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Social media monitoring can be used to perform various tasks in the advancement of your own brand. Generating leads, finding influencers and identifying key sites are just a few that could be mentioned.
However, what is often overlooked is how these tools can be used to analyze competitors. By keeping track of your competition you can become the leader in your chosen area of expertise.
This article is aimed at explaining the methods that can be put in place to track competitors through social media monitoring (smm) and what benefits this could have for your company.
Why companies should follow the competition
There are several key reasons why brands should monitor the online output of their opposition.
Firstly, monitoring competitors allows you to understand their marketing strategy.
Where is their main presence online, are they interacting with customers regularly, who is their target audience?
By understanding your competition, you can identify any failings in your own approach and highlight any key areas they are failing in.
By developing a clear picture of your competitors in your marketplace, it will become easier to navigate. It is essential to be aware of what other businesses are doing and to grow alongside them, learn from their mistakes and understand how to outsmart them.
Once established a competitor query or search can be used to monitor ongoing activity from an opposing brand. This could highlight daily opportunities to interact with potential clients or can be used for monthly reports on the activity within your chosen marketplace.
How to monitor competitors
Social media monitoring tools look at a vast amount of information so it can create some interesting data that will help businesses to target key areas for development. When analyzing the activity of your opposition there are several areas which should be checked regularly.
Share of Voice
This is the measurement of the amount of activity surrounding your business and your competitors online.
By comparing the presence of other companies within the relevant marketplace a business will possess a better understanding of the success of their own marketing activities.
If the competition has a greater share of the voice it may be time to reevaluate your online presence.
By evaluating the sentiment of the comments surrounding brands through SMM, businesses can focus on any negative points brought forward by consumers.
It could be that a competitor is not acknowledging the complaints of their clients which will create an opportunity for your business to demonstrate your product.
Also by knowing what are the main points of aggravation for a consumer within the industry a company can learn to avoid these mistakes in their own business practices.
Top Sites and Page Types
There are several advantages of knowing where competitors are active online.
Firstly, it can highlight key sites or forums where an opposing brand has a dominating presence that your business may not currently be aware of. This information could then influence whether you also want to be active on this platform to generate new leads.
Another benefit of knowing where competitors are operating is being aware of where they have no activity at all. It may be because the sites are either not useful or it could be a new opportunity which has not yet been discovered by the competition.
Social media monitoring can also bring to light influential authors who are frequently discussing a competitor, marketplace or your own brand.
It could expose particular influencers who are commentating on your product or that of a competitor. This creates opportunities for brands to make contact with key influencers and demonstrate why their product is superior to those offered by competitors.
Another component available in SMM tools is that of topics or trends. This allows businesses to monitor the online conversation occurring around their brand and that of any competitors.
By analysing the topics discussed by the competition you become aware of any emerging trends within the industry surrounding a competitor.
Looking at trends or topics can also show which campaigns within the industry are successful.
By analyzing those who are discussing your brand and your competitors you will have a better understanding of their potential target audience. For example it could show that males are more engaged with a product or campaign than females.
This information could change your current marketing strategy or influence future campaigns.
What do you want to achieve?
Finding out information about an opposing brand is only useful if you know how to use the data effectively. It is important to consider what you wish to achieve from this information and how you would implement any changes to your current strategy.
- Start by planning who you wish to monitor and why.
- What information are you most interested in finding out?
- How can you use the data to create changes to your current strategies.
It is important to remember that brands are constantly adapting. Therefore, you must update your search campaigns on a regular basis to ensure that you are up to date on any changes within your industry.
Competitor analysis is only one of the benefits that social media monitoring offers a business. There are many more ways that you can use social listening to improve your practices. Stick around for more insight on the subject.