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    ▷ How to Improve Your Social Media Strategy with the Help of Competitive Analysis – WAU 2020

    How to Improve Your Social Media Strategy with the Help of Competitive Analysis – WAU

    Without a doubt today, social media has become a powerful marketing and business tool. Companies aspire to increase their influence on social networks, fighting to gain followers, likes and shares. To win this battle it is essential to research your competitors’ activities on social media – smart people learn from […]

    Without a doubt today, social media has become a powerful marketing and business tool.

    Companies aspire to increase their influence on social networks, struggling to gain followers, likes and shares.

    To win this battle it is essential to research your competitors ‘activities on social media – smart people learn from others’ mistakes, don’t they?

    We have prepared some essential points to guide your steps on this path.

    Who are your main competitors?

    This seems like a very simple question, after all we hope you know your competition like the back of your hand.

    However, it is important to consider not only direct competition, but also indirect competition.

    Just to refresh your memory – who is the indirect competitor?

    It is the brand that sells a similar product, generates similar content and has a target audience similar to yours.

    For example, a pizzeria and a Japanese restaurant produce different products, but they compete for the same customer and probably choose a similar promotional strategy.

    To better understand your market trends choose some direct and some indirect competitors.

    But be careful, this choice is not random, you need to select the strongest!

    Now let’s define which metrics help to build your competitors’ powerful strategies.

    As you already know, each social network has its particularities, so in different cases you may need to analyze different types of metrics.

    Even so, there are some common aspects that can be measured and evaluated for most social networks:

    • Number of followers;
    • Engagement;
    • Type of content published;
    • Frequency of publications.

    These parameters will help you to define the most influential competitors and discover the key to their success.

    Let’s take a closer look at each one.

    How many followers do they have?

    The number of followers is the easiest metric to measure, but it is quite misleading.

    Not always the amount of followers is the sign of successful strategy, but it is still worth evaluating.

    Strong audience growth or decline can indicate general strategy trends, good ideas or serious mistakes.

    competitive analysis
    Number of followers on Facebook pages of the main companies in the automotive market in London (London pages)
    competitive analysis
    Audience changes to Fiat’s London Facebook page

    How active are followers and why?

    Even if the company has an impressive amount of followers it does not mean that it has many customers.

    Millions of fans who have been won thanks to aggressive advertising mean nothing if they’re not really interested in the brand.

    What allows you to truly assess the success of your competitor’s strategy is engagement – the activity of followers (comments, shares and likes).

    So before delving into the depths of detailed research, estimate the amount of likes, shares and comments to get a general sense of the efficiency of this strategy and decide if it is worth it for your business.

    competitive analysis
    Engagement report on Facebook pages for automotive companies (London pages, comparison made 19-20 June 20 2016)

    How do they use different social media channels?

    We have already seen how the size of the audience and the engagement index help reveal your most active competitors.

    The next step is to analyze which social channel they use in their promotional tactics and why.

    Brands can use social networks for several reasons, for example:

    • to increase brand visibility;
    • to engage new customers;
    • to be found by potential leads;
    • to make new business contacts.

    Some social networks may be more suitable for certain purposes.

    Try to analyze for what purpose each channel is used by your competitors and how the content they post changes depending on the channel.

    For example, Facebook is ideal for increasing brand visibility, but it is important to keep the balance between business and fun, offering interesting news and games and quizzes to interact with users.

    LinkedIn is normally used for professional conversations and sharing news about the market.

    Twitter with a limit of 140 characters in posts is perfect for announcing promotions, urgent news or special offers.

    And social networks that focus on visual content – like YouTube or Instagram – are perfect for direct promotions on your products.

    Perhaps your competitors are participating in some more specific sites, but crucial to your market.

    If this channel is bringing a lot of followers, why not use it?

    And I say more, if your competitors are not present in any social channel this can be a beautiful opportunity to highlight your brand and gain new customers with little competition.

    What type of content is most successful?

    The time has come to take a closer look at what exactly your competitors are posting.

    Their content can be an endless source of inspiration!

    First of all take a look at their profiles – what information do they put there, what keywords do they use to describe their companies? Where and how do you distribute links to their websites?

    Which call to action do you use for these links?

    Your competitors’ social profiles can give you many ideas for editing your profile information.

    Now we will move on to content analysis. Assess what your competitors are saying and what the audience’s reaction is.

    Pay attention to the details: do they use brand hashtags frequently?

    Is their content strategy consistent? Do they only publish original content or only share posts?

    Note which type of content gets the most engagement.

    That way you can see what your audience’s preferences are.

    competitive analysis

    Report of activities of the London page of Fiat

    Aliais, the a high level of engagement does not always signal brilliant ideas.

    Sometimes it can be the result of negative feedbacks – for example, complaints.

    And this is a great opportunity to discover your competitors’ weaknesses and make them your strengths.

    On the other hand, the low engagement rate is also an important factor.

    Try to understand why certain tactics failed and learn from those mistakes.

    Is it possible that this type of content is not suitable for this social channel or was it directed to the wrong group?

    Or maybe your competitors are simply not interacting with users?

    How often do they post?

    Take a defined time period – for example, a month – and calculate how many times your competitors have posted their own content.

    Now compare that with results from your social networks.

    For example, if they’ve been posting content more often than you, and this is resulting in more engagement, you may want to adopt this strategy for your business.

    Don’t forget to check the time of day when the most successful posts were published and the distribution of posts during the day.

    So you can get valuable information about the best and worst post times.

    competitive analysis
    Engagement distribution of the London Fiat page depending on the time of day

    Recommended tools

    Social networks represent a form of open communication.

    This means that the monitoring of your competitors’ actions can be done without the help of tools.

    But why waste time doing manual research when there are many tools that can make your life easier?

    Check out these, for example:

    Tools for monitoring various social networks

    • Hootsuite;
    • Social Sprout;
    • SEMrush;
    • Sumall.com;
    • RivalIQ.

    Twitter Tools

    • Just Unfollow;
    • Twitonomy;
    • RiteTag;
    • opsy.

    Facebook Tools

    • Conversation score;
    • Quintly;
    • Mention;
    • LikeAlyzer.

    It’s time to get your hands dirty!

    Analysis of the most successful social media strategies offers valuable knowledge about which tactics are effective and must be acquired and which ones do not work and must be forgotten.

    It also helps to define your company’s weaknesses.

    The time has come to act!

    Take advantage of the best ideas and perfect them with your creativity!

    This article was produced by SEMrush

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