Understand your competitors’ paid media strategy through Facebook and Twitter – WAU

Currently, any Facebook and Twitter user can access ad information from any page. See how to do this and understand why keeping up with the competition can bring valuable information to your paid media strategy.

Comparison between brands is a common practice in the market. When a company says that its product is better, cooler or cheaper, it assumes a “confrontation” with a competitor.

It is common for different businesses to follow the footsteps of rival brands, whether in the online environment or in the offline environment. Since July 2018, it became easier to do that in social networks: You can now follow competitor ads on Facebook and Twitter.

This measure makes it possible to get a sense of the paid media strategy of other pages. In this text, you will understand what to do with the information obtained from this monitoring, why invest in this practice, and you will also see a step by step how to do this on Facebook and Twitter. Here we go?

Why is it possible to have access to competitors’ paid media strategy?

Since July 2018, any Facebook user can have access to the information of ads served by any page and something similar also happens on Twitter. No doubt, this facilitates the work of benchmarking for social networks of companies and allows monitoring of competitors.

However, this was not the main purpose of the platforms when making these tools available. Both Facebook and Twitter started to provide this data for reasons of transparency. See below what motivated these changes in each of these networks.

Facebook

After being involved in the Cambridge Analytica case and being accused of indirectly influencing elections around the world, Facebook was forced to develop transparency strategies regarding the ads served on your platform.

In the official publication on their blog, the platform’s executives explain that the purpose of these measures is to prevent abuse by malicious organizations, which they claim to be a minority among Facebook advertisers.

Twitter

Twitter was not directly involved in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, but it also created the Ads Transparency Center, especially after a Russian broadcaster was found to have purchased several ads, mostly targeted to the U.S., before the 2016 presidential elections.

Why identify competitor ads?

Before we walk you through how to check your competitors’ social media ads, we need to talk about the reasons for doing so. Next, you check 3 great advantages of adopting this strategy, in addition to some possibilities of use.

Benchmarking

Benchmarking is a practice adopted to understand how a brand behaves in relation to its main competitors. This measure directs companies to better decision making, in addition to serving as Market intelligence and be a way to follow trends.

Insights

By following competitors’ ads, it is possible to know their main marketing strategies, especially with regard to their content.

The tools do not allow you to identify audience segmentation. Still, staying on top of the adopted content can bring different insights for your next campaigns.

Consumer feedback

The tool made available by Twitter allows you to view the post as a whole, in the same way that it reaches the timelines of your customers. Like this, you can also see the audience’s response to that content or publicity.

In addition to the reactions – likes and retweets – it is possible to make a more qualitative analysis through the replies. How are customers reacting to that post? Is the CTA being answered? Could the feedback be better? Knowing these responses can help identify the best paths for your brand’s future actions.

Check out other content on paid media!
Learn how to create the perfect media plan for your business
Simplifying the management of your ads with the Google Ad Manager platform
Learn how dynamic Facebook and Google ads work
How paid media can help your content strategy

What is the step by step to find this information?

Ready to get your hands dirty and actually see how to find your competitors’ paid media information? Next, you understand how this data collection works on Facebook and Twitter.

Facebook

On Facebook, the first step is to access the “Information and Ads” tab, which can be easily located on the home page of any fanpage.

Let’s use the Websites Are Us profile as an example. On the first click, you see all the ads currently serving.

Competitor ads 1

As you can see below, the information provided by Facebook is, in somewhat limited. Basically, you have access to the ad format and the creative used in the caption. Information about the performance and engagement of the post, unfortunately, is not shared.

Competitor ads 2

Although the information is not complete, the little provided by Facebook can already help in monitoring competitors’ actions, promotions and strategies. This can be even more useful at times relevant to your brand or niche, such as Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, etc.

Twitter

To follow competitor ads on Twitter, you must access the Ad Transparency Central site. With a layout very similar to Twitter itself, just include the @ of the brand you want to find in the search tab.

Competitor ads 3

This time, we’ll use Google as an example. Unlike Facebook, on Twitter Ads, it is possible to view all ads – still running or not – performed in the last 7 days.

The differences with Facebook do not stop there. By clicking on the date and time of the post, you have access to the ad’s tweet, which allows access to engagement information. Undoubtedly, this data can bring new and different insights into your competitors’ paid media strategy.

Competitor ads 4

Tracking competitor ads can bring insights into content and media format. In addition, you don’t have to limit yourself to monitoring your direct competitors’ ads.

Who are your main references in these networks? You can do this work on these pages and, thus, stay on top of the main trends of Digital Marketing.

Do you want to continue learning about social media ads? Then check out our complete material on performance media!

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