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Leverage Your Competitors to Create Impactful Social Media

Social media is a crowded space. Making your voice heard can be tough. Knowing how you compare to your competition will help you create a more successful social media plan and elevate your brand’s voice.

Why Analyze the Competition?

Think of competitor analysis as social media intel. By studying what your rivals are doing well (and not so well), you can glean valuable insights to build your own strategy. A solid competitor analysis should do the following:

  • Identify Engagement Goldmines: See what content resonates with your target audience on your competitors’ pages. Note which posts are engagement winners and adapt them to your brand identity. The same applies to not-so-successful content. Use their social media stumbles as cautionary tales.
  • Spot Content Gaps: Discover what your competitors aren’t doing. Is there a topic your audience craves that they’re missing? Fill that content void and establish yourself as a thought leader.
  • Spark Creative Inspiration: Sometimes, a little friendly competition breeds brilliant ideas. Use your competitor analysis as a springboard to brainstorm fresh content concepts, unique formats and engaging visuals that set you apart.

How to Become a Social Media Sleuth

Ready to uncover your competitor’s successes? Here are three key steps:

  1. Identify Your Competitors
  • Direct Competitors: These brands offer comparable products or services and target the same audience. They’re your top intel source.
  • Indirect Competitors: Don’t underestimate brands targeting a slightly different audience! They might be using innovative social media tactics you can adapt.
  1. Deep Dive into Their Social Landscape:
  • Content Audits: Analyze their posting frequency, content formats (text, images, videos), and overall tone of voice. What kind of content seems to resonate best with their audience?
  • Engagement Strategies: How do they interact with their audience? Do they respond to comments, host live Q&As or run interactive contests?
  • Brand Voice: What’s their overall tone and personality on social media? Are they playful and informal, or professional and authoritative?
  • Become a Fan: Follow your competitors on all relevant platforms. Actively engage with their content. Your interactions help change your company’s algorithm and get you in front of your target audience.
  • Hashtag Hunting: Identify the hashtags your competitors are using. Are they missing any relevant hashtags? Use a mix of popular and niche hashtags to expand your reach.
  1. Leverage Social Listening Tools:

There are free and paid social listening tools that can help you track brand mentions, analyze audience sentiment and identify trending topics related to your industry. Free tools can get you started. As you expand your research, paid tools such as Brandwatch and Ahrefs can help track analytics.

Free Resources:

  • Google Alerts: A simple yet effective tool that sends you email notifications whenever your brand name or relevant keywords are mentioned online. Don’t just track your brand name. Monitor industry keywords, competitor mentions, and trending topics to gain a holistic view of the social media landscape.
  • Social Media Platform Insights: Most major social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) offer built-in analytics that provide basic insights into audience demographics and engagement metrics.

Remember, you have to turn the insights into action. Don’t just collect data; use it to inform your social media strategy. Create content that addresses trending topics and leverage positive mentions to build brand loyalty.

Turning Competitors into Contributors

The goal of competitive analysis isn’t to copy your competitors, but to learn from them. While competitor analysis provides valuable insights, it shouldn’t dictate your entire strategy. Use their tactics as a springboard to develop a unique voice and personality that sets your brand apart. Use the intel you gather to craft a unique social media strategy that resonates with your target audience and sets your brand apart.

This blog is courtesy of MMC Account Manager Melissa Holder

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