The vast majority of successful marketers out there undertake some kind of competitive research. If you aren’t already doing so, now is the time to start. To more successfully market your products or services and win business, it is crucial to have a solid grasp of what your competitors are doing and how they add value as well as how you stack up against other pricing models and value propositions in your niche. A critical component of this broader competitive research is taking a look online to understand how your competitors use social media. So, how can you effectively research your competitors’ social media strategy? As you embark on your social media sleuth campaign, be sure to keep the following tips and tricks in mind.
Figure Out Where Your Competitors are Hanging Out
In order to get a grasp on what your competitors are doing, you first need to figure out what channels they are using. Are they posting videos to YouTube? Are they active on Twitter? Do they regularly share visual content using Instagram? The first step is to start searching social media sites for your competitors to figure out where they have the most established presence.
Chances are that if one of your competitors is on a particular site and has a solid following, you should be on that site as well. If you’re wondering whether or not your target customer base in on a specific social media platform, you can always create a test advertisement on that platform to evaluate the size of the audience that fits target customer demographic.
Evaluate Your Competitors’ Social Media Profiles
Remember, every great social media campaign starts with a solid social profile and a well-crafted page. Therefore, there are several different factors you will want to analyze in examining how your competitors have set up their social media presence.
- Wording: On the majority of social media platforms, bios need to be less than 200 words. Therefore, you have to be wise about the words you choose to describe your business. It’s a good idea to check out how your competitors are describing themselves, including what types of keywords they are using.
- Images: Compelling, high-quality images are becoming increasingly important to social media strategy, as now, more than ever, customers expect content that is visually driven. The bottom line is that images go a long way in helping you to establish your brand. The images you chose as profile photos and cover photos on social media platforms are absolutely key in drawing in customers attention with visuals that are compelling and interesting, as well as in establishing what your brand is and what is has to offer. Of course, this is a challenging task, so it is always wise to take inspiration from your competitors. Look at what images they are using to communicate their message.
- Products and services: Be sure to take a careful look at what products and services your competitors choose to highlight in their social media profiles and make sure you are highlighting those products or services in your own profile. You wouldn’t want a customer to choose a competitor over your brand because your competitor highlights a particular offering within their profile and you don’t.
Ultimately, it is important to take a comprehensive look at your competitors’ social media profiles and see how they are portraying themselves as a brand as well as what products and services they are opting to highlight. This will help you to better establish yourself in your niche.
Analyze Your Competitors’ Social Media Content
Once you have a good idea of where your competitors are and how they are crafting their social media profiles, it is time to get an idea of the type of content they are posting. Crafting content that your target customers will find useful, interesting, and compelling is key to having a successful strategy with high rates of engagement and high conversion rates. So, what should you keep an eye on?
First of all, take a look at where your competitors’ content is coming from. Are they developing their own content? Are they sourcing it from popular news sites or blogs in your industry? Is there a mixture of own content and off-site articles? For example, if your competitors are sourcing news content from other places, take note of what articles receive the highest levels of engagement, and be sure to integrate articles from these sources in your own social media strategy.
Secondly, pay attention to the format of the content they are posting. Do they put an emphasis on visual content? Are they posting links to long form articles? Have they integrated video into their strategy? Again, pay attention to what types of content are receiving the highest levels of engagement. If long-form content continuously doesn’t perform well, but visual content gets a high number of likes and shares, it is something to keep in mind when you’re developing your own strategy. If your competitors are having particular luck with a specific type of content, it is a good indication that that type of content resonates with your target customers, and should, therefore, be integrated into your own strategy.
Pay Attention to How Often Your Competitors Are Posting
Last but not least, you need to be aware of how often your competitors are posting. Ideally, you will want to keep on par with your competitors’ posting pace. There are tools out there that can help you to figure out how often your competitors are posting so you can plan accordingly.
In conclusion, paying attention to how your competitors are executing their own social media strategies can help your brand to be more successful online. While you certainly can’t steal your competitors’ strategy, you can, of course, use them to find inspiration.
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