As a social media marketer, what’s the first activity that you propose to do for your new client or employer? If you’re like most of us, you propose an audit. Even in the worst case, you try to assess the what’s the current status of social media markeitng.
While audits do provide insights, they often are devoid of key focus areas. Like an audit doesn’t always assess the current social strengths. Sometimes, audits also don’t cover competitive analysis and new opportunities.
And that’s why brands need a SWOT analysis for social media.
What is Social Media SWOT Analysis?
SWOT analysis is a dynamic and strategic framework that organizations utilize to assess their internal and external standings among competitors.
That’s why the acronym SWOT: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.
If you have worked at a corporate, you already know this is a crucial and periodic exercise. And mostly for business objectives and competitive research. It involves processes, SWOT tools, and personnel to go through a SWOT analysis cycle.
How does a Social Media SWOT Analysis Help?
As social media managers, from time to time, you will be required to do SWOT analysis of the brand you’re working with. Some of you are already doing it, but may be under a different name. Let’s say, social media audit. This involves both qualitative and quantitative analysis.
But how to approach it?
To make it easier, we will take an example throughout this blog post and show you how you can audit and do a social media audit for a brand.
I have chosen Zara as the audit brand with two competitors H&M and Forever21.
I will be using Vaizle for this example and show you at the same time how you can use it to do a brand’s SWOT analysis.
When conducting SWOT using Vaizle, not only you can see the data that you need, but you can also see it from multiple perspectives especially in relation to your competitors (or your client’s competitor if you’re a social media service provider.
Social Media is all about experimenting, and Vaizle makes it easy to look, compile, and understand the landscape.
The most obvious advantage within social media is a brand’s content and therefore the audience’s engagement with it. Since social media is mostly consumed by scrolling, content is a strength that’ll stop the scroll.
Another strength that social media marketers like me can harp on is the platform. Platform usage and choice is critical in getting into consumer’s minds.
Then, when we talk about awareness, we think of hashtags, which every brand uses. These help garner attention and reach, which is a strength when used effectively.
You can easily conclude from the pie chart above:
- Instagram is receiving almost all the engagement for these brands combined.
- On Facebook, Zara’s photo content does well. On Instagram and Twitter, videos.
- Zara is building a niche with hashtags to separate campaigns or target audience
Using Vaizle, I can see that Zara is doing well in terms of content types they are pushing out. They are experimenting with videos and text to garner an engagement similar to their competitors.
Zara has displayed their feed to be professional, posh and candid, which works well with the brand identity. They stand out amongst their competitors because of their imagery having this chosen personality.
Looking at the feed of content on Vaizle, I can also see that they are experimenting with photos, videos, and links.
Now, within content distribution, their strength is different platforms for different use-cases. For example, photos do well on Facebook, videos on Instagram. They have figured this part of, as far as I can tell from Vaizle’s analytics.
When we talk about hashtags, Zara has variety.
#ZaraNewIn was used 34 times and #LivingZara was used 21 times. Unlike its other competitors, Zara seems to be experimenting with its social media strategies and content.
Although assessing weaknesses isn’t anyone’s favourite thing to do, doing it does help a brand see where there is potential to learn, grow and implement from competitors. Using Vaizle, you can turn your competitor’s weakness into your strength.
Here are three weaknesses you can see clearly:
- Instagram is the channel they need to attack more with video
- Their video format content is the least performing amongst competitors in terms of engagement
- Zara isn’t using the right amount of hashtags, and their own hashtags aren’t really working for them.; additionally, they aren’t trending within hashtags for reach.
- When I use Vaizle to analyse their weaknesses, I sorted the stats for video particularly based on engagement.
What I noticed was that their engagement on videos was much lesser/less frequent than their competitors. This goes to show that even though they are trying out video, they aren’t able to garner engagement around it.
When they do put out relevant content, their video does well! For example, on July 7th they linked one of their content to FIFA and on that day there was a spike in engagement!
Fun fact: 47% of Zara’s fans are on Instagram!
I suggest for them to go back to their video strategy and to fortify it for their audience.
Moving on to hashtags, using Vaizle, I found out that their strategy is to use one hashtag per post.
While this is in line with brand values, it is harming them and is a weakness since their posts don’t get the intended reach and visibility it deserves.
Opportunities for Zara
Opportunities are generally low hanging fruit for a brand to grab on to!
When assessing Zara’s opportunities and using the benchmarking abilities of Vaizle, I noticed minor tweaks that will cause big brand impacts immediately.
You can notice there are three clear opportunities for Zara:
- Instagram’s algorithm has changed to favor comments over likes. Zara has an opportunity to use this to their advantage
- Videos that are real-life incident based trend.
- People are appreciating and welcoming quirky, ego-boosting hashtags.
Using Vaizle and the segmentation it offers, filtering by the kind of engagement – comments are a space where Zara can step in and engage with their audience, unlike the competing brands. As Instagram evolves, they are placing more weight on comments than likes. Zara’s visual imagery/content should illicit a comment!
Secondly, using Vaizle’s insights, I noticed that videos either linked to an influencer or a real-life incident do much better in terms of engagement on social media.
For example, H&M caught on the #StrangerThings campaign whereas Forever21 caught on the festival outfit trend. For Zara, this just means they need to be more aware and engaging about real-life incidences to garner results like their competitors.
Thirdly, looking at the hashtags amongst competitors, I noticed two interesting things; firstly, #foreverbabe is trending and #regram is within the top 20 hashtags used.
This goes to say that quirky, uplifting and reposted content do well when used within the strategy. This also goes to show that appealing to the target audience with hashtags is a sustainable strategy.
Threats for Zara
When assessing threats, for a brand, it is an assessment of where competitors might take over. It could be a certain content type for example, it could be their engagement – there’s definitely something to envy in that brand!
When I used Vaizle to find Zara’s threats, I looked at the best performing brand to assess their niche strengths, those by default, become a threat for Zara. Vaizle helped me keep track of what and more importantly, when their strengths showed. For example, a video that had a very good response! With Vaizle, I can see what the content was and when, so I can backtrack.
Here are the threats data suggests for Zara:
- Forever21 is the most engaging brand on social amongst these three
- Followers are on the lower side
Being an engaging brand means that they are active and engaging with their audience better than a competitor. In this case, Vaizle gave me the insight that engagement is a constant battle and yet, is one that Forever21 is winning.
Posting content is half the game, the other, being engagement.
As your audience keep seeing your brand again and again, the top-of-funnel recall and memory increases.
Secondly, looping back to the first point about followers, Zara is not the one with the highest followers. This is a threat because they are now fighting with this limited range of people for attention. Had it been a strength, they would be envied. Right now, it’s a threat that they are not growing followers as much as other brands.
Hopefully, you were able to understand the flow of auditing and performing a SWOT analysis of a brand on social media. You can build upon this strategy and even add more parameters.
However, using Vaizle effectively does help social media managers, like me, not just keep tabs on competitors, but be market aware.
Here’s a summary of what I just did with Vaizle’s competitive analysis tool:
Conducting such an in-depth SWOT analysis isn’t possible with a manual Excel based stack. The efficiency and clarity Vaizle provides, is unmatched!
How do you perform social media SWOT analysis? Feel free to share your suggestions on your the approach or ask any question about our audit process.