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How to Conduct a Competitor Analysis on Social Media

No matter the profession, anyone can benefit from learning more about their competition. The advantages to be gained from anticipating every one of your opponent’s moves cannot be overstated. Here to help simplify the process is a brief outline of how to conduct a competitor analysis via social media.

Understand What Competitive Analysis Is
Competitive analysis is the process by which one party analyses their competitor in order to evaluate the latter’s logic and methods. This analysis is intended to optimize the primary party’s products and services. However, this method is slightly different when applied to social media. Here, competitive analysis consists of checking a competitor’s social media accounts to gain an in-depth understanding of their customer engagement, online activity, and a macroscopic perspective of the industry one is operating in.

Conducting Competitive Analysis
Analyzing competitors requires compiling a significant amount of information on their daily practices. From there, you will need to siphon the data in order to parse relevant information and reorganize it into a clear, concise data set that you and your team can understand.

The first step is likely the easiest: identify potential competitors. This involves identifying all businesses, both domestic and international, that are selling the same or similar products. Ideal means of accomplishing this task include using Google to get an idea of the main players and discerning who your audience follows. After identifying the competition, find out which social networks they utilize the most, how big their following is, and how often they post. All of this information can be used to help you discern how often to post across various social media accounts.

SWOT Analysis
SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. These indicators are crucial for any successful business plan, especially those utilizing social media. Consequently, these are factors that you should be identifying while you are sizing up the competition in accordance with the procedure outlined above. Potential strengths to keep an eye out for include how your competitors are using social media, how aggressively they are promoting their product, and how tactical their strategies are. Aside from giving you useful competitive data, this analysis could also provide a wealth of inspiration.

In terms of weaknesses, keep an eye out for inconsistencies, including the quality of their customer service, the frequency of their social media posts, the frequency of promotional announcements, and even the quality of their spelling. Compile a list of all these weaknesses so you can learn from them and avoid similar mistakes where your brand is concerned. Similarly, identifying opportunities consists of locating gaps that your brand could fill. As these areas are based largely on inconsistencies, making the previous step crucial to a successful outcome. Finally, identifying threats means considering everything that could go wrong and implementing an effective means of tackling or preventing the problem.

Use Competitive Analysis Tools
Obviously, trying to conduct all of the above by yourself is a nearly impossible task. Thankfully, there are a wealth of of apps and programs, such as Brandwatch and Buzzsumo, that will effectively automate various steps of the analysis, affording you the ability to free up time for other endeavors.

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