially shared material by your competitor brand, you can use Vaizle. You’ll be presented with a list of content ranked by popularity after entering a subject or phrase. ‘
This reveals the efforts your competitors are putting into maintaining their social media presence, both qualitatively and quantitatively. That is what we can classify as the core purpose of conducting social media competitor analysis.
Additionally, this tool is excellent for highlighting your competitor’s top content.
Frequency (and timing) with which your competitors post updates
Timing is an important aspect of social media content. If you’re targeting a local audience, you should post updates when they’re most likely to be online. If you want to reach a global audience, you’ll have to experiment with when your updates get the most attention.
Even better, you can utilize Vaizle to monitor how many updates your competitors publish in a certain period of time. Additionally, you can use the Vaizle free tools to find the best time to post on different platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
Watch out for any new content
Google Alerts is a simple — and (most importantly) free — way to keep track of your competitors. Set up notifications for certain keywords and branded alerts for your competitors to see who is frequently appearing on them. To track sentiment and manage brand reputation, you should also create notifications for your own branded phrases.
You can then head to the Vaizle dashboard to check how the newly posted content has been performing over the last few days.
Keep an eye on their social media activity
Observe your competitors’ social media channels and postings to see what they’re sharing, how they’re communicating with customers, and which themes are performing well—and poorly—for them.
There are several options for accomplishing this, the simplest and least expensive of which is to create Facebook and Twitter lists. Before categorizing your competitors into lists, like or follow their pages on important social media networks (PS: you may wish to do this from a personal profile rather than your business profile).
You can quickly monitor their content by visiting the list on a frequent basis, rather than visiting their profile page or relying on it appearing in your timeline organically.
Use a social media analytics tool like Vaizle to perform Social Media SWOT Analysis on your competitors. It allows you to set up streams focusing on certain profile pages as well as hashtags.
As a full-time marketer, I understand that conducting a social media competitor audit is a time-consuming task. However, its benefits pay off well in the long run and will empower you to build a social media strategy that instantly catches the eye of the target consumer group. Personally, I recommend using a marketing analytics tool like Vaizle to keep track of what your competitors are doing and how well the audience is responding.
Vaizle now offers exclusive access to all paid features for $1 only. Sign up for the 7-day trial and explore our range of tools — including social media, ad, and competitive SM analysis. Also, try our newly launched Ads to Google Sheet connectors to make your marketing journey insightful. Cancel or change plans anytime.
Regular social media competitive analysis will help you stay on top of what’s trending in your sector and ensure that your content remains stronger than the rest.
However, do remember that while the initial competitive research will equip you with a plethora of data, you must continue it on a frequent basis. Doing so will help you know about the regular changes and adjustments they make to their plan.
Using a marketing intelligence tool like Vaizle helps you to swiftly and effectively monitor changes made by your competition, ensuring you don’t miss anything.