With the number of users constantly increasing, sometimes it’s hard to send your message across without it getting lost in the shower of posts, shares and ads. If you are already using social networks for promoting your business, you must have experienced that it’s often hard to conduct business there, due to the changes the platforms make in order to enable the users a smoother experience.
The volume of content being launched on Facebook, for example, is growing exponentially, and their teams can only reduce News Feed reach for certain type of posts.
Who is your Competition?
In a situation like this, you have little options but to stay ahead of the competition and make the most of every response that your content produces. By analyzing your competitors’ tactics and comparing their results to yours, you might be able to understand the reasons behind their performance.
The next step would be optimization and redesigning your future plans. To begin with, you should single out your competition on several levels, including your direct, traditional competitors, those competing for a similar audience and those with similar content, but aiming for different audience.
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These categories will provide you with invaluable data. Of course, the category that will interest you most will be your direct competition. When you have lined your competitors, you can begin data collection. The crucial data of interest is different, depending on a platform. Here, we will explore how you can spy your competition activities on Facebook and Twitter.
The most important metric you can follow on Facebook is the ultimate vanity metric. You can also compare the size of your Facebook page and the competitors’ and track how their size changes over time. The data you receive might not be very accurate due to advertising and offline campaigns, but it can be observed as a rough visual estimate of overall performance. For measuring your page, you can use Facebook Insights, but for measuring the competitors’ pages you will need a licensed analytics tool.
Once you get to know what works, analyzing competitors’ data becomes even more complex, but also more rewarding. Engagement rate divided on multiple levels is an important metrics for the analysis.
By comparing engagement rate by days, time of post, by content type and content topic, you can get an insight in the activity level of each of your competitors. Facebook Insights can provide much of this data, while some can only be derived from paid analytics tools, like Socialbakers and Optimal Social.
The most interesting metrics to track on Twitter is your competitors overall following, their daily mentions, as well as their Tweet engagement rate. Unlike with Facebook, Twitter’s analytics tool is still in its infancy and it provides little data on competition, up to date. However, you can use a number of freeware and licensed Twitter tools like Topsy, Twitonomy and Twitalyzer.
You can compare on which days you are performing better or worse than your competitors by following an average engagement rate and tracking daily mentions.
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This data can help you figure out how the content influences the traffic for you and the competitors and give you an idea how to improve your content for the future tweets. And this works for any other social media platform with available public data. You shouldn’t copy your competitors’ activity, but learn from their errors and build-up on their successful actions.