How to Conduct a Complete Social Media Competitor Analysis
Your businesses success relies heavily on how you perform compared to your competitors. This is as true in day-to-day business operations as it is on social media.
A social media competitor analysis provides you with all the tools to know what your competitors are doing well, what they’re not, and everything in-between.
Fortunately, with the way social media has grown over the past five years, collecting data and insight on your competitors is not all that difficult. In fact, you can create a diverse and well rounded analysis with a little bit of research and use of the proper tools.
Finding Out Who Your Competitors Are
Generally speaking, you should have a good idea of who your competitors are within your industry and/or location. Utilizing Google provides a great opportunity to get a great overview of the competitive landscape in your industry as well as your local area.
A Simple Google Search
Using Google Search will provide a plethora of results for businesses related to yours. We’ll use Jimmy V’s Steakhouse & Tavern is located in Cary, NC as an example. To get a look at their competitors, Jimmy V could type “steakhouse restaurants in Cary, NC” and Google will provide all the steakhouse restaurants in the area.
Switching over to the map in Google will show exactly which restaurants are within Jimmy V’s location. We notice that there are several steakhouse restaurants in the area that are competing with Jimmy V. After going to each steakhouse in the area, Jimmy V finds the top three competitors to be:
- Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse
- Longhorn Steakhouse
- Firebirds Wood Fired Grill
Most businesses will have more than three competitors. It is up to you to decide which competitors to utilize for your social media competitor analysis.
We recommend creating a list of the 5 most prominent businesses in your area and doing a quick Facebook search of the business. If they’re not active of Facebook, you can likely exclude them from your analysis.
Another tactic when conducting a competitor analysis is viewing the competitors website and their services offered. Several of your competitors may only offer one of the same services/products as you whereas a smaller number will be more correlated to your businesses offerings.
Starting Your Social Media Competitor Analysis
Now that Jimmy V knows who his three main competitors are, he can begin looking into their social profiles. We would like to note the Jimmy V has maintained an unbiased opinion while doing this competitor analysis. Jumping to conclusions during your competitive analysis can render biased opinions which are most likely wrong. This will result is inadequate data and research causing you to potentially miss some key identifiers and information for your social media competitor analysis.
What Networks Are Your Social Media Competitors On?
Depending on your industry, your competitors may not be on very many social media networks. In most cases, they should be at least on Facebook. Begin searching each social network to determine where your competitors are at. It is also a great idea to determine how active your competitors are on social media.
Jimmy V found that Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse is operating on Facebook and Instagram but not Twitter. This is specific to the Cary location. It is good to note that with large franchises like Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, their corporate office may have a separate social media account. This is worth noting in your analysis.
Measuring Your Competitors Performance
During your analysis, it is standard practice to collect performance data on how well your competitors are doing via their social networks. The most common data points you’ll want to collect will include their page likes and followers, post frequency, content types, reviews and ratings, engagement (likes, comments, shares), etc.
Likealyzer’s Facebook Analyzer is a great tool that you can utilize to collect data on your competitors Facebook Pages. This is a free tool that allows you to gain a strong amount of data to get an idea of how well your competitors are performing via Facebook.
Twitonomy’s Twitter Analyzer is another great free tool to use to collect data on your competitors Twitter profile. This tool provides a plethora of data that is much easier to access and digest than it would be to search through your competitors entire profile for your social media competitor analysis.
More tools exist to increase your productivity for analyzing your competitors. A thorough search via Google will return numerous free and paid software tools that can help you with your social media competitor analysis. Nonetheless, you will want to physically view every profile of your competitor to gain a complete and in-depth understanding of their performance and content.
SWOT Social Media Competitor Analysis
A SWOT analysis stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Strengths and Weaknesses are related to the internal components of a business whereas Opportunities and Threats are correlated with the external components of a business.
SWOT analysis methodology has been around many years and is strongly related to your social media competitor analysis. When you’re able to identify your competitors strengths and weaknesses, you’ll be able to capitalize on opportunities for you social media strategy while mitigating threats.
Strengths & Weakneses
When recording your competitors strengths and weaknesses, it is important to ask yourself numerous questions about your competitors performance and answering those questions with an unbiased opinion. Maintaining complete honesty with respect to your analysis will provide you the ability to use their weaknesses as opportunities for your business while mitigating their strengths as threats.
Questions to ask yourself:
- What are your competitors doing well?
- Do they have increasing engagement and follower activity?
- Is their content continuously gaining traction and thriving with their target audience?
- What types of promotions are getting great feedback?
- How are their reviews? Examples of great reviews vs poor reviews.
- Do they have consistent posting schedules and frequencies?
- Are their grammatical errors?
- How many people are talking about them?
These are common questions you’ll want to ask yourself when reviewing your competitor analysis but are not limited to these questions alone. You’ll want to capture as much data as possible during this part of the analysis. It will provide great insight on how you can position yourself on your social networks to beat out the competition.
Opportunities & Threats
With the strengths and weaknesses recorded, you should have an in-depth understanding of what your competitors are doing well on social media vs what they’re not doing well.
Strengths are going to be correlated to Threats for your business in many cases. If you’re not performing at the same level as your competitors on their strengths, then you definitely have work to do in these areas. You’ll want to ensure you include tactics within your social media strategy that directly address your competitors strengths.
Weaknesses of your competitors will be your Opportunities to beat them on social media. Use their weaknesses as your advantages within your social presence. For example, if they’re not regularly posting to their social media feeds, make sure you incorporate a schedule to post consistently.
Your social media competitor analysis should give you a very detailed understanding of what your competitors are doing with their social profiles. This will allow you to use the information to your advantage as well as pivot/deflect against items that aren’t working in your favor.
Click the button below to get our FREE Social Media Competitor Analysis Template.