Competitive Analysis: One of the Lesser Known Benefits from Social Media

benfits of social mediaUse social media to learn from your competitors and improve your business.

Aside from building awareness and establishing the brand’s unique voice, most business owners also use social media to reach potential customers, gather valuable feedback, and improve their sales performance. Unfortunately, only a handful knows how to use social media in analyzing the competition.

Social media can be a great tool for competitive analysis. When done right, it can provide you with a clearer understanding of the market and help you refine your business strategies for maximum impact. It can help you understand customer behavior, identify market gaps, predict market trends, and identify areas for development. So, if you are still not using social media to gather competitive intelligence, then you are definitely leaving a lot of money in the table.

A Simplified Approach to Social Media Competitive Analysis

How do you start using social media to learn from your competitors? Here’s how.

  • Understand your competitors’ performance. Identify your top competitors and compare how your brand ranks on a number of key metrics (audience size, engagement and brand activity). Take note of their fan to follower ratio, the average volume of engagement they receive per post, and their monthly fan growth rate. You should also determine how active they are in the social media space.
  • Ask the right questions. Simplify the process by knowing what questions your analysis should answer. For best results, you need to know what your brand is doing well and what the competition is doing better.
  • Focus. After identifying the possible areas for improvement, focus on what you need to learn, identify which competitor you need to learn it from, and determine the tactics they are using to achieve that kind of success. For example, you may want focus on what types of posts are driving the most engagement and the voice they are using.??

Online Tools for Competitive Intelligence
Here are some of the best online tools that can help you gather data about your competitors’ performance.

  • Google Alerts ? for monitoring social mentions and keyword mentions of your company and/or your competitors
  • Social Mention ? for monitoring company and keyword mentions, and for cross-analyzing what is being said across multiple social media platforms
  • Marketing Grader ? monitors social activity as well as blogging, SEO and lead generation success of competitors
  • InfiniGraph ? tracks which brands and content are trending in your social media circles
  • Private Twitter Lists ? allows you to see tweets from users on that list without them being aware of their membership
  • BuzzSumo ? allows users see the number of social shares on a particular content
  • Rival IQ ? allows users to analyze what their competitors are doing across multiple digital marketing channels

You can use social media to learn from your competitors. Give it a try and see how it can help take your business to the next level.