If you’re searching for an effective method to stay ahead of your competitors, then social media competitor monitoring is a must. Not so long ago, a social media presence was a nice additional feature. Now, it has emerged as a must for the vast majority of businesses worldwide.
With over 4.6 billion social media users across the globe, you can be sure that your ideal customers are among them. If your competitors have tapped into the power of social media, you need to be in the know, understand how they’re performing, what gains they’re making and where their weaknesses lie.
This article seeks to give users an overall guide regarding social media competitor monitoring. We’re going to explore just what this is, why it’s so important and how you can get started with this yourself.
What Is Social Media Competitor Monitoring?
Given that 96% of businesses worldwide are taking advantage of what social media has to offer, there’s a very good chance that your competitors are part of this. It could be that they have a presence on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or a host of other social media platforms. Regardless of the platform of choice, your competitors’ brands are getting attention and you need to know well their strategies are working.
Social media competitor monitoring is all about watching just how your competitors are performing with their social media accounts. It allows you to take a look at your own performance and compare it to where your competitors are at. Before it comes to monitoring, there is a need to carry out an analysis. This analysis will lead to you:
- Being able to identify which of your competitors are using social media
- Knowing which platforms are being used
- Being able to see just how the platforms are being used
- Having an insight into how well their social media strategy is working
- You are able to benchmark your results
- Having the ability to identify threats towards your business
- Being able to find gaps in your own social media plans/strategy
As you can see, social media competitor monitoring can give your business access to a whole host of valuable information. This information has clear benefits that allow you to take your business forward and to be at the forefront.
You can be sure that there are plenty of companies out there that are operating their social media campaigns in a vacuum. This means that they have no idea of what’s going on around them and they lack the ability to adapt and progress. By tapping into social media competitor monitoring, your business is set to be different.
The Impact Of Social Media Competitor Monitoring
We’ve already touched upon some of the insights that social media competitor monitoring has to offer. The reality is that the full impact of carrying this out effectively goes way beyond this. Some of the other benefits that you can expect include:
Understanding your own performance – how is your social media presence delivering when it comes to metrics such as the number of followers, the level of engagement and shares? By monitoring your competition you get a fuller understanding of what your figures mean and how good, or otherwise, your performance is.
An insight into timing – if your competitors appear to be having higher levels of engagement then it may not be just about the content: it could also be about the timing of their posts. Social media competitor monitoring means that you can look at the days of the week and the time of the day that posts are being made. If you identify times when engagement is higher, you can tweak the timing of your own.
Content ideas – now, no one is suggesting that you directly copy your competitors’ content. However, there is certainly no harm in taking a look at trending or highly cited content and using it for inspiration. Which topics are getting the most engagement? Which pieces were once popular, but now seem to be all but ignored?
Communication style – if your competitors are active on more than one social media platform, there’s a very good chance that they use each of these a little differently. Yes, there needs to be a brand voice but you may see that some platforms allow those in your industry to speak more casually whereas others demand a formal approach.
Differentiating your brand – you certainly want to be using social media competitor monitoring to mimic the best that you can see. However, you also need to use it to identify ways that make you stand out from the crowd.
The overall impact of social media competitor monitoring will depend on exactly how much your business puts into this. It could be that your business just takes a one-off cursory glance to achieve a basic overview.
At the other extreme, your business may want to look at daily social media activity. You could come down somewhere in between and carry out activities on a monthly or quarterly basis. As with most things, the more that you put in the more you’ll get out and the bigger the benefits you’ll reap.
Important Metrics For Social Media Competitor Monitoring
Social media competitor monitoring will, of course, include taking a look at the content that competitors are creating. However, as with all things business related there is a need to delve deeper and get into the numbers. The figures that you need to be taking note of include:
Number of followers – when you look at the social media presence of your competitors, it’s always good to start by looking at how many followers they have. This can give you an idea of how effective their strategy is and if they understand how to get eyes on the content that they’ve produced
The number of posts – how often are your competitors posting? The ideal number of times for posting will depend on the platform that you’re using but it’s worth looking at if your competitors are anywhere near these numbers or if they’re taking another approach. If they’re taking another approach, is this working?
Engagement rate – the average level of engagement will depend, again, on the platform that you’re using. If you’re using Facebook, a good engagement rate can be as low as 1% or 2%. With LinkedIn, this increases to around 6%. How does it appear that your competitors are doing? If engagement rates are low it could be that the content is poor or it could be a sign of fake followers
Number of ads – Certainly with Facebook, you can head over to your competitor’s page and get a look at how many live ads are being run. Are your competitors running numerous ads at the same time or are they limited to one or two?
Number of hashtags – Instagram is all about hashtags and these have crossed over to other social media platforms too. What hashtags are your competitors using? How many are they focusing on and how are they all performing?
Of course, this information will be changing on a continual basis. That’s why a one-off exploration of your competitors’ social media is rarely enough. There is a real need to ensure that monitoring is ongoing so that your insights don’t become outdated.
How To Monitor Your Competitors’ Social Media Presence
If you’re keen to get started with social media competitor monitoring, and to gain real insights into how these competitors are performing, then you’ll need to understand just how to do this. That’s what we’re going to look at next:
By using the tools provided by WatchMyCompetitor, you can be kept up to date with the social media activity of all of your competitors. What’s great about the tool that we offer is that the insights that you’re given go way beyond social media alone. You can learn more by taking a look here.
Not Just Analytics
This is a great tool to gain insights into how your competitors are performing on both Instagram and TikTok. This software allows you to see how your competitors’ profiles are growing as well as the hashtags that are being used and the levels of engagement.
This tool is one that’s popular with marketing agencies as it allows them to monitor accounts across platforms. However, it also offers a handy add-on that allows you to analyse how competitors are performing. With this, you can look at up to five of your competitors across Instagram and Facebook.
By using Sprout Social, you can schedule your social media posts and also analyse how the posts perform. Beyond this, you’re also able to monitor your competitors. You can see the publishing schedules that they’re using as well as how their audience is growing.