Social media has become a central part of the marketing strategy for businesses. It is available at low or nil costs and is easy to access. This is the reason why the number of users for social media is increasing. But it is not just you that is leveraging social media to create brand awareness and generate engagement. So many brands use social media platforms to post engaging content and generate conversations.
Why You Need To Track Social Media Competitors
There is no dearth of competition among brands on social media. Different brands are as much a competition on social media as they are offline. Off social media, you compete with brands that offer products that are similar or substitutes. On social media, you compete against rivals’ content strategies and engagement strategies. If you want to ace your social media performance, it is important to regularly track your competitor(s) on all platforms.
Since social media is easily accessible, it can be a very competitive platform. At the same time, it allows you the scope to learn and discover more about competitor brands. You use social media analytics tools to measure your audience’s response to your social media activity. Based on insights on your social media performance, you can devise a strategy. It is important to know how your target audience is reacting to your content. It is also very important to benchmark your performance against your competitors. You should know where you stand against your competitors before thinking on a plan of action.
For a foolproof social media strategy, it is important for you to conduct a social media competitor analysis. It will be helpful for your social media strategy in the following ways:
1. Keeping Up With Your Industry
One very relevant reason to track social media competitors is to keep up with your industry. Tracking your social media competitors will be helpful in identifying top trends and updates that you need to watch out for.
You can enjoy the competitive advantage by keeping an eye on all the latest updates in the industry. When you are trying to create content that will stand out and draw the attention of your audience, you should be on top of your game. For this, it is important that you are well versed with all the new updates and trends in the industry. Churning out content that aligns with new trends projects your expertise in a given niche.
So, to put it simply, you should track your competitors to stay well versed with trends and happenings in the industry. The more well informed you are about your industry, the better you will showcase your expertise and skills.
2. Understanding Competitor’s Social Media Strategy
A very important reason to track social media competitors is to understand their social media strategy. This one is a no brainer. There will always be a lot that you can learn from your competitors. Learn from their mistakes as well as achievements. For this,you will have to keep a constant watch on what your competitors are sharing on social media and how are they going about it. You also need to track how their audience is responding. This will help you in deriving your own social media strategy.
What types of content are they posting on social media? What is the reaction of the audience towards their content? Which content generates interactions on social media? Which content is not generating any type of interactions at all?
It is important to find answers to these questions such that you can direct you own content creation strategy.
3. Finding Out The Gaps
One more thing you can take away from analysing your competitors is identifying gaps. Is there anything that your competitors are lacking ? Or to put it in another way, is there anything that you can offer to your audience which your competitors cannot?
If this is the case, you can use this opportunity to show that you are offering a solution no other competitor is offering. You may be addressing a need that no one else in the industry is providing. This will give you an edge over other industry players. As a result, keeping track of your competitors will allow you to gain advantage over your competitors.
Tracking your competitors can be a huge advantage to your social media strategy. You can be on top of what is happening in your industry. As you keep watch on your competitors, you also become aware of the latest trends in the industry. You can align your social media plans to the latest trends and be ahead of your competitors.
Using social media competitor research, you can study the social media strategy (s) of your competitor (s). You can always get to learn a lot through their strategy. Which type of content is drawing most attention and which kind of content has put you behind others? Is there anything that the others are doing, but you are not doing? You may be falling behind your competitors and not even know, unless you consistently track your social media competitors.
If there are some aspects in which your competitors are ahead of you, there are certain aspects in which you may be ahead of your competitors. Tracking your social media competitors will also help you expose the gaps in your competitors’ strategies. All that you are providing, but your competitors are not, is an advantage that you must leverage.
How To Track Social Media Competitors- A Simplified Way To Track Your Competitors
What are your social media competitors up to? How is the audience responding to their content? Are they launching new features or new products? Are there any successful social media campaigns that you could learn from?
You can follow this approach to track your social media competitors:
Knowing Your Competitors
Unlike offline business competition, the deciding factors as to who your competition on social media are different. On social media, you have to go beyond brands specializing in your area of expertise. Social media is all about generating leads through your content. You need to watch out for all brands that are drawing audience’s attention. You are competing against brands that have managed to engage your audience with their social media tactics.
This is an important first step towards tracking social media competitors and leveraging the information to drive your social media strategy. Only once you know who your competitors are, can you track their online efforts.
Constantly Watching Their Website and Blog
The website forms an integral part of your social media strategy. As such your competitors’ website can be a rich resource for information as well as latest changes in their marketing strategy. Their blogs will provide an insight into their level of expertise and their content style.
Benchmarking on Social Media Platforms
Some social media platforms like Facebook come with a native tool to benchmark against competitive brands on the platform. You can use the Facebook Pages To Watch Feature found in the Facebook insights section of your business page. With this feature, you can easily track your competitors’ audience growth, their engagement and their social media engagement strategies by monitoring their activity on the platform.
On Instagram, you can approach social media tracking through a simple ‘follow and track’ strategy. As we mentioned above, keep an eye for brands with high levels of engagement. Follow them to stay updated on their content delivery style- what type of content to post, when to post and how often to post? It is also important to understand how the brands are interacting with their audience. Is there any new trending topic or feature which they are talking about? Stay on top of all these aspects to ensure you are doing your best.
Follow a similar strategy on YouTube. Constantly monitor your competitors’ activity on the platform. You can subscribe to their channel and get updates on their latest videos. In this way you can analyze what kind of videos they are sharing and what response are they receiving on their videos. Many times you take inspiration from your own content that drove high levels of engagement. Similarly, you can learn from your competitors’ activity on YouTube to devise your strategy. Which videos drove more views and engagement? What drove the audience to their videos?
Compare the audience engagement and demographics
The success of any marketing campaign depends on how the audience reacts and engages with it. This is an important step in competition tracking because it tells you whether you are targeting the right audience and if you are missing out on any audience base. Comparing industry competitors in terms of audience engagement will also give you insights into what kind of campaigns are a good fit for your target audience.
Using a tool to track your social media competitors- a simplified way to track social media competitors
Tracking your social media competitors individually on each of the platforms can be a very complicated process. You will have to follow or subscribe to them. Then, you will have to sieve through your newsfeeds to find their latest posts. All this can be a very time consuming and complex process.
What if you could track your competitors’ social media activity all at one place, in real time?
If you are looking for a simplified way to track social media competitors for your brand, then Unbox Social has a solution for you. With the Unbox Social tool, you can follow not one, but many competitors across different platforms. The Unbox Social Industry Feed offers you access to the latest social media activity of your competitors on YouTube and Facebook.
Once you have your Unbox Social tool , you have to login and head to the ‘Personalize Feed’ option that you will see on your dashboard.
By clicking on the personalize feed button, you will be taken to the ‘Feed preferences’ page.
On this page, click on the ‘+’ option below ‘Track Competitors’.
Next, put in the name of your competitors and add the links to their Facebook and YouTube handles respectively. Click submit to confirm the details. You can add more than 1 competitors to track through Unbox Social.
One you’ve done this, you can head to your dashboard to find your feed populated with all the social media activity of your competitors. This will save you the hassle of going through the social media feeds of each of your competitors. By just entering the links to your competitors’ social media handles, you can get them on your Unbox Social feed.
(Still confused? Take a look at this quick tutorial to understand how to track social media competitors on Unbox Social)
With Unbox Social’s Industry feed, you can create a curated feed of all your competitor’s social media activity at one place. Any social media posts that you felt are standing out? Spotted a good content post that you may want to use for inspiration later? Archive these posts to view later by saving them. You can head to the ‘Saved’ section on your profile to view these later.
Keeping up with your social media competitors is as important as tracking your audience’s response for improving your performance. Tracking your competitors on social media gives you access to the latest trends in the industry. It also provides exposure to your competitors’ strategy. You can analyze their content to know where you stand and learn from their mistakes and successes.
Tracking your social media competitors can be done by following these simple steps:
- Identify who your social media competitors are- not just business competition but strong social media players are your competition
- Keeping up on competitors’ website and blog to take insights as well as inspiration for your social media strategy
- Watching your competitors’ social media activity by following them on various social media platforms and using native tools like Facebook Pages To Watch
- Employing tools for simplified tracking of your social media competitors
You can use the Unbox Social Industry Feed for tailored social feed that provides you with access to latest social media activity of your competitors.