Coming up with a social media strategy is a daunting proposition, even for seasoned social media pros.
This is why it pays to heed marketing expert Anthony J. D’Angelo’s advice when he says, “Don’t reinvent the wheel, just realign it.”
You’ve probably realized that sometimes reinventing the wheel and coming up with ideas from scratch isn’t always necessary. You can take what others are doing and tweak it, or realign it.
In this article, we look at how to research your competitor’s social media strategy to help you create your own.
We’ll look at the top two social media networks, Facebook and Twitter, to get you started.
Know Your Competition
Your first step in researching your competitor’s social media strategy is to identify them. Make a quick list of your local and national (if you have them) competitors.
Next, visit their website and click through their social media links so you are familiar with the platforms they are using.
Take note of the following items on their social media pages:
- See how many Facebook likes or Twitter followers they have.
- Write down the pages that they are following or that are following them.
- How often are they posting? Look at the dates on their posts. If they aren’t regularly posting and tweeting, it’s not going to do you much good to research them.
- Take a look at the kind of content they are posting. Are their followers reacting to it? Is it mostly pictures, video or text?
- Ask yourself if there is anything that stands out to you on their page. Is there anything you really like or don’t like?
Use Facebook Graph Search
Using a free tool called LikeAlyzer, you can do a quick check of any Facebook page – this means you can take a peek at your own page as well as your competitor’s pages. This tool gives also you a quick overview of the health of your Facebook page.
With the tool, you can measure and analyze the potential and the effectiveness of your Facebook page. You can compare your page to others as well. In addition, the tool gives you tips to improve your presence.
LikeAlyzer uses a scoring system to give Facebook pages a rank between 1 and 100. They offer industry comparisons on likes, growth and engagement. You’ll also note green check marks when the Facebook page is doing it right or a red x when the page has room to improve.
Set Up Facebook Pages to Watch
One of the easiest and least expensive ways to research other Facebook pages is to set up Facebook Pages to Watch. No one will know that you’ve added their page to your list. They’ll only know that “someone” did.
Visit your Facebook Insights and scroll down to add a page to watch. You’ll then get to see their insights and a list of their most engaging posts.
You can add up to 100 pages to research.
Use Twitonomy and Follerwonk
First, visit the Twitonomy page and give it access to your Twitter account.
Using the free account, you can analyze your own Twitter account as well as the accounts of others. On the right side of the Twitonomy page, you choose a Twitter handle to analyze.
You can monitor your competitor’s social media strategy by learning the following information:
- Average tweets per day
- Total retweets and favorites
- The number of tweets featuring links, hashtags, mentions, replies and retweets
You’ll also be able to see who is engaging with your competition and how often. Twitonomy also provides insight into the days and hours of the week your competition is most active.
If you upgrade, you can also download all of the tweets from any account you wish. This is a great way to compare your data with the competition’s.
We like Twitonomy because it’s easy to see at a glance the social media strategy of your competition.
Follerwonk is another tool for researching your competition on Twitter. It helps you learn where the competition’s followers are located, their genders, when they’re most active and how long they’ve been on Twitter.
It’s important to audit what your competitors are doing on social media. You can research what’s working for them and what isn’t so you can better craft your own social media strategy.
Be sure to use your own original content. You don’t want to copy, but you can emulate and reimagine. Learn what works best for them and try it out for your own social media pages. You just might find the content you create outperforms theirs.
If creating a social media strategy is too time-consuming and confusing, and you’d like some help publishing your content while developing your brand and nurturing the relationship between social media and your business, we can help. We’ll provide customer-focused and engaging posts that encourage trust and a connection with your business.
We are here for you when it comes to your social media posting. We’ll study your brand, and create posts that work with your overall social media posting strategy. Learn more about our services and how we can create engaging content that your customers will enjoy and appreciate.
Image: Anton Repponen